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Originally published February 19, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Page modified February 19, 2010 at 11:51 PM

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Controversy surrounds women's skeleton

The International Federation of Bobsleigh and Tobogganing said Canada filed a protest after the race about the helmet gold medalist Amy Williams of Great Britain used.

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Top three. For Canada's elite athletes with a disability, many of whom had cruised through earlier Paralympics with little outside pressure, the 2010 Games definitely ratcheted up the expectation level. And it was accomplished with a terrific final weekend.

9:54 PM Mar 21 from
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The 2010 Paralympics, breaking new records in attendance and visibility around the world, closed out in a flash of colour and patriotism Sunday night as athletes from around the world gathered under a basketball court-sized Canadian flag and wished the Games goodbye.

9:39 PM Mar 21 from
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An exhausted John Furlong said Sunday he is happy the arduous road to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics is virtually over. Looking wan and tired, and occasionally downcast, Furlong told reporters at a closing press conference his energetic "blue jackets" -- the volunteer backbone of two remarkable Games -- may wish for another week of fun, but he certainly doesn't.

9:38 PM Mar 21 from
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Top three. For Canada's elite athletes with a disability, many of whom had cruised through earlier Paralympics with little outside pressure, the 2010 Games definitely ratcheted up the expectation level. And it was accomplished with a terrific final weekend.

7:22 PM Mar 21 from
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When wheelchair athlete Chantal Petitclerc won 10 gold medals combined at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Summer Games, she was reserved a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. So where does that place skier Lauren Woolstencroft - who earned at least half a star with five golds at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games?

4:53 PM Mar 21 from
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Results from the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games at Vancouver/Whistler.

4:48 PM Mar 21 from
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Results from the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games at Vancouver/Whistler.

4:43 PM Mar 21 from
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When wheelchair athlete Chantal Petitclerc won 10 gold medals combined at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Summer Games, she was reserved a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. So where does that place skier Lauren Woolstencroft - who earned at least half a star with five golds at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games?

4:21 PM Mar 21 from
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Youth was served in the gold-medal final of Paralympic sledge hockey. Yet it was the game itself, still in its relative infancy in terms of development, that was the big winner after a terrific set of playoff-round games at UBC's Thunderbird Arena.

3:52 PM Mar 21 from
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Canada's Brian McKeever clinched a golden hat trick Sunday, after taking a gamble and using skate skis in the one-kilometre classic Nordic sprint at Whistler Paralympic Park.

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WHISTLER, B.C. — Noelle Pikus-Pace spent 10 years chasing a medal, and missed it by 0.10 seconds.

Spoiled by a spoiler.

Amy Williams finished off a surprising — some protesters said tainted — run to the women's skeleton gold medal at the Vancouver Games on Friday, giving Britain its first individual Winter Olympics title since figure skater Robin Cousins prevailed at Lake Placid in 1980.

"It was the perfect performance," bronze medalist Anja Huber of Germany said. "She's the right Olympic champion."

Not everyone agrees.

The International Federation of Bobsleigh and Tobogganing said Canada filed a protest after the race about the helmet Williams used. A person familiar with the filing told The Associated Press that it was "more detailed" than the one filed by the United States a day earlier on the same grounds, that a series of tiny ridges called spoilers across the top of Williams' helmet gave her an illegal edge.

"It's pretty much the same as everyone else's helmet," Williams said. "And if people want to try and play mind games that's fine."

Williams finished four runs at the Whistler Sliding Center in 3 minutes, 35.64 seconds. Germans took silver and bronze. Kerstin Szymkowiak finished 0.56 seconds off Williams' pace and Huber came in third.

Pikus-Pace finished fourth in her final career race, missing bronze by 0.10 seconds.

"I knew I wouldn't be satisfied unless I gave it everything I had," said the longtime racer from Eagle Mountain, Utah. "And I think I did that."

Montgomery takes gold for Canada

Jon Montgomery has a maple leaf and "Canada" tattooed above his heart.

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Now he's got something to hang next to it.

The redhead with the scruffy beard and penchant for speed, won the Olympic gold medal in men's skeleton, snatching it away from Latvia's Martins Dukurs, who had been nearly flawless during three heats but made a critical mistake within feet of the finish.

Montgomery completed his four runs down the Whistler Sliding Center track, a course he knows so well he could probably navigate it blindfolded, in 3 minutes, 29.73 seconds — .07 seconds faster than Dukurs. Russia's Alexander Tretyakov won the bronze.

On the last run of the night, Dukurs was carving down the ice, on his way to Latvia's first gold medal in the Winter Olympics when he suddenly lost his line in the final curve, a long, sweeping right known as "Thunderbird." He began weaving up and down the banked walls and when he finally came down, he brushed hard against the side, costing him valuable seconds.

American Zach Lund, who was kicked out of the last Olympics because a banned substance was in a hair-restoration product he took, was fifth, 0.52 from a medal.

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