(Salt Lake City-AP) -- With three full days of competition almost complete the United States shares the lead in the medal count with Germany and Austria at six. The U-S pulled off a rare medals sweep today in the men's halfpipe in snowboarding. Ross Powers, Danny Kass and J-J Thomas took gold, silver and bronze.
With some 30-thousand spectators on hand, Ross Powers led the American sweep in men's halfpipe winning the gold medal. Danny Kass takes home the silver and J-J Thomas gets the bronze. The diverse trio soared as much as 15 feet above the hollowed-out snow chute under sunny skies in Park City. Chants of "USA, USA" were deafening as the overall American medal count increased to six. The last time Americans finished one-two-three in an Olympic event was men's figure skating in 1956 at Cortina, Italy.
Many of the fans who went to see the American sweep in snowboarding came over from the postponed women's downhill. The event was pushed back because of high winds on the Wildflower course at Snowbasin. The event will likely be rescheduled for tomorrow. American Picabo (PEEK'-uh-boo) Street will be trying for her third Olympic medal.
Americans John Zimmerman and Kyoko Ina finished fifth despite and outstanding long program in the pairs competition. First place went to the Russians, Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaya. The silver went to the Canadian duo of David Pelletier and Jamie Sale and the Bronze went to Chinese skaters Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao.
American Casey FitzRandolph has put himself in position to win a gold medal in the 500-meters as he leads after the first round of qualifying. FitzRandolph set an Olympic record of 34-point-42 seconds and has a slight edge over defending gold medalist Hiroyasu Shimizu (hee-roh-YAH'-soo shee-MEE'-zoo). The medals will be decided tomorrow
Competition opened today with the women's 15-kilometer event and it was Germany's Andrea Henkel winning the gold. The best American finish was Rachel Steer of Anchorage, Alaska in 31st. Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (OO'-lah EYE'-nahr byorn-DAHL'-ihn) won the gold in the men's 20-kilometer individual event. Jeremy Teela had the best American finish at 14th.
In Preliminary round men's hockey Ukraine defeated Switzerland 5-to-2. In the nightcap Belarus and France are tied 1-1 in the second period. Canada opened the first day of women's ice hockey with a 7-0 rout of Kazakstan. Sweden topped Russia 3-to-2. The defending champion U-S team opens play tomorrow against Germany.
Italy's Armin Zoeggeler ended Georg Hackl's (GAY'-org HAH'-kuhlz) reign as Olympic champion, winning the gold medal in men's singles luge. Hackl, who had won three straight gold medals in the event, had to settle for the silver. Austria's Markus Prock won the bronze. Adam Heidt of Northport, New York finished fourth.