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U.S. close to medal best despite missed chances

Despite all the hand-wringing over missed American medal opportunities, the United States is slowly approaching its record 13-medal tally from the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

The U.S. gleaned three golds during the past two days - in women's hockey Tuesday and Wednesday's pair by Nikki Stone and Eric Bergoust in the freestyle aerials. That makes for a total of five gold so far and 10 medals overall.Anticipated American medals include a pair in women's figure skating, which began late Wednesday night and ends Friday night. Other strong possibilities include the four-man bobsled and the women's slalom.

However, the U.S. lost another expected medal when the Team USA was eliminated prematurely from medal contention in men's hockey following Wednesday's quarterfinal loss.


U.S. update: The Americans won the inaugural women's gold medal with an emotional 3-1 victory over archrival Canada, while the U.S. men were eliminated early by the Czechs in a 4-1 quarterfinal loss Wednesday.

U.S. results: Men's quarterfinals (Wednesday) - U.S. lost to the Czech Republic, 4-1. Women's gold-medal game (Tuesday) - U.S. defeated Canada 3-1 for the gold.


U.S. update: Surprise, surprise - another skiing cancelation. Meanwhile, the Americans placed a pair in the combined slalom top 10.

U.S. results: Men's giant slalom (Wednesday) - postponed. Women's combined slalom (Tuesday) - Alexandra Shaffer, 7th (9th after 1st run); Caroline LaLive, 10th (7th after 1st run); Jonna Mendes, 16th (18th after 1st run); Kirsten Clark, 19th (21st after 1st run).


U.S. update: The Americans enjoyed a pair of golden moments, as both Nikki Stone and Eric Bergoust finished first in Wednesday's finals.

U.S. results: Women's aerials finals (Wednesday) - Nikki Stone, gold medal. Men's aerial finals (Wednesday) - Eric Bergoust, gold medal; Britt Swartley, 5th.


U.S. update: The United States is betting on at least two medals - and a possible sweep - in the women's singles after getting shut out of the three previous figure skating events.

U.S. results: Women's short program (Wednesday) - competition was late Wednesday night. Ice dancing free dance (late Monday) - Elizabeth Punsalan/Jerod Swallow, 7th; Jessica Joseph/Charles Butler, 21st.


U.S. update: The Americans finished ahead of only Korea in the 13-team competition.

U.S. results: K120 Team (Tuesday) - U.S. (Keuler/Alborn/Weber/Colby), 12th.


U.S. update: K.C. Boutiette set his third national record of the Olympics, finishing in 13 minutes, 44.03 seconds.

U.S. results: Men's 1,000 meters (Tuesday) - K.C. Boutiette, 8th; David Tamburrino, 16th.


U.S. update: The U.S. women clocked the fourth-fastest time of the finals, but they were in the second "B" heat in the event that places according to head-to-head competition. American Andy Gabel placed fourth in the 1,000-meter men's event.

U.S. results: Men's 1,000 meters finals (Tuesday) - Andrew Gabel, 4th ("A" race); Rusty Smith, eliminated in quarterfinals; Scott Koons eliminated in preliminary heats. Women's 3,000-meter relay - U.S., 1st ("B" race).


U.S. update: American Jay Hakkinen may be a world junior champion, but he didn't challenge the big boys in a rare rescheduled biathlon competition (too snowy for the athletes to see the shooting targets Tuesday).

U.S. results: Men's 10-kilometer sprint (Tuesday) - Dan Westover, 49th; Jay Hakkinen, 60th.


U.S. update: The American foursome finished more than two minutes behind 16th-place Kazakstan and at least a minute ahead of the final three teams from Canada, Spain and Korea.

U.S. results: Men's 4x10K relay (Wednesday) - U.S. (Nash/Bauer/Weaver/Wadsworth). 17th.