DFL

Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Results for Sunday, February 19

Alpine Skiing: Due to bad weather, the women's Super-G has been rescheduled until tomorrow.

Bobsled: The Hungarian team of Márton Gyulai, 26, and Bertalan Pintér, 32, finished 29th in the . Those not in the top 20 apparently did not make a fourth run; their combined time of 2:53.01 was based on three runs -- at that point they were 2.39 seconds back.

Cross-country Skiing: In the
, the Austrian team of Roland Diethart, 32, Johannes Eder, 26, Jürgen Pinter, 26, and Martin Tauber, 29, was lapped during the fourth leg, at which point their race was over; they placed 16th as a result.

Now there's a bit of news behind this last-place finish. The Austrian skiers claim that their race was "ruined" because they were subject to a raid the night before by Italian police looking for evidence of doping, along with late-night doping tests. The raid occurred because of a tip that Walter Mayer was in Torino with the Austrian athletes. Mayer had been banned by the IOC for ten years for being suspected of conducting blood transfusions at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games after equipment was found in a chalet. Despite the controversy surrounding Mayer, however, he's still head of Austria's cross-country skiing and biathlon program. If the Austrians test positive for anything, they will be stripped of their DFL according to precedent.

Daniela Oltean (Romania)Speed Skating: 25-year-old Romanian skater Daniela Oltean finished 35th in the with a time of 1:21.70. That was 5.65 seconds behind the gold medallist. There was one DNF.

Standings to date: Austria enters the standings near the back, Hungary moves into eighth place, and, due to a smaller contingent than South Korea's, Romania regains the lead.

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Qualifying Rules: Curling and Hockey

Part of a series looking at just how hard it is to get to the Olympics; see previous posts on biathlon and cross country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined, speed skating, short track, snowboarding, figure skating and freestyle skiing.

Now let's turn to two completely team-based sports in which my own country seems to expect to win all the time: curling and hockey.

In curling, a total of 10 teams qualify for each of the men's and women's competitions. One of these is Italy, as the host nation. The remaining nine countries are determined by the results from the World Curling Championships since the last Olympics.

In hockey, there are eight teams on the women's side and 12 on the men's side. In both cases, Italy qualifies automatically as the host nation. Most of the countries are determined by the IIHF world tables as of the 2004 championships -- the best eight men's teams and the best four women's teams qualify. The remaining three spots on each side are determined by whoever wins Olympic qualification tournaments -- the page doesn't say, but are these regional or continental qualifiers?

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