Bonaly's quad comes up short

February 22, 1992

The quad didn't quite make it.

France's Surya Bonaly was hoping to make skating history. She didn't even make the medals. The acrobatic 18-year-old led off her free skate program last night by trying a quadruple toe loop, something no women has done in competition.

She landed it properly, but videotape replays showed she didn't complete the required revolutions. She finished in fifth place.

Bonaly tried seven triple jumps and landed five of them. Her nerves got rattled right before she went on the ice, she said.

"I was very disturbed that my mother was not allowed by the ice," Bonaly said. "I am used to seeing her. My coach and I had a little fight before I skated. He did not want me to try the quad but I did. We quarreled a little and I lost my concentration."

Both Bonaly and coach Didier Gailhaguet obviously thought she had nailed the quad. She clenched her fists in victory when she landed and Gailhaguet, standing by the boards jumped for joy.

Next time, send a card

Even Alberto Tomba loses his way on the slopes sometimes.

Tomba tried to ski to nearby Meribel to visit injured Italian teammate Deborah Compagnoni but had to give up after going the wrong way.

Members of his party said Tomba lost his bearings and preferred to return by chair lift before sunset.

Compagnoni tore her left knee ligaments in Wednesday's women's giant slalom, the day after capturing the women's super-giant title.

"I am really sorry for Deborah. I really want to pay her a visit but I don't know where or when at the present stage," Tomba said.

Testing your medal

It's not all gold, silver or bronze that glitters in the medals of the Winter Games, and that's OK with the people winning them.

Instead of the usual solid metal, the Albertville medals have crystal bodies, engraved with Alpine peaks and the Olympic rings, and only a thin, border made from one of the three precious metals.

"We all think they are very special," said German Nordic skiing coach Georg Sutter, whose biathlon athletes have won seven of Germany's leading 25 medals. "Why should we think otherwise?"

Norway, with a surprising 18 medals, agrees.

"The most important [thing] is to get them, not their design," said speed-skating coach Layla Andresen.

Couch pommes frites

The French are watching their Olympics.

Almost 13 million television viewers watched the opening ceremony and five million people -- better than one in three adults -- watched a tape of the U.S.-France hockey game, which the Americans won, 4-1.

The top mark of the TV ratings came during the ice dance finals when nearly two of every French viewers tuned in for the last portion of the competition to see the Paul and Isabelle Duchesnays fail in their bid for the gold medal.

The quote

"This morning I felt pretty nauseous. Look, I'm being compared to a man who does 2,000 sit-ups a day." Chris Coleman, the veteran brakeman who replaced Minnesota Vikings fullback Herschel Walker on the U.S. four-man bobsled team.

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