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Final notes from Salt Lake City

Posted: Monday, February 25, 2002

In 1932, as a gesture of Olympic friendship, two-time gold medal winner Jack Shea traded his skates to Katsumi Yamada, a Japanese skier in nordic combined who gave Shea his skis in return.

In 1955, Yamada gave the skates to Kozo Yoshida, who was just beginning to learn to skate.

But upon learning of Shea's death on Jan. 22, Yoshida offered to return the skates to the Shea family as an expression of condolence.

On Sunday, Shea's grandson -- skeleton gold medal winner Jack Shea -- and his father, Jack, Sr., received the skates in a formal presentation at the Main Media Center.

"I can see my dad's signature on them,'' the elder Shea reported. "That is so, so special.

"Today I was shown some extreme greatness and kindness,'' he added. "This is what the Olympics are all about.''

As an exchange, the younger Shea sent Yoshida a runner from the sled he rode to the gold medal.

Can I be of assistance

Athletes and team officials fidgeted while technicians scurried to fix microphones that weren't working during the USOC's wrapup news conference Sunday at the Main Media Center. That's when gold medal speed skater Derek Parra elected to break the tension.

"You know,'' he announced, "I used to work in that department at Home Depot. Maybe I can help.''

Snow-bored

Chris Klug, a snowboarder and bronze medalist in the giant parallel slalom, was asked Sunday if the controversy over judging in figure skating, an issue that dominated most of the attention of the media, detracted from the achievements of other Olympic medal winners.

"I didn't watch the figure skating much,'' Klug responded. "I enjoy the athleticism of the skaters, but I didn't check out the drama much.''

Quote of the day

Chris Klug, again, delayed briefly before responding to a question about whether he was surprised at the quality of party life in Mormon-dominated Utah: "I'm sorry, I was sleeping up here. I've been going at it pretty hard after my event.''



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