The undisputed king of cross-country skiing, Norway's Bjorn Daehlie (pictured), won the 50-kilometer event Sunday for his eighth career Olympic gold medal, the most by any athlete in the Winter Games. Daehlie collapsed on the finish line after more than two hours of skiing.
Russia ended Italy's bid for a third consecutive gold in the 30-kilometer cross-country when Yulia Tchepalova (pictured) beat 1992 gold medalist Stefania Belmondo of Italy by 10.2 seconds. The win gave Russia a sweep of the the five women's cross-country races, and with the young and brash Tchepalova around to lead a new generation of stars, it seems assured of continued dominance in women's cross-country.
Norway Ends Japan's Run in Nordic Combined
Even with Emperor Akihito cheering them on, the Japanese could not overcome a disappointing performance on the ski-jump hill and saw their reign as Nordic team champion end after two consecutive Winter Games. Norway won the gold, giving Barte Engen Vik his second gold medal.
Takanobu Okabe and Masahiko Harada both soared to the longest jumps in Olympic history Tuesday as Japan won the team ski jumping gold it threw away in Lillehammer. In heavy snowfall, Okabe and Harada nailed 137-meter jumps before Kazuyoshi Funaki (pictured), came up with a 125-meter leap to clinch the gold in a see-saw contest.
The Russians took their fourth women's cross-country title in Nagano by winning the gold medal in the 20-kilometer cross-country relay. Elena Vaelbe (pictured) ran the Russian's lead to 22.8-seconds over silver medalist Norway, then Larissa Lazutina crossed the finish line in 55 minutes, 13.5 seconds. Italy won a close, four-nation race for the bronze.
Norway's Bjarte Engen Vik (pictured) cruised to the gold medal in the Nordic combined Saturday, using a huge lead built up in the ski jumping portion of the event to ease through the cross-country portion. It was Vik's first gold medal in a major event. He won a bronze at Lillehammer in 1994. Samppa Lajunen of Finland won the silver, and Valery Stoljarov of Russia took the bronze.
Russia Goes 1-2 in Women's 10K Freestyle
Russia's Larissa Lazutina picked up her second gold medal after winning the women's 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit in 28 minutes 29.9 seconds. Lazutina began the race with a five-second advantage after her 5K win Tuesday, giving her a combined time of 46:06.9.
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