Olympic silver medal? Birthday? Aisle top that!

Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:20am EST
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By Janet Guttsman

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Topping an Olympic silver medal as a birthday present is no easy task, so the boyfriend of Canadian short track speed skater Marianne St Gelais hinted that he is planning on giving her an even more precious metal.

"Maybe one day in the near future, I'll give her a ring," Charles Hamelin, also an Olympic short track speed skater for Canada, told reporters as he waited to serenade St Gelais with a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" after her race.

St Gelais entered the race as the also-ran on an experienced Canadian team, but pushed ahead of favored rival Kalyna Roberge to win a place in a final that was restarted twice, once after a false start and once after an early crash.

Her silver, which came on her 20th birthday, brought host nation Canada its sixth medal of these Games. Boyfriend Hamelin won his 1,000 meter heat on Wednesday and will compete in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

<p>Marianne St-Gelais of Canada celebrates her silver medal during the flower ceremony for the women's 500 metres short track speed skating event during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 17, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>