Satan's Hellish Trip
Miroslav Satan of Slovakia goes cross-country for his country
This is an article from the Feb. 9, 2002 issue
This is a tale about a hockey player named Satan, confronted
with a schedule from hell. It's the story of Miroslav Satan
(shuh-TAN), a star right wing for the National Hockey League's
Buffalo Sabres and the Slovakian Olympic team who is in the
midst of a diabolical few days. Starting Thursday, the NHL will
break for 12 days to allow players from Canada, the Czech
Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. to play in the
final-round of the Olympic tournament beginning on Feb. 15.
Because Slovakia is not one of the top six teams, which have
byes into the final round, it must play in the preliminary
round, which begins today.
For Satan to fulfill his obligation to his employer and still
help his country, the 22-year-old will have to travel nearly
4,000 miles and play in three games, all within three days.
First Satan scored in the Sabres' 3-2 home win over the Ottawa
Senators last night. After the game he was to fly from Buffalo
on the private plane of team owner John Regis. Because of the
restricted airspace over Salt Lake, Satan had to land in
Evanston, Wyo., 80 miles away. From there he was scheduled to
take a limousine provided by the Slovakian team's general
manager, Peter Stastny, into Salt Lake City, proceed through
official processing in the morning and head to the E Center for
Slovakia's 4 p.m. game today against Germany. Satan will then
rush back to Evanston, grab some sleep in a hotel and board
Regis's plane for Teterboro, N.J., to play in the Sabres' game
tomorrow against--fittingly enough--the New Jersey Devils. "If
we [Slovakia] qualify, it's a small price to pay," says Satan.
"Last time it was a national embarrassment."
Four years ago Satan was one of five team members who flew to
Nagano for nothing; because the Slovaks had selected him as one
of the players they would use only for the second round, Satan
sat in the stands for the team's final qualifying game and
watched Kazakhstan eliminate his team from medal contention.
This time the Slovaks have named their best players to the
first-round squad and will play without them when they cannot
participate. "If I had a choice, I would play in all three
games," says Satan. "This is the biggest honor for any hockey
player, to represent your country." --Brian Cazenueve
The Gold Medal Look?
Here's U.S. figure skater Michael Weiss's precompetition
preparation, as detailed by him yesterday:
And then? "I put on a base to give my skin a darker color,"
Weiss says. "If my costume is low-cut, I go down a little bit on
my chest to try to create a look there. I'd say it takes me
about an hour to get ready."
Weiss, the 2000 U.S. men's champion who begins competition on
Tuesday at the Salt Lake Ice Center, revealed his preskate
routine as part of a promotion for Nu Skin, the company
supplying complimentary salon services to athletes, coaches and
trainers during the Games. He had been set for a complete
makeover at the salon in the Main Media Center, but the process
became more tune-up than overhaul. Weiss, already sporting his
competition coiffure, asked stylist Joseph Patrick to skip the
trim and just apply some gel to his hair. Said Weiss, "I'm going
to pass on the Dorothy Hamill." --Gene Menez
Q: Has anyone won a medal in both the Winter and the Summer
A: Since the debut of the Winter Olympics in 1924, only three
athletes have earned medals in both the Summer and Winter Games.
Boxer turned bobsledder Eddie Eagan (above) of the U.S. took the
light heavyweight boxing gold at the 1920 Games in Antwerp and
12 years later in Lake Placid was on the winning four-man
bobsled team. Norway's Jacob Tullin Thams won a gold in ski
jumping at the '24 Games and a silver in eight-meter yachting in
'36. Finally, Christa Rothenburger Luding of the former East
Germany earned four speed skating medals in three Olympics and
cycled her way to a silver in 1988, becoming the only person to
win Winter and Summer medals in the same year. --Kristi Berner
Where are they now?
FRANZ KLAMMER Alpine Skiing
OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS: Gold medal in the downhill in 1976
Though he won 25 World Cup downhill races and five titles
between 1972 and 1985, Klammer will be forever known for two
madcap minutes in Innsbruck. Before 60,000 of his countrymen,
the 22-year-old farmer's son from Mooswald, Austria--dubbed the
Astronaut for his eye-catching racing suits and the Kaiser
because he ruled the mountains--made a wrenching turn near the
end of the Patscherkofel course, erasing a .19-of-a-second
deficit and earning the '76 downhill gold. The turn, which
Klammer calls "the best decision of my life," was the
culmination of a careering, precarious run, a study in the
controlled anarchy that always characterized Klammer's style.
Now 48, Klammer lives in Vienna with his wife of 22 years, Eva,
and their daughters Sophie, 13, and Stephanie, 8. He has lent
his name to a ski lodge in Telluride, Colo., and one in Bad
Kleinkircheim (in his native Carinthia), a location he's
lobbying to have added to the World Cup slate. Klammer also
works as a ski guide for big-ticket clients in the U.S. and
Europe and has done television commercials for products as
diverse as Volksbank Austria and Mozartkugeln chocolate. "The
equipment has gotten better, and the courses have gotten
smoother and faster, so you can just tuck the whole way down,"
laments Klammer of downhill skiing today. "In the old days, at
least there was room for creativity." --Daniel G. Habib
--U.S. skier PICABO STREET, on security measures at the Games