VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Lindsey Vonn, relegated to second billing? How about third?
It could be that kind of Saturday.
Vonn competes for the third time at the Vancouver Games when she skis the super-G, and by the time the night is over, Americans could have even more to cheer about. A pair of speedskaters have a chance to make history – Apolo Anton Ohno by winning his seventh Olympic medal and Shani Davis by taking his third gold.
NBC will televise Ohno’s 1,000-meter short track race and Davis’ 1,500 on the long track in prime time – along with Vonn’s event, of course. Ohno is tied with Bonnie Blair for most career medals by a U.S. Winter Olympian, and Davis is trying to become the only American besides Blair and Eric Heiden to win more than two golds in speedskating.
Occasionally overshadowed by a talented skier or a Miracle by the hockey team, American speedskaters have been impressive over the years. Coming in to the 2010 Games, the U.S. had won 28 gold medals in speedskating, over twice as many as in any other sport at these Winter Games.
“I think the sport is going to grow,” Davis said. “Unlike (at the 2006 Games), there’s more focus on speedskating here in Vancouver.”
Let’s not forget Vonn, who won the downhill before faltering in the super-combined. Now it’s on to the super-G, the American’s third of five events.
“Lindsey has her gold medal,” Vonn’s husband, Thomas Vonn, said after the super-combined. “She got what she wants. This is bittersweet but she’ll do well in the super-G.”
The super-G starts in the morning but will be aired during prime time. It’ll be a crowded night for NBC, which also plans to show Ohno, Davis and some bobsledding in that time slot. Earlier in the day, ski jumper Simon Ammann of Switzerland will try for his second gold medal of the Vancouver Games.