Olympics Blog

News about the Summer and Winter Games

Category: Speedskating

For Swider-Peltz, a wonderful, upsetting day

By Philip Hersh

VANCOUVER, B.C. --  Two skaters coached by 4-time Olympian Nancy Swider-Peltz of Wheaton, Ill., played roles in huge upsets by U.S. trios in the speedskating team pursuit Friday.

The women moved knocked off top-ranked Canada in the quarterfinals as the coach's daughter, Nancy Jr., joined Jilleanne Rookard and Jennifer Rodriguez combined to win by 5/100ths of a second.  They move on to a Saturday semifinal against Germany, the defending Olympic champions.

Brian Hansen of Glenview, Il., also coached by Swider-Peltz, teamed with Jonathan Kuck of Champaign, Il. and Chad Hedrick to rout the top-ranked Dutch in the semis.  After trailing for the first minute of the 3-minute, 42-second race, they built up a lead of 1.43 seconds before winning by .4.

They meet No. 3 Canada in Saturday's final.

Nancy Swider-Peltz Sr. competed at the 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympics, with her top finish a 7th in the 3000 meters in 1976  Her daughter and Hansen are skating in their first Olympics.

Interactive: An icon for Vancouver

Intended as a lasting architectural symbol of the Games, the Richmond Olympic Oval will host the long-track speedskating competition during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Located south of downtown, the $143-million facility sits on the banks of the Fraser River across from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond.

China wins gold in women's 3,000-meter relay short-track speedskating; U.S. wins bronze

China won the gold medal in the women's 3,000-meter relay short-track speedskating final at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Wednesday after four-time defending champion South Korea was disqualified.

The South Koreans crossed the finish line first, but after a long discussion among the referees, they were disqualified for interference.

The U.S. team of Allison Baver (Sinking Spring, Pa.), Alyson Dudek (Hales Corners, Wis.), Lana Gehring (Glenview, Ill.) and Katherine Reutter (Champaign, Ill.) won the bronze medal. Canada won silver.

It is the first medal for the U.S. women in the relay since 1994.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Katherine Reutter sets Olympic record in women's short-track speedskating


U.S. short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter set an Olympic record while winning her heat in the women's 1,000-meter event at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

Skating in the fifth heat, Reutter finished in 1 minute 30.508 seconds, breaking the record of 1:31.235 set by Yang Yang of China at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

The quarterfinals will be held Friday at 6:14 p.m. PST, followed by the semifinals at 6:52 p.m. and the finals at 7:24 p.m.

The United States’ two other competitors did not qualify for the quarterfinals. Allison Baver was disqualified in the first heat race while Kimberly Derrick placed third in heat No. 7 with a time of 1:31.663.

“I’m not really sure what happened to Allison, some kind of bumping and there was a DQ. I’m really sorry to hear that because I think we have one of the deepest teams the U.S. has ever had," Reutter said. "Honestly, I don’t want to blame it on luck but it does seem like little things keep coming up and happening to one person or another, things that we don’t entirely have control of. Which is the worst part of this sport, sometimes you don’t have control and that’s the worst thing.”

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Katherine Reutter, center, leads  on her way to an Olympic record. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images.

Interactive: Short-track speedskating team relay

Apolo Anton Ohno and his teammates, the reigning world champions, will race against teams from South Korea, Canada, China and France in the final relay. Twenty skaters will be on the ice, but only five at a time will be racing against one another.

Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic wins gold in women's 5,000-meter speedskating

Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic earned her second speedskating gold medal of the Vancouver Olympics, winning the women's 5,000 meters.

Sablikova finished in 6 minutes 50.91 seconds, beating silver medalist Stephanie Beckert of Germany by 0.48. Clara Hughes of Canada won the bronze.

Jilleanne Rookard of the U.S. was eighth in 7:07.48. Fellow American Maria Lamb finished 15th in 7:25.15.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Day by day: U.S. Olympic medal haul so far

The U.S. has won 26 medals through Tuesday, Feb. 23, with seven gold, nine silver and 10 bronze.

Sven Kramer sets Olympic record but is then disqualified in men's 10,000-meter speedskating


Sven Kramer of the Netherlands set an Olympic record in men's 10,000-meter speedskating Tuesday at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

And it never happened, officially.

The superstar Dutch distance skater finished in 12:54.50, but committed a lane change violation late in the race.

Officials disqualified Kramer for the mishap, and the gold medal went to Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon.

The South Korean finished with a time of 12:58.55.

Ivan Skobrev of Russia won the silver in 13:02.07. Bob de Jong of the Netherlands won the bronze in 13:06.73. 

Jonathan Kuck of the U.S. finished eighth in 13:31.78; Ryan Bedford of the U.S. finished 12th in 13:40.20.

-- Brian Hamilton in Whistler

Photo: Sven Kramer. Credit: Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images.

Ireen Wust of the Netherlands wins gold medal in women's 1,500-meter speedskating


Ireen Wust of the Netherlands won the gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter speedskating event Sunday at the Winter Olympics in a time of 1:56.89.

Kristina Groves of Canada won the silver in 1:57.14.

Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won bronze in 1:57.96.

The highest American finisher was Heather Richardson, who was 16th with a time of 1:59.56.

Four-time Olympian Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S. finished 18th with a time of 2:00.08.

Photo: Ireen Wust. Credit: Kevin Frayer / Associated Press

Apolo Anton Ohno wins bronze in men's 1,000-meter short-track speedskating


Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S. won the bronze medal in men's 1,000-meter short-track speedskating Saturday, becoming the most decorated American in Winter Olympics history. It was Ohno's seventh medal. Lee Jung-Su of South Korea won the gold, Lee Ho-Suk of South Korea won the silver.

Ohno also:

-- has the most medals won by a short-track speedskater, regardless of nation;

-- is the sixth short-track speedskater to win medals at three Winter Olympics;

-- is tied for 15th on the career Winter Olympics medals list;

-- is tied for seventh in career Winter Olympics medals by men.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Apolo Anton Ohno in a quarterfinal heat of the 1,000 meters on Saturday. Credit: George Bridges / McClatchy-Tribune


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