The Albertville File

February 18, 1992

* BATTERED, NOT BEATEN: U.S. Olympic hockey player Greg Brown was "doing fine" today after being released from a hospital. The Swedish player whose hard check injured him won't be suspended, officials said.

Brown suffered a concussion, a broken nose and a 12-stitch cut above his nose when he was hit by Mats Naslund 2:04 into yesterday's 3-3 tie.

"We received the referee's report," Jan-Ake Edvinsson, International Ice Hockey Federation general secretary, said today. "Naslund got a five-minute penalty and a game penalty. There will be no further action. He will be available to play for Sweden" in tomorrow's quarterfinal against Czechoslovakia.

Brown's future was less certain. The U.S. team said he might return later in the week. He was hospitalized overnight and was "up and around" today, said Dr. Dave Joyner, the team physician.

* CAPITALISM: Mike Fitzgerald, a ticket broker from Edina, Minn., said he has worked 12 Super Bowls and the last four World Series and never had anything like it happen. He was selling two tickets to the hockey game between Canada and the Unified Team of former Soviet republics when he was approached by a Unified Team bobsledder. The athlete, accompanied by his wife, did not have any money despite desperately wanting to see the game. How desperate? "He gave me his uniform on the spot -- a big overcoat [with CCCP logo] and snow pants," said Fitzgerald. "It was OK. He had blue jeans and a wool shirt on underneath. He was happy and I know I was happy. I've had offers for the coat that are four times what the tickets would've brought."

On the tube


8-11 p.m. (taped) -- Men's giant slalom, 1,000-meter speed skating, hockey, Nordic combined ski jumping.

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


1-6 p.m. -- Cross country skiing, curling, women's figure skating, hockey, Alpine skiing, speed skating.

* ALBERTO-VILLE: London-based licensed bookmakers Ladbrokes had odds of 4-6 on Italy's Alberto Tomba winning the giant slalom and 4-9 on winning the slalom.

Ladbrokes had him a 11-8 shot to complete the double and repeat his Calgary triumphs four years ago. No other skier was close in the odds, and no Alpine racer has successfully defended an Olympic championship.

Tomba's challengers include Swiss skiers Paul Accola and Hans Pieren, Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Ole Christian Furuseth, and four-time World Cup winner Marc Girardelli of Luxembourg.

* CHARGGGGGGEEEEEEE: The hockey games at Meribel are enlivened by the same organ music that echoes at U.S. and Canadian rinks. The organist is French, though he acknowledges the idea came from North America.

"Over there, it's to wake up the fans, who spend most of the game munching popcorn," organist Pierre-Olivier Bernard said.

Bernard says he saw the Albertville Winter Games as a chance to unite his two loves -- music and hockey. The Grenoble architecture student volunteered to play at the Winter Olympics.

* CANADIAN EXPATRIATES: If all the Canadian-born hockey players competing for other countries were to form a team, they could make a pretty fair Canada B squad.

The French sports daily L'Equipe noted that while 22 players were competing for Canada, dozens were attached to other countries. Italy has 19 Canadians, France six, Germany another six and Switzerland three.

Italy had set the pattern for "launching a sport without tradition" by sending out scouts in search of ethnic Italian talent nurtured across the Atlantic, the newspaper reported.


Nation .. G ..S .. B .. Total

Germany .. .. 9 ..8 .. 6 .. 23

Unified Team ..7 ..4 .. 6 .. 17

Austria .. .. 4 .. 6 .. 7 .. 17

Norway .. .. 7 .. 5 .. 4 .. 16

Italy .. .. ..3 .. 4 .. 3 .. 10

France .. .. .3 .. 5 .. 1 .. 9

Finland .. .. 3 .. 1 .. 3 .. 7

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

Japan .. .. ..1 .. 1 .. 3 .. 5

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

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

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