also available as a pdf (241k) for a much better printed experience. :)

"This is Patolo Patrinko, reporting to you live from the Men’s Moguls, and the next challenger for the gold is Mr. Lytell from Sleepyside, New York. Will you listen to that applause – it’s certainly apparent that Mr. Lytell is a crowd favorite."

"He clearly has his work cut out for him though, as the top three contenders are all previous World Cup Champions, while Mr. Lytell is a relative newcomer. Can he do it? We’ll be back after these messages to find out."

* * *

"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Lytell is at the gate… and he’s off! If he can do this next combo, he’ll be halfway there in gaining the points he’ll need to medal. Alllllll right, folks, he did it – he just completed a D spin off the first jump and then threw a solid corked 720 on his second jump!! FANTASTIC!! Very few skiers have ever completed that combo with such finesse!"

"Uh oh, he’s hit a snag on the back flip on the first kicker and his heli spread was a bit wild. HE HAS TO DO A PERFECT BACK FLIP CROSS WITH A STOMPED LANDING TO… OH NO – HE’S DOWN AND TUMBLING END OVER END – WATCH OUTEVERYBODY -GET OUT OF THE WAY, HE’S HEADING RIGHT TOWARD US!!"

* * *

"I have to say, in all the years I’ve been announcing skiing, I have never seen a tumble like that. His skis went one way, his poles went over there, his helmet flew off, his glasses are over there in a snow bank, and one boot is resting atop our camera. If it hadn’t been for this young lady breaking his fall... what’s your name again, Miss?"

"Trixie Belden, Sir."

"Yes, well, Trixie, you said you know this gentleman and he is actually your neighbor from Sleepyside."

"Yes, sir, he is and... what was that, Mr. Lytell? Do I have your teeth?? Why would I... All right, all right, I’ll look in my pocket."

"GLEEPS, how’d they get in there - here ya go, Mr. Lytell."

* * *

"Well, folks, this has certainly been an interesting turn of events. Fortunately, Mr. Lytell is unhurt, albeit a bit embarrassed, and while he just never found a good rhythm assuring him of a smooth and possible gold-winning run, he does have the satisfaction of knowing his personal effects he lost on his tumble have all been returned to him."

"This is Patolo Patrinko, returning you now to the finals in men’s figure skating."

* * *

"Are we off camera? Geesh – what a crazy old coot... "

3-2-1 "you’re on" as main anchor Rob Nostas takes his cue and begins:


"And now, returning you to Patolo Patrinko, our 'man in the snow' who is covering the men’s downhill event. Something seems to be happening at the starting gate, Patolo. Can you see what’s going on up there? From my viewpoint, it looks like a butler is having a confrontation with someone."

"Rob, I think you’re right … WAIT, holy smokes, ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the butler … WAIT – what the … HE JUST LEFT THE STARTING GATE …

"Folks, never have I seen such speed coming out of the gate as this man has just shown. Look at the pinpoint accuracy he is making of the turns and that FANTASTIC MOVE JUST NOW! He hardly left the snow on that last slope – he picked up precious time on that maneuver!!

"He’s now coming up on a treacherous turn, which you all know has been the downfall of the last four skiers. HE DID IT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, HE GOT THROUGH THAT TURN and is gaining speed all the time. One more slope and another turn and if he can hold this pace, he’ll set a new Olympic record - YES, YES, YES, HE DID IT!

He is a FULL MINUTE ahead of the fastest skier in this race – we have a new gold medalist and world record holder, folks. And just as soon as we entangle him from the fence that stopped his amazing run, we’ll get an interview."


"Sir, I have to say that was the most magnificent skiing the world has ever seen! May I have your name and just what happened up there? Sir, are you all right? Sir, you can open your eyes now."

(after a whispered conversation between announcer and skier)

"Do I have this right, Sir, that your name is Harrison and you were just delivering hot chocolate to your nephew, the gatekeeper. And you were just trying on OFFICIAL OLYMPIC skis and someone bumped into you, sending you down the slope and – what was that? - this was the first time you’ve ever been off the bunny slope!! And you had your eyes closed most of the time!!! Amazing! Absolutely amazing!"

"Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just been informed that even though Mr. Harrison has, by rights, skied this course faster than any other skier in the annals of the Olympic Games, he is disqualified. There are just too many regulations that were broken to list them all, but suffice it to say, Mr. Harrison is not a registered Olympiad, and, thereby, out of the running for a medal."

"But Mr. Harrison, if the reaction OF THE SEVEN PEOPLE wearing red jackets with BWG on their backs means anything to you, YOU ARE A GOLD MEDAL WINNER IN THEIR EYES. Congratulations."

"And now, Rob, back to you..."

"Hi, everyone. Elena Lawrence here, watching the teams get ready for one of my favorite events: the ski joring competition. For those who are not familiar with this sport, a horse and rider tow a skier at incredible speeds around slalom gates and over jumps. Our course length here at Jixemitri is 940 feet, and includes fifteen gates and five jumps. The timer will start ticking as soon as each skier crosses the start line, and will end when both of the skier's boots cross the finish line. The skier for each team must be in an upright position and on at least one ski when crossing that finish line.

"I'm expecting some strong performances today from a couple of teams, and it will be interesting to see which teams can even complete the course, and which will win the gold.

"First out of the gate and getting ready to start is Mart Belden, riding Strawberry, and towing Eric Johnson. ... They've just rounded the second gate and are approaching that first jump. So far, they are making great time, and Johnson is still on his skis. Wow! Did you see that? Johnson landed on one foot and it looked like he was going to fall, but he's made it. ... This is going to be a hard team to beat. So far their time is at just under 16 minutes and they're already approaching the third jump. Oooh... that's gotta hurt. But Johnson is forcing himself back up, and Belden hasn't made Strawberry slow down. Yes! Johnson is up. ... And here they go across the finish line ... incredible! 17.98 minutes. I think that might be a new record."

* * *

"Elena Lawrence back with more from the ski-joring race. Three of our seven teams have already been eliminated. That third jump seems to knock down a lot of skiers. Right now, we can see team Red and Black getting ready. William Regan is saddling Jupiter, while his skier, Jim Frayne is waxing his skis. They will be the last team to perform.

"Meanwhile, here comes Trixie Belden on Thunderer, but where's her team-mate? The rope is just dangling ... I'm afraid they are also disqualified. Ah ... here comes Honey Wheeler, now. I'd always heard that Miss Wheeler was known for her tact, but if you have little ones watching, I think you'd better cover their ears. Who's that? Some dark-haired young man is running over to her from the Doc-athalon ... awww ... isn't that sweet? Whoa, that kiss is going too far. You should probably cover those little ones' eyes. Let's cut for commercials."

* * *

"We're back, and the sixth team is still on the course. It may be a while, folks. Rob, let's cut over to one of the other games." Elena stifles another yawn.

* * *

Sometime later ...

"If you're just joining us, we're finally watching the last team to compete in the ski-joring event.

"My gosh! Look at them go! Will Regan is like a centaur on that horse. And Jim Frayne is just incredible. I'd heard he was good, but this is really ... well ... incredible. He's handling every turn, every jump so smoothly. He hasn't stumbled even once. Very impressive.

"They're at that treacherous third jump, now. What a perfect landing from Regan, Jupiter, and Frayne.

"And look at the crowd go wild. Even Belden and Wheeler are jumping for joy and hugging each other. Here they come across the finish line. Amazing. Seventeen point eleven minutes. There's no doubt they've won the gold.

"Yes, there's the official word. Regan-Jupiter-Frayne have the gold, Belden-Strawberry-Johnson have won the silver, and in a surprising finish, Lytell-Belle-Maypenny have managed to win the bronze, even with the excruciatingly slow time of 43.78 minutes."

"Good evening!  Jane Doe reporting live from the Doc-athlon starting point.   Surely a lovely day for such an event and the temperature is just right.  Up next is a young doctor from Sleepyside, New York U.S.A.: Dr. Brian Belden.   His family and friends call him the embryo doctor, not referring to obstetrics, folks, but that he was born to practice medicine.

Three other doctors have raced the course already.   Dr. Yuri Chinikailo of the Ukraine is in the lead with a score of a perfect 10.  The only way Dr. Belden can beat him is if he were to pick up extra credit points under the five minutes it takes to run the course.   Can he do this?  We'll find out soon enough as Brian steps up to the track.   Here he comes up to the speed skating short track.   He is definitely a crowd favorite, folks.  Ah, listen to the girls cheer.

He's adjusted his mirror and headband, and buttoned his lab coat.  I think he just might wow the judges with his good looks if nothing else, but that just might be my personal opinion.

He knows he must beat Chinikailo and knows it won't be an easy task.  Down at the bottom of the screen, we will see Dr. Chinikailo and his reaction to Dr. Belden's run.  

Woops!  There goes the signal and Dr. Belden is on his way around the speed skating track!


Look at him take those corners!   My resources say he has participated in many ice skate races at home with his own brother and friends, so he should be a regular old pro!


As he rounds the third corner, he sees a man lying in the middle of the track holding his elbow.  The judges watch as Brian comes to a complete stop.   Look how clean his stops are!   No skidding, no stumbling.   The last thing you really want to do, folks, is fall on top of a man with a broken elbow!  The judges dock points for that.


Look how masterfully he studies the X-rays, sets the broken elbow, and helps the man up and to a chair.  And oh my goodness!  He checks to make sure the man is not in shock!  What a move!  The judges are very pleased with this!  As we can see, Dr. Chinikailo is not, but isn't too concerned yet.  There is still much of the race to go.


Brian has reached the track's finish line and is now changing his speed skates for skis as he prepares for the ski-jumping part of this event.  As he makes his way to the gate, he has time to sign an autograph and rub iodine on a skinned knee.   What a doc!  But, unfortunately, not only is this costing him time, but it is also something the judges won't give extra credit for.   Injuries must be sanctioned by the Olympic Committee only.   Of course, treating a skinned knee in the crowd does not disqualify him at all.  After all, he is a doctor and would be a direct violation of the medical ethics these doctors have sworn to follow.


I'm not sure Dr. Belden will be able to catch up, but he is trying.  As he flies down the ski ramp, his lab coat flailing out behind him as if it were a cape, Brian lands perfectly at the bottom, kicks off his skies and rushes to treat a head-wound victim.


Dr. Belden takes no time for extra points as he must catch up.  He is now just under four minutes and has eight more events to fly through.  Of course, Dr. Chinikailo is pleased with this and looks very confident that he will hang on to the gold.  Of course, I can't blame him.


As we recall from Dr. Chinikailo's run, he was already to this point ten seconds ago.  Dr. Belden must work fast to catch up.  His motion is so fluid as he sheds his lab coat and exchanges his ski shoes for water shoes and runs to the edge of the lake where he must swim across.   And can I just give a great thanks to those in charge of the non-timeline?  If this were any ordinary timeline, we wouldn't be able to see our doctors go from ski jumping to swimming at all!


Dr. Belden has lost a considerable amount of time, and it looks as though he will have to settle for the silver.   This is the part of the race that takes the longest.  Although, as we see, folks, he might just do all right.  He has taken to the water like a fish!  He just gained a few seconds on that dive!  Look at him go!  Holy cow!   He's already half-way across that lake and it's only been three seconds since he dove in!


He's going so strong and fast, I don't think he'll see that drowning man right there!  If he misses that drowning man, I don't think he could ever recover.   Not to mention, the man will die and Dr. Belden might lose his license for ignoring a drowning man.   What a scandal that could create!


And he sees the drowning man!   Thank God!


Holy cow!  He just punched the man!  Oooh...I'm not sure the judges will like this move.  Violence between doctor and patient is certain frowned upon by the AMA, not to mention the Olympic Committee, so we'll have to see.


Oh my goodness!  I'm befuddled.  In a total of four seconds, Dr. Belden has spotted the drowning man and saved his life!   I've never seen this happen before!   Dr. Chinikailo took five seconds to find, rescue, and administer CPR.  The crowd was excited about that, but the cheering has now reached a new level!   I'll bet Chinikailo is very cheesed off right now!  But, Dr. Chinikailo is still in the lead at completing the race in four and a half minutes, which is something that has never been done before.  So, unless Dr. Belden can come out of this race better than four minutes, thirty-one seconds, then he'll just have to settle for the silver.


Dr. Belden has made it to the other side of the lake and is now on the way to the 100-meter sprint.  My sources say that Dr. Belden is very athletic, and we're definitely getting a very nice sample of it today.  And did I just miss something, or did our perfectly legal Jix Olympic sanctioned clock just GIVE Dr. Belden three extra seconds?  I'm sure our Olympic Committee will look into it, but for now, there's nothing that can be done.


Dr. Belden is on a nice momentum now, compared to when he started.  As he makes his way down the track, here comes the runner with a contusion of the semimembranosus muscle, or a pulled hamstring.  Very swiftly, he helps the runner to the provided chair and applies the R.I.C.E. method to keep the runner comfortable until he can be seen by a physician after the race.


As Dr. Belden makes his way to the finish line of the 100-meter track, we see his lab coat is waiting for him.  In one swift motion, he slings it over his shoulders, slips his arms through and hurries off to the archery event where I'm sure the victim of an errant arrow awaits him.


Now here is where it is decided, point-wise, whether Dr. Belden and Dr. Chinikailo will win this competition.   Dr. Chinikailo is still in the lead, as he made it to the archery field at three minutes, five seconds, whereas Dr. Belden is showing up just five seconds under.  Can Dr. Belden beat Dr. Chinikailo here?  We shall see.


Oh my gosh!  Did I just see what I thought I saw?  Did Dr. Belden just pull all five arrows out of his quiver and shoot them all at the target, each one making a bull's eye?  You're kidding me!  I've never seen this done before!  Oh, Dr. Chinikailo is NOT liking this at all!  Oh my, I don't know Russian, but I think he uttered a curse word there...   Dr. Belden has just gained his lost time with that sneaky little maneuver.  But, it's up to the judging team if they will allow this move, or if they will dock points for it.  But for now, Dr. Belden is in the lead and that's all that concerns Dr. Chinikailo here.


As Dr. Belden pulls the quiver off his back, he notices a figure staggering out on to the field.  It's the man who's been horribly injured with an arrow.   He has helped the man to the ground, telling him to lay still.  As he examines the puncture, he pulls his cell phone out of his lab coat and dials 911 and calls for an ambulance.  That's the best thing, folks.  If you come across someone with an arrow sticking out of their chest, never remove it.   You don't know if it has gone through an organ or a lung.  If you remove it, you could cause internal hemorrhaging.  Nice move, Dr. Belden!  You might be a doctor, but the treatment this man needs is at an ER, not an archery field!


At this time, Dr. Belden is trailing Dr. Chinikailo by only one second.  As far as points go, Dr. Belden is ahead.  Dr. Chinikailo isn't liking this at all, but he's not ready to give up hope yet.   With a quick wave at the fans, Dr. Belden takes off for the last stretch which starts with rock climbing.


Look how skillfully he ascends that cliff!   It is as if he does this as a regular hobby!  My notes tell me that he lives in an area where there are bluffs, so he must get a lot of practice at home.  He's nearly to the top when he comes across another climber who has skinned her knee.   He quickly assesses the situation, realizing that one of her cables had snapped.  In record breaking time, folks, he replaces her damaged equipment, lectures her on rock climbing safety, and rubs iodine on her knee!   What a doc!  And he doesn't stop there!  The crowd is simply wild as he HELPS the other climber up the cliff so she can rest and recover from her scare!


After making sure the climber is all right, Dr. Belden hops on the provided bicycle and heads down the hill at breakneck speed as he tries to gain time.  He knows he needs to hustle, but he's also taking a lot of caution, too.   As he reaches the bottom of the hill, he swings his legs over and dismounts the bike, letting the bike fall while he hits the ground running.   Here is where most of our fine athletic doctors falter.  The final gauntlet!


He's pounding the pavement as he runs past a picnic, takes care of a choking victim by administering the Heimlich Maneuver and then proceeds to the volleyball game where he runs in, spikes the ball, claims a point and continues on.  In under ten seconds, Dr. Belden has completed two of the final events.


Dr. Chinikailo is sweating bullets as he realizes that Dr. Belden is gaining on his time rapidly!  Just look at him!  He's looking sick almost!  Dr. Belden has only two events left to go as he enters the gymnasium and heads for parallel bars.   He chalks his hands, hoists himself up and, using his arms and legs, spells out the letters to Mississippi.


Dr. Belden is on a roll as he runs from the parallel bars, delivers a judo kick to the waiting opponent, sending him to the floor and then, with a wave to some more of his adoring fans, he runs out the door to head for the ski slopes once more.


The final event of Dr. Belden's Doc-athlon run is finally here.  Dr. Chinikailo has his head in his hands as he's picturing his Olympic life going down the drain.   As Dr. Belden pushes off at the gate, he speeds down the hill, weaving in and around flags, comes to a steady pace, pulls the rifle off his back and shoots at an Olympic sanctioned grouse and crosses the finish line at one minute and thirty-five seconds to go, completely leaving Dr. Chinikailo, and all other doctors, in his dust.


Brian catches the grouse as it lands.

What an amazing run that was, folks!   The crowd is going crazy for Dr. Belden, the first Doc-athlon champion!  He will go down in Olympic history for sure!  We'll catch up with Dr. Belden later.


CHI:  10.0     NOR:  10.0    JAP:   10.0    FIN:  10.0     CAN:  12.0 (extra points awarded because the judge didn't think about anything else than Dr. Belden examining her...)  RUS:  10.0     USA:  12.0  (Extra points added because...just because...)  GER:   12.0  (Extra points added because the judge was mesmerized by his dashingly good looks...)  AUS:   12.0  (Extra points added because he was the best athlete they had seen yet...)    FRA:   9.0 (Points deducted because it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  Olympic committee is looking into this...)


So, Dr. Belden, how does it feel to win the gold on a brand new Olympic game?

"I'm feeling really good about it.   Of course, the other doctors were fabulous and gave it their all, and that's what's really important.  But none of them have had the special training I've had.   You see, ever since my sister met her best friend, I've been involved in adventure after adventure, giving first aid, setting broken legs, treating for shock...all those things.  So, in all fairness, and I don't really mind saying so myself, those doctors were up against some pretty stiff competition."

"I can tell that!  So, who was the girl you treated with the skinned knee, the one up on the ski hill."

(blushes)  "That was Honey Wheeler.  She didn't really have a skinned knee.  I just like looking at her legs."

"And there you have it, folks!   Dr. Brian Belden, the Athletic MD, crowned gold winner and champion of the first ever Doc-athlon.  Back to you, Rob Nostas."

"Hi, Moms!"

Torino Web Chat: Keeping up With the U.S. Olympic Team (Tuesday, February 14, 2006; Day 4)

Welcome to today's chat. I am Dorothy Gale, and I am joined today by Miss Diana Lynch, our featured Olympian of the Day.

DL:  Thank you, Dorothy.  I am thrilled to be here.

DG:  We are just as delighted to have you with us.  Thank you for taking the time to participate in our online chat.   Let's get started, shall we?   What time did you arrive in Torino?

DL:  Well, we arrived this morning.  We were definitely rushed, but Daddy's private plane is always on standby.   We dropped by the hotel and then immediately left for the practice rink.  

DG:  So, tell us, what was your first thought when Peter Ueberroth called you to take Michelle Kwan's place on the U.S. Olympic team?

DL:  My first thoughts were of Michelle and how disappointed she must be to have to drop out of the competition.  I was incredibly honored to get the call and to be representing the United States in these Olympic Games.

DG:  In the past you have been overshadowed by two other skaters, Trixie Belden and Honey Wheeler.  They definitely stole the limelight at the benefit skate in Sleepyside and then again at an exhibition in Iowa.  What does it mean for you to get the call to compete in these Olympics?

DL:  Trixie and Honey are dear friends of mine, and I have always supported them in their endeavors.  They are just as excited as I am to have this opportunity to represent my country to the best of my ability.

DG:  Okay then, let's turn it over to the audience; I am sure that they have many questions for you.

El in California:  Have you chatted with Michelle Kwan since the announcement was made on Sunday?

DL:  I did speak to her briefly last night before departing the U.S., and she very graciously wished me luck.

Amygirl in Indiana:  Which Olympic athlete do you most want to meet?

DL:  I would love to meet Johnny Weir.  He is someone who loves to shop as much as I do, however, we would have to have a heart-to-heart about some of those costumes he has been wearing.

Anna from Wisconsin:  There is a rumor that a certain, male Belden is accompanying you to Torino.  Is this true, and will he be a distraction?

DL:  I will neither confirm nor deny that rumor.  If it is true, I assure you that he has been safely tucked away at Pasticceria Ghigo, where he is entirely too preoccupied to serve as a distraction to anyone except the pastry chef.

BethAnn from Minnesota:  What do you think of the new scoring system that has been introduced?

DL:  I am reserving judgment on that question.  Let's wait until after the short program, and then you can ask me again.

April W. from West Virginia:  Hi Diana, can you tell us who you will be wearing for the competition?

DL:  I am just so fortunate that Vera Wang was able to clear her schedule for me. And she knows of my preference for lavender.  I mean, can you imagine me in any other color?

DG:  Well, that is all that we have time for.  Thank you to everyone who logged in with questions.  I know that I speak for everyone, Diana, when I wish you the best of luck.  The world will be watching.

DL:  Thank you, thank you all very much.

Lily Hammer here reporting live from the curling venue, where the United States, led by an amazing performance by Trixie Belden, have won the bronze medal, defeating Norway 7-5. It was Belden's frenzied sweeping that allowed the American team to knock two of Norway's stones out of the target area on the final throw of the match, giving the U.S. its first ever medal in the sport of curling.

I talked with several members of Trixie's family immediately following the match:

Lily: Mrs. Belden, may I call you Helen? Thank you. Helen, how proud are you at this moment?

Moms: Oh, I'm extremely proud of all of my children. They've really outdone themselves at these Jixemitri Games.

Lily: I understand that Trixie is relatively new to the sport of curling. How would you explain her extraordinary talent?

Moms: Well, I didn't know a thing about curling when Trixie first started, but as soon as I heard that it involved sweeping as fast as you possibly could, well, I knew Trixie would be a natural.

Lily: So she's always displayed a talent for sweeping?

Moms: We-ell, I'd say it's more of a talent for sweeping in a hurry. If they come up with a sport that involves coming up with excuses for not dusting, she's a shoo-in for the gold.

There you have it, folks, a possible future medal for Trixie Belden. I also spoke with her younger brother, Bobby. Here's what he had to say:

Bobby: Hey! Is that camera really on? Am I gonna be on TV, just like my favorite cowboy shows? Hey!

Lily: Bobby, what do you think of your sister's performance today?

Bobby: Well, I don't get it. They said this was s'posed to be curling, but nobody was curling their hair. Trixie don't even need to curl her hair. Her hair's got natural curls, just like mine, and just like Mommy's, and just like Mart's. 'Cept Mart don't like his curls, 'cause they make him look like Trixie, so he chops 'em all off in a crew cut.

Lily: Umm...

Bobby: Hey! If Trixie can win a medal, then I wanna win a medal too! I think I'm going to try Bob-sledding. Hey! That's like my name! I think they should call it "Bobby-sledding." I loves to go sledding! Me and Reddy go all the time!

Lily: Umm...back to you, Rob.

"This is Rob Nostas reporting for Day 6 of the Olympic Games, and here are the results of three events we’ve been following. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, these events will not be televised."

* * *

"In the Older than Dirt 100m Speed Skating event, USA’s entrant, 95-year-old Grandpa Crimper, narrowly won by a .02 second margin over 94-year-old Mrs. Vanderpoel, also representing the United States.

"In the after-race interview, Mrs. Vanderpoel informed the press 'I got caught up on that hunk’s butt as he passed me and lost my concentration or I would’ve beaten him!'"

* * *

"In the Over 35 Hot Mamas 500m Speed Skating event, Miss Trask, Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Belden, all of Sleepyside, New York, each turned in their personal best times of just under 8 minutes.

"Unfortunately, Mrs. Wheeler, also of Sleepyside, left them in the dust as she beat the world record of 6:22.04 minutes, earning her the gold for that 1 1/4 lap race."

"'Her skates were smokin',' reported Mrs. Belden, as she watched her son, medic Brian Belden, administer oxygen to the completely out of breath gold medal winner."

* * *

"And lastly, we go to the Four-Man Bobsled event, where youngsters, Bobby Belden, twins Larry and Terry Lynch, and their mentor, 90-year-old Brom Vanderheidenbeck, contestants from Sleepyside, New York, were disqualified at the very end, after a near perfect run.

"Folks, that old adage that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction certainly applies here, as the judges, while amused and sympathetic to the contestant’s oath that they knew nothing of the fifth rider, had to disqualify them nonetheless.

"As the judges told the disheartened crew, 'Olympic Rules do not allow for canine contestants, nor is there a five occupant event', the boys pulled and tugged an Irish setter named Reddy out from within the nose of the sled.

"'Hey, we don’t know how he gotted in there, Mister,' young Bobby Belden told the judge, immediately after the race.

"And as I later interviewed Bobby, he loftily informed me, 'Hey, we mighted not of winned the gold medal, but the bestest doggie in the world was the firstest doggie in the Olympics and that’s okey dokey with us!! Yeah Reddy!!!'

"And with one last rejoinder, Bobby ended his somewhat jumbled interview with, 'Hey, we even gots to ride in the event named after me… Bobsledding! Hey, how bouts, that! We gots to go Bobby-sledding!'"

* * *

"This is Rob Nostas signing off, as we take you to the start of the Women’s Snowboarding."

Paul Trent: Good evening! This is Paul Trent, reporting to you live from the 2006 Jix Olympic Games. I'm joined here tonight by my co-anchor, April Double-you.

AprilW: Thank you, Paul. It's an honor to be on location here in Turin, Italy for these historic games. *fluffing hair and smiling brightly*  We're here in the ice rink thingie-majigger preparing for the men's speed skating finals, and boy, it's nipple-erect cold here in the commentators' box.

Paul Trent: *rolling eyes*   We're on national television, April. You can't use the word 'nipple'.

AprilW: *giggling* Oops! Sorry about that, Paul. What I meant to say is, it's durned cold out here! In fact, I'd really like some hot chocolate. Do you think that cute Italian guy would go get me some? *fluttering eyelashes at aforementioned cute Italian guy*

Paul Trent: *clearing throat nervously*   Our competitors are lined up for the men's 1000m and are getting poised to begin.  In the red, we have Peter Kimball from New York. He took the gold in the New England Championships and is expected to do well in today's event. Representing the Midwest, we have Ned Shultz from Rivervale, Iowa, who is in the green uniform.    

AprilW: *squealing and clapping hands*   Ooh! The sheik! He's even cuter in person!

Paul Trent:  *sighing loudly in exasperation*   Ned Shultz is one of the stars in this sport, and I wouldn't be surprised if he took home a medal.

AprilW: Well, if the medal thing doesn't work out, he can take me home. *waggling eyebrows*

Paul Trent: That's very generous of you, April.   *clearing throat noisily*   Next to Ned, we have Dan Mangan from Sleepyside, New York. The Man in Black, as he is affectionately dubbed by his plethora of female fans, is a favorite to take home the gold here at the Jix Olympics.

AprilW: Paul, is Dan's costume made out of leather? *drooling slightly*

Paul Trent: I believe the skaters are wearing uniforms, not costumes, April.

AprilW: *rolling eyes* Is Dan's uniform made out of leather?

Paul Trent: Yes, I believe it is. I can't say I've ever seen a uniform like it.

AprilW: Me either, but it sure makes his butt look fi-ine.   *giving a wolf whistle* Come see me after the show, Danny Boy!  

Paul Trent: In the blue you'll see our next skater, Bob Hubbell from Rivervale, Iowa. He's been working hard with his coaches and, according to the rumor mill, has shaved three seconds from his fastest time.

AprilW: Frankly, Paul, I'm shocked that Bob is shaving anything!   *giggling madly*   Seriously though, according to the rumor mill, if Bob Hubbell doesn't take home a medal in the Jix Olympics, he's been recruited by a big-time music producer to start a boy band with Justin Timberlake, guaranteed to be even more successful than NSync.

Paul Trent: Fascinating.   *sarcasm dripping from his voice like thick, maple syrup*   The skater in the next lane doesn't need to rely on gossip to increase his stature in the speed skating world. In the orange, we have Mart Belden, also from Sleepyside, New York.

AprilW: *standing up and cheering loudly*   Go Mart! Go Mart! Go Mart!

Paul Trent: *yanking on April's dark orchid blouse until she sits back down*   We're not allowed to cheer for anyone! We're commentators; we aren't allowed to play favorites!

AprilW: *assuming a more professional expression*  Mart Belden is guaranteed to make a good showing here at the Jix Olympics. His speed skating technique varies a bit from the usual style, but if you look at his fastest recorded times, you'll see it's good enough to make him a serious contender for the gold. And if that's not impressive enough, take a gander at his butt. You could bounce a quarter off of those firm che---

Paul Trent: *clearing throat nervously*  Can we change the subject?

AprilW:   *rolling eyes*  You're just jealous because your butt isn't as cute as his.

Paul Trent:   *the tips of his ears blazing red*   In our final lane, we have Simon Leroy Eugene Jones, or Jonesy as he's affectionately termed. Jonesy acquired his speed from running away from the police, although in his bright pink uniform he'll be a bit easy to spot.

AprilW: *throwing popcorn* Boo! Hiss! Tar and feather him!

Paul Trent: I believe the official is ready to sound the gun. Our skaters are poised to begin.


Paul Trent: They're off! Dan Mangan quickly takes the lead, but is followed closely behind by Ned Shultz and Mart Belden. Peter Kimball is a close fourth, with Bob Hubbell and Jonesy fifth and sixth respectively.

AprilW: Go Mart! You can take 'em!

Paul Trent: Dan Mangan is ahead by one second, but Ned Shultz is gaining ground. Bob Hubbell is neck and neck with Peter Kimball, vying for fourth position.

AprilW: It looks as if Dan 'The Man' Mangan is whistling an Irish tune. He has a lovely tenor voice, you know. Not to mention a nice set of six-pack abs. Wood-choppin' does a body good. And just look at those strong thighs...

Paul Trent: Mart Belden has caught up to Ned Shultz and is giving the Iowan a run for money. Bob Hubbell has captured fourth, but Peter Kimball is breathing down the back of his neck. And what's this? A crowd of angered women have knocked down Jonesy and appear to be pummeling him with blunt objects! Folks, this looks serious!

AprilW: Beat the crap out of him, girls!

Paul Trent: The EMTs have carried Jonesy off the ice on a stretcher. Details are sketchy, but it seems the Albany native has several cracked ribs and a broken nose amongst other injuries.

AprilW: Serves him right!  *foaming at mouth*   Next time, keep your hands off Jim-Baby!

Paul Trent: Ned Shultz has pulled ahead and taken the lead! Folks, this race isn't over yet! We're in for an exciting finish! Dan Mangan and Mart Belden are now neck and neck!

AprilW: You know, Paul, Mart's butt may be cuter, but there is something fetching about Dan the Man. Look how his muscles strain as he---

Paul Trent: Ned Shultz is losing speed. It appears he's being overtaken by the pair from Sleeyside.

AprilW: Whoo-hoo! Look at butt on Marty-poo! I'll be taking applications for new memberships for the Underground Mart Movement, ladies. I'm not sure you've seen this side of him before, but with that skating costume and that little skatey thing he's doing, you can appreciate it from a whole new angle. Paul, what would you think their costumes are made out of?

Paul Trent: I'm sure the folks out there watching the Olympics could care less about the fabric of the skaters' uniforms.

AprilW: Sure they do. Fashion is of utmost importance. Especially when said fabric makes Mart's hiney look so scrumptious. Yummy yum yum.

Paul Trent: *muttering under breath*   Can't you keep the subject on speed skating?

AprilW: Fine. *pouting*   People, the skaters are like... skating... really, really fast. If they keep this up somebody may even get a touchdown.

Paul Trent: Ned Shultz has dropped to third, and Dan Mangan and Mart Belden are battling for first! The crowd is going wild!

AprilW: Did you see that? I think somebody threw their panties...

Paul Trent: And for the first time tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Mart Belden has taken the lead!

AprilW: Yes!   *tossing own purple panties down on rink*

Paul Trent: Mart Belden is in the lead, followed closely by Dan Mangan and Ned Shultz. Peter Kimball and Bob Hubbell are neck and neck, vying for fourth. And Jonesy is in the infirmary getting an enema.

AprilW: Shake that cute booty, Mart! You're in the lead! Round home base, and you'll score a goal!

Paul Trent: With only one lap to go, Dan Mangan kicks it into overdrive. He's determined to take home the gold.

AprilW: Paul, with Dan's black hair, I think silver is more his color. Personally, I'd put him in a nice platinum, but the Olympic-medal-hander-outer-person doesn't seem to have any.

Paul Trent: Dan Mangan and Mart Belden are side-by-side! Ned Shultz and Peter Kimball are battling for third, and it seems Bob Hubbell is breathing down their necks.

AprilW: Isn't the race over yet? I'm bored.   *carefully studying manicure*

Paul Trent: This could be the closest finish we've had in years, folks! The crowd is on the edge of their seats!

AprilW:   *stifling a yawn*

Paul Trent: They're nearing the finish line... And Dan Mangan takes the gold! By mere hundredths of a second, Dan Mangan is the gold medal winner!

AprilW: Does that mean he won?

Paul Trent: Dan Mangan has gotten the gold, Mart Belden the silver, and Ned Shultz the bronze.

AprilW: *nodding thoughtfully* Bronze will look so nice against Ned's tanned complexion. And for the record, the gold would look much better on Mart.

Paul Trent:   *tugging on tie in an irritated manner* Where did the network find you and why did they hire you?

AprilW: *shrugging shoulders*   Nobody hired me. I was trying to break into the men's locker room, and security chased me out. I thought this would be a good place to hide. Why? Am I on TV?  

Paul Trent:   *shaking head and groaning*   Can somebody see if Rob Nostas is around to co-anchor the next thing? And ask somebody to put guards outside the men's locker room!

Torino Blog Spot:  The Inside Scoop From the U.S. Athletes in Their Own Words

Jenn (Figure Skating)

Profile: Jenn started training for the Olympics in 2006, not in time to participate in the U.S. Nationals, but just in time to compete in Torino.  As one of the older and more novice Olympians, Jenn (along with her partner, Nick Roberts, of Sleepyside, NY) will have their work cut out for them as they 'go for the gold.'


Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Greetings from Torino!
  Nick and I landed at about 1500 hours.  That is 3pm Torino time and 9pm east coast time.  We flew in a couple of days early to get a lay of the land and to adjust to the time change.  Besides, the figure skating events start off with the pairs competition on Saturday.  We don't have a lot of time to prepare before putting our game faces on.  We are off to the practice ice now to work on our backwards swizzles.

Friday, February 10, 2006

First and foremost, I must take offense to my profile on this blog.  Being referred to as "older and more novice"?  Even if it were true, to print it – shame on you.  Who writes this s**t anyway?  Moving on, opening ceremonies are this evening, and Nick and I will be walking in with the U.S. delegation.  We are so honored just to be here.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nick and I survived the short program.   Our inability to do any jumps and spins definitely hurt us, but we were competing to the best of our ability last night.   Besides, you should have seen the swizzles, almost straight, not at all in unison, but to die for nonetheless.   My fear of having my feet leave the ice hampered the lifts and in spite of Nick's frustrations, I believe that I am making great progress with my trust issues.  I think that we are in good shape for Monday's free skate.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Skating to Romeo and Juliet, Nick and I wowed the audience with our long program.   Unfortunately, the judges were far less impressed with our efforts.  Considering that neither of us has competed under the new scoring system, we managed a personal best in this competition.  I thought that the least they could do was offer us an honorable mention; we had come a long way in just 6 weeks of training. 

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The great part of having your event scheduled first is that you have the entire rest of the games to experience as a spectator without worrying about your competition.  It is Day 5 of the games, and we are done.  No more practices, no more swizzles, no more stressing out over 7 minutes of your life.  Time to go explore all that Torino has to offer.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Nick and I managed to get tickets to the Ice Dancing finals.  Nick met a guy who knew a guy whose brother was best friends with some guy on the security staff.   Anyway, Nick and I were there when Tanith and Ben won their silver medal.  I wish you all could have been here; the excitement was electric.   And everyone says that Ice Dancing is boring... Please!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I spent some time at the practice rink; I missed the ice, while Nick practiced his first love, drawing.  Nick dragged me to the Biblioteca Reale for the special Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, which included Leonardo's self-portrait.  I, in turn, bought Nick a CHOCOPASS.   What could be better than vouchers that allow you to sample many of Torino's varied chocolate specialties over a 24-hour period?  Really, I am seriously asking, can you think of anything? 

Friday, February 24, 2006

Good news, good news!  Nick and I have been invited to participate in the Gala Exhibition that will be occurring later this evening.  Back to the practice rink! 

Monday, February 27, 2006

Saying good-bye is never easy. In 3 hours, I will be heading to the airport to catch my flight back the U.S.  In all of my travels, in all of my dreams, I have never had an experience such as this.   It was a time in which the world stopped to come together, to embrace one another in friendship and to compete, not so much for the honor of one country, but to honor the Olympic spirit.   To honor those who had come before and to leave a legacy for those who will follow in our footsteps.   And with the extinguishing of the Olympic flame last night, the games of the XX Olympiad have come to a bittersweet end.

Vancouver is only 4 years way; perhaps I will see you there.










"This is Elena Lawrence with the results of the snowshoe dancing competition.

"Jim Frayne and his partner, Trixie Belden, were the favorites going into the dance. However, Trixie was not as light on her feet as her partner, and ended up falling down a few times. When interviewing Frayne after the dance, he stated, 'It doesn't matter. The important thing is that we had a lot of fun, and, besides, on Trixie, snow looks good.'

"The winners, dancing to Tumbling Tumbleweeds by The Sons of the Pioneers, were Diana Lynch and Benjamin Riker."

* * *

"In other news, I am sad to report that Mart Belden has decided not to compete in the Cross Country Ski event. He mumbled something about an avalanche... Rob, do you know anything about that?

"No? Okay. Taking his place on the roster is the youngest skier ever to compete in the Olympics, five-year-old Rosie O'Brien. Let's wish her luck!

"Rob, back to you."

One of the biggest stories of these games has been the performance of Jim Frayne, who entered ten different events, and medaled in all ten!  This kind of performance in a single Olympics is unprecedented.  We tried to catch up with Frayne after his ski-joring event, but he had already left for the downhill venue.  We did manage to get a quote from Trixie Belden, a 'special friend' of Jim's, and his partner in the Snowshoe Dancing competition. 

"I'm not a bit surprised by Jim's success in all these different events.  After all, there isn't anything worth doing that Jim can't do, and do awfully well.   He's really the most wonderful Olympic athlete in the world."

Strong words, and obviously there is a bit of bias, but it's hard to argue with Belden's sentiments.

Consider the logistics of competing in so many events.   Frayne has found himself competing in as many as four different events in a single day!  This would be physically impossible without the help of his father's pilot, Bob, who flies Jim to each of the different venues in order to get him to his competitions on time.  Even with that help, there is still room for mishap; Frayne narrowly avoided disaster on the ski-jump, when he found himself at the top of the hill wearing one cross-country ski, and one jumping ski!  Never one to panic in a tough spot, Frayne simply went down the hill on one ski.  His distance wasn't quite what it would have been had he been wearing the correct skis, but it was still good enough for a bronze medal. 

It has been absolutely inspiring to watch Jim Frayne in action, and I predict that his performance in these games will soon become the stuff of legend.