Thursday, February 16, 2006

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Cost Team USA medal

After one week, we’ve seen a lot of surprises at the Olympic Games. Lee’s Mom has experienced the thrill of victory as upstart Ted Ligety won the gold. The Stairwells have experienced the agony of defeat as American “stars” Bode Miller and Apollo Ohno have come up empty. With a week to go, many more surprises could be on the horizon. But let’s take a look at where the teams stand so far. 1. Dustin – four medals, 12 points Seth Wescott’s gold today in snowboard cross put Dustin’s team alone in first place. Already with four gold medals to his credit, Dustin may be on his way to breaking Eric Heiden’s Winter Olympic record of five gold medals. The best events are still ahead for Chad Hedrick and Jennifer Rodriguez… and who knows what else Ligety – certainly the steal of the draft in the fifth round – is capable of. Were it not for disappointing performances from Jeremy Bloom and Mark Grimmette, this contest could already be over. Still, Dustin appears to be in control for now. 2. Bryan – four medals, 9 points After loading up early on snowboard medals, Bryan is going to need some help from Shani Davis and his duo of alpine skiers if he hopes to get past Dustin. Hopefully, Lindsey Kildow’s gutsy performance in the downhill will propel her to success in the events to come. Tabith Belbin also has a chance to medal. If these athletes step up, Bryan’s team still has a chance. 3. Jeremy – no medals, 0 points Ohno and Miller have each laid an egg so far, but they still have five events between them. If they are able to win some medals, preferably gold, the Stairwells will be right back in the thick of things. A solid performance from Sasha Cohen is also a must. Not surprisingly, Jeremy’s cross country skier and biathlete came up empty. 4. Lee – no medals, 0 points A Dark Cloud certainly seems to have settled over Lee’s Team. First-round pick Halie Kim looked awful in her first event and rumors of an injured ankle have to pose a concern about her medal potential. Lee’s best hope for a medal is probably Lindsey Jacobellis, who is the last medal contender from the high-powered U.S. snowboarding team. Rahlves and Hays also have a chance to reach the podium. As for the rest of his team, it will take a big surprise to get more than one medal from that group. Right now, he appears to be out of it… but never say never at the Olympics. Random Olympic thoughts… No, I am not a Bodeist. So stop asking, Nike… but seriously, has there ever been an American athlete with more hype do absolutely nothing? What? This happens all the time? Like every year at the NFL and NBA drafts? Are you serious?... either way, Bode needs to shut up and win something… Random note: Apollo Ohno is dating Allison Baver, also a member of the short track team. But I’m guessing they didn’t meet on the ice. Those speed skating outfits aren’t flattering on anyone… One thing we learned watching Lindsey Kildow’s gutsy downhill run: She could definitely beat me up. That girl is tough… Is Ohno turning into Dan Jansen? He seems to be falling down a lot… Just for the heck of it: Johnny Spillane… I feel bad for Michelle Kwan, but I think she did the right thing by stepping aside gracefully… The U.S. snowboarders have been dominant. But the real question is, does anyone outside of America care about snowboarding?... Shani Davis was the only world class speed skater that didn’t participate in the team pursuit and it cost Team USA medal. Selfish? You bet… Thanks to Johnny Weir, I think we can safely say that men’s figure skating has never been gayer than it is right now… The American men’s hockey team is terrible...

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