December 19, 2001 |
It's probably just as well that Derek Parra's success in World Cup races this season enabled him to secure a berth on the U.S. Olympic long-track speedskating team before the trials began Tuesday at the Olympic Oval. Because if Parra had needed to skate the races of his life this week, his legs and lungs might not have let him.
December 16, 2001 |
The last time U.S. speedskater Chris Witty competed at the Olympics, she was riding a bike. No, organizers didn't dream up some goofy hybrid Olympic event. Witty turned in her skates for one summer and pedaled out to the velodrome, racing in track cycling at the 2000 Sydney Games.
December 20, 2001 |
Chris Witty appears to be peaking at the right time. Witty qualified in two more Olympic events Wednesday, winning the women's 500-and 1,500-meter races at the U.S. speedskating trials. The 26-year-old Witty, who won two medals at the 1998 Nagano Games, got off to a slow start on the World Cup circuit this season. Her best finish was fourth in the 1,000 earlier this month. But she isn't concerned.
March 11, 2001 |
Chris Witty might want to be a little more careful about what she wishes for. Witty, the most decorated speedskater on the U.S. team, said three days ago that she preferred not being in the Olympic favorite's position, a spot she had reassumed after setting a world record in the 1,000 meters last weekend in Calgary. She hadn't handled that pressure well at the last Olympics, winning a silver medal while expected to get gold.
December 27, 2005 |
Derek Parra was ready for the rest of his life to begin, eager to become a full-time husband and father and to share his belief that no barrier is too high, no dream impossible. For proof, he had only to display the two Olympic speedskating medals he'd won at Salt Lake City. But the San Bernardino native, a former inline skater and 1988 graduate of Eisenhower Rialto High, found something after the happily ever after: A comeback. Now 35, Parra will try to make his third Olympic team when the U.S.
February 13, 2002 |
Casey FitzRandolph didn't skate as fast Tuesday as he had Monday in the men's 500 at the Utah Olympic Oval, but it didn't matter. Neither did Hiroyasu Shimizu. So, by a margin that he wouldn't have wanted to cut any closer, .03 of a second, the veteran sprinter from Verona, Wis., made his first Olympic medal a gold one. It was America's first in men's speedskating since Dan Jansen won his final race at Lillehammer in 1994, and the first in the 500 since Eric Heiden's in 1980.
February 13, 2002 |
If all goes as expected in short-track speedskating at these Olympics, plan on seeing plenty of Apolo Anton Ohno in the future. On the early-morning and late-night TV show circuit, maybe on a cereal box. You know, the usual fare of Olympic champions. Ohno should have a star resume. He's good; he's the unquestioned leader of the U.S. team; he's controversial; and, if everything goes the way many are predicting, he will leave these Games with four medals, possibly all gold, and several records.
February 9, 2002
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