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Here are some interesting factoids and other non-essential, but mildly entertaining, factlets from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games data base:
DOUBLE TIME: Fabian Cancellara (Swi) did more than win gold in the time trial and bronze in the road race. “Spartacus” became only the fifth rider to win a medal in both road events in the same Olympic Games.
Jan Ullrich (Ger) is the only other male to have achieved this distinction, winning gold in the road race and silver in the time trial in Sydney 2000.Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Ned) is the only rider to double-gold, pulling off the feat in Sydney 2000.
Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who missed bronze in Wednesday’s TT by just nine seconds, won gold in the road race and silver in the time trial in Atlanta 1996. Canadian Clara Hughes won bronze in both events, also in Atlanta.
CLOSING IN: Brad McGee (Aus) needs just one medal on the boards to equal the Olympic record for the most medals in track cycling since Olympic competition began in the discipline 104 years ago.
McGee has won five medals in three previous Olympics, three in the individual pursuit and two in the team pursuit. He’ll compete in both events in Beijing.
Daniel Morelon (Fra), now head coach for the Chinese track team, won five medals over four Games while German sprint star Jens Fiedler also won five during four Games. If McGee scores at least one medal, he’ll join Fiedler and Morelon as the only track cyclists to win medals in four Olympics.
Brad Wiggins (GBR) is one of eight riders with four career Olympic medals, but he’s the only active rider still in competition. Wiggins will compete in three events (team and individual pursuit and the Madison) and could break Downing’s record.
BRIT FIRST: Rebecca Romero (GBR) is chasing her own piece of history. Favored along with Sarah Hammer (USA) in the women’s individual pursuit, Romero is already an Olympic medalist, taking silver in the quadruple skulls rowing in Athens 2004.
Romero only started racing track in 2005 to recover from a back injury. She soon developed into Hammer’s most dangerous rival and won the world title in the Manchester worlds in March. If she wins a medal in the pursuit, she will become the first British woman to win medals in two different Summer Olympic events.
RECORD HAUL: Kristin Armstrong’s TT gold medal was the 900th gold in U.S. Olympic history. It was the 10th American gold medal in Beijing and the third on the day, following two golds in swimming.
Athletics has been the most prolific gold-medal sport, with more than one-third of the 900 gold-medal haul coming from athletics with 304. Swimming has netted 209, 49 in shooting, 48 in boxing and 47 in diving.
The U.S. doesn’t rule every sport. There are 12 current Olympic sports that has never had an American stand on the highest step. They are: Badminton, BMX (new sport this year), mountain bike, Rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, handball, field hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, table tennis, triathlon and water polo.