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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hedrick finishes career with silver

 •  U.S. wins bobsled; first in 62 years


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Team USA's Brian Hansen, left, Chad Hedrick, center, and Jonathan Kuck skate to the silver medal during the men's team pursuit final speed skating race at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Canada won the gold medal.

KEVIN FRAYER | Associated Press

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RICHMOND, British Columbia Chad Hedrick was yukking it up outside the Olympic oval, savoring one last medal in one more event before he gets started on the rest of his life.

"I think I'll join the bowling tour," he joked to his young teammates. "Have y'all ever seen me bowl?"

Hedrick wanted to go out with gold yesterday, but didn't seem too upset about settling for silver in his farewell to speedskating, losing out to the Canadians by a mere 21-hundredths of a second in the final of team pursuit.

The 32-year-old Texan claimed his fifth medal in five different events, making him one of only four males in Olympic history to compile such a versatile resume.

Nobody left a more lasting impression in a last Olympic race than Anni Friesinger-Postma.

The German slipped and stumbled throughout the final lap of a semifinal race against the Americans, trying desperately to catch up to her two teammates. Finally, coming down the last straightaway, the 33-year-old crashed to the ice and slid across the finish line on her belly.

The best move was thrusting out her right skate to make sure the time was registered as quickly as possible. She spun past the line, burying her face against the ice, convinced she had cost her team a spot in the final.

Then Friesinger-Postma looked up to see the Germans had still won by 0.23. Suddenly, her distress turned to delight.

The Japanese team of Masako Hozumi, Nao Kodaira and Maki Tabata couldn't hold off the Germans, who defended the inaugural women's pursuit title they won four years ago at Turin by a mere two-hundredths of a second less than a blade length.

The Canadian men finally won gold at the oval, making up for the disappointment of their individual events.

Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux ensured that "O Canada" won in 3 minutes, 41.37 seconds. The Americans finished the eight-lap race in 3:41.58.

Hedrick nearly pulled out his second career gold while teamed with a trio of 19-year-olds: Jonathan Kuck, Brian Hansen and Trevor Marsicano.

Kuck and Hansen went with Hedrick in the final.