Of holy waters and the hidden charms of religious cruelty OLYMPICS '94: A SPECTATOR'S SPORT

February 21, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd

If it's not one thing, it's another -- Hoping to forget about her sore right ankle, Tonya Harding accepted an invitation from a tall, handsome Norwegian to go horseback riding.

The date ended abruptly when the young man ran out of quarters.

Words of inspiration -- In preparation for today's game against Italy, the winless U.S. hockey team (0-1-3) flew to Lourdes and bathed in the sacred waters of the shrine's grotto spring.

The players were then blessed by the local prelate, who added: "It might help if you knuckleheads play some defense."

No sign of a pulse -- CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz's dispassionate approach to the Winter Games has landed him a part-time job as a department store mannequin.

This date in Norwegian history -- Fleeing religious persecution in 1192, Olaf the Dim wrote his wife that he had discovered NORWE, a place of long, hard winters, little daylight, a bland, fish-based diet and a native population, the Sami, who communicated in an irritating, yodel-like language.

His wife wrote back saying religious persecution was something one could learn to live with.

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