Olympics: Good news in nordic, bad news in giant slalom and hockey for U.S.

Finally, more than 85 years after the U.S. began seeking a gold medal in an Olympic nordic event, the drought ended as Billy Demong won the large hill Nordic combined. For good measure, Johnny Spillane claimed the silver. Read more.

Julia Mancuso of the U.S. ski team deserves to wonder “what if.” The women’s Giant Slalom was suspended on Wednesday owing to bad weather. Mancuso suffered more than most, when her first run was interrupted after Lindsey Vonn’s crash and her second came in slower. How much slower? Today she had the third-fastest time in the second run overall to claim eighth, more than 5 seconds faster than her first run. All she would have needed is to have skied .52 seconds faster on Wednesday to claim the gold — time she likely lost on a second run over a rutted course. What if, indeed.

The news also was tough for the U.S. Hockey women, who gave up a pair of first-period goals while being blanked 2-0 by Team Canada, which saw Marie-Philip Poulin score two goals and Shannon Szabados make 28 saves.

Everyone’s always so interested in who’s won the most at the Olympics, so here’s where to look for medal count standings. Once you’ve seen those numbers, though, look at The Real Winter Olympic Medal Count, an interesting twist from Fourth Place Medal, a Yahoo Sports blog.  The U.S might lead the official count, but things change dramatically when you throw out “judged” events. It’s a great place to start an argument.

Seen Olympic Pulse? It’s a cool graphic that NBC has created that shows you dynamically what’s being tweeted about on Twitter at any time. On Sunday afternoon, at least, the debut of ski cross was a huge hit. Check it out, way cool.

Remember: use Swany’s Olympic Guide if you want to keep up with the Olympics on TV, the web or in real-time. What else has happened during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver?

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