Ice Battles Heat Up In Turin

In one of the Winter Olympics' most eagerly anticipated races, Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis took their intense rivalry to the place where it belongs — the Olympic speed skating oval.

But Italy's Enrico Fabris skated past both of them and became a gold medal hero, winning in front of his countrymen. Fabris outskated the American duo to win the men's 1,500-meter race in Turin. Davis and Hedrick settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

Fabris posted a time of 1 minute, 45.97 seconds. Davis, in the final pair, finished .16 of a second behind. Hedrick was .25 of a second off the winning pace. Fabris is the first skater from outside the United States to win an individual speed skating race at the games. He also was a part of Italy's gold-medal-winning squad in the team pursuit.

American Joey Cheek was ninth and Derek Parra came in 19th.

Hedrick, a brash Texan whose bid to win five golds faltered when Davis refused to ski in the team pursuit last week, was the world record-holder in the 1,500 meters going into the race. He took the record from Davis.

Without actually naming him, Hedrick lashed out at Davis (watch video) for concentrating only on his individual events. Before the race, he tried to play down the rivalry.

"I'm not buying into the Chad vs. Shani situation," Hedrick said Monday. "I don't know much about him at all. We have different opinions about doing different things. At the same time, we're both fierce competitors. That's all it boils down to."

Davis has largely stayed out of the argument, preferring to make his statements on the Oval Lingotto ice.

"I don't care about beating Chad," he said. "What if it turns out that he's not the person to beat? I'm not putting pressure on myself to beat one person. I want to beat everybody."

Another highly anticipated ice championship hasn't gotten so intense — yet. Women's figure skating, began Tuesday with the short program. Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes are the best the United States has to offer. But how do they stack up against the world's skating superpowers?

"[The United States is] no longer a figure skating power," said Sports Illustrated figure skating analyst E.M. Swift. "We're not weak, but Russia is where it's at right now and Japan is coming on strong, particularly with the women."

CBS News' Manuel Gallegus reports that Cohen has the most experience, but she doesn't have the big jumps of her competitors.

"My personal best is what my main goal will be, because then I know no matter what happens I've won," Cohen said. "I've done everything I could do."

A long shot for a medal is 16-year-old Kimmie Meissner. Some say she needs to build up maturity as well as skill.

For Tuesday's short program, the skaters will be on the ice for just under three minutes, each performing eight required moves and elements, CBS Radio News correspondent Steve Futterman reports. The free skate comes Thursday.


Check the schedule of upcoming events.
Track the current medal count here.
In related developments:
  • The American men were more than a long shot to medal as a team in the ski jumping event Monday. But they didn't come in last: they ranked 14th out of the 16 teams competing. Anders Johnson, the team's youngest member, was still nursing an injury during competition. His sister, Alissa, who also is a world-class ski jumper, watched from the stands because ski jumping is the only Olympic sport that excludes women. "I wish I could have been here as more than just a spectator," Johnson told CBSNews.com. "I'm glad I got to be here at all, though." Read more about women's ski jumping.
  • The United States clinched a berth in the quarterfinal round of the men's hockey tournament before they stepped on the ice Tuesday night for their final preliminary-round game against Russia. The Americans were guaranteed a medal-round berth when Kazakhstan beat Latvia 5-2. That eliminated Latvia from medal contention. Regardless of how they fare against the Russians, the U.S. will play Finland, which completed a sweep of Group A by blanking Germany 2-0, in Wednesday's quarterfinals. Also Tuesday, Italy tied Switzerland 3-3 and Canada held off the Czech Republic 3-2
  • A disgraced Austrian ski coach left behind syringes in the home he rented for the Turin Olympics, and more details were revealed Tuesday (watch video) about what was seized in a surprise weekend raid on the living quarters of athletes and staff, including unlabeled drugs and a blood transfusion machine. An Italian prosecutor inspected the private home in the mountain hamlet of Pragelato Monday night, where banned coach Walter Mayer had been staying before he bolted the Olympics following the raids and resurfaced in Austria, police said Tuesday.
  • Americans Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming won the silver medal in the women's bobsled. Their time of 3:50.69 was .71 seconds behind the gold medal winners, Shandra Kiriasis and Anja Schneiderheinze of Germany. The other U.S. sled, with Jean Prahm and Vonetta Flowers, finished sixth.
  • As Day 11 drew to a close, Germany was tops with 20 medals, including eight golds. Norway was next with 18, followed by the United States with 17. Austria was next with 16 and Russia had 15.
  • The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that it will launch a disciplinary investigation to probe possible doping violations by the Austrian biathlon and cross-country skiing teams, even without a positive doping test.
  • NBC Olympics chief Dick Ebersol said Monday that despite modest TV ratings, the network will make a profit of $50 million to $75 million on the Winter Games, and that NBC is "not even discussing" offering make-goods to Olympic advertisers. "We are sitting on a mountain of more than $900 million in cash between the network, cable and our owned stations for these Games, and I can promise you it's safe," he said.

    Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto were still on the ice long after getting their silver medals in ice dancing. They posed for pictures, clowned for the crowd, waved the flag and tried to thank every single fan who showed up to cheer them, The Early Show correspondent Tracy Smith reports.

    "This is absolutely amazing," Agosto said Monday night, wearing a smile that looked as if it would never come off. "We really feel this medal belongs to a lot of people who put in years and years of support. And for the teams that came before us and put in years of dedication building the sport of ice dancing in the U.S.

    "It is hard to put into words. It is really wonderful."

    Germany won the men's 30-kilometer biathlon relay Tuesday to give the country its eighth gold medal at the Turin Games.

    Austria almost immediately matched its neighbor — Felix Gottwald won the country's eighth gold with a come-from-behind victory in the Nordic combined large hill sprint.

    In the biathlon relay, Ricco Gross, Michael Roesch, Sven Fischer and Michael Greis covered the San Sicario course in 1 hour, 21 minutes, 51.5 seconds for their country's fourth Olympic gold in the race. The Germans also won in 1992, '94 and '98.

    Russia was 20.9 seconds back, and France edged Sweden for the bronze in a photo finish.

    Ole Einar Bjoerndalen skied a brilliant final leg but could only haul his underperforming Norwegian teammates into fifth place.

    The Germans also looked like favorites to take the Nordic combined sprint when Georg Hettich, who won gold in the individual normal hill event, jumped 133.5 meters on the large hill for 125.7 points and a five-second lead to take into the 7.5-kilometer cross-country race.

    But Hettich faded fast, allowing Gottwald and then Magnus Moan of Norway to overhaul him for gold and silver. Hettich hung on for bronze. It was Gottwald's second gold of the games. He was part of the winning Nordic combined team event last week.