Olympics: Alert: Nukes Away!

Moody, mischievous and quite possibly under the influence of bird hormones, Jumper Matti Nykanen flies in his own league

As the crowd chanted "Matti! Matti!" and his countrymen waved blue-and-white Finnish flags, the superbrat of ski jumping shot down the runway at 54 m.p.h. Body tucked, hands behind his back, he soared off as though someone had slipped a piece of hot charcoal into his ski boot.

It was a typical Matti Nykanen performance: an explosive takeoff, an eerily long floating descent and -- as of right -- a first-place finish. The boyish Nykanen, 24, punched the air in triumph and seemed to ignore the awed congratulations of Pavel Ploc and Jiri Malec, the Czechs who finished a distant second...

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