Katherine Reutter, the 21-year-old star of the U.S. women's team, got the first medal of her young Olympic career after an 0-for-2 start to these Games. But it was not without drama. South Korea finished the women's relay final first but was later disqualified for clicking skates with China. That moved the other three teams up in the standings; the U.S. squad was elevated to the bronze medal. Elsewhere, Apolo Ohno cruised in his 500m heat.
A few interesting stories hit the news wires today. Apolo Ohno talked about his new look, which he acquired through a rigorous workout regimen and strict diet. His slimmed-down body (142 pounds, two percent body fat) allows him to better compete with his smaller competitors. Also, Katherine Reutter said she is not dwelling on going 0 for 2 in medals thus far. "I have two more chances," she said.
Not much went on in the world of short track on this day. A few skaters, however, spoke with the media after practicing and offered their opinions on how the Olympic tournament is set up. "It's really hard to stay focused," said Hungarian skater Viktor Knoch, alluding to the drawn-out schedule during the Games.
Apolo Ohno's record-setting race on Day 9 still lingered today. More video filtered in from the NBC highlights staff, including a breakdown of the race by NBC analysts and an interview Bob Costas did with Ohno. Watch both videos below.
Mission accomplished for Apolo Ohno. The U.S. short track star finished third in the 1000m final on Day 9, making him the most decorated U.S. winter Olympian in history with seven career medals. It wasn't easy, however, as Ohno nearly fell with three laps remaining in the race. He was forced to pass two skaters with time running out in order to complete his journey. "My goal was to come out and put my heart and soul into the Olympic Games and I've done that," Ohno said.
The buildup to Apolo Ohno's possible record-setting finish on Day 9 continued today. Ohno tweeted on his Twitter feed: "Tomorrow is going to b caaraazzzy! Can u dig it?" With a medal of any color in Saturday's 1000m final, Ohno would become the most successful U.S. winter Olympian in history. Also, Stephen Colbert -- whose "Colbert Nation" is a main sponsor of US Speedskating -- made his second visit to the NBC studio in Vancouver this week.
Anti-Apolo Ohno sentiment grew to a new level on Day 7 in South Korea. Lee Jung-Su, who beat Ohno in the 1500m final on Day 2 of the Games, was unhappy with what he thought was overly aggressive racing by the American. The comments took on a new life in South Korea. Online message boards were plastered with anti-Ohno messages, actions that brought back memories of what took place after Ohno won the event at the 2002 Games when a South Korean was disqualified.
Short track racing returned after a four-day break on Day 6, with competition in three different events on the schedule. Chinese superstar Wang Meng repeated as the women's 500m champion, a feat that was overshadowed by Apolo Ohno's performance in the men's 1000m heats and 5000m relay semifinals. Ohno qualified for the later rounds in both races; the 1000m quarters, semis and finals were slated for Day 9, while the relay final would take place on Day 15.
Three days after Apolo Ohno finished second in the 1500m final, the South Korean team cried foul over what the skaters thought was overly aggressive racing by the American. Lee Jung-Su, who won the race but whose two teammates crashed in the final turn to allow Ohno and J.R. Celski to earn medals, said Ohno was "swinging his arms violently. He did not deserve to stand on the podium." A similar situation occurred when Ohno won the same event at the 2002 Olympics.
The big short track story on Day 4 was the ongoing feud between the Chinese and South Korean teams. It was reported by news service AFP that China's coaches were filming the South Korean practice at the Pacific Coliseum from the seating area, which apparently did not sit well with South Korea. The story claimed that a coach from South Korea threw bottles of water in the direction of the Chinese delegation in the stands.
A day after the thrilling men's 1500m final, Vancouver was still buzzing with talk of the race. Americans Apolo Ohno (silver) and J.R. Celski (bronze) were given their medals at BC Place, and video from NBC's highlight factory continued to pour in. Lost in the shuffle of Ohno's record-setting moment, however, was Celski. Saturday's event was the first time he had skated in competition since suffering a gruesome injury at the Olympic Trials last fall.
The second day of the Olympics saw incredible drama at the Pacific Coliseum. American short track star Apolo Ohno opened up his third Olympics with a silver medal in the 1500m, a performance that put him in the history books. Ohno became the most successful short track skater of all time with six medals, and his career medal haul is the most for a U.S. male winter Olympian. Another medal of any color would make him the most decorated U.S. winter athlete ever.
Short track did not start until Day 2, but that didn't mean there was a lack of storylines today. American Apolo Ohno geared up for his big 1500m race, an event that would tie him with former speed skater Bonnie Blair as the most decorated U.S. winter Olympian in history should he earn a medal. Also, an Australian's hopes of netting a top-three finish relied upon a last-second pileup happening.