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Olympics wrap: Miller, hockey team add to US gold medal count Sunday

Bode wins in men's super-combined; Canada upset on home ice

Posted: February 21, 2010 9:03 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2010 11:59 p.m.

Bode Miller of the United States races down the course in the slalom portion of the men's super combined downhill event Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in Whistler, British Columbia.

 
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Bode Miller and the United States hockey team combined to make it a happy day at the Vancouver Olympics for the neighbors to the south, first winning the men's super-combined ski race and then dealing host Canada a surprising loss in the country's favorite sport.

HOCKEY
Much of Canada stopped to watch the preliminary round hockey game against the Americans, but the hosts were left disappointed after a 5-3 loss and now their team needs to win an additional game just to make the quarterfinals. The United States, however, is poised to go into the next round as top-seeded team.

"We know we can beat anybody now," said Brian Rafalski, who scored two goals for the Americans and set up another.

In an early game, Russia beat the Czech Republic 4-2. Defending Olympic champion Sweden faces rival Finland in the late game.

SKIING
Earlier in the day, four-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller finally earned a gold to complete his collection of jewelry from the Vancouver Games. After finishing seventh in the downhill run of the two-leg super-combi, Miller went all out in the slalom and bettered main rival Ivica Kostelic of Croatia with a winning time of 2 minutes, 44.92 seconds.

"I skied with 100 percent heart. I didn't hold anything back," Miller said. "It's just awesome. There's nothing else to say."

Miller had been the most hyped athlete of the 2006 Turin Games, but left Italy empty-handed. Now, with expectations much lower, the 32-year-old American won a gold medal to add to the silver and bronze he has already claimed in the first two races in Whistler.

BOBSLED
Andre Lange of Germany became the first driver with four Olympic gold medals after winning the two-man bobsled event. He and longtime brakeman Kevin Kuske completed their four runs in 3:26.65.

Lange, the defending Olympic champion in two- and four-man, surpassed Meinhard Nehmer of Germany for the most bobsled golds. Lange also won the four-man event at the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

"This has been a long career for me, many years of fighting and hoping, racing and medals, which is now nearly over," Lange said. "For me it's a really happy end. I didn't really expect to win here."

BIATHLON
World Cup leader Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia won the men's 15-kilometer mass start race. Ustyugov shot cleanly and finished in 35:35.7.

Also, Magdalena Neuner of Germany won the women's 12.5K mass start for her second gold medal of the Vancouver Games.

"I knew I could win a medal, but now I have three," said Neuner, who also won the 10K pursuit on Tuesday and took silver in the 7.5K sprint in her first Olympics. "That's incredible."

CURLING
In curling, Canada's women's team beat the United States 9-2 to stay unbeaten, and Britain skip Eve Muirhead pounded a stone in frustration after giving up a four-spot to Switzerland in a 10-6 shortened nine end loss. It was Britain's third straight loss following a promising Olympic start.

SPEEDSKATING, MEN'S SKICROSS, DOWNHILL, SUPER-G, SLALOM
Ireen Wust of the Netherlands turned her bronze from Turin to gold in Vancouver by winning the women's 1,500-meter speedskating race, while Michael Schmid of Switzerland won the inaugural Olympic men's skicross event.

Miller, who won two silver medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, won gold, silver and bronze in Vancouver, bringing his medal tally to five and cementing his status as the most decorated American Alpine skier in history.

"The way I executed, the way I skied, is something I'll be proud of the rest of my life," Miller said.

Kostelic took silver behind Miller and Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland claimed bronze. Aksel Lund Svindal, who won gold in the super-G and silver in the downhill, led the super-combi after the opening leg, but he skied out of the slalom leg.

"I think slalom skiers for sure wouldn't have a great chance if the slalom course was simple," Kostelic said. "The setting was quite demanding, but not as demanding as it could be. But demanding enough so that the slalom skiers could make up time."

FIGURE SKATER'S MOTHER DIES
The mother of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette died Sunday, two days before Rochette is to begin competition. She still plans to compete, and practiced only a few hours after hearing the news.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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