Clipped From Dayton Daily News
Samoan SEAL tackles bobsled ri rn UNDERFOSSEN, Norway I lJ I He sat in an empty shed I Deyona me nmsn une oi me I I I I Olympic bobsleigh track and LJ LI told one of the most unlikely tales of the Winter Games. Sunday's competition was over. The icy course that snaked through the snow-capped evergreens on this mountain north of Lillehammer was deserted. The crowd with its cowbells, its flags and its fascination of winners had trekked off in the direction of the medalists. And so Faauuga Tia Muagututia Tia for short was left alone. Teaming with Brad Kiltz in American Samoa's two-man sled, he had finished 39th of 43 and TOM ARCHDEACON SPORTS FEATURE COLUMNIST teams. , Not only was this Muagututia's first Olympics, it was the Winter Games' debut of American Samoa, the three small South Pacific islands and two atolls, where the temperature rarely dips below 65 degrees and almost no one has seen snow. "Still can't take this cold," a shivering Muagututia had said as he led the way to the shed. "That's the only thing that bothered me today." aeci mow. 9 Hadn't he been a little afraid of the 80-mph speeds and the roller-coaster turns that easily can flip a sled? "Afraid? No, not at aU," he said quietly. "I know fear. Fear is jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet in full combat gear and worrying about your chute. Fear is diving beneath a ship in water black from the night." Tia Muagututia, as you quickly learn, is no ordinary man. He's a Navy SEAL, part of that exclusive special forces unit that is as adept in the air and land as it is in the sea. Klitz is an Indiana carpenter, but if you think that's an odd combination, consider the Tri-Bob Federation, the loosely knit union American Samoa has with Armenia and Greece. All three are bobsled beginners coached by Jim Hickey, a former United States bobsled Olympian and current New York golf pro. SEE SAM0AN10A STOW More coverage D Harding workout: Tonya Harding executed 4 triple axels in a sharp workout Sunday. Her injured ankle has improved. See story on rage it. B 3rd gold for Koss: Norwegian Olympic hero Johann Olav Koss won his third gold medal and beat his own world record by an incredible 12 seconds in the 10,000 meters. See story on Page 1C. D In the hunt: Picabo Street's second-place downhill effort kept the U.S. in the race for another Alpine skiing medal. See story on Page SC. B Sunday's results4C. B Today's schedule4C.