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More Medals for Chicago Area Olympians

By Todd McClamroch in News on Feb 21, 2006 3:45PM

02_21_06_icedancing.jpgJust days after Chicagoan Shani Davis claimed a gold medal in the 1000m race, fellow Chicago Olympian Benjamin Agosto and his partner, Tanith Belbin, earned a silver medal in ice dancing. It was the first medal in ice dancing for the United States in 30 years.

Last year the pair was just hoping they would be allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics. Belbin, a native of Canada only recently became an American citizen. She received her green card in 2002 and would normally be required to wait out a five year naturalization period before becoming a citizen. In late 2005, a change to immigration rules was signed into law allowing for a shortened naturalization process. On December 31, 2005, Belbin became an American citizen and the pair became eligible for the 2006 Olympics.

They were in sixth place going into last night's event but the Latin samba dance they performed propelled them to the silver medal. Fellow Chicagoan Melissa Gregory skated with her husband and partner Denis Petukhov to a 14th place spot.

What's next for these couples? Chicagoist is looking for a skate-off against the winners of Dancing with the Stars or Skating with Celebrities. More Americans will certainly see their performances that way!

Photo via Yahoo!News