Olympic Medal Roundup

Three if by snowboard, one if by sled.

The U.S. snowboarders — the kiddie corps suddenly creating the big Winter Olympics buzz — scored an across-the-board sweep Monday, flying to gold, silver and bronze in the halfpipe before a wildly enthusiastic Utah crowd of 30,000.

In the luge, 35-year-old Georg Hackl — who prefers Heineken to the halfpipe — piloted his sled to a silver medal, the record-setting fifth straight games where the German has ascended the medal stand.

In Park City, Ross Powers proved the gnarliest of the U.S. snowboarders, easily soaring to the gold. He stood on the medals platform, his snowboard raised high over his head, before inviting his teammates — silver medalist Danny Kass and bronze medal winner JJ Thomas — to join him.

It was the first U.S. sweep of medals in a Winter Olympics' event since men's figure skating in 1956. And it came one day after Kelly Clark won America's first gold medal here in the women's halfpipe.

The chants of "U.S.A., U.S.A, U.S.A," were deafening as the Americans flew 10 and 15 feet above the hollowed-out snow chute. The U.S. team took four of the top six spots, with Tommy Czeschin finishing sixth despite a run that many in the crowd deemed medal-worthy.

Powers, the oldest of the three medal winners at 21, had taken a bronze in Nagano. Thomas is just 20, and Kass is 19.

The Americans now have six medals — four from the snowboarding "Gen X" contingent — as the squad seeks to better its Winter Games high of 13 medals.

The U.S. team sits atop the medal board with Austria, while Germany has five medals.


LUGE: It looked a little strange: Georg Hackl standing in the spot reserved for the silver medalist.

After three straight Olympic gold medals, the German luger's decade of Winter Games dominance ended Monday when he settled for a silver medal — finishing behind gold medalist Armin Zoeggeler of Italy.

Hackl did not appear upset by his near-miss at winning an unprecedented fourth straight gold in the same Winter Olympics event. He still won a medal in a record-setting fifth games, he applauded Zoeggler's winning effort, and his temporary Utah home has a refrigerator full of his beloved German beer.

Markus Prock of Austria, a 10-time World Cup champion, won the bronze. America's 38-year luge dry spell continued as Adam Heidt finished fourth, the best singles finish in U.S. team history.

DOWNHILL: After waiting four years for a shot at a third Olympic medal, U.S. skier Picabo Street had to wait another day.

Whipping winds at the top of the Wildflower course, 9,016 feet up Mount Ogden, led Olympic organizers to postpone the women's downhill, now expected to take place on Tuesday.

Street hopes to become the first American woman to win three Olympic skiing medals. She captured a downhill silver in '94 and a super-G gold in '98.

BIATHLON: Andrea Henkel, a 24-year-old German, won her first Olympic medal with a gold in the women's 15-kilometer biathlon. The silver went to Liv Grete Poiree of Norway, while Magdalena Forsberg of Sweden — the most successful female biathlete in history —  won her first Olympic medal with a bronze.

In the men's 20-kilometer race, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway won the gold medal. Frank Luck of Germany won the silver and Victor Maigourov of Russia won the bronze.

CURLING: America's curling team, which finished fourth in Nagano, opened its Salt Lake City bid by upsetting the defending world champion, Sweden. The 10-5 victory came after team skipper Tim Somerville hit a tremendous shot late in the game.

In other first round play in the 10-team tournament, Finland defeated Denmark, 9-3, Germany topped France, 9-5 and Canada, the 2000 world champion, edged Britain 6-4.

WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Canada, the defending silver medalist, opened the Olympic women's hockey tournament with a 7-0 victory over Kazakstan. Natalya Trunova made 59 saves for Kazakstan in the losing effort.