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Winter Olympics End, Germany Tops Medal Count 


The competition has ended at the 20th Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, with Germany topping the overall medal count. The United States took second place followed by Austria. Olympic officials and organizers say doping was not a major problem and they are happy with the Games.

In the final press conference before the Closing Ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said he was impressed by the performance of the athletes at the Turin Winter Games.

"It was definitely Games that pleased the athletes and Games where the competition came to a very high level," said Jacques Rogge. "I have seen in these Games wonderful things. To see Cindy Klassen [of Canada] win five medals, she is definitely the woman of the Games."

Klassen won one gold, two silver, and two bronze speed-skating medals for Canada.

Rogge said he was pleased that so far only one athlete had tested positive for doping, but warned that the case against 10 Austrian biathlon and cross-country athletes was not yet finished. Even so, Rogge said increased doping tests in and out-of-competition has made an impact.

"I think there is a deterrent effect and athletes will have more and more difficulties to cheat," he said. "The fight against doping, with the progress of science, will always be a perpetual fight."

Valentino Castellani, the president of Turin's Olympic Organizing Committee said hosts Italy and Turin have added to the legacy of the Winter Games.

"The event exceeded all our expectations," said Valentino Castellani. "And I believe and I am very proud of that we have given a great impact to the Olympic Winter Games for the future."

Germany ended the Games with a total of 29 medals, including 11 gold, 12 silver, and six bronze. The United States was second with 25 medals - nine gold and silver and seven bronze.

U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel says the USOC is pleased with the team's best Winter Games performance on foreign soil, after winning 34 medals four years ago in Salt Lake City.

"We have come to Torino and won 25 medals," said Darryl Seibel. "In fact, we have improved on our previous non - U.S. medal total by 12. We have almost doubled it, so we are very pleased with out performance here."

Canada and Austria had their best-ever Winter Games showings. So did Sweden, which captured 14 medals, and China and South Korea with 11 each.

More countries than ever - twenty six - won medals, including first-time winners Slovakia and Latvia. That beats the previous high of 24 in 1998 and 2002. But Australia was the only medal winner from the Southern Hemisphere. Thirteen nations from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean were among those competing in Turin, but the all-time shutout streak for those regions continued.

Vancouver, Canada will host the next Winter Games in 2010.

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