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Olympic BMX: Far from Beijing, a 'half a bronze medal'

Published August 22, 2008 6:42 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

BEIJING - She's nearly 6,200 miles away, but Cedar Hills' Arielle Martin earned half a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics on Friday when close friend Jill Kintner of Seattle finished third in the first women's BMX cycling race at the Laoshan BMX Venue.

Of course, organizers don't award half-medals.

But Kintner had said that if she earned a medal, half of it belonged to Martin for returning to the U.S. Olympic Training Center near San Diego and helping Kintner train - even after Kintner beat her for the only women's spot on the U.S. Olympic roster. And Kintner earned bronze by finishing behind France's Anne-Caroline Chausson and Laetitia le Corguille in a wild race around the bumpy 350-meter track.

"It's been a team effort the whole time," Kintner had said.

Back home in Utah waiting for her husband to arrive on leave from his tour of duty in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army helicopter mechanic in the 101st Aviation Brigade, Martin said that missing the Beijing Olympics has steeled her resolve to remain near the top of her sport and compete at the 2012 London Games.

In the men's BMX, American men Mike Day and Donny Robinson were second and third behind Maris Strombergs of Latvia.