Olympics recap: Saturday, 2/13
|02.14.10 at 10:14 am ET|
The Thrill of Victory
The United States got on the board in dramatic fashion when freestyle skier Hannah Kearney claimed the gold medal in the moguls competition on Saturday night on the last run of the competition. Kearney had just seen Canada’s Jenn Heil do a near perfect run, and in order to beat her, Kearney would have to be picture perfect … and she was.
Kearney finished with the fastest time (27.86) and the judges all agreed that her run was flawless enough to overtake Heil for the top spot, which earned Kearney a bear hug from bronze medal winner and teammate Shannon Bahrke.
Apolo Anton Ohno also snatched up a silver medal Saturday, to claim the sixth medal and most by an American in the Winter Games. Anton Ohno needed a little help in the finals after cruising to an easy win in his heat.
While rounding one of the last turns, it looked as if Anton Ohno would have to settle for a fourth place finish, but two South Koreans wiped each other out of the competition, slamming into the wall, opening the gate for Anton Ohno to grab silver and J.R. Celski — also an American — to grab the bronze.
Lee Jung-su — the lone South Korean to keep his balance in the crash — stayed upright long enough to grab the gold in the 1,500-meter race.
The Agony of Defeat
You have to feel for the two South Koreans that took each other out at the end of the 1,500-meter race. The South Koreans were a lock to grab the entire medal stand, as they really only needed to make one or two more turns to claim first, second and third. But Lee Ho-suk and Sung Si-bak now have to ponder the possibility that they were this close to sweeping up and keeping Anton Ohno out of the spotlight.
Heather McPhie and fellow U.S. competitor Michelle Roark took nasty falls in their last runs in the moguls competition. McPhie looked like she was on her way to get into the top three, but a late slip up on the last jump knocked her out of the competition. Roark had the unfortunate luck of trying to go too big on her first jump, and she crashed and burned because of it, leaving her scrambling to regain her momentum down the hill. She did finish the race with some pride however.
The Local Look
The first U.S. gold medal goes to New Englander Hannah Kearney. As mentioned before, Kearney, the Norwich, Vt., native, broke through in the freestyle moguls competition.
The 23-year-old had a dismal 2006 showing at Torino, but redeemed herself with the gold in Vancouver. Kearney had the benefit — or disadvantage depending how you look at it — of going last in the competition. She was able to see exactly what he had to do and she executed perfectly.
Luger Bengt Walden had his qualifying run in the very dangerous competition and now sits in 15th place for the competition. Walden had some trouble on the heralded track when he nearly spun out of control, but he was able to pull it together and finish out his attempt.
Much has been made out of the super slick track that already claimed the life of a competitor before the games started. To combat another injury, the track has been shortened to try and limit the 95 mph speeds that are deemed to dangerous for this competition.
USA (1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) 4 total
South Korea (1 gold, 1 silver) 2 total
Netherlands (1 gold) 1 total
Seven tied at 1 total
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