Americans do Rumsfeld proud, Flowers breaks racial barrier

SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) — There was nothing political about Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday — he was partial to the United States’ biggest stars.

The Secretary of Defense experienced a whirlwind of American success on day 12 of the Winter Games, witnessing a world record, a team on the brink of another title and a figure skater closer to gold.

Untunately, he couldn’t find time to witness history as Vonetta Flowers became the first African-American to medal in the Winter Olympics when she won gold with Jill Bakken in the inaugural women’s bobsled.

A mer track and field star in college, Flowers pushed the winning sled into history, helping the United States to its first bobsled medal since 1946 — and possibly other African-Americans into the Winter Games.

“Hopefully, this won’t be the end of it,” she said. “Hopefully, this will encourage other African-American boys and girls to give winter sports a try because you don’t see to many of them out there.”

Rumsfeld missed history but not much else.

After having a hot dog with Canadian figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier at the Olympic Village, it was all United States Rumsfeld.

First, he made a 14-mile trip to the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, where speed skater Derek Parra set a world record in the 1,500-meters.