Sunday, February 12, 2006

Olympic Moment of Day Two

Men's Individual Luge. The Olympics can be a huge boost for the home nation. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean as much for a country that normally has a smaller contingent of competitors. For example, the home nation Greek team only managed 6 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals in the Athens games, placing them a distant 15th in the total medal count, in spite of being automatically qualified in most sports.

Enter Turin, and the Italian team, coming off a performance that netted 13 medals in Salt Lake City.

Well, what can I say, it's fun to see the home nation win if the US is already eliminated from contention. And such happened in the Men's Luge, often billed as the fastest sport in the Winter Games. Rightly so, since the lugers can hit speeds of nearly 90mph. It's one of the earlier medals awarded in the games, and this year went to the 2002 Salt Lake gold medalist, Italian Armin Zöggeler. He had a flawless run on a course that he crashed during a pre-Olympic trial run. Whether that crash helped steel him or not, it doesn't really matter. All that did matter was crossing the line a tenth second faster than anyone else in the field, earning him his second gold, fourth overall medal, and the first medal for the Italian team in the Turin games.

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