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Friday, Oct 20, 2017
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Winter Games medal frenzy for U.S., Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - While the Vancouver Olympics aren't finished, the medal races are - and in spectacular fashion for North Americans. Most medals: United States, 36 so far, with another gold or silver on the way. Most golds: Canada, 13 so far and perhaps one more on the way. With 37 medals guaranteed, the U.S. has more than any country has won at any Winter Games. It's also only the second time in the 21 Winter Olympics that Americans have won the medal count, the other coming at Lake Placid in 1932.
By taking gold in curling Saturday night, the Canadians tied the record for most golds at a Winter Olympics, which is 13, set by the Soviets in 1976 and matched by Norway in 2002. Bobsled The U.S. hadn't won gold in four-man bobsledding since 1948. And they did it by knocking off a German crew led by Andre Lange, who had won all four Olympics races he entered. His crew wound up with silver, one-hundredth of a second faster than the Canadians. A slew of U.S. teammates rushed to Steve Holcomb's sled to celebrate. Steve Mesler, a 2000 University of Florida graduate who excelled in the decathlon while in a college, also was one of Holcomb's crew. Curling Canada won the gold medal in men's curling, with Kevin Martin's team defeating Norway 6-3. Switzerland topped Sweden 5-4 for the men's bronze, getting two points on its final rock. Speedskating Chad Hedrick and a pair of 19-year-old teammates couldn't keep up with the Canadians. Hedrick took silver in the final race of his career. He goes out with five medals in five events, joining Eric Heiden as the only American men to win that many at the oval. Germany repeated as the gold winners in women's team pursuit, edging Japan by two-hundredths of a second in the final. Cross-country Canada turned in its four cross-country skiers for the 50-kilometer mass start classic race today, and it doesn't include legally blind Brian McKeever, who was hoping to become the first competitor in both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. McKeever, 30 - who started going blind in college but still has peripheral vision - said he understands. "Olympic dream over," he wrote on his Twitter account. "I don't think I've ever been so sad." Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland denied Marit Bjoergen a fourth gold medal of the Olympics, beating the Norwegian in a frantic final sprint to win the 30-kilometer women's classical race. Snowboarding Jasey-Jay Anderson, a seven-time World Cup champion, carved through the rain-sluiced, fogged-in course to take down Austria's Benjamin Karl, the top-ranked rider in the world. Fox Award winners Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic and Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette are the recipients of the Vancouver 2010 Terry Fox Award. The award honors athletes who embody the determination, courage and humility of Fox, who ran across Canada on a prosthetic leg in 1980 to raise funds for cancer research. He died in June 1981 at 22. Majdic won a bronze medal in the individual classical sprint despite competing with four broken ribs and a collapsed lung suffered hours earlier in a training accident. Rochette won the bronze medal just four days after the sudden death of her mother, Therese. Fox's parents, Rolly and Betty, presented the awards Saturday. Chileans staying An Olympic skier from Chile has decided to participate in the closing ceremony after learning her family and friends are safe following the massive earthquake in her country. Noelle Barahona had planned to return home Saturday but could not get a flight. Her team says she will remain in the athletes' village instead. Chile brought three Alpine skiers to the games. Two already have left Vancouver, one for France and one for Seattle.
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