February 28, 2010 |
It's all over. The 2010 Winter Olympics end today. There's a 50-kilometer men's cross-country race this afternoon, and the men's gold-medal hockey game will be held shortly thereafter. Then they'll have the closing ceremony and snuff out the flame, and Vancouver will go back to doing whatever it is Vancouver does when the five-ring circus isn't in town. It was a good run. I've spent the last two-plus weeks following the media's endless coverage of the Games. Some of it has been good, most of it has been entertaining for various reasons.
February 26, 2010
VANCOUVER - In her finest hour, Allison Baver remembered how her little sister peed in the car. Funny what you remember at the top of the mountain. Baver and her relay teammates exited the ice Wednesday as bronze-medal winners, Baver delighted with a medal of any kind. She saw her family first, and with family comes memories; memories of sacrifice and sadness, and pain, and, sometimes, pee. Her path to the podium began in Reading and went through places like Nebraska and the infamous potty tale.
February 25, 2010
VANCOUVER - Apolo Anton Ohno has built his name and legacy on the fickle and fortunate turns of short-track speedskating. Allison Baver has been the poster child for its unrelentingly unfair and unforgiving nature. Baver was disqualified during the first heat of last night's 1,000-meter run, ending any chance at her winning her first individual medal at these Olympics. The night was salvaged for her when the United States 3,000-meter relay team won bronze. The Americans finished fourth, but made the podium after the original winner, South Korea, was disqualified.
February 22, 2010 |
VANCOUVER - Allison Baver was knocked into a wall again. This time she got up, continued to skate, and advanced into Saturday's 1,500-meter semifinals anyway, through the arcane rules of short-track speedskating. And then: "A tactical mistake," she said. She let too many skaters move ahead of her, too many for her to make a charge at the end. "I wish I would have just slapped myself in the face and reminded myself to take control of the race and be in front of certain girls," said Baver, a native of the Reading suburb of Sinking Spring.
February 14, 2010 |
Someday soon, Apolo Anton Ohno will take his cool name, his charisma, the bandanna, and the trademark soul patch and skate away from the short-track sport in which he has used all to maximum advantage. Some, in fact, thought that day would have come already. But the lure of an Olympics in Vancouver, so close to his Washington hometown, and the opportunity to become the most decorated American winter athlete pulled him back for more. Last night, Ohno tied that record, though it took some luck on the last lap of the 1,500.
January 31, 2010 |
SALT LAKE CITY - It's hard to imagine now, as her third Winter Games near and she hones her talents to the sharpness of her speedskating blades, but less than a year ago Allison Baver's Olympic dream was in as many pieces as her right leg. Last Feb. 8, during the third lap of a World Cup event in Bulgaria, a nasty collision launched the short-tracker into the air. She slammed feetfirst into the sideboards, the 40 m.p.h. impact shattering her tibia so severely that the Philadelphia surgeon who reassembled it said the task was like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.
December 10, 2008 |
Allison Baver's speedskating career has been marked by seemingly devastating setbacks - always followed by remarkable successes. After she took to the ice in the late 1990s, her competitive run could have been ended by an on-ice collision that left her with nearly 50 stitches in her face - yet she dared to return to skating and made the U.S. Olympic teams in 2002 and 2006. Out for a year with a leg injury, she almost didn't make it to the 2007 National Championships - but somehow recovered in time to win the short-track title.
February 16, 2006 |
Her race was barely a couple of turns old when Allison Baver and two short-track speedskating competitors went sprawling into the boards like three well-struck bowling pins. Baver managed to get up and hobble to the finish line ahead of the fallen competition yesterday. The second-place finish helped her reach the semifinals of the women's 500-meter race, but an ankle injury suffered in the violent pile-up kept her from reaching any further. Baver, the onetime high-school cheerleader from Sinking Spring, Berks County, finished third in her semifinal and had to settle for the consolation final, during which she again crashed.
February 13, 2006 |
Short-track speedskater Allison Baver, the Reading native and Penn State graduate, had a mixed first night of Olympic competition. She was part of the women's 3,000-meter relay team that failed to qualify for the final, which is scheduled for Feb. 22. Earlier yesterday, though, Baver won her first-round heat in the 500-meter race. She will race in the quarterfinal scheduled for Wednesday night. It was a busy night for the 25-year-old Baver, but most of her brief availability with reporters was devoted to questions about her boyfriend.
February 9, 2006 |
If you're in Turin looking for speedskater Allison Baver at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the only place you're likely to see her is on the ice. In 2002, on the day she arrived in Salt Lake City for the Games, the Sinking Spring, Pa., resident came down with the flu. Now, four years later, with a real chance at a medal, Baver is going to play it safe, virtually quarantining herself until competition begins. "We skate two days into the Games, and I don't want to get sick," Baver said.