Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Olympic Moment of Day Four

First, a correction. As amazing as the 5 point end put up by the US rink was, I was made aware of a bigger Olympic moment yesterday, and that was the silver medal performance by one of the Chinese pairs. I...can't explain it, but look up the video, and be amazed at the drive to compete there.

Now. On to the Olympic Moment of Day Four.

Bode Who? Downhill Combined. The event is one alpine run followed by two slalom runs. Bode Miller, of course, has been one of three athletes that have been focused on the most by the media, and especially in commercials. They seem to all be operating under a jinx. Ohno fell in the semis of his first event. Kwan is not going to be competing (I could write a whole 'nother post about that). And Bode...well, Bode just feel to oh-fer-two after being DQed in his first slalom run.

But right there in Bode's shadow was another American: Ted Ligety. He's a slalom specialist, as are most of the people who enter the Downhill Combined. Something about the two-to-one ratio tends to draw them to the event. After the downhill part of the competition he was three seconds behind, which is a lot of time to make up, but is also what Ligety said was his comfort range for making up in the slaloms.

First slalom, he manages the fastest time.

Second slalom, he manages the fastest time.

He went from three seconds down to a half second on top of the pack, and in the process broke the record for most time overcome in an international finals competition. And the first US alpine gold goes not to one of the names, goes not to the Nike whore, but goes to one of the youngest team members, someone that no one has heard of in the all-Bode-all-the-time world of Olympic coverage.

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