February 20, 2010 |
WHISTLER, British Columbia - Eric Bernotas lifted himself from his tiny sled after last night's final, harrowing, headfirst run in the men's skeleton, yanked off his helmet, looked toward the dark mountain sky and sighed. For the two-time Olympian from Avondale, it must have been a combination of relief and frustration. The 38-year-old never found himself or his groove on this lightning-quick Whistler Sliding Center course, the same one where a Georgian luger had been killed a week earlier.
February 12, 2010 |
Eric Bernotas is 38 now, his life and ambition still on the downhill trajectory he chose. The Malvern native, whose parents now live in Avondale, is once again a member of the U.S. Olympic skeleton team. He has kept at his unusual sport with a steely determination, his standing in it sliding up and down with the passing years. An 11-time World Cup medalist, Bernotas will be neither a favorite nor a long shot when, on Feb. 18 and 19, the men's skeleton will be contested at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
January 18, 2010 |
Sure, they would like to be finishing better, sliding more consistently and, of course, winning. That's coming, they say. It began, perhaps, on Friday at St. Moritz, Switzerland, when Avondale, Pa., native Eric Bernotas won the United States' first World Cup gold medal in the skeleton in almost 2 years. It was the first time an American had finished higher than fifth this season. "A gold is something I've always wanted in St. Moritz," Bernotas said yesterday, a day after the U.S. Winter Olympic team appointments officially were announced.
January 2, 2010 |
For nearly 12,000 years, the giant beast lay buried under a peat bog in the Poconos, until a dredging machine accidentally hooked its massive skull in 1968. Workers quickly abandoned their peat-mining expedition and started collecting bones, gathering about 90 percent of its skeleton, the most nearly intact mastodon ever found in Pennsylvania. The Marshalls Creek Mastodon - named for the tiny community near East Stroudsburg where it was found - has been part of the State Museum of Pennsylvania's collection since, but the public has never seen it in its entirety.
May 7, 2009 |
In "Outrage," it's asserted that you can't swing a dead cat in Washington, D.C., without hitting a gay Republican. Left unstated, but implied, is that gay Republicans should be hit with dead cats, or subject to special punishment for assisting a political organization that actively works against the interests of homosexuals (same-sex marriage, AIDS funding). Short of hitting them with dead cats, "Outrage" simply identifies them, piggybacking on the work done in the gay media.
November 27, 2008 |
My Thanksgiving dinners hold expectation and strategy, but no surprises: My mother-in-law always contributes a bowl of trail mix to the coffee-table appetizers; my husband always insists on canned, jellied cranberry sauce. And while the gravy is still hot in its china boat, certain relatives testily revisit long-held and contrasting thoughts on who killed JFK. Then there is the person on the edge of her seat plotting the confiscation of the turkey carcass. That would be me. Stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, country ham or Uncle Ed's mincemeat pie mark the holiday for legions of Americans.
November 24, 2008 |
He was one of the first rock stars. So many people came to gawk at the long-limbed figure that handlers started charging 10 cents' admission in a vain effort to limit the crowds. By the next year, his fame would spread to far-off London, where a magazine called him "a reptilian master of the world. " It was 1868 in Philadelphia, and Hadrosaurus foulkii was the world's first dinosaur skeleton to go on public display. Last weekend, he - or perhaps she (as with some rock stars, scientists say it's hard to tell)
February 25, 2007 |
The existence of fate, or destiny, is unprovable, but those looking for evidence have a reason to believe in Eric Bernotas. It's hard to hear the 1989 Malvern Prep graduate explain how he, a stonemason at age 30 who had never even heard of the sport of skeleton, is at age 35 the four-time defending national champion and an Olympic medal contender without thinking that perhaps there is a little more at work here than just dumb luck. The little-known sport of skeleton is similar to the bobsled or luge, with racers gaining a running head start before plunging down a tunnel of ice. Skeleton racers fly head-first down the same tracks as the other sports, hitting speeds up to 80 m.p.h.
February 16, 2007 |
"Ghost Rider" has always been a second-tier Marvel Comics title, and there have been advantages as well as disadvantages to that. It's been able to get creepier and more peculiar over the years precisely because it didn't have to maintain an approach more popular titles, such as "Spider-Man" and "X-Men," needed to nurture. That said, it never really went anywhere all that mythically resonant, either. Satanic filigree and cowboy references aside, this literal hell's angel on wheels always seemed like a, well, ghost repeat of better-established Marvel characters.
January 25, 2007 |
Capt. Brian S. Freeman, a former member of the Army World Class Athlete Program who competed in both bobsled and skeleton with the United States national team, was killed last week in Iraq, officials said. Freeman, 31, was among five Americans killed Saturday after an ambush by gunmen dressed as U.S. troops near Karbala, defense officials said. "He was one of the greatest men I have ever known," said World Cup overall bobsled leader and 2006 Olympian Steven Holcomb, who was in the WCAP program with Freeman.