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Record Olympics audience for CBS

CBS finished the most successful Olympics ever on U.S. television with a closing ceremony watched by 41 percent more households than the audience at the end of the 1992 Winter Games.

CBS's coverage Sunday night got a 22.7 preliminary rating and a 33 percent share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. That compares with a 16.1 rating and 28 share for the closing ceremony for the Albertville Games.

When the final ratings are released today, CBS should wind up with a prime-time average of about 27, easily the top television rating for an Olympics.

Friday night's figure skating final, featuring Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, received a final rating Monday of 44.2 and a 63 share. The rating was up .3 from the preliminary figure released Saturday and tied the 1972 Super Bowl for 15th place among sporting events on the all-time ratings list.

Clinton comes calling

CHICAGO _ President Clinton called Kerrigan to praise her for "a great performance" in the Olympics.

Clinton called Kerrigan in Orlando and spoke with her for about five minutes while he was between events during a stop in Chicago.

"I'm proud of you. I'm proud of the way you handled it all," White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers quoted Clinton as telling the skater.

He invited Kerrigan to come to the White House on April 13 along with other members of the U.S. Olympic team. She accepted the invitation, Myers told reporters.

Hamilton's father dies

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio _ Ernest Hamilton, the adoptive father of Olympic gold medal figure skater Scott Hamilton, died of a heart attack Friday. He was 65.

Hamilton, a professor emeritus of biological sciences at Bowling Green State University, adopted Scott Hamilton six weeks after Scott's birth in 1958.