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Athletes Compete in First Day of Winter Olympics in Vancouver


Competition at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics has opened with the first gold medal being awarded to ski jumper Simon Ammann of Switzerland.

The 28-year-old Ammann won the individual normal hill event Saturday at Whistler's Olympic Park with a total score of 276.5 points. He posted the longest jump on both runs of the competition on his way to winning his third career Olympic gold medal.

Four-time former world individual champion Adam Malysz of Poland finished seven points behind Amman for the silver medal (269.5). Reigning world champion Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria won the bronze medal (268) in his Olympic debut.

Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won the gold in the men's 5,000 meters speedskating event. The 23-year-old Kramer set a new Olympic record of six minutes, 14.60. Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea placed second (6:16.95). Ivan Skobrev of Russia was third (6:18.05).

Anastazia Kuzmina won Slovakia's first ever winter Olympic gold medal with a victory in the women's 7.5-kilometer biathlon sprint. Kuzmina missed one of 10 shots and finished in 19 minutes, 55.6 seconds. Magdalena Neuner of Germany took the silver, finishing 1.5 seconds behind Kuzmina, and Marie Dorin of France won the bronze.

South Korean Lee Jung-Su emerged the winner of the 1,500 meter short track speedskating gold medal. Lee held off Americans Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski. Two of Lee's teammates were in position behind him to sweep the medals for South Korea. But Lee Ho-suk and Sung Si-bak collided on the final turn and slid to the outer wall.

With the silver, Ohno ties compatriot Bonnie Blair as the most decorated U.S. winter Olympic athletes with six medals each. Ohno is entered in three more events.

American Hanna Kearney won the women's moguls ski competition (26.63 points). Canadian Jennifer Heil earned the host nation its first medal of the games with a silver (25.69). Shannon Bahrke gave the United States a bronze medal.

The traditional opening event, the men's downhill ski race, was canceled because of poor weather. Organizers hope to hold the event on Monday.

The United States leads the early medal count with four overall, including one gold. South Korea follows with one gold and one silver. The Netherlands, Slovakia and Switzerland each have one gold.

Highlighting non-medal action Saturday, host Canada opened its women's ice hockey tournament with the biggest blowout in Olympic history. Canada beat Slovakia, 18-0, in front of a flag-waving sellout crowd.

Five medal events are on the schedule for Sunday. The finals are the men's 10-kilometer biathlon sprint, women's 3,000-meter speedskating, nordic combined individual 10-kilometer, men's singles luge, and freestyle skiing men's moguls. The women's super combined slalom ski race has been moved to Thursday because of bad weather.

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