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And the real winners are...

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY -- "David Citations for the interesting and weird, Winter Olympics version I:

COOLEST DUDES SINCE FIREFIGHTERS: Snowboarders.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THE CREDIBILITY OF USED CAR SALESMEN: Figure skating judges.

BEST JOB OF HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING IT TOO: Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, who now will receive a gold medal and whose market value is now much higher than if they had been awarded the gold outright.

MOST CAPITALISTIC EXERCISE OF FREE ENTERPRISE: Free tickets for the gold medal ceremonies at Olympic Medals Plaza are being scalped for $25 to $100.

HARDEST TO GET NEW FASHION: The blue beret worn by American athletes (people wearing the $19.95 headgear are being offered $100 cash for them in the streets).

BEST STATEMENT ABOUT PRESSURE TO WIN A GOLD MEDAL: Pelletier, noting the expectations of gold, said, "I go to the grocery store, it's 'Bring back gold.' I go to the hardware store, 'It's bring back gold.' And, I'm just there to bring back a hammer, you know."

MOST APPROPRIATE WAY TO SETTLE A CONTROVERSY AND STILL FIT IT INTO A STEREOTYPE OF UTAH: Give two gold medals.

JUST HURRY UP, I'M ABOUT OUT OF MINUTES: As President Bush mingled among the athletes at Opening Ceremonies, Sasha Cohen pulled out her cell phone, called her mother in Connecticut and handed the phone to the President.

BIGGEST IRONY: The first scheduled Winter Olympic competition (ski jumping) was postponed because of winter weather.

BUT WHAT DO THEY DO ABOUT DIAPERS: Babies born at Salt Lake hospitals during the Olympics will be wrapped in blankets with the Olympic logo on them.

BEST INDICATION THE CHILL INDEX IS BELOW ZERO: A large Austrian man gets off a shuttle bus in a blowing snow that postponed the ski jumping. He looked around and said in a bold voice, "Cold!"

BEST REASON TO ABANDON SWIMMING: Biathlete Jeremy Teeler started out as a swimmer, "but I didn't really want to do it," he said. "My mother had a big kick board and she kind of coaxed me to the end of the pool by slapping me with the board. It's kind of a sick story."

MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EUROPEAN BIATHLON FANS AND AMERICAN BIATHLON FANS: Americans cheer everything; Europeans only cheer if you hit all the targets.

ANNOUNCEMENT YOU'D THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER HEAR AT THE OLYMPICS IN AMERICA: "We have a capacity crowd at luge."

NO WORRIES, IT WAS JUST BRILLIANT STRATEGY: Australia's Steve Bradbury was hopelessly behind in last place in 1000-meter speedskating when everyone ahead of him, including favorite Apolo Ohno was wiped out in a crash. He continued effortlessly across the finish line for the gold medal, Australia's first ever in the Winter Olympics.

A PERFECT NAME IF YOU ARE GOING TO WIPE OUT: "Oh-No."

BEST MUSICAL JUXTAPOSITION: Dixie Chicks, R. Kelly and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Opening Ceremonies.

(David McCollum, sports columnist for the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, Ark., is part of the Morris News Service team covering the Winter Olympics).



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