Olympic Moments, 2/14/10

I enjoyed the discussion that followed my first Olympics post, so I’ll keep chiming in with observations as I have opportunity. Of course, I welcome feedback, as that’s part of the fun. I’ve only seen portions of games thus far, but here’s my two cents on the first two days of competition:

  • With teammates like that, who needs enemies? Apolo Ohno’s sixth Olympic medal was lost until he got some help from a greedy South Korean. South Korea had a sweep going into the final turn, but 1 of the 3 decided to try to push for first rather than enjoying his team’s dominance. Oops. He and a teammate careened into the pads, allowing two Americans to capture the silver and bronze. “Wanna get away?”
  • Speaking of Ohno, short track speedskating is just hard to watch. It’s about as nerve-racking as any sport I’ve seen. Except figure skating. And gymnastics. And luge. And…well,¬† you know.
  • I like Bob Costas a lot. And Al Michaels. I’m trying to get used to Cris Collinsworth, though he still comes off as sorta snarky to me. On the other hand, I’ve not seen Keith Olbermann yet, so I’m not complaining. Dan Patrick? I’m not sure what I think.
  • Brian Williams had a fascinating piece on the danger of the winter Olympic events. I thought about it, and it’s true. Anybody can run and jump and swim. But most of the winter games are just nuts. And now that I’m listening, I keep hearing about how this guy punctured a lung, this girl has 80 stitches, this lady has had 6 knee surgeries. And, of course, the luge fatality just put an exclamation point on it. I’ll just watch, thanks.
  • I grew up in Colorado, and I skied a lot. The way Olympic skiers attack the moguls is amazing. Crazy. They must have springs where I have knees.
  • What a nice win for Hannah Kearney. Canadian silver medalist Jennifer Heil had just finished a near perfect run, and I told my girls (who, I know, should have been in bed) that she deserved the gold. Good for her. Then Kearney just smoked her run. That was fun.
  • Finally, before I’m accused of ignoring anything not related to U.S. athletes, what’s not to like about Switzerland’s Simon Ammann? Harry Potter’s doppelg√§nger (er, celebrity look-alike for non FaceBookers) won again. Fittingly, they showed clips of his 2002 win and interview in Salt Lake City. Loved that.
  • And finally finally, Scott Hamilton is a dead ringer for Mac Lynch. No? And come to think of it, I’ve never seen them at the same place at the same time. Hmmm.
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20 Responses

  1. I also enjoyed seeing Canada win its first gold medal on its own soil with Alexandre Bilodeau in the men’s moguls. I don’t know how anybody skis moguls and keeps their knees for very long, though!

  2. Chris,

    I saw the piece Brian Williams did on the danger of the sports. I actually think your fifth bullet point should be part of bullet point four. Moguls is amazing, but they don’t have springs for knees. :-) Did you hear about all the knee surgeries those people have? One person had six knee surgeries, 3 on each leg! Ouch! Knee surgery must be a biennial thing for some of them.

    Good observations.

    Jeff

  3. Hope this isn’t too far off topic, but my favorite Fundamentalism doppledanger is Marty Herron/George Clooney.

  4. Chris,
    Don’t forget the nordic combined yesterday. I’m standing in my living room cheering for the American in a sport I’ve never even heard of before! USA got Silver – they had never medaled in it before.

    Saw the Brian Williams piece and totally agree. Also wondered aloud if the moguls actually hurt their knees that much, or if it just looks that way.

    Okay, still laughing at the Herron/Clooney thing.

  5. The three Americans who finished 2nd, 4th and 6th in the nordic combined were all from Steamboat! It’s the first time I’ve loved somewhere that sends athletes to the Olympics, and I have to admit it was pretty fun to cheer for our neighbors as they sprinted for the finish line. :)

  6. I don’t know if you can see CTV online video in the States, but this piece on Alex Bilodreau gives a bit of a background on him and his family.

    Alex has an older brother with Cerebral Palsy. Alex gave up hockey as a youngster because skiing was something he could do with his brother. The story had us cheering for him in particular and it was great to see him win. They had the whole family in the CTV studio later. They seem like good folks.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  7. Chris, I am enjoying your thoughts about the Olympics and comments from people. It helps explain why I love wathcing the Olympics even though I don’t watch any other sports on TV.

    I enjoyed Brian Williams’ piece too. It reminded me of how, even though it’s true some people love dangerous stuff more than others, we are all seeking “something more” that only God can fulfill. Olympians have a passion for their sport–and that is a rebuke to us. We often have little passion for our God, who truly satisfies our soul.

  8. So what’s the deal with moguls? Are you supposed to attack them and go over them, or is the object to avoid them and go around them thereby keeping yourself at a uniform angle of trajectory all the way down the mountain?

  9. I think with moguls the idea is to make quick weight shifts to make as close to a straight line down the hill as possible. The jumps are extra. The slower skiers (even at this level) you will see sliding more around the moguls, going on a more back and forth line and letting the snow help you make the turns (and weight shifts).

    I used to read up on this stuff in Ski magazine back when I was younger and more limber. Not that I could handle even one mogul, back then, but I dreamed about it! My main objective was trying to get to the bottom of the hill upright and in one piece.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  10. My favorite doppleganger is Andrew Henderson/Brad Pitt.

  11. Andrew…er, “Anonymous,”

    I can totally see that.

    (Man, that was too easy. You’ve lost a step.)

  12. I couldn’t see the video, Don. Would love to find one, though. I saw a quick video clip in which he was hugging a special needs guy that I assumed was family and was intrigued.

    Elizabeth, that’s a great point. One of the most common challenges I give to those I counsel is the sad search for satisfaction in Ecclesiastes. You see it all over the place: people going from partying in college to career to marriage to parenthood to possessions to affairs to who-knows-what. There is indeed a God-shaped hole in men that, try as they might, they’ll never satisfy outside of Christ. And the Olympics probably demonstrates that as clearly as anything.

    On that note, we sang “Satisfied” in both services yesterday. Love that.

    On the moguls thing…

    I never learned to ski them well, but you don’t go around them. You hit the side of them and they actually help you turn. That’s the concept, anyway. My brother is pretty proficient at it, I think. I’ll ask him to chime in.

  13. The really sad thing is that the picture that you just linked to is still better looking than me. It is a good thing that I have such a sweet personality.

  14. Chris, the piece on Alex Bilodeau with Rick Hansen aired on NBC tonight. I tried searching their website to see if I could find it… maybe you’ll have better luck.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  15. You can always tell who the godly pastors are — those who don’t watch TV or movies, and have no idea what Brad Pitt looks like.

  16. Andy, you want to settle this on the golf course?

    Apparently your doppleganger is pre-conversion Nicodemus:)

  17. What those Olympians do on a “bumps” course is really not the model for any of the rest of us doing moguls. They control their speed by hitting the bump – absorbing the shock with thier knees (I normally absorb the shock with my back – not the ideal). So they are not avoiding them – they are using them to slow down. Chris slows down on a ski slope with very long, wide turns… which don’t work well in bumps!!

    I submit this with hesitation … Jeff Anderson/Conan O’Brien. I’ve never heard of the guy, but people say he looks just like me.

  18. Jeff,

    suuuuurrrre you have never heard of conan o’brien. You just don’t want Andy Efting after you.

  19. […] Previous 2010 Olympics posts: here and here. […]

  20. […] “Olympic Moments” posts: here, here, here, and […]

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