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Next Stop, Torino
The Winter Games say arrivederci to Salt Lake City

This is an article from the Feb. 23, 2002 issue

The difference between Salt Lake City and Turin only begins with
the 6,000 miles that separate the host city of the 2002 Games
from its northern Italian successor. The six minutes that the
Torino Organizing Committee has been allotted in tomorrow
night's closing ceremonies won't have any Wild West wagons but
will present a catwalk featuring creations by Valentino, Versace
and Dolce & Gabbana. "We have to take the essence of what we
have seen here," says organizing committee president Valentino
Castellani, "and try to translate that into our culture." In
that spirit, Salt Lake's prefab Medals Plaza will be replaced
with Turin's 17th-century Castello Square. "History built it for
us," Castellani said. "It's in our culture to stay in the street."

Turin is doing some building of its own. Construction will begin
this year on the Olympic Village, a hockey arena, the ski jumps
and a venue for bob, slittino e skeleton. Already organizers
have experienced some Olympic headaches. Tests of the soil at
the bobsled site found a high level of asbestos. Alternate sites
are being scouted, though the Piedmont doesn't offer the expanse
of land that so impressed Castellani in Utah. "You don't have
wide spaces in the Alps," he said. "Not that it's better or
worse, just different."

Fair enough, but one thing will be both different and better:
the cuisine. "Green jello?" said Andrea Varnier, the Turin
committee's managing director of image and communication. "I
don't think so. Only if someone brings it over." --Ivan Maisel

He Reigns in Spain
Spain's ski team is small, modestly funded and unheralded, all
of which is O.K. with its finest athlete, Johann Muehlegg, a
native of ski-obsessed Germany. After a disappointing 1997-98
season competing for his homeland, Muehlegg, an 11-year veteran
of the German team, switched allegiances and has dominated the
cross-country circuit ever since.

Muehlegg made his move because he never felt at home on
Germany's squad. In 1994 he accused German coaches of using
black magic to make him sick. By '98, overweight and frustrated,
Muehlegg began talking to other national team coaches and
quickly felt a kinship with the Spanish.

He established a residence in Madrid in 1999 (he also often
stays in Grainau, Germany) and began stepping up his altitude
training and honing his technique. Now Muehlegg, 31, is known
for his seemingly supernatural endurance. Last year he blew away
the field to win the world championship in the 50-km freestyle,
the distance in which he'll compete in classical today. Already
in Salt Lake he has won the 30-km freestyle and the pursuit. "We
were astonished by his good shape," says German team spokesman
Stefan Schwarzbach, who denies that the Germans are angling to
get Muehlegg back. "We're glad that Johann is finally happy."
--Kelley King

Goodwill Games
At the Olympics passions may run high on the ice and the slopes,
but the athletes, coaches and officials gathered in Salt Lake
have again and again made it clear that sportsmanship is alive
and well. Consider the following examples.

--"It's about time they caught those cheating sons of bitches."
--Luke Bodensteiner, Nordic director for the U.S. ski team, on
the withdrawal of the Russian women's cross-country team after
Larissa Lazutina's blood test revealed an elevated hemoglobin
count.

--"We should use a rifle on Ohno." --Short-track skater Fabio
Carta of Italy after the U.S.'s Apolo Ohno was declared the
1,500 winner.

--"Maybe that's why they lost the Second World War." --U.S.
men's hockey coach Herb Brooks, in response to coach Hans Zach's
saying his German team welcomed playing the Americans.

Burning Question

Q: What does the K stand for in the K90 and K120 hills in ski
jumping events?

A: K comes from the German phrase kritischer punkt, meaning
critical point, which is the spot at which the landing hill
stops falling and begins to flatten. That point is 120 meters
from the takeoff on the K120, or large hill, and 90 meters on
the K90, or normal hill. (Switzerland's Simon Ammann took gold
in both the normal and the large hill in Salt Lake.) So what
makes the punkt so kritischer? A jumper gets 60 distance points
for reaching the K point and 1.8 points for every meter past (or
2.0 points for the normal hill). If he fails to reach the K
point, the jumper receives 60 points minus 1.8 points for every
meter short. "On every jump a ski jumper's mentality is to set a
hill record," says Alan Johnson, ski jumping manager at Utah
Olympic Park. "He's not going to set a record without first
flying the K point." --Gene Menez

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

the medal stand

LEADERS [Gold] [Silver] [Bronze] TOTAL
Germany 10 16 7 33
United States 10 11 9 30
Norway 11 7 4 22
Austria 2 4 10 16
Russia 5 6 3 14
Canada 3 2 7 12
Switzerland 3 2 6 11
France 3 4 2 9
Italy 3 2 4 9
Finland 4 2 1 7
The Netherlands 3 4 0 7
Sweden 0 2 4 6
China 1 2 2 5
Croatia 3 1 0 4
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
Great Britain 1 0 1 2

Finals

ALPINE SKIING
Women's Giant Slalom
[Gold] Janica Kostelic
CROATIA 2:30.01
[Silver] Anja Parson
SWEDEN 2:31.33
[Bronze] Sonja Nef
SWITZERLAND 2:31.67

NORDIC COMBINED
Men's Individual Sprint
[Gold] Samppa Lajunen
FINLAND 16:40.1
[Silver] Ronny Ackermann
GERMANY 16:49.1
[Bronze] Felix Gottwald
AUSTRIA 17:20.3

CURLING
Men
[Gold] NORWAY
[Silver] CANADA
[Bronze] SWITZERLAND

SPEED SKATING
Men's 10,000
[Gold] Jochem Uytdehaage
THE NETHERLANDS 12:58.92 (WR)
[Silver] Gianni Romme
THE NETHERLANDS 13:10.03
[Bronze] Lasse Saetre
NORWAY 13:16.92

Other Results

BOBSLED
Four-Man (Runs 1 and 2)
The U.S.'s 46-year medal drought in the four-man competition
could come to an end at Utah Olympic Park today. Driver Todd
Hays has USA-1 ahead of Switzerland-1 and Germany-2 heading into
the final two runs of the four-man event. USA-2, driven by
five-time Olympian Brian Shimer, stands in fifth.

CURLING
It took an extra end, but Norway's men are the kings of curling.
The Norwegians defeated Canada 6-5 to win the men's gold. In
the bronze medal game Switzerland breezed to a 7-3 victory over
Sweden.

HOCKEY
If the Canadian men want to break their 50-year gold medal
drought, they'll have to do something that hasn't been done in
24 games: defeat a U.S. men's hockey team on American soil. The
U.S. advanced to tomorrow's gold medal game with a 3-2 victory
over Russia thanks to some late-game heroics from goalie Mike
Richter. Canada advanced to the final by defeating Belarus 7-1
behind a goal and two assists from Steve Yzerman. The Russians
will face Belarus in today's bronze medal game at the E Center.

Where are they now?

Phil and Steve Mahre ALPINE SKIING
Olympic highlights: Gold and silver, respectively, in slalom in
1984

Phil Mahre never will forget Feb. 19, 1984. It was on that day,
on Sarajevo's Mount Bjelasnica, as Mahre was heading to the
podium to accept his gold medal in the slalom, that he learned
that his wife, Holly, had given birth to their son, Alexander,
6,000 miles away, in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I couldn't tell you the
date of any win I've ever had with the exception of that one,"
says Mahre. "My son's birthday reminds me of the gold medal, not
the other way around." Then Phil climbed atop the victory stand
next to his twin brother, Steve, who had taken the silver. "At
least Phil kept the gold in the family," says Steve.

The first family of U.S. skiing hoarded plenty of hardware. Phil
earned a silver in the slalom in Lake Placid in 1980, along with
three overall World Cup titles, the only ones ever won by a U.S.
male. Steve, meanwhile, was the first U.S. male to win a world
championship when he took the giant slalom in 1982. Both Mahres,
now 44, retired from competition soon after Sarajevo, but they
have kept their edges in the sport, operating a ski school in
Keystone, Colo., working on product development for Volant and
mentoring up-and-coming racers in the U.S. ski program. That has
left summers free, when the brothers return to their homes
within 10 miles of each other outside Yakima, Wash. The
three-time Olympians are in Salt Lake City this fortnight to
renew old friendships. "Once you're an Olympian," says Phil,
"you're always an Olympian." --Pete McEntegart

COLOR PHOTO: ANSA/AFP (TURIN) The ancient city of Turin is preparing to welcome the world.COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTYCOLOR PHOTO: CARL YARBROUGH Kostelic won a record four Alpine medals in Salt Lake.COLOR PHOTO: JERRY COOKE (1984) Phil (above, right, in '84, and left) and Steve: U.S. skiing's dynamic duo. COLOR PHOTO: CARL YARBROUGH
They Said It
"My next goal is to get in the high 1,500s on my SATs."
--Figure skating gold medalist SARAH HUGHES on her post-Games
plans