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Mourinho & Cassano!!
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Giorgio Di Centa, one of Italia's five gold medalists at the Torino Olympic Games!

On the last day as well!

He's a renowned Inter Milano fan! Only the great see the light! And they stay away from evil!


The Torino Olympics was the third Winter Games for Italian cross-country skier Girogio di Centa. (Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Italian fans cheer for di Centa

Last Updated: Sun Feb 26 14:27:45 EST 2006
CBC Sports

Italian cross-country skier Giorgio di Centa delighted the home crowd by winning the men's 50-kilometre mass start race of the Torino Olympics on Sunday.

Di Centa won the gold medal in a time of two hours, six minutes and 11.8 seconds. Russia's Eugeni Dementiev finished a second back for the silver medal. Austria's Mikhail Botwinov won the bronze.

The 79-athlete field didn't thin out until an hour into the race. Early on, Romania's Antal Zsolt broke away from the pack for his moment in the sun. He was eventually reeled in.

A major strategy in this gruelling distance is maintaining glycogen levels, or energy stores, and finding a rhythm, so jockeying for positions didn't begin until the last five kilometres.

Pre-race favourite Pietro Piller Cottrer of Italy tried to sprint with 10 minutes to go but only took a two-second lead. He could not sustain it and ended up in fifth place.

The medal contenders weren't clear until the final 20 metres. Di Centa glided down the hill into the final kilometre in 10th place, but he proved to have the winning kick.

Canada entered three nordic skiers in this event. Chris Jeffries of Chelsea, Que., Dan Roycroft of Port Sydney, Ont., and George Grey of Rossland, B.C.

Grey, 26, lingered with the front group through the opening quarter of the race. At 12.5 km in, Grey had a bolt of confidence and set a steady pace for the lead pack. He finished 44th, two minutes off the leader.

Roycroft and Jeffries finished 57th and 58th, respectively.

Di Centa was fourth in the pursuit of the Torino Olympics and also at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. It was a second gold medal for Di Centa, who was also was a member of Italy's winning foursome in the 4x10 relay on Feb. 19.

The Russian-born Botwinov, along with several other Austrian nordic skiers, has faced international scrutiny at these Games. Four years ago in Salt Lake City, Botwinov won a silver medal in the 30 km race, the same Games where Austrian coach Walter Mayer was banned from Olympic competition for 10 years after blood doping equipment was found in the Austrian cross-country and biathlon quarters.

In Turin, the Austrian team again came under fire when it was discovered Mayer was staying in Italy, near the Austrian cross-country and biathlon teams' residences.

Italian authorities were notified of Mayer's presence in Turin and conducted a surprise raid on the Austrian nordic quarters. There, they found blood analysis equipment, as well as syringes, vials of distilled water, asthma medication and other substances. Mayer himself left just before the raid, and later crashed his car into a police road block near the Italian border in what he later admitted was a suicide attempt.

The International Olympic Committee is still investigating the incident.

The 50-km event was last conducted using free technique (skate skiing) at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. The event featured the classical skiing technique four years ago in Salt Lake City.



Diether Endlicher/The Associated Press Italy's Giorgio di Centa celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men’s 50-kilometer cross-country race.

On the last day, a triumph for Italy
DI CENTA FINISHES STRONG FOR VICTORY IN THE GRUELING 50K


By the Associated Press

PRAGELATO, Italy - The colors of Italy's flag streaked across the sky. The horde of Italian fans lingered, savoring one last moment of Olympic triumph.

In the middle of it all was Giorgio di Centa. After winning the last possible gold medal for the host country Sunday, he beamed as he worked his way through the celebration, surrounded by eight police officers in an escort fit for a president.

Di Centa used a powerful sprint through the final stretch of the 50-kilometer race for Italy's first individual gold in cross-country skiing in 38 years.

``I usually finish second in World Cup races, but today I performed really well and I achieved a fantastic victory, especially because we are Italy,'' di Centa said. ``I had been thinking and planning the race for a long time.''

Di Centa crossed the line after 2 hours, 6 minutes, 11.8 seconds, just eight-tenths of a second ahead of silver medalist Eugeni Dementiev of Russia -- a narrow finish to the longest and most grueling cross-country competition.

Mikhail Botwinov took the bronze, a positive ending for the embattled Austrian cross-country skiers and biathletes who were subjects of a doping investigation by the Italian authorities and the International Olympic Committee.

Botwinov was involved with the banned coach Walter Mayer four years ago at the Salt Lake City Olympics, where Botwinov won silver in the 30k.

``This is my most beautiful medal after these turbulent days,'' said Botwinov, who was at home in Austria recovering from a cold when the raids took place last weekend. ``Our team deserved this medal. I thought I would finish back in the sprint, but now it's a pity I missed the silver by such a little margin.''

Dementiev won the 30k pursuit on the first day of competition, and he had another strong day of skiing that fell just short of di Centa's push through the stadium.

``With 300 meters to go, I realized that my legs were still powerful and I decided to try,'' the Italian said.

The top 20 skiers were within seven seconds of each other heading into the final 10 kilometers.

The last time the event was conducted using free technique -- or skating -- was in 1998 at Nagano. The event featured classic skiing in Salt Lake City, and there has not been a 50k skate race this World Cup season.

World Cup leader Tobias Angerer finished 24th. Andrew Johnson was the top U.S. finisher, in 34th.


Di Centa won his 2nd gold of the Games by eight-tenths of a second.

 

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Mourinho & Cassano!!
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Discussion Starter #2
FACCHETTI: "EXTRAORDINARY OLYMPICS"
Monday, 27 February 2006 14:50:43

[FOTO Monday, 27 February 2006 14:50:43] MILAN - Speaking on behalf of the club at the end of the Turin Winter Olympics, president Giacinto Facchetti congratulated "all the athletes who represented Italy in the various disciplines and achieved very prestigious results".

Some of them, including gold medallist Giorgio Di Centa, have confessed with sincerity their passion for the black and blue colours of Inter. "We are proud of their friendship and success, and of having such distinguished fans," Facchetti said.
 

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Greta joke sharer
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I placed a bet on Di Centa to win the 50k. Finding out he is an Inter fan makes the win even sweeter.

Congrats Di Centa!
 

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XT Post Number King
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congratssssss giorgio di centaaaaaa..... :happy:
 

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Giorigio my man :thumbsup:
 
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