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Luger Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, in the red jacket, with hometown fans in Vancouver. he finished 13th in men's single competition yesterday. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.
Luger Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake, in the red jacket, with hometown fans in Vancouver. he finished 13th in men's single competition yesterday. Photo by Nancie Battaglia.

Weekend weather side-swipes NC Olympians

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In Olympic competition over the weekend, biathlon skiers Tim Burke from Paul Smiths and Lowell Bailey from Lake Placid were side-swiped by Vancouver's nasty weather.

On Sunday, race conditions for the ski-and-shoot-competition changed rapidly over the course of the 10k sprint, with rain and sleet turning to heavy snow. That gave athletes who raced earlier in the day a clear advantage, Burke said. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "That was, by far, the most unfair race I've ever been a part of." Burke finished 47th overall, with Bailey winding up in 36th place.

Meanwhile, Vermontville's Bill Demong finished in sixth place over the weekend in the first Nordic combined competition of the Games. Demong struggled in the jumping portion of the event, but was one of the top cross-country ski racers. American Johnny Spillane finished second yesterday, giving the American team its first-ever Nordic combined medal.

Bailey, Burke, Frenette, and Demong will have more chances to medal later in the Vancouver games. In Olympic jumping, meanwhile, Saranac Lake's Peter Frenette finished in 41st place on the short hill. Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake was 13th in men's luge singles.

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