Newtown's Greubel wins bobsled bronze
Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans helped the United States win two medals in the women's bobsled.
JUST CALL HER the Bronze Dragon.
Jamie Greubel, of Newtown, Bucks County, and brakeman Aja Evans drove USA-2 to a third-place finish in the women's bobsled in a collective time of 3:51.61 yesterday.
Their performance, coupled with a silver-medal finish by Summer Games sprinter Lauryn Williams and Elana Meyers, gave the U.S. two Olympic women's bobsled medal winners for the first time.
"We have so much depth in our program and so much talent on our team," Greubel said. "And to be able to show the world that we are a force to be reckoned with is really awesome."
Greubel went to the Hun School, in Princeton, and Cornell, where she still holds the school record in the heptathlon.
She scored a medal in her first Olympic Games, which isn't bad for someone who only started bobsledding 6 years ago. She got the nickname "Blonde Dragon" after her coach misheard someone call her a "blonde driver."
Evans is the sister of Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Fred Evans and the niece of former Phillies player/broadcaster Gary Matthews.
There was a lot of hoopla surrounding track stars Williams and Lolo Jones, who had both competed in the Summer Olympics. But it was Williams who got to the podium, while Jones and teammate Jazmine Fenlator finished 11th.
"She's like a Jesse Owens. I hope she just inspired a whole country," Lolo Jones said of Williams. "When I get home I hope she's a household name. Her transformation was the most brilliant thing I've ever watched."
Jones also was excited for Greubel.
"I congratulated Jamie," she said. "I said, 'Congratulations on the silver.' And she said, 'We got bronze.' And I was like, 'It's a medal!!! I don't care if it's a chocolate medal.' "
Canada's Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won the gold for the second straight Winter Games.
They finished with a collective time of 3:50.61, besting Williams and Meyers by a tenth of a second.
Meyers is the first U.S. women's bobsledder to win multiple Olympic medals, having won a bronze as a brakeman at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Williams is the first U.S. woman to win medals in different sports at both the Summer and Winter Games. She won a gold as a member of the sprint relay at the 2012 London Games and a silver in the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Games.
"I didn't come here to make history," said Williams, who had never been in a bobsled until 6 months ago. "I came here to help Team USA and I feel like I did. It wasn't about history for me. It wasn't about the medal for me. It's all about the journey."
Russia in mourning
It's star-gazing hockey fans - the team included Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and Evgeni Malkin - were sure this was the year the motherland would end a 22-year medal drought at the Winter Games.
Not so fast, Boris. Finland upset the borscht cart by defeating the Russians, 3-1, in yesterday's quarterfinal with Russian president Vladimir Putin in attendance.
"Inside, I'm absolutely empty," Datsyuk said.
"It sucks," Ovechkin said. "What else can I say?"
A tweet from the Moscow News echoed the feeling of fans everywhere:
"Russia, you are breaking our heart. Or cutting it out with a dull spoon. Or something equally horrific."
Teemu Selanne and Mikael Granlund each had a goal and an assist, and Tuukka Rask made 37 saves for the Finns, who will play top-seeded Sweden in the semifinals tomorrow. Sweden defeated Slovenia yesterday, 5-0.
"To be honest, I'm a little bit sad, also, for them," Selanne said of the Russians. "Obviously, they had a big dream to win the gold medal here, and then it doesn't work, so it's kind of disappointing in many ways, because that would be a great story. But again, it's proving to the hockey world that you never know."
Russia's fans weren't as kind.
"For 7 years we have been waiting and preparing for the Olympics, and most of all we waited for the ice hockey, and today it was a catastrophe and shame for Russia," said Sergey Kazakov, a 58-year-old retiree from Moscow.
"There are 8 million people in Finland. We have 140 million," said Boris Popov, a 62-year-old construction worker from Siberia. "Fifteen times more kids are playing ice hockey here. Where are they?
"They [the team] change a jersey and go to the NHL and only think of their bank accounts. They just ruin ice hockey. Not a single child dreams of hockey now. Only about money."
Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov knows the fans were disappointed. How could he not after hearing the boos rain down at the Bolshoi Ice Palace.
"I can only apologize to the fans for the results," Bilyaletdinov said. "It was unfortunate for us. Expectations were quite different. I can only say words of apology."
When asked if he would stay in Sochi to watch the semifinals, Bilyaletdinov said, "No, I'd rather leave."
Russia, playing for the fourth time in 5 days, won three of its five games. One of the losses was the dramatic shootout against the United States.
Johnny Weir is to ice skating what Merrill Reese and Johnny Miller are to football and golf.
He's knowledgeable and he tells it like it is.
Weir, a former Olympic figure skater turned commentator, has added zing to the broadcast booth, which he shares with fellow former Olympian Tara Lipinski and Terry Gannon.
Yesterday, Weir noted that "figure skating is a lot like running a marathon except you're not allowed to sweat."
As for his personal observations, he said that 25-year-old Viktoria Helgesson, of Sweden, who started skating at 3, was, "So inconsistent. At this stage, and at this age, you've gotta step it up or know when to go."
When asked what he thought Germany's Nathalie Weinzierl was feeling before she followed a near-flawless routine by South Korea's Kim "The Queen" Yuna, he said, "You feel like you have to throw up."
Big man in Norway
Quick, who is the all-time medal winner in the Winter Games?
Go to the head of the luge run if you guessed Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
Bjoerndalen helped Norway win the first Olympic mixed relay gold in biathlon yesterday, bringing his medal total to 13.
He had shared the all-time record with countryman Bjorn Daehlie, a retired cross-country skier.
Bjoerndalen, 40, has won eight goal, four silvers and a bronze. He will be attempting to win his 14th medal in the 4 x 7.5K biathlon event on Saturday.