Two races, two medals. Bode Miller is putting together one heck of a Vancouver Olympics.
Miller picked up a silver in the super-G on Friday to go with the bronze he won in the downhill.
Andrew Weibrecht surprisingly finished right behind Miller, plopping another medal onto the United States’ growing pile.
The U.S. Alpine team already has won six medals, their most ever, and we’re not even halfway done in the mountains.
Overall, the U.S. delegation has won 20 medals, nearly matching its total from Turin (25). With 53 events and nine days left, the Americans are charging toward their record of 34 medals won at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.
“Part of it might be that we are on North American soil,” said Weibrecht, who’d never finished higher than 10th in a World Cup race. “(We) get better results when we’re at home, or close to home, better food and lodgings.”
With six gold, six silver and eight bronze, the Americans have practically lapped the field. Germany is second in overall medals with 13.
Norway has the second-most golds with five, boosted by victories in the first two events decided Friday. Aksel Lund Svindal won the super-G, and Marit Bjoergen won the women’s 15-kilometer pursuit. Bjoergen also became the first winner of multiple gold medals in Vancouver and the first with three medals.
When Miller took bronze in the downhill, he was all smiles at the end of the race. He looked worn out this time.
Miller let out a big breath of air and quickly shook his head. Then he leaned forward, resting his helmet on forearms still locked atop his poles. Once his lungs stopped burning, he took out his mouthpiece and gave a little fist pump.
“I was lucky today,” he said. “I could just as easily been fifth or sixth.”
CURLING — While the cheers from gold medal speedskater Shani Davis were nice, the difference-maker for the men’s team may have been a change in skips (team captain).
After an 0-4 start, out went 2006 bronze medalist John Shuster and in came alternate Chris Plys, with vice skip Jason Smith throwing the last rock. The result was a 4-3 victory over France, which came in with only one win.
The women were 0-3 until skip Debbie McCormick bumped out a Russian stone with her last rock, giving the U.S. a 6-4 victory — its first after an 0-3 start that had put her stewardship in jeopardy, too.
SKELETON — The U.S. led a six-nation complaint over gold medalist Amy Williams’ helmet, which they said gave the British competitor an unfair advantage. Federation officials disagreed and she beat the world’s best women’s sliders for the first time.
A pair of Germans took the other two medals, with the best U.S. hope, 2007 world champion Noelle Pikus-Pace, finishing fourth.
MEN’S HOCKEY — The defending gold medalists from Sweden avenged a monumental upset against outmanned Belarus — and avoided another one.
The Swedes led 3-0, then were up by only one goal with 5:10 remaining. A goal with 10.4 seconds left padded the final margin in a 4-2 win.
Belarus has only two NHL players, Sweden 19.
CROSS-COUNTRY — Bjoergen pulled away midway through the freestyle portion of the race and was never threatened the rest of the way.
Anna Haag of Sweden won a three-way sprint for the silver, with favorite Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland getting bronze in a photo finish.
Morgan Arritola was the top American, finishing 38th.
SHAUN WHITE — Having already won two halfpipe gold medals, Shaun White would love the chance to double his collection at the 2014 Olympics.
White said he’d consider competing in halfpipe and slopestyle if that event was added to the mix for the Sochi Games.
“It’s a strange thing going to the Olympics, where so many people have four, five events and we just have the one big night,” he said.