Do Svidaniya?
Smarting from perceived injustices, Russia threatens to walk

This is an article from the Feb. 22, 2002 issue

Russia tried its best yesterday to resurrect the cold war. In a
rambling tirade long on bluster and short on specificity,
Russian Olympic officials addressed grievances from these
Olympics and hinted at other complaints reaching back two
decades. In doing so, committee president Leonid Tyagachev said
that his athletes have been treated so unfairly that "we're
ready to leave the Olympic Village."

Where judges and officials have ruled against the Russians,
Tyagachev sees conspiracies. First came pairs figure skating, in
which Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya eventually shared
the gold medal with David Pelletier and Jamie Sale of Canada.
Then came Russia's 1-0 victory Wednesday over the Czech Republic
in men's hockey, a game in which an official gave a 10-minute
misconduct penalty to forward Ilya Kovalchuk. Last came
yesterday's women's cross-country 4x5-km relay, a race that the
Russians have won in three consecutive Olympics. Shortly before
the relay, however, Larissa Lazutina, who skied on each of those
winning teams and has nine medals to her credit, failed her
prerace blood test. The hemoglobin in her blood surpassed the
limit of 16 grams per deciliter by eight tenths. A similar fate
befell Valentina Shevchenko of Ukraine. Because neither team
received news of the failed tests until after the two-hour
deadline for submitting start lists, neither could furnish a
substitute, and both were disqualified. (Germany won the gold.)

The Russians took their fight to the court of public opinion.
"In every sport," said Tyagachev, "we defend our honor." Indeed,
yesterday's speechifying may have been a preemptive strike at
the next controversy involving a Russian athlete--a strike
fueled at least in part by Russia's realization that its power
within the Olympic movement has been eroding since the
dissolution of the Soviet Union. Last night, though, the IOC
made clear that Russia and its concerns were far from
unimportant. "The stakes are high, the emotions are high," said
IOC secretary general Francois Carrard. "These protests are part
of these emotions." Hopefully, what happens next will be based
on reason. --Brian Cazeneuve and Ivan Maisel

Orange Crush
When Gianni Romme (page 12) takes to the ice in the 10,000
meters this afternoon, some of his most boisterous countrymen
won't be on hand to watch. Instead, they'll be comfortably
ensconced in an orange-bedraped dining room a few miles away, in
the clubhouse of the West Ridge Golf Course, eating cheese
sandwiches, drinking Heineken and watching their hero on six
big-screen televisions.

The Holland Heineken House is the official hangout for fans and
athletes from the land of Hans Brinker, who take their partying
almost as seriously as they take their speed skating. The club
serves three meals a day, provides a shuttle to and from the
Utah Olympic Oval, houses a late-night disco and publishes a
daily newsletter.

On Tuesday orange-clad rooters filled the upstairs dining room
to watch Jochem Uytdehaage attempt to win his second gold, in
the 1,500. When Uytdehaage crossed the line in world-record
time, the room erupted. When his mark was bettered by Derek
Parra of the U.S. about an hour later, the crowd again cheered.
"I'm a speed skating fan," said one Dutch reveler. "The best
must win. Tonight, we will still have a party." --Mark Beech

Ultimate Sledder
The table was set for Todd Hays. He had the speed and, as is
required of this year's feel-good Games, he had the story. But
so far the bobsledder doesn't have a medal. Nor--which is why we
consider him now, after his fourth-place finish in his best
event, the two-man last Sunday--did he have an excuse.

Well, he had an excuse; he just didn't use it. Hays, the
32-year-old ultimate fighter turned bobsled driver from Del Rio,
Texas, was competing without his longtime pusher, Pavle
Jovanovic. His partner and friend, with whom he'd torn up the
World Cup circuit and become an Olympic favorite, had been
suspended barely two weeks before the Games after testing
positive for a steroid. As a replacement, Hays chose Garrett
Hines, a seasoned brakeman.

But bobsled is a sport timed in hundredths of a second. All the
advantage accrues to the team with the best push start, and Hays
and Jovanovic may have been the best in the world.

Hays has always been a resourceful sort. Needing $10,000 to buy
his first sled in 1995, he entered an ultimate fighting contest
in Tokyo and, applying what he cheerfully calls the Guillotine
Choke, upset the hometown hero and escaped with his new future.
He would make do here, too, though he has yet to make good.

After a dismal start in their second preliminary run left Hays
and Hines in fifth going into the final, Hays blamed himself,
saying he had been late getting into the sled. On Sunday he and
Hines put together two blistering runs and seemed set for the
bronze. Then the Swiss team came down and edged them out by .03
of a second.

Afterward Hays stood in the cold and defended the result and his
team, which is why we consider him now, fourth place and all.
(He will go again in the four-man today.) Would he have won with
his old partner? Hays demurred. "I didn't drive well enough to
win," he said.

Today he gets another chance. --Richard Hoffer

Burning Question

Q: With the whole world, it seems, gathered in Salt Lake City
for the past two weeks, who have the athletes themselves been
most excited to meet? Here's a sampling.

A: Apolo Anton Ohno, U.S., short-track skater: "I met Lance
Armstrong (above). I met Cal Ripken Jr. I met President Bush. I
met Michelle Kwan. And they all love short track. Everybody
loves short track."

A: Alisa Camplin, Australia, aerials: "Apolo Ohno. He is the
most gracious second-place getter of the Games."

A: Stacey Liapis, U.S., curler: "I shook the hand of the
President of the United States. That seems like an impossible

A: Vonetta Flowers, U.S., bobsledder: "I met Michelle Kwan at
opening ceremonies. I've been following her skating career for

Where are they now?

Michael (Eddie the Eagle) Edwards SKI JUMPING
Olympic Highlights: Charmed fans worldwide in 1988, finishing
last in the 70- and 90-meter events in Calgary

Since 1988, when he became one of sports' most lovable losers,
Edwards has been on one long celebrity swoop: He has, among
other things, judged beauty contests, skied down the side of a
London office building and been shot out of a cannon. So it only
makes sense that Edwards's latest pursuit school? "Who
wouldn't want to hire a legal Eagle?" asks the 38-year-old
Edwards, who's in his second year at De Montfort University in
Leicester, England. The Eagle became interested in law in 1990
when he sued the trustees of a trust fund he had established
with his appearance fees, a nest egg valued at $1 million, for
mismanagement and negligence. He settled for $500,000. "Oh,
well," he says. "That's better than a poke in the eye with a
sharp stick."

Edwards has had no problem cashing in on his name. He makes
about 30 appearances a year and hosts a Sunday-morning radio
show for the BBC. He says that a movie based on his life is set
to begin filming in March, with Mike Myers and Ewan McGregor
being considered to play the Eagle. "I originally wanted Brad
Pitt because he's the only one who's good-looking enough," says
Edwards, who is a bachelor, "but if they can get Catherine
Zeta-Jones to play my girlfriend, then I'll play the role
myself." --Gene Menez

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

the medal stand

leaders [Gold] [Silver] [Bronze] total
Germany 10 15 7 32
United States 10 11 9 30
Norway 10 7 3 20
Austria 2 4 9 15
Russia 5 6 3 14
Canada 3 1 7 11
France 3 4 2 9
Italy 3 2 4 9
Switzerland 3 2 4 9
Finland 3 2 1 6
The Netherlands 2 3 0 5
China 1 2 2 5
Sweden 0 1 4 5
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
Great Britain 1 0 1 2
Estonia 1 0 1 2


Men's Giant Slalom
[Gold] Stephan Eberharter
AUSTRIA 2:23.28
[Silver] Bode Miller
[Bronze] Lasse Kjus
NORWAY 2:24.32

[Gold] Sarah Hughes
[Silver] Irina Slutskaya
[Bronze] Michelle Kwan

Women's 4x5-km Relay
[Gold] GERMANY 49:30.6
[Silver] NORWAY 49:31.9
[Bronze] SWITZERLAND 50:03.6

[Bronze] CANADA

[Bronze] SWEDEN

Other Results

The U.S. women's curling team lost its chance for a medal when
it fell to Canada 9-5 in the bronze medal game. The fourth-place
finish is one spot higher than the U.S. finished in Nagano. In
the gold medal game Great Britain defeated Switzerland 4-3 on a
dramatic final throw by skip Rhona Martin.

Entering the Games with little fanfare and even smaller odds to
hit the podium, Sweden stunned the field by earning a bronze
medal in women's hockey with its 2-1 victory over Finland. The
Swedes were led by goalie Kim Martin, who stopped 32 of 33 shots
and will celebrate her 16th birthday next Thursday.

K120 Sprint
Having already won two gold medals earlier in the Games,
Finland's Samppa Lajunen leads the pack following the jumping
portion of the event. Todd Lodwick of the United States stands
12th in the competition, which concludes today at Soldier Hollow
with the 7.5-km cross-country sprint.

COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN Stephan Eberharter of Austria powered to gold in the giant slalom yesterday. [T of C]COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER (LAZUTINA) The disqualification of Lazutina (2) was apparently the last straw for Russia. COLOR PHOTO: TODD WARSHAW/AFPCOLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER (1988) A legal Eagle? The lovable Edwards is a second-year law student and radio host in England.COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN [See caption above]COLOR PHOTO: DAVID BERGMAN It's an orange world after all: At Holland House, speed skating (and beer) kicks brass.COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO The women got Canada's first hockey gold in 50 years.
They Said It
"Man, that's a cool belt buckle."
--a national guardsman commenting on BODE MILLER's silver medal
as it went through a security checkpoint at Las Vegas's McCarran
Airport last week