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Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2002

Olympic Roundup: Miller claims 10th U.S. medal

February 14, 2002

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— Five days into the Winter Games, it's impossible to keep the Americans off the medal stand.

Bode Miller, whose first two runs in the combined offered faint hope of success, roared through his final slalom trip to grab a silver medal  the 10th medal in five days of competition for the U.S. team.

"I had a lot of mistakes out there," Miller told the crowd after his medal. "I felt like I kind of let you guys down. I just wanted to prove something on that last run."

Miller is an ex-snowboarder  and while the U.S. team in his former sport has taken four medals, his ski silver was the first medal by an American male in Alpine since Tommy Moe won a pair in 1994.

Miller's come-from-behind run came on a day dominated early by a Norwegian biathlete and a Swiss ski jumper, who became the first double gold-medal winners of the games.

Simon Ammann of Switzerland took the 120-meter gold, becoming only the only the second ski jumper in history to win gold medals on both hills in the same Olympics.

And Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won gold in the 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, making him the first biathlete to win three Olympic golds.

On the slopes, Miller struggled in the downhill and first slalom run.

The left side of his body scraped against the snow following a fall in the downhill, and he slipped at a pair of turns in the slalom.

He was 15th after the downhill and fifth overall heading into his last trip down the course. At the end, his go-for-broke run bested everyone but Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt, who took the gold. The bronze went to Benjamin Raich of Austria.

Aamodt's sterling Olympic career now includes two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Miller's silver extended the U.S. medal-winning string to five straight days, but Germany climbed to the top of the medals chart with 12 (4 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze). The Americans were second with 10 (3-5-2), while Austria was third with nine (1-1-7).

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Ski Jumping: Ammann, 20, won gold in the 120-meter jump. Three days earlier, he claimed gold in the 90-meter.

Ammann had never even won a World Cup event before his Salt Lake City success. He became only the second ski jumper in history to win gold medals on both hills in the same Olympics, joining Matti Nykanen of Finland.

Adam Malysz of Poland won silver, and Matti Hautamaeki of Finland took the bronze.

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Biathlon: Bjoerndalen hit all 10 targets to take the gold in the 10-kilometer sprint, just two days after his victory in the 20K. Bjoerndalen became the first biathlete to capture three golds in a career; his resume also includes two silvers. Germany's Sven Fischer was second in the 10K, while Austria's Wolfgang Perner was third.

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Short Track Speedkating: Apolo Anton Ohno stepped on the ice for the fist time in Salt Lake City and quickly advanced toward a gold medal  one of four he could possibly win. Ohno began his quest by finishing second in his 1,000-meter heat Wednesday, good enough to push him to Saturday's quarterfinals. The 19-year-old later anchored the winning U.S. team in the semifinals of the 5,000 relay.

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Luge: Germany swept all three luge medals, as Sylke Otto took the gold, with Barbara Niedernhuber getting silver and Silke Kraushaar bronze.

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Women's Biathlon: There was one more double medalist  but this one settled for bronze. Magdalena Forsberg of Sweden finished third in the women's 7.5-kilometer sprint, giving her two Salt Lake City bronze medals. Kati Wilhelm won the gold medal, while Uschi Disl of Germany won the silver and won the bronze.

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