Olympic Diary - Day 11, Feb. 18, 2002

Feb. 19, 2002

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University graduate Erika Snoberger, who is covering all speed skating events for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Winter Olympics, is filing a daily diary with Baylor Public Relations, as she experiences the "shining moments" that only the Games can provide.

Day 11, Feb. 18, 2002

Today I got my first day off! I was planning on going out to Park City to watch the finals of women's aerials but this morning, sleeping in was just too tempting! I didn't really feel that bad, though, especially since there were no Americans in the finals.

Today was actually the perfect day to have off. It's just one of two days during the Olympics when there are no speedskating events and what a busy and exciting last couple of days it's been! After the debacle at short track on Saturday, yesterday was a zoo because of Chris Witty's gold and Jennifer Rodriguez's bronze medal in the women's 1000m! Chris was diagnosed in January with mono and she set a world record yesterday in the race! At the press conference she said it was "all heart," and I believe it. Jen was happy with her bronze, but she was the favorite coming into the race and I think there might have been a little bit of disappointment that she didn't place higher. But it's a medal in the Olympics and she will skate in another (maybe two? I can't remember) races before the end.

Tomorrow is the men's 1500m, and Derek Parra, who won the silver in the 5000m, is racing. The 1500 is his best race and if he got silver before, who knows what will happen tomorrow? I also found out that he works about four blocks away from my cousin's house, where I'm staying! He's part of Home Depot's program to employ Olympic athletes and his Home Depot is just around the corner from here. He was WORKING and signing autographs there just a few days ago! I really hope he wins the gold medal tomorrow.

Women's bobsled makes its Olympic debut tomorrow and it will be really interesting to see what happens there. Jean Racine, a U.S. driver will race with Gea Johnson and the two of them have a great chance at a medal. It's slightly controversial, though, because Jean, just six days before Olympic Trials in December, dropped her long time brakeman and best friend, Jen Davidson, for Gea. I guess we'll see if it was worth it...

There are only five days left of the Olympics - I can hardly believe it! I think we're up to 18 medals now, just behind Germany. The U.S. is on its way to record-setting medal numbers (if we haven't broken the record already). I know in speedskating, at least, we have already had more people win medals on the U.S. Team than has ever happened in the history of the Games (six people). Hopefully we'll see more tomorrow!

Erika

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