Posted: Sunday February 26, 2006 11:38AM; Updated: Monday February 27, 2006 10:07AM
While Americans Chad Hedrick (left) and Shani Davis (right) squabbled, Enrico Fabris grabbed the gold in the 1,500-meter speedskating event.
With the final medal awarded on Sunday, SI Olympics writer Brian Cazeneuve hands out his SI.com Olympic medals for the Turin Games.
ENRICO FABRIS, Italy, speedskating While most of the advance billing went to Americans Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick, the hometown hero rose to the moment and won the 1,500-meter speedskating event. Fabris had already won Italy's first medal ever in Olympic speedskating when he captured a bronze in the 5,000 on the first Saturday of competition, but on Friday he rode the wave of Italian flags flying around the oval. With each passing lap, it became clear that his time would be tough to beat. Davis, Hedrick and several Dutch skaters took a shot, but with chants of "Rico, Rico" urging him on, Fabris, who earlier won a gold in the team pursuit, capped off a terrific Olympics for Italy, by winning his third medal of the Games.
CINDY KLASSEN, Canada, speedskating Klassen won five medals in Turin, including a gold in the 1,500 meters, to become the top medal winner at the Games. After winning one bronze and two silver medals, she edged countrywoman Kristina Groves to win her only gold, then grabbed medal number 5 on Saturday, winning another bronze in the 5,000.
U.S. SNOWBOARD TEAM Face it, snowboarders are the new face of the new Olympic age. Purists may cringe, but there is no end in sight to the Rad-ness. U.S. snowboarders were a hit in Turin: Shawn White and Hannah Teter captured the halfpipe on the Games' opening weekend, and Gretchen Bleiler joined Teter on the victory podium. Later, Seth Westcott won the snowboardcross and Lindsey Jacobellis put the U.S. in position for a sweep of those events, too, before falling over during a hot-dog maneuver at the finish and settling for silver. In her handling of the self-flagellating incident, Jacobellis gave the sport an appealing face of humility, and a reason to cheer for her in the future.
SHIZUKA ARAKAWA, Japan, figure skating The 24-year-old Arakawa dealt with a year of doubt in 2005 after falling from first to ninth in the world standings. She said before the race that regaining her self-confidence in the face of questions about her age was more difficult than any of the jumps in her program. Yet she was the only skater of the three favorites to stay upright during the long program. As Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya fell apart, Arakawa skated cleanly and confidently and became the second woman from her country to win an Olympic gold medal at a winter Games.
ANDRE LANGE, Germany, bobsled Before the Olympics, the word was that Lange was skipping the last World Cup of the season because he had the flu. Then there were whispers that Lange was out of shape and would be replaced before the Games. Then suspicions, especially those raised by Canadian sledders, suggested that Lange and his German teammates were awaiting arrival of a doctored sled that they planned to break out in Turin. A German paper wrote that a company in Dresden had treated Lange's sleds with plasma immersion implants, which sounds like a great theme for reality TV. Now, Lange can immerse himself in gold medals, having won them in both the two-man and four-man competitions.
KIMBERLY DERRICK, U.S., short-track skating Derrick deserves a medal just for taking part in her event. A day before her final race, she learned that her 74-year-old grandfather, Darrel Edwards, died of a heart attack while visiting Turin to watch her skate. Derrick, a 20-year-old sophomore at Northern Michigan University, was disqualified for impeding in the heats of the 1,000 meters on Saturday evening. Four years ago, she made the switch to short-track skating from inline skating after watching Apolo Ohno skate in Salt Lake City. An hour after Derrick was eliminated on Saturday, she watched Ohno win a gold medal in the 500 meters.
JERET PETERSON, U.S. aerials "Speedy" Peterson landed his trademark Hurricane (three flips with five twists) in competition, but he saved his worst hurricane for the après ski. U.S. officials sent Peterson home from Turin early after he engaged in a dustup with a friend at a party. "Like every athlete, Jeret had an opportunity to represent himself, his sport and his country in a positive manner," said Jim McCarty, the U.S. team's chef de mission who announced Peterson's premature expulsion from the athletes' village. "He chose to do otherwise, and because of his unacceptable actions, his Olympic experience is ending early."
AUSTRIAN BIATHLETES & CROSS-COUNTRY SKIERS Amid allegations of doping for both teams, here's a question to ponder: What will this do to Salzburg's bid to host the 2014 Games?