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Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2002

U.S. athletes boost medal count to 26

February 21, 2002

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— The latest recipe for American medal success: Start with a third generation Olympian winning a gold for his late grandfather. Add a local favorite, a stitched-up Sports Illustrated cover boy, and two more golds.

Garnish with Lee Ann Parsley and her silver medal.

The U.S. Olympians continued their unprecedented Salt Lake City roll, riding the skeleton sleds of Jimmy Shea  whose father and grandfather were both U.S. Olympians  Tristan Gale and Parsley to three more medals.

Short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno joined the fun, taking his first gold and second medal after the first-place finisher in the 1,500 meter final was disqualified.

Jennifer Rodriguez's bronze in the 1,500 meter long track speedskating gave the United States five medals on the day, its best single-day haul in Winter Games history. The three golds were a record, too.

The U.S. team's impressive showing  26 medals, including a record nine golds  couldn't overshadow the biggest standout of Salt Lake City: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, who became only the third Winter Olympian to win four golds in a single games when Norway won the men's 30-kilometer biathlon relay.

The Americans stayed second in the medals table with their 26 medals. Germany remained atop the table with 31.

On a snowy day at the skeleton track, the Americans swept medals in both the men's and women's events  the latter punctuated with a silver medal by Parsley in a 1-2 U.S. finish.

Thirty minutes after Shea's victory, Gale zipped down her home course to claim an unlikely gold medal. She had never finished higher than eighth in a World Cup race before collecting the gold.

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Short-Track Speedskating: Ohno, six stitches in his left thigh from an accident in his first race, finished second again. This time, it was temporary. South Korean Kim Dong-sung was disqualified for blocking Ohno, who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated before the games, with a half-lap to go.

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Speedskating: Rodriguez's second bronze medal gave the United States eight medals in eight long-track events.

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Hockey: The Americans, behind goals from John LeClair and Brett Hull, blanked Germany, 5-0, and will face Russia on Friday in the semifinals.

The Russians nipped the Czech Republic 1-0 to oust the defending Olympic champ. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 41 shots.

Earlier, Swedish goalie Tommy Salo took a puck in the head and stood helplessly as it trickled into the net. Vladimir Kopat's fluke goal with 2:24 left gave Belarus a 4-3 victory over the favored Swedes.

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Women's Slalom: Janica Kostelic of Croatia won her second gold and third medal overall.

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