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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Favorite performance of the Olympics so far

I have been viewing the Winter Olympics on and off for the past couple days. I, like most who heard of the terrible tradegy, was saddened by the loss of Nomar in the Luge competition. But I have been moved by the incredible performances in a number of the competitions that have taken place so far. One such performance was that of Hannah Kearney, whose effort in the Women's Moguls was nothing short of amazing, particularly in light of the fact that things did not go entirely the way she would have liked in the previous Winter Olympics. I will post some pictures of the games later on, if I have time. For now, here is an article from The New York Times on Hannah Kearney's performance.

American Wins Gold in Women’s Moguls
By CHARLES McGRATH
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia — On a dismal, drizzly evening at Cypress Mountain, Canada failed to pry loose the monkey clinging to the back of its Olympic fortunes. Jennifer Heil, who had been favored to win the women’s mogul skiing competition and become the first Canadian to claim a gold medal on home soil, finished second, behind the American Hannah Kearney. Shannon Bahrke, another American, was third.

Kearney’s victory came as a tremendous disappointment to the Canadian fans huddled under umbrellas and shivering in ponchos at the base of the mogul run Saturday, the first full day of competition. It deepened the gloom hovering over the mountain here, where the sun has not shone for days, where the weather has been unseasonably warm and where there has been much more rain than snow. The moguls had to be fashioned out of snow trucked and helicoptered in from higher elevations, and there was bare, muddy earth on either side of the run.

Cypress Mountain felt more like the setting for a Gothic movie, in fact, than for a competition that takes place under the lights and where, in keeping with mogul skiing’s freestyle, hot-dogging origins, it is customary to play rock music as the racers come bouncing down the hill. Depressing toothpaste squiggles of slushy snow lined the sides of the roadways. The trees, dark and dripping, were shrouded in mist. As fog blew across the course, there was some concern early in the day that the judges might not to be able to see the start of the run and that the event would have to be postponed. The skiers carried umbrellas as they rode up in the chairlift.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/sports/olympics/14moguls.html

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Update: More on the Olympics, specifically Shani Davis, Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White, later.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Possible Face-Off of Belgian Women

The New York Times

January 20, 2010
At Australian Open, a Possible Face-Off of Belgian Women
By JOE DRAPE
MELBOURNE, Australia — They presumably are working their way to each other, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, a pair of Belgian women who know each other well. Clijsters did her part to keep the appointment in the quarter finals, dusting Tamarine Tanasugarn — 6-3, 6-3 — in the second round of the Australian Open here Wednesday.

In fact, it’s hard to see the No. 15-ranked Clijsters missing it. She’s won 20 times against just three losses since returning last summer from a two year self-imposed exile where she married and became a mother. Most impressive among those occurred last summer at Flushing Meadows when Clijsters rolled to a U.S. Open championship in storybook fashion.

It was only her third tournament back from retirement, and she became the first mother to win a major since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon in 1980. Clijsters likes her chances to perhaps capture her third grand slam title here. Earlier this month in a battle of former No. 1-ranked women, she turned back Henin in the finals of the Brisbane International in what was Henin’s comeback tournament after nearly two years off the tour.

Henin will be tested again later Wednesday by Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva in one of the most eagerly anticipated second round match-ups here. Clijsters believes if Henin gets by Dementieva she will benefit from a tough opponent as she did off of their Brisbane match.

< http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/sports/tennis/21tennis.html >