- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY As the strains of the Canadian anthem filled the arena, tears glistened in Jamie Sale's eyes, but her smile never wavered.
It took a week, but she and pairs figure skating partner David Pelletier finally had their moment and their gold medals.
Standing on the podium next to co-champions Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia, the Canadians accepted the gold that was awarded last week in an extraordinary move by the International Olympic Committee.
As Sale and Pelletier accepted their medals from International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta, the standing crowd roared. But the magnitude of the moment didn't seem to sink in for either skater until "O, Canada" played.
"This was better than I expected," Pelletier said. "I think the four of us were part of history and that was something."
As the Canadian flag rose beside the Russian flag, tears of joy filled Sale's eyes and Pelletier began blinking rapidly, as if to keep from crying.
When a camera closed in on Sale, her grin spread a little wider and she winked.
When the anthem finished, the couples turned to the cheering crowd, waving their yellow roses in acknowledgment. Pelletier and Sikharulidze hugged, and Berezhnaya and Sale did, too.
Then Pelletier put his arms around Berezhnaya as if they were best of friends.
Hardly the picture of two couples who had been pitted against each other in a week of turmoil and bitterness.


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