Originally created 02/12/02

Moseley can't wait to use big jump; Eldredge might hold back

SALT LAKE CITY -- Moguls skier Jonny Moseley can't wait to break out his big jump Tuesday at the Olympics. Figure skater Todd Eldredge will use his only if he must.

Eldredge drew the 25th of 29 start positions for Tuesday night's short program, a comfortable spot behind favored Russian stars Evgeny Plushenko and Alexei Yagudin.

Skaters are limited to one quadruple jump in the short program, but history suggests the high-flying Russians will land it. Plushenko is the world champion and Yagudin won three more before that.

When he skates, Eldredge will know if he needs the quad to be competitive. At last month's nationals, Eldredge had the luxury of watching others go first, then he held back on the quad to win his sixth U.S. title.

"You just do it when you need to do it," Eldredge said while munching on a bagel after Monday's practice.

Moseley will make news in the men's moguls, win or lose, by unveiling his Dinner Roll. It's a daring and dangerous jump where he rotates twice with his body parallel to the ground.

"Yeah, I'm planning on doing the trick," he said. "I'm planning on trying to win with it, too."

Moseley is an innovator. He developed the 360 Mute Grab, where he grabbed an inside ski while doing a full spin with his skis crossed to win a gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

After that, Moseley took a two-year break from World Cup events. He entered the X-Games and made ski films, then decided to try again for the Olympic team if he could dream up something fresh.

The result was the Dinner Roll.

"I want to try to win in the same fashion I won the last one," Moseley said. "Something unique, exciting and new. I want to do that again."

Picabo Street and her teammates will try again in the downhill, which was postponed Monday by 20-mph winds atop Mount Ogden.

"It happens in skiing. We're pretty used to it on the World Cup," said Street, a two-time Olympic medalist who will make her final run in the games. "Tomorrow they're expecting a good day with half the wind."

Casey FitzRandolph skates in the second day of the 500 meters, where he placed sixth in Nagano but set an Olympic record in Monday's qualifying. He'll be favored for gold after Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon fell.

"I know that if I skate well, I'll win medals," FitzRandolph said.

The U.S. women's hockey team, heavily favored for gold after going 31-0 in pre-Olympic exhibitions, opens play against Germany.

The young American women's lugers, however, are in trouble against the Germans, undefeated in World Cup events since 1997. Nagano gold medalist Silke Kraushaar won last year's World Cup race on the Park City course.

The Americans won't contend in the women's 10-kilometer or men's 15-kilometer classical cross-country races.

Tim Goebel skates 20th in the men's short program, but American teammate Michael Weiss drew the undesirable first position.

"The first place is not the greatest to be in, but I have skated first and won," said Weiss, who went first at the 1993 junior nationals and won the short and long programs.

Goebel, an Olympic rookie, is called the "Quad King" because he's been the most consistent American at hitting the quad. He has hit 50 in competition and is likely to make points with judges who appreciate his jumping ability.

"I have nothing to lose," Goebel said. "I think with an international panel, having the technical difficulty that I do, that I have a better shot of getting high scores if I skate well."

He plans to treat the Olympics like any other competition. Goebel spent the week relaxing in the Olympic Village game room, sipping java at the coffee shop and bonding with his short-track speedskating pals.

He plans to go to the arena and pretend it's just another competition. Eldredge knows the approach well.

"You say, 'OK, whatever. It's the world championships with rings on the ice,"' Eldredge said.

But that's easier said than done, he admitted.

"It's not exactly the same," Eldredge said. "You know where you're at. You know you're at the Olympics. Hopefully, you get out there and just think about what you need to do."


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