Celebration still causing a stir
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Carry on, ladies. Canada's top Olympic official sees no reason to put a damper on the women's hockey team's beer-swigging, cigar-smoking celebration of its gold-medal victory over the U.S. In Whistler and Vancouver, Olympic sentiment largely supported the players who went back onto the ice for an impromptu party well after the fans had left Canada Hockey Place on Thursday. While the players spent much of Friday apologizing, several top Olympic officials praised the Canadians' third consecutive gold-medal run, even while encouraging them to be a bit more discreet next time."As far as we're concerned, the matter is closed," said Michael Chambers, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. "It was nothing more than an error of judgment committed at the exciting time of winning a gold medal. "It was a spilling-out of the celebration that was going on in the dressing room." The International Olympic Committee said it would send a letter to Canadian organizers asking for more details about what happened, but it was careful not to characterize the response as an investigation. Gilbert Felli, the IOC's executive director of the Games, said Thursday the antics were "not what we want to see." "If they celebrate in the changing room, that's one thing," he said, "but not in public." IOC spokesman Mark Adams suggested the only outrage was coming from the press. "To be honest, I think people are in search of a story that doesn't exist," he said. "I think people are looking for someone to say it's terrible." SLALOM: Maria Riesch won the event for her second gold in Vancouver and the ninth for Germany. American Lindsey Vonn straddled a gate instead of going around it and failed to finish. SPEEDSKATING: The American men upset the Dutch in one team pursuit semifinal, and the U.S. women knocked off Canada in their quarterfinal. The men will face Canada in the gold-medal race today. The women will face defending Olympic champion Germany in a semifinal today. BIATHLON: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen anchored Norway's victory, giving him the 11th medal of his career. That leaves him one behind Bjorn Daehlie's Winter Games record of 12. CURLING: The Sweden women successfully defended their gold medal, beating Canada 7-6 in an extra 11th end. China beat Switzerland 12-6 for the bronze. SNOWBOARDING: Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands won the women's parallel giant slalom race.