Winter Olympics closing with drama

Did you hear that grinding, sliding noise? It is not the U.S. men’s skiing team winning a medal, that is for sure. The noise you are hearing is the American Winter Olympic team, slogging its way through the 2006 Torino games.

As of Wednesday, America was second in the overall medal count with 18, tied with Norway. Germany leads the competition with 22.

The American team has been leading both the overall count and gold count throughout most of the games thus far but looks to be losing steam as the games progress.

Though naturally not as exciting as the summer games, these Winter Olympics have offered a few points of interest.

The American men’s downhill skiing team, which boasted itself as the self-proclaimed “best in the world,” has only won one medal.

Ted Ligety will bring home the gold in the combined Alpine Skiing event.

Bode Miller, a full on favorite by most in all five of his events, has managed to finish no higher than fifth and was disqualified from the Super-G.

Miller, an outspoken media darling, has two events left on his plate, both of which will run Feb. 25.

Recent tensions have flared between men’s speed skating teammates Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick. Both lobby insults and perceived slights at each other via media outlets. Davis became the first African-American man to ever win an individual gold medal, which he did in 1000m speed skating. Davis, who also won silver in the 1500m, has had his accomplishment overshadowed by the feud. Hedrick has won gold in 5000m speed skating and a bronze in the 1500m.

The American men and women dominated the snowboarding halfpipe. Shaun White and Hannah Teter won gold in their halfpipe competitions. Danny Kass, Gretchen Bleiler and Linsey Jacobellis will all bring America home silver.

Alpine skier Lindsey Kildow has presented the most inspirational story of this year’s Olympics so far.

Kildow, 21, had a brutal fall during a training run last week. At a speed of over 50 miles an hour, Kildow was tossed head over heels when she hit a rough patch of snow.

Kildow was flown to a Torino hospital, where she was treated for minor wounds. Days later, she shocked everyone by competing in the women’s downhill, where she placed eighth out of some 30 other participants. She also placed seventh in the women’s Super-G and will have five more chances at a medal.

The games will end this Sunday, so enjoy all the world-class figure skating and curling you can, unless you can wait out another four years.

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