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Canada Captures 2 Golds in Final Night of Olympic Short Track Speed Skating - 2002-02-24

Canada captured two of the three gold medals up for grabs on the final night of short track speed skating at the Winter Olympics.

Canadian Marc Gagnon had been in the men's short track 500-meter final at the past two Olympics but failed to medal. Now, he has two golds after winning the 500 (M) and getting the other gold as part of his nation's 5,000-meter relay team.

Finishing second to Gagnon in the 500 meters was his compatriot Jonathon Guilmette. Gagnon exchanged some words with his teammate when they saw they had finished one-two.

Gagnon:"First I was so happy for myself that I had just won, and then he [Guilmette] came up to me and said, 'Hey, man, we're first and second.' It was just perfect, man. We were two Canadians skating in the final, and all we could hope for is first and second, and we did it and we were just so happy.
Guilmette: "Actually, he said he loves me"
Gagnon: "Yeah, I did. More than once."

Third behind the Canadians for the men's 500-meter bronze was American Rusty Smith. Top American Apolo Anton Ohno was disqualified in his semifinal race.

Canada was the only one of the four teams in the men's relay that did not have a skater fall to the ice. Italy won the silver, China the bronze and the USA was fourth. Rusty Smith took a spill when his skate hit one of the blocks that designates the boundary, and that cost the Americans their chance to medal. "It's hard to have a really good moment and then a really bad moment, right back-to-back," he said. "I wish I could take it back and do that one corner over again. I think things would have been a lot different. They [my teammates] know it's all part of the sport. They said don't worry about it, it's no big deal. It bothers me more than it probably bothers them. I wanted the whole team to come home with a gold medal. We're world champions from last year and I wanted to prove it."

In women's short-track speed skating, Yang Yang (A) of China added a gold in the 1,000 meters to the 500 meter title she won the week before. South Korean Ko Gi-Hyun took the silver after an earlier win in the 1,500 meters, and Yang Yang (S) of China won the bronze.