clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bjorn again: Dahlie wins sixth gold

A star is Bjorn.

Norway's Bjorn Dahlie, the hometown hero of the Lillehammer Games, became the first man to win six career Winter Olympics gold medals with his victory in the men's 10-kilometer cross-county ski race.Dahlie's record-breaking Nagano gold now joins the three that he won in 1992 and the pair he collected in 1994. The five medals had tied Dahlie with two speed skaters: Eric Heiden of the United States and A. Clas Thunberg of Finland.

Dahlie, in a steady rain, led from wire to wire on the Snow Harp course. The victory followed Dahlie's stunning 20th-place finish in the 30K event, when the Norwegian used the wrong wax on his skis.

The United States added a pair of medals to its Nagano cache, collecting bronze medals in the men's and women's snowboard halfpipe competition. Shannon Dunn and Ross Powers survived a heavy downpour to lift the U.S. medal total to four - two golds, two bronze - as most of the attention around the new Olympic sport focused on Rebagliati.

"It's pouring, but I feel like I'm above the clouds," Dunn said. "I just had the time of my life here."

Nagano's first double gold medalist came from Snow Harp, too - Rus-sian cross-country skier Larissa Lazutina, who captured the 10-kilometer freestyle Thursday (Wednesday night EDT). Lazutina, 32, had already won a gold in the 5K and a silver in the 15K.

While Dahlie stormed to his record-setting medal, a wintry mixture of snow and rain - augmented by whipping winds and heavy fog - postponed the weather-cursed men's downhill yet again.

The race, one of the games' premier events, was originally set for Sunday, rescheduled for Wednesday, then finally moved to Thursday (Wednesday night EST) as snow plagued the Alpine events. Both the downhill and the downhill portion of the men's combined were finally rescheduled for Friday.

In the first five days of the Alpine schedule at the Olympics, only one gold medal has been awarded - Picabo Street's narrow victory in the women's super-G on a sunny Wednesday.

SNOWBOARDING: Dunn and Powers took bronze medals in the halfpipe competition. Dunn, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., was leading until she nearly wiped out during a driving rainstorm on her last run.

Nicola Thost of Germany took the gold medal and Stine Brun Kjeldaas of Norway won the silver.

Powers, 18, of Londonderry, Vt., finished behind gold medalist Gian Simmen of Switzerland and silver winner Daniel Franck of Norway.

FIGURE SKATING: It wasn't the most inspired skating, but the men's short program did what it was supposed to - set up a battle of the Big Three going into Saturday's free skate that will determine the gold. Kulik was in the lead despite an almost indifferent performance that placed him first with four judges, while Stojko was second and Eldredge third. Eldredge, the five-time U.S. champion, seemed to enjoy himself but admitted, "I screwed up the footwork, got a little off-balance."

The scoring is so close among the top three skaters in the world that whoever wins the free skate Saturday will win the gold.

"I'm looking forward to a battle," Kulik said. "All the guys are so good."

SPEEDSKATING: There was no Dutch sweep at the M-Wave arena, where Adne Sondral of Norway won the 1,500-meter speed skating gold medal in a world-record time of 1 minute, 47.87 seconds. Ids Postma of the Netherlands was second, while his teammate Rintje Ritsma won the bronze. Sondral broke Ritsma's record to duplicate the Lillehammer victory of his Norwegian countryman, Johann Olav Koss.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Lazutina wasn't the only multiple medalist after the women's race; teammate Olga Danilova added a silver to her gold in the 15k classical style. Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic took the bronze.

Dahlie was followed to the finish line by Markus Gandler of Austria, whole Mika Myllylae of Finland was third. Phillip Boit, the first Kenyan to compete in the Winter Games, finished dead last - 20 minutes after Dahlie, who greeted the African with a hug at the finish line.

HOCKEY: NHL star Paul Kariya won't play in the Olympics, dealing a blow to the Canadian Olympic team and keeping the top goal-scorer from returning to his father's native land. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks star, sidelined by a concussion suffered Feb. 1 in a game with Chicago, was replaced on the roster by Mark Recchi of the Montreal Canadiens.

CURLING: The sport's inaugural Olympics has not been very good to the Americans. A Thursday loss to Norway ensured that the American women would not leave Nagano with a medal. And the men's team, despite an 8-5 victory over Germany, needs two wins and some help from other teams to earn a medal shot in the semifinal round.