Thursday, February 14, 2002 Updated: February 15, 3:31 AM ET
Goebel ends 10-year skating drought
SALT LAKE CITY -- For a guy who came to the Olympics just to
have fun, Timothy Goebel sure is taking home a nice souvenir.
Goebel won the bronze Thursday night, the first U.S. man to win
a figure skating Olympic medal since Paul Wylie took the silver in
1992. He also made Olympic history, becoming the first man to land
three quadruple jumps in one program.
Timothy "Quad King" Goebel skated his way to the United States' first Olympic skating medal in 10 years.
The crowd gave him a raucous standing ovation when he was
introduced for the medals ceremony, and he turned around to
acknowledge the entire arena after the medal was placed around his
neck, smiling broadly.
"I'm just so excited to be sitting up here with a medal around
my neck," Goebel said. "It's great we've got an American man back
on the podium. We've got so many great skaters and we sent such a
"Any of the three of us could have medaled, and I'm really
happy it's me."
Todd Eldredge recovered from a disastrous short program to
finish sixth. Michael Weiss was seventh.
"I have no regrets," said Eldredge, a six-time U.S. champion.
"It is a great feeling. I've been through a lot and trained for a
long time. It's great to see all the hard work come together in a
Goebel, 21, said all along he was in Salt Lake City simply to
enjoy the Olympic experience and have fun, and he wasn't going to
stress about a medal.
He got exactly what he came for -- and then some. He stayed in
the athletes village, only moving to a hotel on Monday night, and
has become buddies with some bobsledders and members of the
"I think it made a huge difference," he said of his laid-back
attitude. "There's so much external pressure at the Olympics, it's
different from anything else."
But if he was nervous, he didn't show it. Not even the standing
ovation as he was introduced could rattle him.
While Goebel has the best springs in the world, the knock on him
has always been his artistry, that he tightens up when the pressure
is on. But he looked positively whimsical in his routine to "An
American in Paris."
His happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care attitude would have made Gene
Kelly proud. During his footwork, he toyed with the crowd,
shrugging his shoulders and grinning coyly.
His jumps were as clean as usual, pulled off with the ease most
men do triples. He did three quadruple jumps and his last quad, a
salchow, came near the end of the program.
That last quad made Goebel the first man to do three quads in
the Olympics, and coach Frank Carroll jumped up and down when he
landed it. He's also the first man to do a quad salchow in the
Olympics; he did two in the free skate and one in the short
"I'm really proud of him," said Carroll, whose guidance has
turned the jumper into a true skater. "He made two Olympic records
here. ... I was very excited about that and I think it's something
he should be very proud of."
Goebel's only real mistake was a small turn after his triple
axel, but he saved it without putting his hand down.
The crowd was on its feet 15 seconds before his music finished.
As he ended with a flourishing spin, a big smile crossed his face
and he pumped his hands in jubilation. Skating to center ice, he
blew kisses to the crowd and pumped his fists again.
He then skated off the ice and into a big hug from Carroll.
"I knew I had the potential to be up here," Goebel said. "To
actually make it a reality is a whole other thing."