Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hays, Javanovic Take Seventh in Two Man Bobsled

by Robert H. Kelly

Del Rio’s Todd Hays and brakeman Pavle Jovanovic finished in seventh place in the 2-Man Bobsled at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Hays’ sled was in sixth place after the first two runs, but slipped one place in the standings after the second day of competition.

Hays’ combined time of 3:44.72 was 1.34 seconds behind gold medalist Germany 1.

Hays and team will return to the ice for the four man bobsled event on February 24-25.

It seems Hays made the decision to use cold-weather runners on his sled during the first two runs on day one of the competition.

"I took a gamble. "I'm already a silver medalist. I'm trying to win a gold. So I went for it, and it cost me a couple of places. ... I may have dug myself into a hole right now that I can't get out of."

Hays elected to use his cold-weather runners, because the ice temperature had been anywhere from minus-9 to minus-15 Celsius all week. But the sun came out after a snowstorm and warmed the track to minus 3.9 degrees at the start of the race.

"What I don't want to do is come across like I'm making excuses," Hays said. "I need to get it done with whatever runner I'm on. I'm not going to sit here and say it's all runners. I needed to drive better. I needed to find a way to get it done, and I didn't do that."

In this writer’s opinion, he was trying to do what he could to win. Win for himself, his teammate, and his country.

It is a shame it didn’t help, but at least he gave it his all.

That is a refreshing change from the attitude of some on the USA Olympic team.

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