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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
BEST ODD COUPLE
Pierre Lueders is the brusque son of East German immigrants; Lascelles Brown (below) is a laid-back Jamaican. Together they won the silver medal in the two-man bobsled for Canada--barely a month after Brown, who competed for Jamaica in the 2002 Games, became a Canadian citizen.
BEST GET-WELL GIFT
The women's luge field presented 52-year-old Anne Abernathy--a.k.a. Grandma Luge--with an autographed starting number, 31, which she would have worn if she hadn't broken her wrist during a training run on the treacherous Cesana Pariol track. Abernathy, who has represented the U.S. Virgin Islands at every Games since 1988, was unable to race, but her name was placed on the results list with the notation Did Not Start, which allowed her to extend her record as the oldest female competitor ever at the Winter Games.
BEST DUTCH TREAT
That would be a tie between watching 19-year-old speedskater Ireen Wust of the Netherlands race and reading her website. After she came out of nowhere to win gold in the 3,000 meters, her site ran this blurb from the Turin Olympic site: "The dreadful kid ... was able to scoff at the maxi-favourites at the [event] with an immaculate trial, that catapults her straight in the history of this sport." Ten days later Wust again scoffed at the maxi-favorites and catapulted straight into history by winning bronze in the 1,500.
BAD BONES AWARD
On Feb. 3 the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation fired coach Tim Nardiello for insubordination; earlier he had been accused of sexually harassing female sliders. On Feb. 10 the team had to send home its top male racer, Zach Lund, because he tested positive for a banned substance--his hair-restoration treatment. On Feb. 17 Lund's replacement, Chris Soule, finished 25th. Last Thursday skeleton team member Kevin Ellis broke a vertebra while using a snow disk to sled with other lugers on a public hill in Sestriere and had to undergo surgery.
As representatives of Almaty, Kazakhstan, promoted their city's 2014 Winter Games bid in Turin last week, the bullet-riddled body of a political opposition leader was found on the outskirts of Almaty, leading to a violent clash between protesters and truncheon-wielding police.