Highlights Of the Albertville Olympics

Men's downhill skiing: Austria's Patrick Ortlieb, the first man down the mountain, turned in a time that was never beaten, even by pre-race favorites who spun out, crashed, or missed gates on a technically challenging course. But a silver by Franck Piccard set a positive tone for other French medalists.

Women's downhill skiing: Europe was reminded that, yes, North Americans ski, too. A Canadian, Kerrin Lee-Gartner, struck gold (none did in Calgary four years earlier) and an American from Alaska, Hilary Lindh, grabbed the silver.

Women's 500-meter speed skating: Bonnie Blair won her first of two gold medals (the only American to do so here), becoming the first female to win this event at successive Olympics. Second to Blair in both the 500 and 1,000 was China's Ye Qiaobo, whose combined times at the two distances were .2 seconds slower than the American star's.

Men's figure skating: American Paul Wylie, who had never finished higher than ninth in a world competition, shocked the skating world by winning the silver, even though many thought he deserved gold: That went to Viktor Petrenko of the Unified Team.

Women's figure skating: Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States maintained the position she held after the first phase of the competition to secure the gold. Japan's Midori Ito, of the famous triple jumps, was unable to close the gap, collecting the silver. Nancy Kerrigan won the bronze, giving the US two women medalists for the first time since 1960 in this event.

Ice dancing: All France held its breath hoping that Paul and Isabelle Duchesnay, the brother-sister French-Canadians who cast their athletic lot with the host country, would win. Instead, Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarkeno of the Unified Team led the three-stage competition wire-to-wire. The Duchesnays finished second.

Ski jumping (large hill): Teenager Toni Nieminen proved a worthy successor to Matti Nykanen's title as the Flying Finn, sailing more than 400 feet on each of his two jumps to win the gold.

Hockey: The US team, of which little was expected, entered the medal round with the tournament's best record, but dreams of repeating 1980's Miracle on Ice ended against the Unified Team of ex-Soviets, whose relentless attack on the American goal yielded a 5-2 victory. The Unified went on to play Canada in the final, as Czechoslovakia took the bronze by beating the US, 6-1.

Other notable results: Led by Vegard (the Viking) Ulvang, Norsway mapped up in the men's cross-country ski races.

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