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LEADING OFF
March 01, 2010
Poling Place
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March 01, 2010

Leading Off

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Poling Place

Norway's Marit Bjørgen (6) and Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk (1) raced ski-to-ski for the lead early in the women's Olympic 15-kilometer cross-country pursuit at Whistler Olympic Park last Friday. Bjørgen won the gold medal, while Kowalczyk, who dominated the sport in 2009, settled for bronze. Bjørgen brought home her first Olympic gold, in the women's sprint, two days earlier; Kowalczyk took the silver.

Icy Stare

Noelle Pikus-Pace of Orem, Utah, making her Olympic debut at age 27, was wide-eyed last Thursday during her women's skeleton heat at the Whistler Sliding Center. Pikus-Pace, the mother of a two-year-old girl, qualified for the final last Friday, in which she finished fourth, and promptly retired from competition.

Mountain Aerial

Lacy Schnoor of the U.S. put on a snow-spraying show last Saturday during one of her two qualification runs in the women's Olympic freestyle skiing aerials on Cypress Mountain. Schnoor, a 24-year-old former gymnast from Draper, Utah, qualified for the finals, scheduled to take place on Feb. 24.

Bounced Czech

Alexander Ovechkin of Russia flattened Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic at mid-ice early in the third period of their Olympic preliminary-round game on Sunday in Vancouver. The Russians gathered the loose puck, and seconds later Evgeni Malkin scored his second goal for a commanding 3--1 lead. Russia went on to win 4--2 and earned a bye into the quarterfinals.

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