SOCHI SCENE: Seeing 2 sweeps

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2014 at 1:58 am •  Published: February 14, 2014
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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Flash back for a moment to 2002, to this:

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"PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Gold, silver, bronze. Red, white and blue.

Snowboarders Ross Powers, Danny Kass and J.J. Thomas rendered those colors interchangeable and indivisible Monday, giving the United States its first medals sweep in the Winter Olympics in 46 years.

With chants of "USA, USA, USA" coming from the crowd of 30,000, the three Americans made history on the halfpipe, soaring into the sunshine for an unforgettable Olympic moment. They catapulted their Gen X sport out of the fringe and into the spotlight — and put America alone on the medals stand."

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That's the story I wrote 12 years ago while covering my first Winter Games in Park City. Change a few names and details around, and I could've put essentially the same top on my report from Thursday's action.

I've been lucky enough to witness two of the three U.S. medals sweeps in Winter Olympic history (I wasn't around for the first one, in 1956).

Twelve years and two days after the snowboard kids thrust their sport into the mainstream, Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper did the same thing for ski slopestyle. There weren't 30,000 in the crowd and we were half a world away, but the bright, cloudless sky was one of the many similarities this day shared with that one.