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Olympic News Catch-Up

Sunday, February 19, 2006, 03:26 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Torino 2006Writing every day about what I watched the night before and what’s on tap for that night has been time-consuming, and I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to include a recap of the rest of the Olympic happenings since last Wednsday. For those readers who haven’t been following the Games at all, here’s a quick recap of the last few days.

Two Austrian brothers, Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, beat teams from Sweden and Italy for the gold medal in the men’s doubles luge on Wednesday. Those three countries also occupied the first six spots in the final results, with the top American team finishing in eigth place.

Two of the three nordic combined events scheduled for Wednesday were postponed due to weather and completed on Thursday. When the second jump and the 4 x 5km relay were done, the medals went to the teams from Austria, Germany, and Finland.

Although I mentioned having watched some of the women’s skeleton final on Thursday night, I didn’t address the result in Friday’s update. Gold went to Maya Pedersen, the Swiss slider who posted the best times in both final runs. German and Canadian sliders took silver and bronze.

Thursday also brought the finals of both men’s and women’s team pursuit in speed skating. The event from which Chad Hedrick‘s men’s team was knocked out of contention was ultimately won by Italy, with the Canadians and the Dutch. Another U.S. team, consisting of K.C. Boutiette, Charles Ryan Leveille Cox, and Clay Mull, finished sixth. On the women’s side, the medals went to Germany, Canada, and Russia, with Americans Margaret Crowley, Maria Lamb, and Catherine Raney coming in fifth.

In women’s 7.5km biathlon sprint, Frenchwoman Florence Baverel-Robert won the gold over a Swede and a Ukranian. Biathlon is a sport that combines what seem to me to be two unrelated sports, cross country skiing and shooting. After skiing like mad, the athlete then has to calm down enough to take a steady shot. When the shooting is over, the skiing resumes. It was in this event that Russian Olga Pyleva, suspended after a failed drug test, was considered a favorite.

Men’s 15km classical cross country was contested on Friday, with Estonia’s Andrus Veerpalu taking the gold ahead of a Czech and a German. I finally figured out what the “classical” style is. It’s what most people probably think of as cross country skiing, the type of motion you’d use on a NordicTrak machine. It’s different from the “freestyle” or “skating” style in which the skier’s motion is much more that of a speed skater, pushing off with the side of one ski and moving forward on the other.

That brings us to today’s events, which I’ll recap in my usual update tomorrow. See you then.

Categories: olympics, sports
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