United States set to surpass medal record U.S. hockey routs Finland
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — So these won't be remembered as the Vonn-couver Olympics after all. It's looking like they will belong to the entire U.S. delegation instead.
The Americans reached 34 medals with a silver and a bronze in short-track speedskating last night, and two more were clinched with the men's hockey team and men's team pursuit in speedskating advancing to a gold-medal match in which they can get no worse than silver.
That makes 36 medals, topping the U.S. record of 34 set at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and matching the record for the most by any country at any Winter Olympics, set by Germany in Salt Lake City.
"It's a great time to be an American," said Katherine Reutter, who got a silver in the 1,000 meters at the short track. "One of the many things I was yelling was 'I love the USA!' "
Unless something wild happens over the final two days, the U.S. will win the overall medals race for only the second time, and the first since 1932 in Lake Placid.
Bill Demong, who won gold in the individual large hill event Thursday, was one of four U.S. Nordic combined medals, the USA's first Olympic medals in the sport.
"Having actually contributed a fair amount to that medal count," says Demong, "(teammate) Johnny (Spillane) and I were talking about it last night, saying, 'Could we? Could we finally win the medal count?' "
And, look who's leading the gold race: Canada, with 10. Germany is second with nine. The USA and Norway each have eight.
Canada was denied another gold medal on home ice, getting taken down by a Swedish team that captured its second consecutive gold medal in women's curling.
In extra ends, no less!
China beat Switzerland for the bronze.
Steve Holcomb and his sleek, black four-man bobsled known as the "Night Train" are halfway to gold.
Officially known as USA-1, the sled set track records on both its runs, putting it in first place going into the last two heats tonight.
The United States hasn't won this race since 1948.
"What Holcomb did here today was super genius," said Germany's Kevin Kuske, a four-time Olympic champion.
More agony for Sven Kramer, lots of joy for the United States.
The American men upset Kramer and the powerful Dutch team in one team pursuit semifinal, and the U.S. women knocked off Canada in their quarterfinal.
My first thought when we crossed the line was, 'Oh, my God, we beat the Dutch!' " said Brian Hansen. "And then I thought, 'Oh, my God, we got a medal!' "
The men will face Canada in the gold-medal race today. The women will face defending Olympic champion Germany in a semifinal today.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway nailed all 10 of his targets, then skied across the finish first waving a flag and flashing a big smile.
"I'm really satisfied with my race," he said. "It was perfect."
The Americans were 13th out of 19 countries.
The Canadian Olympic Committee basically said their women's hockey team made only one mistake while swigging champagne and beer, and lighting cigars, on the ice, in celebration of their gold medal.
COC president Michael Chambers said nobody would've known or cared had it been contained in the locker room. But by going out in front of reporters, the party become somewhat controversial, especially with an 18-year-old player being seen drinking in a city where the legal age is 19.
"It was just us savoring the moment," tournament MVP Meghan Agosta said. "We were not thinking about what we were doing, but we are responsible for what we did."