Feb 19, 2002 – Olympic Sprint

FasterSkierFebruary 19, 2003

The following is a series of daily event descriptions from the Cross-Country events at the 2002 Olympic Games, celebrating the first anniversary of the Salt Lake City Games. For more information or requests for lectures, presentations of planning and preparation phases, or the “behind the scenes” operations during the Games, contact John Aalberg at kjaalberg@aol.com

Feb 19th 2002 Olympic Games Men’s and Women’s Sprint

The newest Olympic Cross-Country event, the 1.5 km long Sprint race, became
another spectator favorite. After the initial qualification round in the morning,
16 men and 16 women advanced to the elimination heats later in the afternoon.
No Americans advanced to the finals, best result was Carl Swenson in 31st place.
The average speed for the fastest 5 qualifiers was 1:53 min per km for men and
2:08 min per km for women.
The intense skiing in the final heats caused for plenty of action and excitement
for athletes and spectators. Several skiers went down, causing plenty of work
for the technical officials and jury members needing to act fast during the
2 minute breaks between each heat.

In the Men’s final medal heat the Norwegian Tor Arne Hetland managed to
come from behind down the stretch into the final corner (see bib 6 in the picture
below), and stay ahead on the wild 170 m ride from the last corner to the finish
line. German Peter Schlickerieder rode his extremely fast skis to second place
(we can only speculate what his wax was).

In the women’s medal heat, Russian Julia Tchepalova took off from the
start, using her strong skating form to easily stay ahead to the finish. Beckie
Scott ended up in 5th place, after winning the B-final.

Men's Final – last uphill

Men's Final – into the stadium

Beckie leads quarterfinal heat

Julia Tchepalova ahead in the final


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