CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Tuesday, February 17, 1998
U.S. sweeps aerials golds
IIZUNA KOGEN, Japan (AP) -- Eric Bergoust and Nikki Stone gave the United States a gold
medal sweep as they soared, flipped and twisted to victory in men's and women's aerials.
Stone, 26, of Westborough, Mass., nailed both her back somersaults to top the 12-woman
field with a combined total of 193.00 points and secure America's fourth gold of the Nagano Games on
Wednesday (Tuesday night EST).
Then Bergoust, 28, of Missoula, Mont., made it five golds when he captured the men's event
with a world record 255.64 points. He was close to perfection on both his "quad" jumps -- quadruple
twisting triple flips.
They were the third gold medals of the games for the United States in freestyle skiing,
following Jonny Moseley's victory in men's moguls last week.
"My dreams, everything I've dreamed of since I was 5 years old, I was in a gym saying, 'I'm
going to win a gold medal some day,"' Stone said. "I can't believe it."
"I'm on cloud nine," she said. "I'm walking on sunshine."
China's Xu Nannan took the women's silver with 186.97 points and Colette Brand of
Switzerland got the bronze with 171.83.
In the men's, France's Sebastien Foucras won the silver with 248.79 points and Dmitri
Dashchinsky of Belarus took bronze with 240.79. Britt Swartley, 26, of Blue Bell, Pa., was fifth with
"I can't believe it," Bergoust said. "I don't ever know what to say because I never tried
to think past this moment. I'm glad all my hard work paid off."
Bergoust scored 133.05 points on his first jump, a full double full full, or a triple
twisting triple back somersault. That's the highest ever score for a single jump in men's aerials and
gave him a commanding first-round lead.
Bergoust landed a double full full full on the second jump that earned 122.59 points. His
two-jump total surpassed Canadian Nicolas Fontaine's previous world record of 254.98 points.
After his second jump, Bergoust threw up his arms in triumph, then bent forward and buried
his face in his gloves, almost certain the gold was his.
A few minutes later, when the result was final, Bergoust twisted his arms in delight, held
up his skis, twirled a small American flag and embraced Stone.
The vaunted "Canadian Air Force" flopped, with world champion Fontaine slipping to 10th
place with 216.93 points, Jeff Bean to 11th with 210.77 and Andy Capicik 12th and last with 209.91.
Swartley, 26, of Blue Bell, Pa., landed a clean first jump, a full double full full, which
was good for 121.70. points and fourth place. With a medal at stake, he missed the landing on his
second jump and earned only 109.91.
Stone had the highest score of the women on the first jump, earning 98.15 points for near
perfect execution of a trick called a "back full double full" -- a triple twisting double somersault.
She was just as clean on her second jump, a lay tuck full, or single twisting triple
somersault. As soon as she landed cleanly, she knew it was good enough to set her up for gold.
Stone pumped her arms like a windmill, screamed in jubilation, held her skis aloft and
rushed to hug her coach. The second jump earned her 94.85 points.
But the victory wasn't assured until the final jump by Xu, who was the leader in the
qualifying round. Xu came up with a great back full double full, laying on her back in celebration.
The jump earned the highest score of the day, 99.40 points, but the total wasn't enough to
surpass Stone. When the total was posted, Stone hugged Xu.
Stone, the 1995 world champion and current leader on the World Cup circuit, nearly retired
from the sport after failing to qualify for the final at the Lillehammer Olympics four years ago. She
has also struggled with a series of back injuries.
As it turned out, Stone was the only woman in the competition to do a triple somersault, a
trick that only men were performing a few years ago.
Stone's two jumps earned the second and third highest scores of the day.
"She just wanted to have the time of her life," said her boyfriend, Michael Spencer. " I
can't even speak words and I didn't even do anything."
The competition was held in snowy and windy conditions. Jumpers often waited for the wind
to die down before taking off, with a few even pulling up at the last moment before going off the
"kicker" ramp that shoots competitors 40 feet into the sky.
Jumps were judged for takeoff, height, maneuvers in the air and landing.
IIZUNA KOGEN, Japan (AP) -- Final results Wednesday from the freestyle aerials medal event
at the Winter Olympics:
1, Nikki Stone, Westborough, Mass., (98.15, 94.85), 193.00 points.
2, Xu Nannan, China, (87.57, 99.40), 186.97.
3, Colette Brand, Switzerland, (87.88, 83.95), 171.83.
4, Tetiana Kozachenko, Ukraine, (81.49, 85.83), 167.32.
5, Alla Tsuper, Ukraine, (82.18, 83.94), 166.12.
6, Hilde Lid, Norway, (74.82, 85.36), 160.18.
7, Guo Dandan, China, (89.81, 69.93), 159.74.
8, Yuliia Kliukova, Ukraine, (68.76, 84.39), 153.15.
9, Veronica Brenner, Canada, (60.75, 90.40), 151.15.
10, Olena Yunchik, Ukraine, (56.84, 82.21), 139.05.
11, Michele Rohrbach, Switzerland, (61.48, 67.88), 129.36.
12, Ji Xiaoou, China, DNS.
1, Eric Bergoust, Missoula, Mont., (133.05, 122.59), 255.64.
2, Sebastien Foucras, France, (126.15, 122.64), 248.79.
3, Dmitri Dashchinsky, Belarus, (118.86, 121.93), 240.79.
4, Ales Valenta, Czech Republic, (115.22, 117.03), 232.25.
5, Britt Swartley, Blue Bell, Pa., (121.70, 109.91), 231.61.
6, Alexander Mikhailov, Russia, (111.17, 118.81), 229.98.
7, Christian Rijavec, Austria, (112.79, 114.81), 227.60.
8, Aleksei Grishin, Belarus, (100.84, 120.15), 220.99.
9, Stanislav Kravchuk, Ukraine, (107.35, 112.59), 219.94.
10, Nicolas Fontaine, Canada, (123.71, 93.22), 216.93.
11, Jeff Bean, Canada, (118.66, 92.11), 210.77.
12, Andy Capicik, Canada, (90.55, 118.46), 209.01.