Thunder From Down Under

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Forget that hockey match the U.S. won 22 years ago in Lake Placid. The real miracle on ice happened last week, when Australian Steven Bradbury, 28, won his country's first-ever Winter Olympic gold medal. With only one lap to go in the men's short track speed skating 1,000-m final, Bradbury, who'd never had a world-class solo victory, was trailing far behind the other four skaters. Then the pack crashed and Bradbury cruised past the carnage from worst to first. "I was like, 'Hang on a minute, I think I just won,'" Bradbury told Time. "I'm probably the luckiest gold medalist in the world." Luck had nothing to do with Australia's second unexpected gold, won two days later by aerialist Alisa Camplin, 27. Though she had dreamed of being an Olympian since she was five, Camplin didn't show up at the Opening Ceremonies, didn't go to the athletes' village and didn't trade pins. All she did was train — and then nail two difficult jumps. The Australian government has shown how seriously it takes the pair's historic victories by issuing two commemorative postage stamps. "It's only a small picture, so it can't look that bad," said Bradbury. "People will be licking the back of my head," giggled Camplin, not sounding very serious at all. — By Amanda Bower