This article appeared in the March 6, 1992, issue of Mountain Shadows, the student newspaper of Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz.
Winter Olympics: A memory forever
By Ed Odeven
The changes in world politics have brought about an Olympics where the focus has been more on competition than on political differences.
The Winter Olympics have given us many memorable events and surprises.
Leading all success stories must be that of Team USA hockey. Goalie Ray LeBlanc has been excellent throughout the Olympics. His two spectacular games were shutouts over Poland and Germany. In the game against Finland, American Scott Young scored two goals. A well-balanced offense and tough defense led the American win against a Finn team that won the 1988 silver medal. With a slew of veteran players, captained by Clark Donatelli, and a good mix of players, the USA team should go real far. After tying Sweden it is possible for a repeat of the Miracle on Ice. (Update: Team USA fell in the bronze-medal game, 6-1 to Czechoslovakia.)
The U.S. has snuck in a few medals in between the Europeans’ domination. Speed skater Bonnie Blair won the gold in the 500 meters for the second time. Donna Weinbrecht won the gold in the women’s moguls skiing, and in the men’s moguls Nelson Carmichael took the bronze. Paul Wylie earned a silver in men’s figure skating.
The Europeans’ domination continues. In the men’s 30-km cross country skiing event, Norway, led by Vegard Ulvang, finished 1, 2 and 3 in the sweep. Austrian sisters Doris and Angelika Neuner finished atop in the women’s luge. Italians Polig and Martin earned gold and silver in men’s combined skiing.
The newly formed Unified Team won a gold in the women’s biathlon, a gold and silver in figure skating pairs and a gold in ice dancing. The Unified Team also had strong performances in speed skating and cross country skiing.
Like all Olympics, this one had its teenage stars. Throughout the ski jumping competition, Martin Hoellwarth of Austria and Toni Nieminen were teenage stars. In the individual large hill jumping competition, they were real close going into the final jump. Hoellwarth jumped first with a real good one. Then the Flying Finn Nieminen soared through the air with a 403-foot effort, over 20 feet longer to earn the gold.
With spectacular scenery and athletic performances, the 1992 Winter Olympics will be remembered for years to come.