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Lipinski Says She'll Skate at World Championships
From Wire Services
Monday, February 23, 1998; Page C9




Tara Lipinski, still glowing in her Olympic victory, will compete at the world figure skating championships that begin March 31 at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Lipinski, 15, earlier had declined to commit on whether she would compete, even though she is the defending champion. She later said she initially was noncommittal because she wanted the gold medal feeling to sink in and because she wanted to consult with parents.

"I'll take a few days off to regroup, then I'll start training," Lipinski said yesterday.

Her agent, Michael Burg, had raised the possibility that Lipinski would skip the world championships, saying that it was a "legitimate question" as to whether the Olympic champion should risk the glitter of her Nagano title so quickly.

One, Two, Three . . .
Norway's Bjorn Daehlie won four medals in Nagano — three golds and one silver — to become the most successful Winter Games athlete ever with 12 medals, eight gold.

In Sunday's 50-kilometer cross-country race, Dahlie summoned up one more great effort. After crossing the finish line for what may be his last gold, the 30-year-old Daehlie collapsed in the snow.

"It think it's my hardest race ever," an exhausted Daehlie said. "Before the race, I didn't believe in a medal at all. Mentally, I was finished with these Olympics. I was quite tired. But then, in the second stage of the race I saw that my time was good and I thought that perhaps I could get a medal. In the last two or three kilometers I was completely exhausted.

"Right now I feel I have finished my ski career. I've no motivation."

Daehlie's medals helped Norway to the second-best total in Nagano — 25 over 16 days (10 gold, 10 silver, 5 bronze). The leader was Germany with 29 (12-9-8). Russia (9-6-3) was third with 18.

In Need of Greenery
A senator and congressman from Utah insist Salt Lake City needs more federal money to properly stage the 2002 Winter Games.

Sen. Robert Bennett and Rep. Merrill Cook were in Nagano for the final days of the 1998 Winter Games.

They told the Salt Lake Tribune that Utah cannot solely afford the transportation and security costs.

"It's very important for Congress to understand that the Salt Lake City Olympics are truly American Games," Cook told the newspaper.

"This is a major event for the entire world," Bennett said. "You cannot handle the threat of international terrorism with state resources alone. ... Without federal participation, you simply don't have a secure games."

The senator plans to ask for between $10 million and $15 million to build a second access road to Snowbasin, the downhill skiing and Super-G venue east of Ogden.

He and Cook said they are confident Congress will provide "significant levels" of Olympics-related funding in the budget now being drafted.

President Hasek?
About 70,000 jubilant fans jammed Old Town Square in Prague early yesterday to watch the Czech Republic's historic 1-0 victory over Russia in men's hockey — the Czech Republic's first Olympic gold medal in that sport — prompting an outpouring of champagne toasts, honking car horns and waving flags.

"I could have watched at home, but the atmosphere was much better on the square," said 17-year-old high school student Tomas Weiss. "It was great, but I'm exhausted."

After the game, most of the crowd moved to the Wenceslas Square, a traditional place for demonstrations as well as celebrations.

"Hasek to the Castle" came the most frequent chant, a joke suggesting star goaltender Dominik Hasek could handle the president's job.

"Dominik is not human, Dominik is God!" some yelled.

President Vaclav Havel, before his release from the hospital following throat surgery, was quick to send congratulations.

"Dear boys, I rejoice with you and with all our country," he said in a telegram.

After being released, Havel reportedly said he had talked to Hasek and told him of the chant from the crowds.

"Hasek said that I should still remain at the Castle as he would like to stick with hockey for a while," he was quoted as saying.

© Copyright 1998 Washington Post Company

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