The Albertville File

February 17, 1992

* SHADES OF ROLLERBALL: The graceful, delicate Olympic figure skaters are about to be elbowed off the ice by the gladiators of short-track speed skating.

Short track -- fast, furious and thrilling to watch -- has been elevated to full Games status for the first time at Albertville with heats beginning tomorrow.

Skaters will race in packs at up to 30 mph around a high speed track measuring little more than 100 yards in the Olympic Ice Hall they share with the more genteel figure skaters.

The sport, in marked contrast to figure skating, is also devastatingly easy to understand -- the first across the line wins.

But on the way to that line there is plenty of what can euphemistically be termed "jockeying for position" and some spectacular accidents.

"It's a physical contact sport but it's not rollerball," said Allan Luke, coach of two skaters on the highly-rated British squad.

"It is very fast and there is not a lot of room for overtaking. You can have some nasty accidents."

* PRINCE A PAUPER: Monaco's prince was a pauper at the Olympics.

Prince Albert, teamed with Pascal Camia in the two-man bobsled, finished 43rd of 46 sleds yesterday. The Monaco II team beat both entrants from the Virgin Islands and one from Puerto Rico.

The prince's time for four runs -- two Saturday and two yesterday -- was 4 minutes, 14.42 seconds. In contrast, the first-place Swiss team of Gustav Weder and Donat Acklin finished in 4:03.26.

On the tube

TODAY'S VIEWING CBS: CHS. 11 AND 9

1-6 p.m. -- (live) hockey, (taped) women's 5,000-meter speedskating, women's 4 X 7.5-kilometer cross-country.

8-11 p.m. (taped) -- ice dancing long program, hockey, Nordic combined.

11:30 p.m.-midnight -- Wrapup of day's events.

MEDAL LEADERS

Nation .. .. ..G S B Total

Germany .. .. .. .. 8 8 5 .21

Austria .. .. .. .. 4 6 6 .16

Unified Team .. .. .6 4 5 .15

Norway .. .. .. .. .6 4 3 .13

France .. .. .. .. .3 3 1 ..7

Italy .. .. .. .. ..1 3 3 ..7

United States .. .. 3 2 1 ..6

Finland .. .. .. .. 3 1 2 ..6

Netherlands .. .. ..0 1 2 ..3

Japan .. .. .. .. ..0 1 2 ..3

G--Gold; S--Silver; B--Bronze

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