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Bode Comes Close, But Still No Medal

Bode Miller of the United States makes a turn during the first run of the Men's Giant Slalom at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Sestriere Colle, Italy Monday Feb. 20, 2006.
AP
All eyes are on Austria in Turin, both on and off the slopes.

Austria finally got its Olympic gold medal in men's Alpine skiing at this year's Winter Games. And it wasn't Hermann Maier that won it.

Benjamin Raich, the overall World Cup leader, won the giant slalom with a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 35.00 seconds Monday to give the Austrian men's team a gold medal in the next-to-last Alpine event.

Four Austrian biathletes who were rousted over the weekend and tested for doping returned to training Monday for the first time since police raided their residence.

Austria's entry in the men's 4x7.5km relay, scheduled for Tuesday, won't include Wolfgang Perner or Wolfgang Rottmann, who were kicked off the team after leaving the Olympics following the midnight raids.

Perner had recorded Austria's highest Nordic finish at these games, taking fourth in the 10km sprint last week.

American Bode Miller, who was just 12th after the opening leg, tied for sixth with Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, after a red-hot second run. Coaches had been worried about Miller's stamina going into the race.

It seems that American skiers can't get anywhere near a medal CBS News' Manuel Gallegus reports. But Monday, Bode Miller was as close as he's ever been — but it wasn't close enough to touch even the bronze.

Miller's run down the icy Alpine course was icy and the competition fierce. And the country boy touted as America's best shot a skiing gold just couldn't deliver, Gallegus reports.

It was the fourth loss of a medal for Miller, who has been getting a bad rap in the Italian press, which says he spends more time partying up here in the mountains than focusing on his sport. Miller's autograph is on the wall of a mountain night club, where he likes to hang out, as evidenced by the shots in the morning papers. But Miller hasn't bothered to explain his behavior — on or off the slopes — to the press.

The Austrian and American teams came into the Olympics as the best in the world, but the rivalry has flopped as neither has lived up to expectations.

The Austrian women have one gold — Michaela Dorfmeister in the women's downhill — while Ted Ligety gave the United States gold in the combined. Maier also won silver in the super-G, while Michael Walchhofer won sliver in the downhill, Rainer Schoenfelder took bronze in the combined and Marlies Schild won silver in the women's combined.

The last men's race, the slalom, is scheduled for Saturday.


Check the schedule of upcoming events.
Track the current medal count here.
In related developments:
  • The United States beat Finland 4 to 0 and won the bronze medal in women's hockey.
  • Daron Rahlves will end his ski career without an Olympic medal. The 32-year-old Californian ran his final event in his final Winter Olympics today, missing a gate during the first run of the two-leg men's giant slalom. He was tenth in last week's downhill and ninth in the super-G. That's three Olympics without a medal. Rahlves says it's hard to swallow, knowing this is the last time he'll be racing in an event like this. Rahlves plans to retire at the end of the World Cup season.
  • Late Monday, Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto go for a medal in the final session of ice dancing. As CBS News' Manuel Gallegus reports, the pair is America's best hope for a ski dancing medal. But with no flips, jumps or stunning throws allowed, this sport's a challenge, Belbin said. "Technically you want to be able to notice the difficulty of what we re doing in the creativity and complexity of the movements but still have it always pleasing to the eye." The two friends are currently in second place after Sunday night's original dance. If they were to win it would be the first medal for an American dance pair in thirty years.
  • Qualifying is on the schedule for men's aerials today. Also coming up is a women's hockey game between the U-S and Finland for the bronze medal, and the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden.
  • Shani Davis became the first black to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history Saturday, capturing the men's 1,000-meter speedskating race. But Tracy Smith reports for The Early Show that Davis' triumph wasn't cause for celebration for his whole team. Immediately after the race, teammate Chad Hedrick was asked whether he was happy for Davis. He said: "I'm happy for Joey (Cheek)," who finished second. Davis refused to join the U.S. squad for the 5,000 meter team pursuit, instead focusing on his own event, angering teammates when they came in sixth place.
  • Claudia Pechstein of Germany pulled out of the 1,500 meters Monday because of breathing problems but should be able to go for a record fourth 5,000-meter Olympic title next weekend, the team doctor said. The five-time Olympic gold medalist had hoped to seek second gold of the Turin Games in Wednesday's 1,500, where has an outside shot at a medal. Dr. Volker Smasal said she preferred to center all her efforts on Saturday's 5,000 where she is favored to become the only Winter Olympian to win the same individual event in four straight Olympics. "She is OK, but not so good that we can hope to be fully ready on Wednesday," Smasal said.
  • A former Jamaican bobsledder is now an Olympic medalist. Lascelles Brown, who pushed sleds for Jamaica from 1999 until 2004, helped Canada win a silver medal in two-man bobsledding Sunday night — only about a month after he obtained citizenship and earned the right to represent his new homeland in the Turin Games.