Cross Country Skiing from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics

Womens 15 km Freestyle, 9 February; Soldier Hollow venue.  The first gold medal of the Games goes to Stefania
Belmondo (ITA) after a close sprint with Larissa Lazutina (RUS).  Below is a photograph of Lazutina attacking
Belmondo on the last hill of the course, about 1 km from the finish.  Belmondo sat on and came around
convincingly about 100 m from the line.  Julija Tchepalova (RUS) and Katerina Neumannova (CZE) can be seen

Image of Lazutina attacking Belmondo near finish.

Mens 30 km freestyle, 9 February.  Below is a shot of the competitors preparing 2 or 3 minutes before the start.  

Where's Pers?
 Here is a hint: he is urinating on Salt Lake City; here is another hint: the blue banners to the right
of the starting lanes have 'Salt Lake
City 2002' written on them (but then again, what didn't have 'Salt Lake City
2002' written on it?).  Despite the last minute weight reduction,
Pers Elofsson (SWE) had an off day, cracked
during the second of four laps and DNF'd.   Give up finding Pers?

The race was all Johan Muehlegg (ESP).  
He went to the front from the gun, drew a group of about 5 or 6 with
him in the first few kilometers, then dropped them near the end of the
first lap.  He rapidly built a lead of 1:30,
which was briefly cut to 1:20 during the third lap, then ballooned to over 2 minutes.  

Image of skiiers preparing to start mens 30 km freestyle

The photo below shows Muehlegg on the stadium loop for the last time, hammering away just before
he began his victory celebration.
 His performance was pure domination; he V2'd all but the steepest hills.  

Image of Mueller hammering his way to victory.

An Austrian duel for silver: the following two images show Mikhail Botvinov (AUT) leading
Christian Hoffman (AUT) as they approach
the 180 o sweeper and the 150 m sprint for the line.  
Hoffman tried to sneak to the left side of Botvinov as they exited the turn, but Botvinov

shut him down.  Hoffman had to back off  and go clear 'round the right side to take the silver.

Kristen Skjeldal, Pietro Piller- Cottrer, and Ole-Einar Bjorndalen can be seen entering the stadium
and preparing their sprint
for fourth.

The sprint for silver winds up.

Image of Botvinov and Hoffman

Men's 10 km classic + 10 km freestyle Pursuit, 14 February, 2002

Men's 4 x 10 km Relay, 17 February, 2002