The Wenatchee World



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Olympic rower visits YMCA

WENATCHEE — Mary Whipple stands before a small mass of children and watches her U.S. Olympic rowing team defend its gold medal in London. The U.S. boat snares an early lead, never relinquishes control of the race and finishes out the 2,000-meter affair with a strong lead and a final time of 6 minutes 10.59 seconds.

Erik Bjornsen claims national title

MIDWAY, Utah — North Central Washington skiers continued to have a successful week at the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow, as Winthrop’s Erik Bjornsen claimed his first national title in the men’s 15K freestyle individual start on Friday. Bjornsen, 21, joins Leavenworth’s Torin Koos as local skiers to claim championships this week — Koos won his eighth national title in the classic sprint Wednesday. Bjornsen’s older sister, Sadie, has also fared well, taking second in both Wednesday’s classic sprint and Friday’s freestyle.

Koos wins another U.S. title

MIDWAY, Utah — Leavenworth native Torin Koos won his seventh national title Wednesday, taking the classic sprint championship U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow. Koos, a three-time Olympian, edged Michael Sinnot of Idaho to win the title, earning a bit of redemption after being disqualified from last year’s classic sprint event.

London’s security issues add to pre-Games stress for Olympic officials

LONDON — With nearly a week to go before the Olympics kick off in London, British officials are stuck playing defense. On Thursday, the country’s Olympics secretary said 1,200 extra troops were put on standby in case embarrassing manpower shortages get any worse, while U.K. border agents announced a strike for the day before the games begin.

Olympics: Double amputee qualifies

JOHANNESBURG — Never count out Oscar Pistorius. The Blade Runner will be competing in the London Olympics after all, in his favorite event, the 400 meters.

Skier Bill Johnson’s health in decline

Once helped into his motorized scooter, former Olympic champion and Mission Ridge Ski Team member Bill Johnson races through the halls of an assisted living facility in Gresham, Ore., hardly ever backing off the accelerator. A series of strokes have all but immobilized the skier who once lived life on the edge, whose confidence, charisma and rebellious attitude made him a fan favorite at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where he became the first American to capture the downhill crown.

Olympic clock ticking in London

LONDON — When Big Ben strikes 12 to ring in the New Year, no one will feel the level of anticipation — and pressure — more than organizers of the London Olympics. With the arrival of 2012, the preparations will no longer be for “next year’s games.”

Digest: Penn St. takes early lead at NCAA wrestling championships

PHILADELPHIA — When Penn State’s David Taylor scampered down a Wells Fargo Center corridor Thursday night, he was surrounded by Eastern wrestlers from schools whose singlets were as colorful as the event’s multihued mats — Lehigh, Cornell, Rider, Navy, Penn, American. Just as the Nittany Lions redshirt freshman overwhelmed two opponents on the first day of this 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championship, the East has long held a distinct numerical advantage at these annual events. So the fact that none has won a team title in 58 years is stranger than ...

Region’s top sports story of 2010: The Wenatchee AppleSox

The Wenatchee AppleSox topped the competition in the West Coast League this season — their second straight West Coast League title and fourth in six years — and now they’ve scored another victory of sorts. The summer collegiate baseball franchise’s latest championship has been voted the region’s most important sports story of 2010 by The Wenatchee World sports staff.

Olympian back on Cup circuit as he juggles journalism, Nordic ski racing

The first few chapters of Torin Koos’s life outside competitive skiing are already written. The real question is when he’s going to get them published. The Leavenworth cross country skier, who just finished competing in his third Winter Olympics, has an idea for a book: a series of in-depth interviews with accomplished athletes — with some of the interviews already in the bank. But at only 29, despite some disappointing finishes last month in Vancouver, B.C., Koos may not be done with the racing side of the sport for at ...

Special Olympians celebrate opening ceremonies in Wenatchee

WENATCHEE — Grace VanWell beamed as she entered the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee on Friday night. The Wenatchee 11-year-old was taking part in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Washington State Winter Special Olympics.

Crosby, Canada come up golden

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Years from now, it will be remembered and revered like those aging black-and-white snapshots that capture a brilliant sliver of time from a bygone era. A classic.

Americans break own medal record

VANCOUVER, B.C. — So these won’t be remembered as the Vonn-couver Olympics after all. It’s looking like they will belong to the entire U.S. delegation instead. The Americans reached 34 medals with a silver and a bronze in short-track speedskating Friday night, and two more were clinched with the men’s hockey team and men’s team pursuit in speedskating advancing to a gold-medal match in which they can get no worse than silver.

One rolls, the other survives

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A remarkable chant began in the third period Friday night at the hockey arena. The notoriously polite fans and citizens of Canada were making an uncharacteristically loud and raucous request:“WE...WANT...U-S-A. WE...WANT...U-S-A.” Request granted.

Olympics roundup: Canada beats U.S. in women’s hockey

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Gold was the only option for both Canada’s women’s hockey team and South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na. For the U.S. Nordic combined squad, any medal in any color would do. All of them were quite pleased with the way things turned out Thursday.

Koos, U.S. team 13th

WHISTLER, B.C. — Sweden snagged the gold medal in the Olympic men’s cross country 4x10 kilometer relay Wednesday, withstanding a strong push by Norway. The U.S. team, which included Leavenworth’s Torin Koos, finished 13th.

Olympics roundup: Vonn crashes; U.S. hockey pulls out tight game

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Lindsey Vonn went down hard. Zach Parise made sure the U.S. men’s hockey team didn’t. Hours after Vonn broke her right pinkie in a giant slalom crash, the hockey guys found themselves in trouble against Switzerland. The game was scoreless a couple minutes into the third period until Parise broke through. He added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds to seal a 2-0 victory and put the Americans into the semifinals.

Koos racing in Nordic relay today

VANCOUVER, B.C. — After racing in just one event in each of his first two Olympics, Leavenworth native Torin Koos was scheduled to strap on his skis today to compete in his third event in the 2010 Games. Koos will team with Andrew Newell, Garrott Kuzzy and Simi Hamiton in the 4x10 relay.

Reliving his Ridge days

VANCOUVER, B.C. — After Mark Bathum left the Mission Ridge Ski Team in 1978, he nearly gave up skiing altogether. But now, 32 years later, he is getting ready to compete as an Paralympian. “When I left Wenatchee, I really didn’t pick up my skis for a long time,” Bathum said. “I was frustrated over not making my goals of making the U.S. Ski Team and making the Olympics as an able-bodied person.”