WHISTLER, British Columbia – First to the finish. First to four gold medals.

Germany’s Andre Lange rarely loses — and never in the Olympics.

Bobsled’s best driver won his fourth gold in four career races inside the winter rings on Sunday, taking the two-man competition to become the winningest pilot in Olympic history and increase the medal total for a country that has mastered the sliding sports like no other.

Lange completed his four trips down Whistler Sliding Center’s wicked-fast track in 3 minutes, 26.65 seconds, .22 ahead of Germany’s Thomas Florschuetz (3:26.87), who won the silver. Russia’s Alexsandr Zubkov (3:27.51) won the bronze.

Steve Holcomb of the United States finished sixth, using the two-man as a tuneup for his best race, the four-man, where he’ll try to end a gold-medal drought dating back to 1948 for the U.S.

Lange is the first driver to win four bobsled golds since the event debuted in 1932 at Lake Placid, N.Y.

The 36-year-old Lange has hinted at retiring after he competes in the four-man event at these games.


FIGURE SKATING: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir put host Canada in position for its first Olympic ice dance gold medal by winning the original dance.

Their flamenco earned 68.41 points, 2.60 more than American champions Meryl Davis and Charlie Scott, with world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia almost two points further behind.

The 2006 Olympic silver medalists, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, remained fourth.


MEN’S CURLING: Scottish skip David Murdoch’s British team defeated the U.S. 4-2, dropping the Americans to 2-5 and practically assuring their elimination from semifinal contention.


WOMEN’S SPEEDSKATING: Ireen Wust of the Netherlands repeated as gold medalist in the 1,500 meters with an astonishing final lap that left favorite Christine Nesbitt of Canada laboring to a disappointing sixth-place finish.

Canadian Kristina Groves took the silver and Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic added a bronze to the gold medal she won in the 3,000.


WOMEN’S BIATHLON: With a quick burst of powerful skiing, Magdalena Neuner of Germany overcame two missed targets to win the 12.5-kilometer mass start race for her second gold medal at the Vancouver Games.

Olga Zaitseva of Russia took the silver medal after finishing 5.5 seconds behind. Simone Hauswald of Germany won bronze, 7.3 seconds back.


MEN’S SKICROSS: Michael Schmid of Switzerland navigated trouble-filled terrain to win the title in the Olympic debut of skicross. Schmid easily outpaced Austria’s Andreas Matt and Norway’s Audun Groenvold in the final.

American Daron Rahlves lost any chance for the medal that has eluded him in three previous Olympics in Alpine when he collided with France’s Ted Piccard and landed hard on his back.


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