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Ice Dancers Surprise With Medal Win

Sasha Cohen of the United States performs her routine during the Women's Short Program in Figure Skating at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006.
AP
Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto were still on the ice long after getting their silver medals. They posed for pictures, clowned for the crowd, waved the flag and tried to thank every single fan who showed up to cheer them.

After all, they were the first American ice dancers in 30 years with a medal to celebrate, The Early Show national 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."

Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov gave Russia another figure skating gold medal, making it three in as many events and continuing that country's long success in dance. Since it was added in 1976, a Russian or Soviet couple has won all but two of the golds in the event.

With Navka and Kostomarov on the verge of retirement, though, that dynasty could be coming to an end.

And Belbin and Agosto hold the promise of a new one.

"I know for a fact it will not take another 30 years," Belbin said emphatically. "Anyone who was fortunate to witness our U.S. nationals, you would be so impressed with the level of ice dancing in the United States. I think it will be less time for more medals for the U.S."


Check the schedule of upcoming events.
Track the current medal count here.
In related developments:
  • 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. 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.
  • Banned Austrian coach Walter Mayer left behind a tangle of trouble Mayer when he bolted the Turin Games after a doping raid on his team. He made it across the Italian border — then ran into a whole lot more. He was released by authorities in Vienna, Austria, early Monday, sporting cuts and scratches on his right temple that he received in a car accident. Mayer crashed into a police roadblock 15 miles into Austria and was taken into custody Sunday. Within hours, Austrian ski officials said they had severed all ties with the coach, whose presence at the Winter Olympics touched off an unprecedented show of force at the games because of his link to suspected blood doping.
  • 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. CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey reports the Italian paramitary police conducted the raid acting on a tip from Olympic officials. 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.
  • The United States beat Finland 4 to 0 and won the bronze medal in women's hockey. Seven members of the team talked with Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "…The resilience of this team, the character we showed in coming back and beating Finland yesterday, we're all proud of ourselves in the fact that we're bringing the U.S. home a medal," Angela Ruggiero said. And Julie Chu added, "It was great for us to start off strong, and I think we scored like two minutes, 30 seconds into the game, a good testament to the team that we were really refocusing and really went hard right from the beginning."
  • 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.
  • 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.