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Features Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 03:11 GMT
Salt Lake whispers
Reto Gilly makes a mad dash down the motorway
Gilly makes a mad dash down the motorway
BBC Sport Online's Alex 'Golden Ears' Gubbay rounds up some gossip from the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

  • Swiss luger Reto Gilly was one of the happiest men at the Utah Olympic Park after competing in the men's luge, despite only finishing 24th.

    The reason Gilly had such a smile on his face was that his wife had just safely given birth to their daughter in Switzerland.

    Even Georg Hackl, who had just missed the chance to set Olympic history when pipped into second by Armin Zoeggler, found time to congratulate the new father.

    However, reports that Gilly junior emerged into the world feet first are as yet unconfirmed.

  • In the women's luge, Venezuelan Iginia Boccalandro was also taking several deep breaths as she prepared for her first run.

    But unfortunately, the ample 30-year-old, who weighs 187 lbs (85kg), caught the very first corner and clattered both sides of the track several times before sliding to a worrying halt halfway down.

    After a few anxious moments, race marshals managed to lift her from the track.

    She left to a resounding cheer from the crowd, and if her official Games biography is anything to go by, she will have recovered sufficiently to pursue her favourite hobby...eating.

  • There was another injury scare at Deer Valley when Evan Dybvig crashed heavily trying to land a 'helicopter' off his second jump in qualification.

    Ruckauer: The queen of the obvious
    Ruckauer: The queen of the obvious
    He rolled in agony down the rest of the hill, and had to watch the final on a pair of crutches.

    But there was some consolation for the American - his score of 9.96 was still sufficient to edge out Britain's Sam Temple, who could only manage 9.03 from a full run.

  • Over at The E Center, German ice hockey defenceman Sabine Ruckauer mastered the art of understatement after her side lost to the US on Tuesday.

    "We were very motivated in the first period, but once we started trying too hard, it didn't work out too well."

    Too right, Sabine. The score: only 10-0 to the Americans.

  • High-ranking Olympic official Dick Pound was meanwhile one of many Canadians non-plussed by the decision to award skating gold to the Russians ahead of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

    "I was there and they skated a flawless programme, the Russians did not. I saw that, in fact we all did.

    "But there are now at least five or six 6.0s stuck on the door to their rooms."

    Hoping their remaining skaters have better luck, Pound added of Elvis Stojko, the Canadian making his third bid for Olympic gold: "I've handed out medals for the men's figure skating at the last two Games - and have had to hand him silver.

    "But I've realised I'm his jinx and told him I will not be presenting them this time."

    Fancy being a judge instead, Dick?

  •  OUR MAN IN UTAH
    BBC Sport Online's Alex Gubbay

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