Olympics trivia

Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Today's TV lineup

NBC 4-5 p.m. Cross-country: men's 15K.

NBC 8-11:30 p.m. Figure skating: men's short program. Freestyle skiing: men's moguls. Speed skating: men's 500. Luge: women's singles (first two of fourruns) Ski jumping: K120 individuals (qualifying.

NBC 12:05-1:35 a.m. Late night review.

MSNBC 1-6 p.m. Ice hockey, women: U.S. vs. Germany. Cross-country: women's 10-K. Curling: U.S. women vs. Japan.

CNBC 5 -11 p.m. Ice hockey, men: Slovakia vs. Austria; Germany vs.

Latvia. Curling: U.S. women vs. Sweden.

Ringing Endorsement

For only the third time ever Monday, the opening bell to signal the start of trading the New York Stock Exchange was not rung inside the Wall Street building.

Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson rang a bell outside the City and County Building and was beamed via satellite to video screens inside the NYSE headquarters.

The Olympic Classroom

Today's question comes from "golf321@netzero.net''

What are the gold, silver and bronze medals really made of?

Not all of the medals being awarded in the 2002 Winter Olympics were created equally.

The bronze medals are made of bronze, which is an alloy of 90 percent copper and 10 percent zinc. But the silver and gold are both solid sterling silver cores and the first-place medal is dipped in six grams of 24-carat gold.

They also have unique designs. On the front, an athlete is shown emerging from a collage of fire and ice to depict how Winter Olympic athletes must overcome the elements. On the back is Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and within her embrace are 16 different sport-specific designs. So the back of the bobsleigh medals are different than the back of the hockey medals.

These are also the heaviest Olympic medals ever, the gold and silver weighing 1.25 pounds and the bronze weighing a pound. They were produced by O.C. Tanner, of Salt Lake City, a company whose specialty is making recognition awards.

If you have a question about the Winter Olympics for the Morris News Service team in Salt Lake City, please send it to olympicclassroom@morris.com.

Today's lesson

One of the amazing stories in Mormon history is the "Miracle of the Gulls."

When the Mormons settled in Utah intending to set up their own religious nation, they were farmers, raising grain and vegetables and actually pioneering irrigation techniques. In the spring of 1848, crickets were everywhere and they weren't just chirping. They were pigging out on the crops. Since the Great Salt Lake really contained no fish, the settlers couldn't even use the insects as bait. They even resorted to beating them with brooms to try to drive them off.

Faced a fight for survival, the Mormon pioneers held a prayer meeting. Suddenly, one day, sailing over the mountains came flocks and flocks of sea gulls, never known to have traveled that far inland (sea gulls don't normally like the desert). The gulls, traditionally insect eaters, devoured the crickets, the crops were saved and the Mormons claimed it was a sign from God that they were in the right place. A large statue honoring the gulls is on Temple grounds.

Neat to know

When Brigham Young led the first settlers to Salt Lake, he proclaimed, "Kings and emperors and all the noble people on this earth will some day visit this place." But could he have ever imagined the Winter Olympics?

Pop quiz

Which United States town has hosted two Winter Olympics?

(Monday's answer: Counting this one, the United States has hosted four Winter Olympics)

Story time

Figure skaters, both men and women, are often some of the most visible athletes at an Olympics.

In 1984, Canada's Gary Beacom was really stuck out. It related to school figures, which are not really done in school but were like watching someone paint. Skaters had to skate an outline of a predetermined figure, kind of like Etch-A-Sketch on ice. School figures, also known as compulsories and now discontinued, were to figure skaters what playing scales are to musicians.

Beacom became so angered at his score on the school figures, he kicked the sideboards at the skating rink. The boards were flimsy and he got his skates stuck it them and fans watched in amusement as he tried to get unstuck.

Name game

Name the Olympic country by its official initial: EGY. (Yesterday's answer: AUT is Austria.)



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