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Vancouver Like Home for U.S. Olympic Team

Friday, 12 Feb 2010 10:08 AM

VANCOUVER — The last time U.S. Winter Olympians competed on North American snow and ice, they made tracks to unprecedented success in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

Whether U.S. athletes can stoke those home fires again just north of the border will be a determining factor in how close they can stay in the medals race with host-country favorite Canada and perennial Winter Olympic superpower Germany.

"It always gives an advantage if you are the home team playing at home," U.S. long-track speedskater Shani Davis says. "I wish I could have been at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. This is the second-best (location)."

In the 2006 Winter Olympics, the USA won 25 medals and Canada 24, finishing second and third behind Germany's 29.

The gap separating Canada and the USA could be razor thin again if pressure to perform in front of home crowds proves detrimental to the Canadians or if U.S. athletes feel so at home that they have some surprise results.

"These are in our backyard, and because of that I think we're going to pick up some of the benefit without some of the pressure," U.S. Olympic Committee chief of sport performance Mike English says. "I continue to throw this out, that the Canadians do have a lot of pressure on them."

Canadian athletes did not won a gold medal in the two Olympics the country has hosted — the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. In Calgary, they won five medals overall.

To read full USA Today story — Go Here Now.



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VANCOUVER — The last time U.S. Winter Olympians competed on North American snow and ice, they made tracks to unprecedented success in the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
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2010-08-12
Friday, 12 Feb 2010 10:08 AM
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