Friday, February 19, 2010

Schedule slows down Friday for U.S. athletes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 6:57 AM

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After an amazing first week at the 2010 Winter Olympics with a whopping 18 medals, the United States shouldn't expect as much Friday as the schedule lightens up briefly.

"It gives us a chance to take a day off, see our families and enjoy Vancouver a little bit," U.S. women's hockey player Angela Ruggiero said after her team wrapped up pool play Thursday with a spotless 3-0 record heading into the semifinals Monday.

There are a few events with medal potential, starting with the men's super-G ski race at Whistler as Bode Miller and 2006 combined gold medalist Ted Ligety lead the U.S. contingent. If Miller can stay in control as well as he did in taking bronze in the downhill, he has a chance.

Then, over at Whistler Sliding Center, the men's and women's skeleton (imagine luge in a higher gear, with a single rider coming down the track on a little sled, face first) will wrap up today, with a possible women's medal for Noelle Pikus-Pace of Orem, Utah.

The only other medal event scheduled today is the ladies 15-kilometer cross-country pursuit ski rae, with the Americans not expected to be among the leaders.

Figure skating moves into ice dance with the compulsory dance, leading toward the free dance finale Sunday, and the U.S. teams of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (who won silver in 2006) along with Meryl Davis and Charlie White expected to be in the medals picture.

After 10 medals in the past two days (a record six Wednesday, followed by four Thursday), the U.S. has a sizable lead in the medal standings with 18 — six gold, five silver, seven bronze.

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