SALT LAKE CITY – It was the best day of Chris Witty's Olympic career — a gold medal against long odds with the greatest race she'd ever skated.
She succeeded where other U.S. teammates failed — just barely — on Sunday: the Nordic combined team, now 78 years without a medal, and the American bobsledders, without a medal for 46 years. Both finished fourth, just missing a streak-breaking medal.
There were two other medals awarded Sunday night: to the Canadian figure skating pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, resolving the judging scandal that marred the games' first week.
Six days after they skated, the couple received the golds in an extraordinary ceremony that left everybody smiling.
It was four years between medals for Witty, although not many people gave her much of chance of duplicating her 1998 success in Salt Lake City.
Witty, who was diagnosed with mononucleosis before the Winter Games, set a world record with her stunning victory in the 1,000 meters. Teammate Jennifer Rodriguez won the bronze as the Americans took medals for the ninth straight day of the games.
"I don't know where that came from," Witty said. "Yesterday, I felt awful. Today, I didn't feel so good. I was a little tired."
Her health woes led Witty to alternate her practice days with off days in an effort to keep her strength. But the schedule didn't appear to work; in her first race, the 500, the 26-year-old Witty finished 14th.
This time, she delivered her greatest performance. Four years ago in Nagano, Witty earned a silver in the 1,000 meters and a bronze in 1,500 — America's only speedskating medals in those games.
It was the first medal for Rodriguez, a former in-line skater who stepped on the ice for the first time just 18 months before the Nagano Games.
With a week left in the games, the Americans are now just two medals short of their goal of 20.
Germany remained atop the medals table as the Olympics headed into its final week with 22 (6 gold, 10 silver, 6 bronze). Next was the United States with 18 (4-7-7), followed by Norway (8-5-0) and Austria (1-3-9) with 13 apiece.
BOBSLED: The U.S. team of Todd Hays and brakeman Garrett Hines was fifth heading into Sunday's two runs. They managed to move up one spot, but not enough to grab the medal that has eluded the Americans across the last half-century.
"I don't know if there's a worse place in sports than fourth place in the Olympics," Hays said. "It's going to sting for a long time."
The German team of Christopher Langen and Markus Zimmerman, with the fastest run in the fourth heat, won their country's first two-man gold in 18 years. The silver and the bronze went to the Swiss.
NORDIC COMBINED: Even at an Olympics of unprecedented U.S. success, before wildly enthusiastic home crowds, the American Nordic combined team couldn't break its decades-old losing streak.
The Americans were third heading into Sunday's cross-country skiing portion of the event, but wound up fourth — 1 minute, 11.9 seconds behind the winning Finns.
"We left it all out there," U.S. team member Bill Demong said. "It just didn't happen for us."
After Saturday's ski jump, the U.S. Nordic combined squad was third and talking medal. By the end of Sunday's event, the Americans were still 0-for-the-Olympics.
Germany captured the silver, finishing 3.5 seconds ahead of the bronze medal-winning Austrians.
FIGURE SKATING: Is everybody happy?
After a week's worth of charges, counter-charges, threats and investigations, Canadian pairs skaters Sale and Pelletier stood on a platform with co-gold medalists Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia to collect their medals.
The crowd gave all four skaters a standing ovation. The two couples hugged, kissed, chatted and posed for photos, providing a classy finale to an ugly controversy.
"I think the four of us were part of history, and that's something that's great for the four of us," Pelletier said.
In the ice dancing, the original dance portion ended with France's Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat winners in the compulsories — routing the field with their flamenco-flavored program.
Russia's Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh were second, while world champions Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio of Italy were third. The final leg of the competition is Monday night's free dance, worth 50 percent of the total score.
WOMEN'S SUPER G: Italian skier Daniela Ceccarelli offered no explanation for her improbable gold medal run in the Super G.
"I don't know," the Italian skier replied when asked about her success — an Olympic victory despite a career that does not include a single World Cup win.
Ceccarelli, 26, a military policewoman, seemed stunned when she looked up at the board to see her winning time. Her competition appeared just as stunned.
Janica Kostelic of Croatia, gold medalist in the combined, took the silver, while Italy's Karen Putzer won the bronze.
America's top medal hope, Caroline Lalive, suffered another disappointment. Lalive fell 10 seconds into her run, and has failed to finish nine straight Olympic or world championship races.
CROSS-COUNTY SKIING: Norway won its Salt Lake City-high eighth gold medal — and it did so without its triple-gold winner, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.
The team decided not to include Bjoerndalen on its 40-kilometer cross-country squad because he had already raced more than 46 miles in competition in these games.
"It was not an easy decision because we have so many good skiers," teammate Anders Aukland said.
The silver went to Italy, while Germany won the bronze. The United States took fifth, its best-ever showing in the event.
MEN'S HOCKEY: Goalie Tommy Salo outdueled Dominik Hasek as Sweden beat the defending champion Czech Republic 2-1 for its second consecutive impressive victory.
Mats Sundin scored his third goal in two games and Kim Johnsson had a power play goal as Sweden — following up its unexpectedly easy 5-2 victory Friday over Canada — opened up a 2-0 lead, then weathered a strong last two periods by the Czechs.
The victory all but assured Sweden of winning its four-team pool in the Olympic hockey tournament.
The Canadians, coming off a loss, defeated Germany 3-2 behind goals by Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya and Adam Foote. The powerful Canadians struggled against a German team featuring just a pair of NHL players, in contrast to Canada's star-laden squad.
Canadian captain Mario Lemieux took a night off to rest his injured hip.
CURLING: Three of the four semifinalists are set in Olympic curling: Canada, Norway and Sweden. Canada improved to 7-1 with a 9-4 victory over Norway (6-2), while Sweden (6-2) beat Germany 5-4. The Americans (3-4) have a slim chance at the fourth and final slot.
In the women's competition, the Americans moved toward securing a medal round slot with a 6-5 victory over Great Britain. A U.S. victory over Norway in its next match would propel the Americans into the next round.
In other action, Norway defeated Denmark 9-4 and Japan beat Russia 7-6.
WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Although both team were already out of medal contention, Russia defeated China 4-1 in a "classification" contest.