Sport: Olympics: The Rush of Winning

Speed skating and cross-country skiing are faint stars in the firmament of U.S. sports. The first can claim no more than 3,000 competitors in the entire nation and only one full-size training rink. The second holds a national championship meet so obscure that last year a total of twelve fans watched the finish of one race.

Now all that may change. As the Winter Olympics got under way in Inns bruck last week, competitors from these two obscure sports put America well up in the medal rankings with performances that were the talk of...

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