OLYMPIC FESTIVAL : Young Gymnast Scores Big, So Does Event

From Associated Press

The U.S. Olympic Festival ended Sunday with a big day by a young gymnast and reviews by organizers who said the 10-day event was a success.

Doni Thompson of Colorado Springs, Colo., won two gold medals and a silver on the final day. The 13-year-old finished with three golds overall, having won the all-around title Friday night.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee performed for the third time before the home crowd, running a leg on the bronze medal-winning 1,600-meter relay.

Away from the venues, the president of the local organizing committee said there would be a money surplus after costs are covered.

"Everything came together for the last 10 days. I couldn't be more proud for our staff," Mike Dyer said.

"It will probably be tabbed as the greatest festival we've ever had," said Leroy Walker, president of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Through Saturday night, there had been $2.7 million worth of tickets sold. That places St. Louis fourth on the all-time list, behind Minneapolis-St. Paul ($3.4 million), and North Carolina and Oklahoma City ($3 million each).

Dyer and others noted that unlike at those other three Festivals, tickets to the opening ceremonies here were free, preventing them from surpassing the top gate.

A capacity crowd of 9,600 turned out for the final day of gymnastics.

Thompson won gold in the uneven bars and the balance beam. She shared the gold in the bars with Kristy Powell, her Colorado Aerials teammate, when both finished with 9.875s. Thompson's winning score on the beam was 9.80.

Her silver medal came in the floor exercise. She shared the medal with two others.

In hockey, Ashlin Halfnight of Harvard scored 4:45 into overtime to give the South an 8-7 victory over the North for the gold medal. A crowd of 9,771, the second-largest for a gold medal hockey game, watched the title decided in overtime for the second consecutive year.

The baseball gold went to the South, which beat the East, 10-2.

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