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USOC Backs Performance, Denounces Behavior Of Some Athletes
Published February 27, 2006
|Scherr Happy With Overall
Performance Of U.S. Athletes
FLOP OR NO FLOP: In K.C., Joe Posnanski wrote the U.S. had “the most successful foreign Winter Olympics ever, and yet the overwhelming impression seemed to be that America flopped” (K.C. STAR, 2/26). In Philadelphia, Phil Sheridan: “The hype actually had a negative impact on the Games themselves. There is a perception that Team USA has flopped here. It isn’t really true” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/26). In Baltimore, Rick Maese: “Short-term memory will focus on the losses. But the history books will reflect the Americans’ success” (Baltimore SUN, 2/27). But in Orlando, George Diaz notes speedskating and snowboarding accounted for 14 of the 25 medals for the U.S., which reflects “disappointment, if not embarrassment, in other disciplines” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/27).
SLOPE STYLE: U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association President & CEO Bill Marolt said that the USSA “will not back off its goal of overtaking the long-dominant Austrian ski team.” He added that he is “not about to rip apart the organization.” Marolt, whose team won two alpine medals after predicting it would win eight, said, “I know everybody wants an explanation. ... I guess there really isn’t one. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got good coaches. We believe we have a good plan. The momentum, or whatever needed to spark us, just didn’t happen” (USA TODAY, 2/27). More Marolt: “We came in with high expectations, and I don’t think the expectations were unjustified” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/26). In Boston, Tony Chamberlain writes USSA’s “Best in the World” tag “was a reach.” The slogan “helped put an entire team of athletes in the line of fire” (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/27).
|Davis One Of 23 Minorities To Compete
For U.S. Winter Olympic Team
BEHAVIOR: As evidence of less than exemplary behavior by U.S. athletes, columnists have cited Johnny Weir, Bode Miller, Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick, as well as aerial skier Speedy Peterson being sent home by the USOC after a street fight on Friday (THE DAILY). In Boston, Karen Guregian reported USOC members “called for a crackdown on Team USA members behaving badly.” Scherr: “We need to do a better job at making them understand what they do affects the whole team and country.” Scherr also said that the USOC would sit down with Hedrick and Davis to “make certain they understand our position.” Scherr added of U.S. hockey C Mike Modano blaming USA Hockey for the team’s lack of success in Turin, “I don’t think USA Hockey is at fault at all. So we would take great exception to those comments” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/26). USOC Chief of Communications Darryl Seibel said of athletes’ behavior, “You don’t legislate conduct, but what you do is provide them with a strong understanding of the opportunity and the responsibility that comes with representing your country at the Olympic Games” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 2/24). Scherr: “We’re going to let our NGBs know that there will be ramifications if expectations are not met” (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/26). U.S. Speedskating President Andy Gabel said that he “doubted the USOC or USS could legislate behavior.” But Gabel added, “I’m disappointed for [Hedrick and Davis]. Their behavior overshadowed the incredible performances they achieved” (WASHINGTON POST, 2/26).
|Street Fight Cuts Short
Peterson’s Stay In Turin