Smithtown’s John Daly e-mailed from Whistler late Wednesday to share his thoughts going into Thursday night’s first day of the men’s Olympic skeleton competition. Twenty-eight athletes from 17 nations will have two runs apiece on Thursday and again Friday to determine the medalists.
“Training has gone well and I’m feeling confidence,” Daly wrote. “the track is a little different from the last time I was here [for a training session last year] because it’s faster, but I like it. Sliders will need to stay on their reaction time at 90 mph.”
An Olympic rookie at 24, Daly qualified on the third of three U.S. men’s sleds for the Vancouver Games after spending a brief time on the elite World Cup tour in the late fall.
“I don’t have a pre-race routine because I have always felt every race is different and sometimes you can’t warm up the way you like, or it takes too long to get to the track,” he said. “So, every race is new for me and I go into it with a clear head, but I do like to drink a Red Bull before each race.”
Though skeleton typically is contested during the day, the Olympic event will commence at 6:30 p.m. (Vancouver time) under the lights. “I have competed at night before and like it,” Daly said. “Some tracks have dark patches in places, but that has not been a problem here at all.”
The middle of three children of Jim and Bernice Daly of Smithtown, Daly said “a lot of family and friends” are in town for Thursday night’s race. “I think they all have Team Daly shirts but no one coordinated with others so there are lots of different shirts.”
In the general Olympic excitement, with other events unfolding around him, Daly is housed with other members of the U.S. skeleton and bobsled teams at Whistler’s athletes village.
“No real distractions,” he said, “because I have been so busy. Every day are long practices so I’m only [in the village] for the nights and surrounded with peolpe who are still competing.”
Lundqvist gets shutout
Games head on defensive
The head of the Vancouver Olympics has defended the games after scathing criticism of the fenced-in flame, ticket cancellations, ice machine breakdowns, timing problems and other glitches.
John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver organizing committee, says the problems are being fixed and the Games are inspiring euphoria across the country.
Furlong says he has read the media criticism and calls some of it untrue and unfair. Furlong said that "when we make mistakes, we have to fix them." Organizers addressed a key complaint Wednesday when they opened greater public access to the Olympic cauldron along the Vancouver waterfront.
A surging crowd of Olympic partygoers caused a barricade to collapse during a free concert Tuesday night, leaving 19 people injured. - AP
U.S. curlers winless
The American women and men curlers remain winless through two rounds. The women fell, 6-5, to Germany when they couldn't make up a two-point deficit. The men rallied from an early four-point deficit but couldn't convert in the extra end, falling 7-6 to Switzerland, their second straight extra-end defeat after losing to Norway a night earlier. - AP
Austrians take luge
Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger won their second consecutive Olympic gold medal in doubles luge. Andris and Juris Sics of Latvia won silver and Germany's Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch took bronze. - AP