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
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.
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.
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.
Men's 10 km classic
+ 10 km freestyle Pursuit, 14 February, 2002
Men's 4 x 10 km Relay,
17 February, 2002