OLYMPICS \ Friday’s other events
So these won’t be remembered as the Vonn-couver Olympics after all. It’s looking like they will belong to the entire U.S. delegation instead. The Americans clinched their best Winter Olympics on Friday when Katherine Reutter won silver in women’s 1,000 meter short-track speedskating. That was actually only the 33rd but one each is guaranteed to go to the men’s hockey team and the men’s team pursuit squad in speedskating. Both have advanced to gold-medal matches in which they can get no worse than silver. The 35 medals are one more than the United States won at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. If all goes well the next two days, the U.S. will lead the overall medals standings for only the second time, and the first since 1932 in Lake Placid.
Lindsey Vonn was supposed to win all sorts of Alpine medals. Although she is going home with a gold and a bronze, she also had three DNFs for failing to finish her other events, including the slalom on Friday. Injuries certainly took a toll, from a broken right pinkie to a collection of bruises from chin to shin. But she refused to give up, which may be the bottom line on her performance at these games. Vonn’s close friend Maria Riesch won the event for her second gold in Vancouver and the ninth for Germany, taking over the lead in that category. Canada also got to nine when Charles Hamelin won the men’s 500-meter short-track race.
Ryan Malone, Zach Parise, Erik Johnson and Patrick Kane all scored in the first 10:08, sending Finland goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to the bench and pretty much sealing any doubt who’d win this. Just to make sure, Kane and Paul Stastny greeted his replacement with goals 15 seconds apart just a few minutes later.
Steve Holcomb and his sleek, black four-man bobsled known as the “Night Train” are halfway to gold. Officially known as USA-1, the sled set track records on both its runs, putting it in first place going into the last two heats Saturday night.
More agony for Sven Kramer, lots of joy for the United States.The American men upset Kramer and the powerful Dutch team in one team pursuit semifinal, and the U.S. women knocked off Canada in their quarterfinal. The men will face Canada in the gold-medal race Saturday. The women will face defending Olympic champion Germany in a semifinal Saturday.
Riesch’s victory made the German women 3-of-5 in Alpine events. Riesch is competing at her first Olympics at age 25 after being sidelined by a season-ending injury four years ago. Sarah Schleper was the top American, finishing 16th — after a team doctor sewed five stitches in her bloodied chin before her second run.
The 36-year-old Einar Bjoerndalen nailed all 10 of his targets, then skied across the finish waving a flag and flashing a big smile. The Americans were 13th out of 19 countries.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY FALLOUT
The Canadian Olympic Committee basically said their women’s hockey team made only one mistake while swigging champagne and beer, and lighting cigars, on the ice, in celebration of their gold medal. Getting caught.
Canada was denied another gold medal on home ice, getting taken down by a Swedish team that captured its second consecutive gold medal in women’s curling. China, competing in its first Olympics, beat Switzerland for the bronze.
With rain turning the event into hydroplaning, Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands won the women’s parallel giant slalom race. Rider after top rider kept going out, unable to handle the strange conditions. About the only one who handled them consistently was Sauerbreij, who was her country’s flagbearer in 2002, but finished 24th.