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Vancouver Olympics medal count: US chances for Day 15

The US may have to rely on short track to increase its Vancouver Olympics medal count on Day 15. But bobsled and men's hockey could take big steps toward medals today.

By Staff Writer / February 26, 2010

Short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno (in blue) is America's best chance to pump up its medal count on Day 15 of the Vancouver Olympics.

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Vancouver, British Columbia

America had a great day yesterday with one gold and three silvers, putting itself in position to win the Winter Olympics’ overall medal count for the first time since Lake Placid 1932 and only the second time ever.

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Thursday's Vancouver Olympics medals were from:

Gold: Bill Demong (Nordic combined)

Silver: Johnny Spillane (Nordic combined), Jeret Peterson (aerials), women’s hockey

USA now holds a 32-26 lead on Germany with three competition days left. It is tied with Germany and Canada for the gold medal lead, with eight.
This puts the Americans within reach of their highest-ever medal total (34) and most-ever golds (10), both records from the 2002 Salt Lake Games.

Here is a brief look at American chances in medal events for Friday, Day 15.

Curling (women): Canada is favored to pick up its ninth gold here when it plays Sweden in the gold-medal match. In the bronze-medal match, China might be a slight favorite against the Swiss – China is the up-and-comer, but Switzerland has past Olympic experience (and medals).

• American medal chances: none

Biathlon (women’s 4x7.5 km relay): The French enter the relay with two of the world’s top biathletes (brothers) anchoring the team. The Norwegians, with Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, are always a threat.

Before the Games, the US seemed a dark horse, but they’ve done little to justify that here.

• American medal chances: slim

Alpine skiing (women’s slalom): This could be a race for combined winner Maria Riesch of Germany to shine. She’s the best all-around skier on the World Cup and ranked No. 1 in slalom. Austrians Kathrin Zettel and Marlies Schild are also favorites.

Lindsey Vonn is the only legitimate medal contender for the US, and she’s a distant one, having only one World Cup podium finish in the discipline this year. Her broken pinky could be particularly problematic in the slalom, which is the most battering race.

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