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Spare Us, Please
Can an ardent kegling contingent bowl over the IOC?

This is an article from the Feb. 21, 2002 issue

Two mornings ago Jerry Koenig, president of the International
Bowling Federation, strode into the lobby of Salt Lake City's
downtown Hilton wearing a bright yellow sweater and fresh off an
interview with a Toledo radio station. "There are a lot of
bowlers in Toledo," he said, beaming. "They want to know when
we're getting in."

The IBF has been petitioning to get bowling into the Summer
Games since 1979, when the IOC recognized the organization as a
governing body. This is the fourth straight Games at which
Koenig has been trying to persuade IOC members to give new
meaning to the term Olympic pins. "The best strategy is to go to
where the IOC meetings are and ride up and down in the elevators
until you catch somebody," he says.

Koenig, 62, has what you might call a bowler's frame--big,
rounded shoulders, beer-barrel torso, meaty limbs. He carries
around a folder full of statistics that show bowling's huge
popularity in Asia and the fact that nearly half of the globe's
150 million keglers are women. At the Nagano Games, Koenig
rolled a few games with then IOC president Juan Antonio
Samaranch. "I probably shouldn't say this," Koenig says,
lowering his voice, "but Mr. Samaranch only bowls about a 120."

Koenig, a lawyer who broke into the bowling racket as a pin boy
in the 1950s, hopes that the IOC will vote on bowling's status
later this year. While the glutted summer schedule--not to
mention the two-toned shoes--hurts bowling's chances, Koenig is
convinced that the Olympics have room to spare. "It's a grueling
sport," says Koenig. "I'd like to see these athletes try to bowl
48 games in three days like we do at nationals. Bowling is a
test of wills. It comes down to whoever can pull it out of his
gut at the end." --Kostya Kennedy

Fanning the Flames
As the 1999 Ohio Firefighter of the Year--an honor she received
for rescuing a woman and her 14-year-old disabled daughter from
their burning mobile home in the town of Hanover--Lea Ann
Parsley knows danger. That's why sliding headfirst on a skeleton
track at 75 mph doesn't faze her. "You have no clue what you're
up against when you're fighting fires," says Parsley, who slid
to the silver medal yesterday--behind teammate Tristan Gale--in
the Olympic debut of women's skeleton. "Compared to that, I
don't consider skeleton to be dangerous."

Parsley, 33, joined the Granville volunteer fire squad when she
was 16. At opening ceremonies she represented not only her
fellow athletes and fire-fighting brethren but also her family
when she was one of eight who carried in the tattered World
Trade Center flag. "My sister-in-law lost her nephew [on Sept.
11]," she says. "To reach out and touch that flag on her behalf
was a special honor." --Trisha Blackmar

The Young Headliners
Speaking to the world press on Tuesday, Canada forward Cherie
Piper tossed out her hockey team's remaining trump card against
its gold medal rivals. "The pressure," said Piper, "is all on the
U.S."

Forgive the Americans for not quaking in their skates. With a
4-0 semifinal victory over Sweden that evening, the U.S.
stretched its winning streak to 35 games since August. In four
Olympic games the U.S. has scored 31 goals and yielded one. To
stand a chance, "Canada will have to perform much better than
they did [against us]," said Jouko Lukkarila, coach of Team
Finland, which on Tuesday gave the Canadians a scare before
losing 7-3. "The U.S. can use any one of their players in any
situation."

While team elder Cammi Granato may still be the linchpin, the
play of the team's six rookies isn't giving much hope to the
rest of the world. Headlining this group is 18-year-old forward
Natalie Darwitz, who leads the tournament with seven goals. When
asked about the pressure she must certainly be feeling, an
unfazed Darwitz, who scored a state-record 312 goals before her
senior season for Eagan (Minn.) High, said, "I'm going to think
of the gold medal match as a pond hockey game and go all out."
U.S. opponents, meanwhile, weep for the future. --Kelley King

Great Scot
One of the cooler heads in Salt Lake City this week belongs to
Rhona Martin, the 35-year-old Scottish housewife who will
captain the upstart British squad in this afternoon's women's
curling final against Switzerland. She and her teammates beat
Sweden and Germany in tiebreakers on Tuesday, then shocked world
and Olympic champion Canada 6-5 in yesterday's semifinal. "We
weren't nervous," Martin said. "It doesn't matter if it's an
Olympic semifinal or a club game back home."

Back home for Martin is the tiny town of Dunlop (pop. 807), 30
minutes from Glasgow. Though Scotland is curling's ancestral
home, Canada is its most successful suburb, and no less an
authority than the BBC has already hailed yesterday's victory as
"the greatest win in British curling history." Martin and her
mates may not have shaken the world, but they have at least
cracked their sport's ice ceiling. "I'm just a quiet country
housewife," she says. "It's nice attention, but we're trying to
ignore what's being said back home." --Mark Beech

Where are they now?

Andreas and Hanni Wenzel ALPINE SKIING
Olympic Highlights: Combined for six medals in three Olympics,
including two golds and two silvers in 1980

Andreas and Hanni Wenzel know how to turn sibling rivalry into
sibling revelry. At the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, the
brother-sister tandem from little Liechtenstein (pop. 33,000)
took home four of the 12 gold and silver medals in Alpine
skiing. Now the Games are back in the U.S., and Andreas and
Hanni are back trying to outdo each other, this time in the
world of sports marketing.

As was the case in 1980, Hanni, 45, has the edge. Hanni, who won
the slalom and giant slalom and finished second in the downhill
in Lake Placid, is the president of Weirather, Wenzel and
Partner, a Liechtenstein-based agency that she started in '85
with her husband, '81 World Cup downhill champ Harti Weirather.
The agency secures corporate sponsorship for sports events,
including the famous Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
"It's like old times," says Hanni, a mother of three.

Andreas, 43, the silver medalist in the downhill in 1980, has
been in the business since '88. Two years ago he started his own
company, the Andreas Wenzel Network of Sports, also in
Liechtenstein. For now Andreas and his wife, Anja, run the show,
doing their own consulting and event marketing. "Hanni and I
have had very similar lives and therefore very similar
businesses," he says. "It's a huge world, and we are two small
companies, small but fine." --Gene Menez

Burning question

Q: What will a skier do to get his ski company's logo on
television or into a photograph?

A: Some pretty funky stuff. The idea is simple enough: After a
racer finishes, he wants to pop off a ski as quickly as possible
and put it in the picture next to his face, enticing people back
in Brattleboro to run out to Skis 'R Us and buy a production
model of the same ski. But it can be tricky, because current
slalom skis are much shorter than skiers, and downhill skis have
always been much taller. Solution: Slalom skiers jam the heel of
the ski into the snow at the finish, showing the bottom--and the
logo--to the camera. Downhill (and Super G) racers simply snag a
short ski for interviews. As triple medalist Janica Kostelic of
Croatia said while holding a too-short ski right next to her
face after the Super G, "This is my picture ski." --Tim Layden

For the record
Yesterday's winners, notable results and a look at the overall
standings

the medal stand

LEADERS [Gold] [Silver] [Bronze] TOTAL

Germany 9 15 7 31
United States 9 9 8 26
Norway 10 6 2 18
Austria 1 4 9 14
Russia 5 5 3 13
France 3 4 2 9
Italy 3 2 4 9
Canada 2 1 6 9
Switzerland 3 1 3 7
Finland 3 2 1 6
The Netherlands 2 3 0 5
China 1 2 2 5
Sweden 0 1 3 4
Croatia 2 1 0 3
South Korea 2 1 0 3
Bulgaria 0 1 2 3
Australia 2 0 0 2
Spain 2 0 0 2
Czech Republic 1 0 1 2
Estonia 1 0 1 2
Japan 0 1 1 2

Finals

ALPINE SKIING
Women's Slalom
[Gold] Janica Kostelic
CROATIA 1:46.10
[Silver] Laure Pequegnot
FRANCE 1:46.17
[Bronze] Anja Parson
SWEDEN 1:47.09

BIATHLON
Men's 4x7.5-km Relay
[Gold] NORWAY
1:23:42.3
[Silver] GERMANY
1:24:27.6
[Bronze] FRANCE
1:24:36.6

SHORT TRACK
Men's 1,500
[Gold] Apolo Ohno
UNITED STATES 2:18.541
[Silver] Li Jiajun
CHINA 2:18.731
[Bronze] Marc Gagnon
CANADA 2:18.806
Women's 3,000 Relay
[Gold] KOREA 4:12.793 (WR)
[Silver] CHINA 4:13.236
[Bronze] CANADA 4:15.738

SKELETON
Men
[Gold] Jim Shea Jr.
UNITED STATES 1:41.96
[Silver] Martin Rettl
AUSTRIA 1:42.01
[Bronze] Gregor Staehli
SWITZERLAND 1:42.15
Women
[Gold] Tristan Gale
UNITED STATES 1:45.11
[Silver] Lea Ann Parsley
UNITED STATES 1:45.21
[Bronze] Alex Coomber
GREAT BRITAIN 1:45.37

SPEED SKATING
Women's 1,500
[Gold] Anni Friesinger
GERMANY 1:54.02 (WR)
[Silver] Sabine Voelker
GERMANY 1:54.97
[Bronze] Jennifer Rodriguez
UNITED STATES 1:55.32

Other Results

HOCKEY
They're no doubt dancing in the streets of Minsk today after
Belarus pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Olympic men's
hockey history, a 4-3 win over Sweden. Belarus advanced to the
semifinals along with the U.S., which defeated Germany 5-0 in
the quarterfinals. The U.S. will meet Russia (which beat the
Czech Republic 1-0 in the quarterfinals) on Friday, the 22nd
anniversary of the Lake Placid Miracle on Ice game.

B/W PHOTO: BETTMANN/CORBIS (BOWLING) Roll 'em: Is this the face of the next Olympic sport?COLOR PHOTO: TOM MORANCOLOR PHOTO: BILL EPPRIDGE (HANNI, 1980) A glittering brother-sister act in 1980, Andreas and Hanni have turned to sports marketing. COLOR PHOTO: HUBERT SCHRIEBL (ANDREAS, '80) [See caption above]COLOR PHOTO: ROLAND KORNER [See caption above]COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER Parsley's red-hot run earned her a silver in the Olympic debut of women's skeleton.COLOR PHOTO: CHARLIE BOOKER/AP Two Shea! With his dad, Jim Shea Jr. celebrates his gold in the skeleton.
They Said It
"If bobsled is the champagne of thrills, skeleton is the
moonshine of thrills."
--Skeleton gold medalist JIM SHEA JR.