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ATHLETE OF THE GAMES
These Olympics produced no dominant star, but Italian speedskater Enrico Fabris (above) pulled off an upset by defeating favorites Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis of the U.S. in the 1,500 meters, giving the Turinese--who seemed only mildly interested for most of the Games--reason to cheer. Fabris finished with three of Italy's 11 medals, two golds and a bronze.
During the women's cross-country sprint relay Canada's Sara Renner broke a pole, putting her team's medal hopes in jeopardy ... until Norwegian coach Bjornar Haakensmoen handed her one of his poles, allowing Renner to help her team finish second. ( Norway was fourth.) Renner sent Haakensmoen a bottle of wine as thanks; back home, grateful Canadians organized Project Maple Syrup, which aims to send 8,000 cans of the condiment to the Norwegian Olympic Committee.
Athletes often fail to live up to pre-Olympic hype, but no one has ever taken as nasty a two-week fall from grace as U.S. skier Bode Miller, who didn't win a medal in any of his five races and failed to finish three of them. He nevertheless declared that he was happy that he'd gotten "to party and socialize at an Olympic level."
BEST RELIC OF THE COLD WAR
Germany's Andre Lange won the four-man bobsled using the same runners--not just the same make, the same runners--Wolfgang Hoppe used to win gold for East Germany in 1984. Lange also won the two-man, replicating the double last accomplished by Hoppe in Sarajevo.
BEST GOOD SPORTS
U.S. speedskater Joey Cheek (left) donated the $25,000 he received from the USOC for winning a gold medal in the 500 meters and the $15,000 he got for his silver in the 1,000 to Right to Play, an organization led by Norwegian speedskating legend Johann Olav Koss that funds sports programs for poverty-stricken children. Even though she received no cash award for winning the 5,000 meters, Canadian speedskater Clara Hughes donated $10,000.