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Mom Wins Gold
Russian mother of 2-year-old takes women' 500 m speed skating event
By Jacob Wiesenick, Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Svetlana Zhurova of Russia
Svetlana Zhurova of Russia competes in the women's 500 meter speedskating at Oval Lingotto during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy on Tuesday, February 14, 2006.

  • Check out our interview with Jennifer Rodriguez.

  • Keep up with the latest news in men's speed skating.

  • Read our interview with Gold medal winner Joey Cheek.

  • See what Chad Hedrick had to say to our student reporters.

  • Learn more about skating.

    (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP Wide World)
  • Tuesday, February 14—Can you imagine your mother winning an Olympic gold medal? Well, that's what two-year old Yaroslav Zhurova experienced today when his mom, Svetlana Zhurova of Russia, won the gold in the women's 500 m speed skating event.

    Zhurova, 34, had a combined time of 76.57 seconds over two races. She defeated Chinese skaters, Wang Manli, who won the silver medal, and Ren Hui, who took the bronze.

    The American speed skaters did not perform as well as expected. Jennifer Rodriguez finished in 11th place, Amy Sannes came in 17th, Elli Ochowicz was 23rd, and Chris Witty, who carried the U.S. flag during the Opening Ceremonies, finished 28th—next to last.

    Although men's speed skating was included in the first Winter Olympics in 1924, women's speed skating didn't appear until the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley, California.

    Zhurova returned to speed skating a little more than a year ago after the birth of her son. She said she finds it hard to balance being both an Olympic athlete and a mom. So far, she seems to be doing a great job!


    Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.