VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Comebacks make for great Olympics stories, and they come in many forms. Just look at what Seth Wescott, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn pulled off Monday.
Wescott came to the Winter Olympics as the reigning champion in snowboardcross, yet also as damaged goods. He hurt his leg and pelvis two months ago and it showed in the races since. He opened Monday’s event by finishing 17th of the 32 riders in qualifying, but found his stride to reach the finals.
Then he found himself way back with five jumps left — only to make it up with a thrilling finish that snatched a gold from the host country.
Miller is America’s most decorated Alpine skier and the guy who let everyone down in 2006, failing to finish higher than fifth. He didn’t earn a medal at the two world championships since then and considered retiring before deciding to give the Olympics one more try. After several days of weather delays, he was one of the first guys down the mountain. The result: a terrific time good enough for bronze, just nine-hundredths of a second behind the winner and only the third-ever downhill medal for the United States.
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Vonn was the headliner coming into Vancouver, then all the hype seemed for naught when she revealed a shin injury that made it painful to even wear a ski boot. But the bad weather was a blessing for her recovery and in her first training run early Monday, on the upper section of the course, she had the fastest time in the field.
Then there was a downturn. A bumpy afternoon run on the lower section left her hobbling again and hoping for more weather delays.
With Wescott’s in-race rally and Miller’s career redemption, the United States upped its medal collection to eight, double any other country. Americans have won two golds, topped only by Switzerland’s three.
SPEEDSKATING — Shani Davis is skipping the second race of men’s 500-meter so he can concentrate on his best events.
Davis finished 18th in the first race of the 500 Monday, leaving him far out of medal contention. He was using the sprint mainly to get in some speed work for Wednesday’s 1,000, an event in which he holds the world record and is the defending Olympic champion.
Luge — A brief, private memorial service was held at a Vancouver funeral home for the Georgian luger killed in a crash during training, then his casket was taken to the airport to be flown home for burial.
Three Georgian athletes, including figure skater Otar Japaridze, wearing a black armband on his red team jacket, filed past the open casket to touch the body of their fallen teammate, Nodar Kumaritashvili. His uncle and coach, Felix Kumaritashvili, broke into tears outside the funeral home.
Figure skating — Johnny Weir already has decided to drop fur from his costume. Now he’s thinking about adding a quadruple jump to his program.
“What do I have to lose?” Weir said. “I’m not a favorite for a medal here. If I feel like doing it, I will do it.”
Women’s hockey — Forward Erika Lawler didn’t break any bones or sprain any ligaments when she crashed into the boards Sunday. But she was bruised enough to skip practice Monday.
Coach Mark Johnson is optimistic Lawler will play Tuesday against Russia.
Canada beat Switzerland 10-1.
Cross-country skiing — Switzerland’s Dario Cologna collapsed across the finish line after winning the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle cross-country race. Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla led from start to finish to win the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race.