ATHLETE OF THEGAMES
These Olympicsproduced no dominant star, but Italian speedskater Enrico Fabris (above) pulledoff an upset by defeating favorites Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis of the U.S. inthe 1,500 meters, giving the Turinese--who seemed only mildly interested formost of the Games--reason to cheer. Fabris finished with three of Italy's 11medals, two golds and a bronze.
During thewomen's cross-country sprint relay Canada's Sara Renner broke a pole, puttingher team's medal hopes in jeopardy ... until Norwegian coach BjornarHaakensmoen handed her one of his poles, allowing Renner to help her teamfinish second. (Norway was fourth.) Renner sent Haakensmoen a bottle of wine asthanks; back home, grateful Canadians organized Project Maple Syrup, which aimsto send 8,000 cans of the condiment to the Norwegian Olympic Committee.
March 6, 2006
Athletes oftenfail to live up to pre-Olympic hype, but no one has ever taken as nasty atwo-week fall from grace as U.S. skier Bode Miller, who didn't win a medal inany of his five races and failed to finish three of them. He neverthelessdeclared that he was happy that he'd gotten "to party and socialize at anOlympic level."
BEST RELIC OF THECOLD WAR
Germany's AndreLange won the four-man bobsled using the same runners--not just the same make,the same runners--Wolfgang Hoppe used to win gold for East Germany in 1984.Lange also won the two-man, replicating the double last accomplished by Hoppein Sarajevo.
U.S. speedskaterJoey Cheek (left) donated the $25,000 he received from the USOC for winning agold medal in the 500 meters and the $15,000 he got for his silver in the 1,000to Right to Play, an organization led by Norwegian speedskating legend JohannOlav Koss that funds sports programs for poverty-stricken children. Even thoughshe received no cash award for winning the 5,000 meters, Canadian speedskaterClara Hughes donated $10,000.
Pierre Lueders isthe brusque son of East German immigrants; Lascelles Brown (below) is alaid-back Jamaican. Together they won the silver medal in the two-man bobsledfor Canada--barely a month after Brown, who competed for Jamaica in the 2002Games, became a Canadian citizen.
The women's lugefield presented 52-year-old Anne Abernathy--a.k.a. Grandma Luge--with anautographed starting number, 31, which she would have worn if she hadn't brokenher wrist during a training run on the treacherous Cesana Pariol track.Abernathy, who has represented the U.S. Virgin Islands at every Games since1988, was unable to race, but her name was placed on the results list with thenotation Did Not Start, which allowed her to extend her record as the oldestfemale competitor ever at the Winter Games.
That would be atie between watching 19-year-old speedskater Ireen Wust of the Netherlands raceand reading her website. After she came out of nowhere to win gold in the 3,000meters, her site ran this blurb from the Turin Olympic site: "The dreadfulkid ... was able to scoff at the maxi-favourites at the [event] with animmaculate trial, that catapults her straight in the history of thissport." Ten days later Wust again scoffed at the maxi-favorites andcatapulted straight into history by winning bronze in the 1,500.
On Feb. 3 theU.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation fired coach Tim Nardiello forinsubordination; earlier he had been accused of sexually harassing femalesliders. On Feb. 10 the team had to send home its top male racer, Zach Lund,because he tested positive for a banned substance--his hair-restorationtreatment. On Feb. 17 Lund's replacement, Chris Soule, finished 25th. LastThursday skeleton team member Kevin Ellis broke a vertebra while using a snowdisk to sled with other lugers on a public hill in Sestriere and had to undergosurgery.
Asrepresentatives of Almaty, Kazakhstan, promoted their city's 2014 Winter Gamesbid in Turin last week, the bullet-riddled body of a political oppositionleader was found on the outskirts of Almaty, leading to a violent clash betweenprotesters and truncheon-wielding police.
Freestyle aerialsskier Jeret (Speedy) Peterson of the U.S. (below)--who last year won $200,000playing blackjack in Las Vegas--likened trying the Hurricane, his signaturethree-flips-and-five-twists move, to hitting on 20 and hoping for an ace.Nonetheless, he tried the Hurricane on his second jump in the finals (eventhough an easier jump might have meant a medal) and botched the landing,finishing seventh.
After the aerialsfinals Jeret Peterson said, "My competitors are not my enemies. I'll go tothe bar tonight and ... have a good time." At nine the next morning,polizia grabbed him for fighting with a friend outside a bar. No charges werefiled, but Peterson was sent home by his coaches.
> ALTHOUGHHIS performance was overshadowed by the sniping between teammates Shani Davisand Chad Hedrick, speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno (far left) won three short-trackmedals to bring his career haul to five. That total was matched in Turin byCanadian speedskater Cindy Klassen (left), who picked up one gold, two silverand two bronze.
> PERHAPS THEgreatest theatrical scene in Olympic history was Italy's Barbara Fusar Poliglaring at her ice dancing partner, Maurizio Margaglio, after he dropped herduring their original dance routine. "We never talk when we skate, we speakwith our eyes," said Fusar Poli, 34, who burned a hole in her partner for31 seconds.
> THE RUBBERone fashioned into a makeshift codpiece by a streaker during the bronze medalcurling match. Unbothered by the fowl sight, the U.S. men held on to beat GreatBritain 8-6, winning the first curling medal in U.S. Olympic history.
For a complete archive of SI's coverage of the Turin Olympics, go toSI.com/olympics/2006.