Vancouver Olympics news and notes

Number of the day

0 Gold medals Canada has won as host of previous Games, the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. It's the main reason the country invested more than $110 million in its "Own The Podium" program to support medal contenders and, in an unusual move, limited pre-Games access to competition sites for athletes from other countries.

Weather update

Add Whistler, British Columbia, site of the Alpine events, to the list of venues with snow concerns. The men's course has been injected with water to harden the surface. The International Ski Federation ordered the move, allowing the course to better withstand warm weather and rain. Meanwhile, Cypress Mountain has been hit with a surprise snow storm, giving the home of the freestyle and snowboarding venues a much-needed break a few days before competition begins.

Punctuation mark of the day

? For the second Olympics, following Beijing in 2008, the U.S. Olympic Committee is not revealing its total medal prediction. "We've got a range of numbers," USOC chief of sport performance Mike English told the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dream big

U.S. pairs figure skater Mark Ladwig, who trains with partner and USF student Amanda Evora at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex in Manatee County, was a volunteer at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and he has been trading stories with Vancouver volunteers.

"I was laughing with an older gentleman who said, 'Now I have to come back and compete at the Games,' " Ladwig said. "I told him curling is definitely for him."

Ask us: Have a question about the Winter Olympics? E-mail us at sptsnews@sptimes.com and we'll do our best to answer it.

Vancouver Olympics news and notes 02/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:23pm]

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