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SPORTS
February 20, 2010 | By Chris Kuc
Just a few thousand meters separate Apolo Anton Ohno from making history. The Seattle native has six medals in his Olympic career, tying him with Bonnie Blair for most by an American in Winter Games history. Ohno can win No. 7 on Saturday night when he competes in the 1,000-meter event. "The 1,000 is a very tough race," said Ohno, a three-time Olympian. "The first round of the quarterfinals are going to be ridiculously stacked. They could be finals themselves." South Korean skaters Sung Si-Bak, Lee Ho-Suk and Lee Jung-Su, along with J.R. Celski of the U.S. and Charles Hamelin of Canada, figure to be formidable opponents for Ohno, who is a two-time Olympic medalist in the event (bronze in 2006 and silver in 2002)
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SPORTS
February 20, 2010 | By Chris Dufresne
It might be over-the-top dramatic -- like the launching-pad jump on the women's course known as "Hot Air" -- to suggest that Saturday's super-giant slalom at Whistler Creek will be Lindsey Vonn's last appearance of the Olympics. It would be conjecture to think that Vonn, once considered a five-medal threat, will bow out after the super-G, perhaps with her second gold, forgoing next week's giant slalom and slalom. The thinking: Why endure more excruciating pain from her bruised right shin in the two events in which see is least likely to win a medal?
SPORTS
February 20, 2010 | By Philip Hersh
Will Russia's anger over Evgeni Plushenko's loss in the men's figure-skating competition have an effect on the ice dance results? That question will hang in the air until Monday, when the skaters do the free dance in an event that began with compulsories Friday. If world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin do not win, Russia will leave the Olympics without a skating gold medal for the first time since 1960, since its women won't even get near the podium. Even worse: A 12-Olympics win streak in pairs ended with a crash when no Russian team won a medal.
SPORTS
February 20, 2010 | By Philip Hersh
Evgeni Plushenko and his coach, Alexei Mishin, carped all week about men's skaters who do not attempt a quadruple jump, insisting such athletes are Neanderthals taking the sport back to the Pleistocene Epoch. Using that argument in their graceless derision of Evan Lysacek's Olympic victory, the first without a quad since 1994, the Russians missed the ironic truth that Plushenko was the outdated one. They figured Plushenko could win again by the rules that applied when he became Olympic champion in 2006, but the particulars in the way the sport is judged have changed substantially.
SPORTS
February 19, 2010 | By Chris Kuc
In its inexorable march toward a showdown with Canada for the gold medal and supremacy in women's hockey, the United States has traveled a path of little resistance. Against Finland in its final preliminary-round game Thursday, the U.S. faced its biggest speed bump to date in a team that had also won its first two games of the tournament. The U.S. continued its smooth ride to the semifinals with a 6-0 victory over the Finns at UBC Thunderbird Arena in what was the Americans' toughest test, but in the end was another dominating performance.
SPORTS
February 19, 2010 | By Chris Dufresne
The most accomplished American skier in Olympic history -- the girl with gold already tucked in her pocket -- won another medal Thursday. Her name: Julia Mancuso. The day after a busload of drop-in history assessors returned to Vancouver's media compound after justifiably praising Lindsey Vonn after her dramatic win in downhill, Mancuso sent out a mountain memo suggesting the story isn't over yet. Mancuso, who finished behind Vonn in the downhill, claimed a surprising -- shocking, some might say -- silver medal in the women's super combined.
SPORTS
February 19, 2010 | By Brian Hamilton
There is no medal. But there is a certificate. That much Jennifer Rodriguez earned after a top-eight finish in the women's 1,000-meter speedskating event Thursday -- a trophy with print, not glint. So there is a congratulatory certificate. There is optimism about Rodriguez's 1,500-meter race Sunday. There is a growing hope for the next Olympic cycle. But there are no medals. So there is a lot of relative thinking regarding the U.S. women's speedskating team's performance in these Winter Games.
SPORTS
February 19, 2010 | By Chris Dufresne
Bode Miller used to think the distractions that surrounded the Olympics were counter-productive. The Games, at least during working hours, were all business. But Miller, now 32, has taken a different approach for what could be his last Olympics. Miller, in fact, was very emotional after winning bronze in Monday's downhill. "I think that's part of why I wanted to come back," Miller said after the race. "I wanted that feeling. With my experience and technological knowledge, now I wanted to let my feelings go and let myself be emotionally involved in the race."
SPORTS
February 18, 2010 | By Helene Elliott
For Team USA and host Canada, the first game of the Olympic men's hockey tournament was about shaking their jitters. Each was a little disjointed Tuesday, with Canada blanked by Norway for 22 minutes and the U.S. scoring only once in the first 25 minutes. Each gained momentum and wore down an inferior opponent. Canada defeated Norway, 8-0, and the U.S. sweated a bit before beating Switzerland, 3-1. "I think we had a lot of nervous energy as a team. I know for my part, I did," U.S. goalie Ryan Miller said.
SPORTS
February 18, 2010 | By Brian Hamiilton
Not unusually, Shani Davis spent most of Wednesday alone in his room, except for a morning jog. He studied his journals and race plan. Again he endeavored to do what no one had. Again he internalized any pressures and doubts, trusting only himself to escape them. Later, gliding along the Richmond Olympic Oval in the minutes before the 1,000-meter race that could redefine his grip on history, he was once more effectively alone, as the Chicago native likes it and unapologetically means it to be. Hands on hips, Davis snapped off a yawn.
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