Team USA Ends 86-Year Drought

And Canada finally gets a gold at home
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 14, 2010 11:11 PM CST
Team USA Ends 86-Year Drought
The top luge finishers, silver medalist David Moeller of Germany, left, gold medalist Felix Loch of Germany, center, and bronze medalist Armin Zoeggeler of Italy.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

US Olympian Johnny Spillane ended an 86-year drought that few Americans even knew existed. He took a silver in Nordic combined skiing, a mix of ski jumping and cross-country. "After 86 years of trying we are actually legitimate," said US coach Tom Steitz. "We are all going to sit around tonight and drink champagne and touch the medals."

Two gold medals were noteworthy today. In the luge, Felix Loch, a 20-year-old German, sped safely down the shortened track at the Whistler Sliding Center and won in a four-heat time of 3 minutes, 13.085 seconds—only two days after a Georgian competitor was killed on the same stretch of ice. A few hours later, Alexandre Bilodeau became the first Canadian to ever win an Olympic gold medal on home soil. He won in the men's moguls. (Read more 2010 Vancouver Olympics stories.)

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