The Vonn-couver Games are done: Lindsey gets another DNF; men’s hockey, Ohno still to comeBy Jaime Aron, AP
Friday, February 26, 2010
Vonn’s Olympics end with another DNF
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Lindsey Vonn went down fighting. Ole Einer Bjoerndalen went out on top.
Despite a broken finger and bruises from chin to shin, Vonn lined up for Friday’s slalom hoping to somehow snare a medal in her final race at the Vancouver Olympics, even though it wasn’t among her best event. She gave up about halfway through her first of two runs.
Oh, well. While a third “did not finish” means these won’t go down as the Vonn-couver Games after all, she refused to let that tarnish her gold and bronze medals.
“I’m totally satisfied with everything I have done here,” Vonn said. “You have to keep in perspective what your goals are.”
Bjoerndalen added to his tremendous Olympics resume by anchoring Norway’s victory in the men’s biathlon relay. This was his first gold medal since sweeping all four events in 2002, and the 11th medal of his career. That leaves him one behind Bjorn Dahlie’s Winter Games record of 12.
This was Norway’s eighth gold medal, tying the United States, Canada and Germany for the most in Vancouver.
The U.S. leads the overall race with 32 medals, two shy of matching its biggest haul, set at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. The Americans’ best gold rush is 10, also in ‘02.
They also are in position to win the medals race for the first time since 1932. Germany is second with 26.
There were six other golds to be handed out Friday, including Apolo Anton Ohno’s final individual race in short-track speedskating. The men’s hockey team also could clinch no worse than silver by beating Finland in a semifinal; the Americans led 6-0 after the first period.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY FALLOUT
The Canadian Olympic Committee better check its mail. A letter is coming from the International Olympic Committee seeking details about the gold-winning women’s hockey team having celebrated its victory by swigging champagne and beer, and lighting cigars, on the ice.
While one IOC official called the behavior inappropriate, committee spokesman Mark Adams said the letter does not qualify as the start of an investigation.
“To be honest, I think people are in search of a story that doesn’t exist,” Adams said.
Hockey Canada apologized in a statement late Thursday, saying it regrets any embarassment caused by taking their party beyond “the confines of our dressing room.”
At least Vonn had something to cheer about: Her close friend, Maria Riesch of Germany, was the leader after the first run.
Sarka Zahrobska of the Czech Republic was second, 0.40 second behind, and Marlies Schild of Austria trailed Riesch by 0.65 in third. Schild got bronze in slalom at the 2006 Turin Games.
Riesch, who already has the gold medal in super-combined, was a strong favorite. She won the 2009 world championships medal race and leads the season-long World Cup slalom standings.
And her younger sister, Susanne, was fourth.
Sarah Schleper was the top American, in ninth. Defending champion Anja Paerson of Sweden was 20th, making it a long shot that she would get her record seventh career Olympic medal in women’s Alpine racing.
There’s a new international power in curling: China, which is going home from its first Olympic curling competition with a bronze medal.
The Chinese beat Switzerland, bringing joy to their Canadian-bred coach and disappointment to the Swiss skip who’d brought home back-to-back silver medals from the last two Olympics.
Michelle Gorgone was the fastest qualifier in the first run of the women’s parallel giant slalom, but a poor second trip dropped her to 13th going into the finals.
Defending world champion Marion Kreiner of Austria qualified first.
Tags: British Columbia, Canada, Curling, Finland, Lindsey vonn, North America, Vancouver, Winter Olympic Games, Women's Sports