Go for the Bronze!
In Sports and Business, Modest Goals Can Mean Gold
Feb. 28, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 16
IN THE NEWS
Arakawa wins figure skating gold
Japan's Shizuka Arakawa stunned the favourites Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya to claim Olympic glory.
The Japanese skater produced a superb free programme to climb from third to first on a night her chief rivals failed to deliver at the Palavela rink. America's Cohen, the leader from the short programme, hit the ice twice during her routine to finish second. And Russian favourite Slutskaya, the silver medallist in 2002, fell once as she slid to bronze.
—BBCSport.com, Feb. 23, 2006, 22:06 GMT
Talk about pressure!
Since the first modern Olympics in 1896 through the 2004 summer games in Athens, Japan has won 410 medals, ranking 15th in the world.
As the Torino winter games wound down, it appeared the only hope for a medal going to this fiercely proud nation rested on the shoulders of 24-year-old Shizuka Arakawa, the 2004 World Figure Skating Champion.
Following the short program, the standings were:
1. Sasha Cohen, USA: 66.73
2. Irina Slutskaya, Russia: 66.70
3. Shizuka Arakawa, Japan: 66.02
4. Fumie Suguri, Japan: 61.75
5. Kimmie Meissner, USA: 59.40
6. Elene Gedevanishvili, Georgia: 57.90
The Order for the free skate program on Thursday night:
The betting co-favorites were Russia's Irina Slutskaya and the charismatic American pixy, Sasha Cohen, with eyes out of a Margaret Keane painting. Her short program had been a knockout, placing her a fraction ahead of Slutskaya for the lead.
Of the three leaders, Cohen skated first and in the stark words of The New York Post's Jay Greenberg:
There she was, down on her butt, another four years of work up in smoke, her reputation for failure in the clutch rising with it, ever higher. Never had Cohen gotten through both the short and long programs in one competition without a major mistake in at least one. True to form, she had cracked again.