Women's air force nets two medals 

Bean denied by Canadian judge

The freestyle aerials event has led to another scandal and another victory for Canada in this Olympics, just not in that order.

Things couldn't have been better on Feb. 18, the day Canada went from the mid-teens to the top 10 in the medal standings.

Aerialists Veronika Brenner of Shannon, Ontario, and Deidra Dionne of Red Deer, Alberta, took the silver and bronze medals in Olympic aerials competition. It wasn't a surprise really; both Brenner and Dionne have a number of World Cup medals to their credit, and have shown that they can medal at any contest.

Brenner and Dionne were in first and second with scores of 190.02 and 189.26 until Australia's Alisa Camplin emerged from beneath the shadow of Jacqui Cooper, her teammate and a three-time World Cup champion, to take first place with a score of 193.47. Cooper blew out her knee in training a week before the Games.

The three took their spots in the finish circle at Deer Valley and crossed their fingers. There were still two jumpers to come.

Things looked better when Alla Tsuper of Belarus, the World Cup champion this season by a long stretch, failed to stick the landing of her second jump and dropped into ninth place. The last jumper was Russia's Olga Koroleva, who posted the best score of any of the aerialists on her first jump. She made a solid effort, but played it a little too safe. Her degree of difficulty wasn't high enough to hold onto the top spot and she dropped into fourth.

"It went so slowly. It was like time had stopped, everything in slow motion, but it was definitely worth the wait," Brenner told CBC reporters. "It's incredible to stand on the podium with one of my teammates. As well as Alisa, who's a friend of mine."

Brenner is an incredible comeback story, missing most of the 2001 season after injuring her knee in November of 2000.

"This time last year, I was still learning how to walk without a limp," she said.

This year the 27-year-old has made up for lost time with a gold, a bronze and four top-10 results this season. She now has an Olympic silver medal on top of her 26 career World Cup medals, including 14 victories.

Brenner and Dionne were in fourth and fifth after their first jumps. Dionne nailed a full double full jump for 100.28 points, the highest score of the finals.

"I knew I had it," said Dionne. "I just told my coach 'This is it, this is the one.' I just went for it and I knew I could land it and do well. I just needed to put it to my two feet and I did that today."


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