It took more than 30 years and an act of Congress, but an American pair has finally won another medal in the ice dancing competition. Last night Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto won the silver medal despite a mistake on a technical aspect of their performance. Belbin, a former Canadian citizen, moved to the United States in 1998, when she was 14 but did not become a citizen until January when about 100 other "aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics" were also granted early citizenship. Those aliens are always trying to invade. The law has since been changed to eliminate the hang-up in the process that required the special act.
Of course, the gold medal went to Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia. The pair, who train in New Jersey, essentially dominated the 3-part competition. Only the women's competition stands in the way of a Russian sweep of the figure skating events. There was, however, controversy in the ice dance. It wasn't a judging scandal, but controversy about the outfits worn in the competition. It seems to us that watching is almost more revealing than a trip to the beach (not that we're complaining).
Perhaps the win for the United States on the ice was enough to compensate for more disappointment on the ski slopes as the US Men were shutout in the giant slalom. Benjamin Raich of Austria won the gold medal, Joel Chenal won silver, and Hermann "The Hermannator" Maier won the bronze. The best the United States could do was a tie for 6th by Bode Miller. Miller, is now 0-4 in his attempt at winning an Olympic medal in Italy. His last chance comes in the slalom later this week. Look for Bode to make it 0-5.
Photo by Getty Images via Torino2006