We are now midway through the Torino Winter Olympics and there have been some interesting stories so far. If you are rooting “USA for gold!” in front of your television with every triple axel and slalom skid, you may be disappointed; the medal count for the USA has been mediocre at best. Even so, there have been some great moments. Below are some of the results and highlights thus far.
The U.S. won a gold medal in alpine skiing, but the biggest story has been Lindsey Kildow. Kildow fell badly after slipping on a turn, tearing her ski suit wide open and injuring both knees while racing in the women’s downhill qualifier. In the spirit of what makes the games special, Kildow bravely returned to the hill after doctors warned her of the risks involved which included her international skiing career. Although Kildow finished eighth overall, most will remember her for that heroic display. Her brave mindset may also see her competing in the Super G. Austria won three medals in the downhill events — the most so far — while Switzerland has taken two.
Russia won gold and silver in the women’s 15k. Svetlana Ishmouratova produced a near flawless performance on her way to the gold, which consisted of missing a single target. Olga Pyleva finished second but was stripped of her medal and suspended from competition for two years after testing positive for drugs, reported MSNBC.com and other major news sources. Second place was then awarded to Germany’ Martina Glagow. Another Russian took the bronze, Pyleva’s teammate Albina Akhatova. Germany’s Michael Greis took home gold in the 20k, completing the track in 54 minutes and 23 seconds while fellow countryman Sven Fischer celebrated a gold medal in the 10k sprint. Norway has won two silver and two bronze medals as Halvard Hanevold and Frode Andresen won silver and bronze respectively in the sprint. Hanevold also won bronze in the 20k event behind another Norwegian, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
The two-man bobsled is set to begin this weekend at 5:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
The United States curling teams had rough starts to their campaigns, but have recently gained momentum with several victories. The men, 2-2 overall, defeated New Zealand 10-4 and Norway 11-5. The women, 1-3 overall, beat Denmark on Wednesday 8-3.
The Russians secured a twelfth straight gold medal for a figure skating duo with Tatyana Tmiyanina and Maxim Marinin, who dominated the short program with a score of 68.64 overall and the free skate with a 135.84. Their closest competition were China’s Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang who were nearly a full four points behind in the short program at 64.72 and well behind in the free skate at 125.01. Although China was unable to dethrone the Russians, they had a strong finish, winning the silver and bronze medals along with a fourth place finish. Russia’s Yevgeny Plushenko secured the gold medal after a near-perfect performance; Switzerland’s Stephane Lambjel and Cnad’s Jeffrey Buttle earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Friday ice dancing competition begins with the compulsory dance event at 7:00 p.m. on NBC, and finishes Monday with the free dance event at 7:00 p.m. Freestyle Skiing
Canada’s Jennifer Heil won the gold medal in the women’s moguls. Although the U.S. had 3 qualifiers in the event they were surprisingly unable to win a medal. In the men’s freestyle the U.S. team faired better, winning the bronze as Toby Dawson finished close behind Mikko Ronkainen of Finland and Dale Begg-Smith of Australia. The three skiers were separated in the standings by less than half a point, which is a small margin considering a perfect score is 30. The women’s and men’s aerials, always popular events, begin Sunday and Monday respectively.
The Italians took the gold in the luge, with Russia securing the silver and Latvia earning the bronze in the men’s singles. Germany swept the women’s singles and took four medals overall with a silver in the doubles event.Snowboarding
The U.S. took care of business in the half-pipe as Shaun White won gold and Danny Kass took silver. That result was repeated in the women’s half-pipe where Hannah Teiter and Gretchen Bleiler took the top two spots.
Perhaps the biggest story so far of this year’s games was made by gold
medalist Joey Cheek, who won the 500m men’s singles event. Cheek
contributed all $25,000 of his winnings to an organization that will use the
money to benefit refugees of the Darfur region of Western Sudan. “Because
I’ve skated well, and because I know I have two seconds of microphone
time, I have the ability to hopefully raise some awareness and raise some money
and maybe, God willing, put some kids on a path that I’ve been blessed
with,” said Cheek.