Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Allison, I know this world is killing u

Allison Baver was knocked into a wall again. This time she got up, continued to skate, and advanced into Saturday's 1500-meter semifinals anyway through the arcane rules of short-track speedskating.
And then: ``A tactical mistake,''

Allison, I know this world is killing u

VANCOUVER – Allison Baver was knocked into a wall again. This time she got up, continued to skate, and advanced into Saturday’s 1500-meter semifinals anyway through the arcane rules of short-track speedskating.
And then: ``A tactical mistake,’’ she said. She let two many skaters move ahead of her, too many for her to make a charge at the end.
``I wish I would have just slapped myself in the face and reminded myself to take control of the race and be in front of certain girls,’’ said Baver, a native of the Reading suburb of Sinking Spring. ``Usually I skate a lot more aggressively, from the front. Part of it was my confidence a little bit. That split second when I wanted to go to the front I was like, ``oooh’’. I just wasn’t sure of myself. And I think that just comes with my injury a little bit. Not knowing my body 100 percent.’’
A quick refresher: Last February, Baver broke her right ankle, her fibula and suffered cartilage damage when she was knocked off her feet and into the boards by U.S. teammate Katherine Reutter during a World Cup race in Sofie, Bulgaria last February. She didn’t walk again until May, didn’t return to the U.S. team until June, didn’t qualify for the Olympics until September.
Reutter finished fourth last night. She too gained the finals despite a semifinal collision, and she was involved in contact in the final race as well.
Baver will have two other chances to medal – in the 1,000 meters, which begin on Wednesday and finish Friday, and the women’s 3,000 meter relay Wednesday night.
``I wish I would have just went with my instincts in my semifinal,’’ she said. ``I hate that I made that mistake… Hopefully this will give me the fire to step it up in my other races.’’
Less than an hour after she said this, her ex, Apolo Anton Ohno, made Olympic history by gaining a bronze medal in the Men’s 1500 Final, his seventh overall. That eclipsed the six Bonnie Blair accumulated over three Olympics, although it should be noted that five of Blair’s were gold, and came in the more traditional long track discipline.
Ohno has won two gold, two silver and now, three bronze medals. A smile crossed his face as he crossed the finish line, signaling up towards Blair, who was in attendance.
``I'm very happy for Apolo's accomplishment," Blair said. "It's a great feat for him, US Speedskating, and the United States of America. We hope that more kids will see his accomplishments and want to try our great sport that has been so good to us and taught us so much about what it takes to be successful in life.’’
Ohno nearly fell as he chased down his two bitter Korean rivals, Jung-Su Lee and Ho-Suk Lee, in the final -- which cost him any chance to beat them. He has two more medal opportunities – the 500 which begins Wednesday and finishes Friday, and the 5000 meter relay event Friday night.’’

About this blog

SAM DONNELLON's career began in Biddeford, Me., in 1981, and has included stops in Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk, and New York, where he worked as a national writer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed National Sports Daily. He has received state and national awards at each stop and since joining the Daily News in 1992 has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania and the Keystone Awards. He and his wife have raised three fine children, none of whom are even the least bit impressed with the above. Sam is veteran of Olympics coverage for the Daily News, including the Games in Sydney and Turin, among others.

MARCUS HAYES grew up on a small farm outside of Hermon, NY., a small town near the Canadian border about the size of Reading Terminal Market. In high school he played three varsity sports and aspired to be faster, or more skilled, or taller. Having failed in those aspirations and seeking a warmer climate, Marcus attended Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and eventually graduated with a degree in Magazine Writing. He also earned a degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. To date he has written for no magazines. His English is spotty at best. Upon graduation in 1990, with Jim Boeheim's talent-leaden SU basketball teams having won no titles, Marcus spent 4½ years working for the now-absorbed Syracuse Herald-Journal covering high school sports, local small college sports and non-revenue sports at SU. Marcus joined the Daily News as a feature story writer in 1995. Among other assignments he has covered the Eagles and Phillies beats for most of his tenure. Still, the paper soldiers on.

Sam Donnellon and Marcus Hayes
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected