Paul Wylie, who won the silver medal in men's figure skating, was voted the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award by American reporters covering the Games.
The award recognizes the U.S. athlete who best exemplifies the spirit and ideals of Olympism, overcomes adversity in achieving success during the Games and has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to others. Wylie, despite a history of little success in major international competition, nearly won the gold medal and frequently was seen leading cheers for the U.S. team at the hockey arena here.
The award was originated in 1988, with speedskater Dan Jansen winning it at Calgary and diver Greg Louganis in the Summer Games at Seoul.
Norway's Bjorn Daehlie earned his third gold medal of these Games, taking an early lead, then winning by nearly a minute in the men's 50-kilometer freestyle cross-country race at Les Saisies.
Daehlie finished the competition with his three gold medals and a silver, matching teammate Vegard Ulvang.
Daehlie skied the 50 kilometers, about 31 miles, in 2 hours 3 minutes 41.5 seconds.
Italians Maurilio de Zolt and Giorgio Vanzetta finished second and third, respectively.
John Aalberg, a Norwegian-born skier from Salt Lake City, Utah, was 33rd for the best American finish. Aalberg, who became a U.S. citizen last month, was 11:52 behind.
Luke Bodensteiner of West Bend, Wis., finished 43rd; Jim Curran of Jackson, Wyo., was 56th and Pete Vordenberg of Boulder, Colo., was 57th among 67 finishers.
Jeff Hamilton of Truckee, Calif., finished third in men's speed skiing, a demonstration sport, at Les Arcs. Frenchmen Michael Prufer and Philippe Goitschel won the gold and silver medals, Prufer with a world-record speed of 142.165 m.p.h. on his second run. That beat his previous world mark of 139.84.
In the women's division, Tarja Mulari of Finland won the gold, also at a world-record speed on her second run, reaching 135.932 m.p.h. Her previous record was 134 m.p.h. Liss Pettersen of Norway won the silver and Renata Kolarova of Switzerland the bronze. Melissa Dimino-Simons of Olympic Valley, Calif., was fifth.