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Olympic Moments: 2/20/10

Quick and random thoughts on a few more days of Olympic action:

  • My hero of the Olympics so far is Sweden’s Anja Pärson. Her crash at the end of the downhill Wednesday—in which she flew almost 200 feet before her crash and burn—was horrifying. I was amazed she wasn’t life-flighted off the mountain afterward. Then she gets a bronze in the super combined? Which required two great races? The next day? Unbelievable.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, the fall of French skier Marion Rolland just 5 seconds in to her downhill run is awful. A lifetime of training for that?! Ouch.
  • The falls by Pärson & Rolland can be seen (along with several others) in this video, rather morbidly described as follows: “Highlights of the best Alpine crashes of the women’s downhill on Feb. 17.”
  • Not a bad week for Bode Miller, eh?
  • I was glad to see Evan Lysacek win gold. He rose to the occasion and skated beautifully. Nice.
  • Speaking of “beautiful” and men’s skating: A frightening number of male figure skaters looked like they raided my wife’s closet. Seriously, those blouses need to go. I love the drama of skating, but it gets more effeminate every year. Ewww.
  • Snakes? Really?
  • “There’s no crying in baseball,” a wise man once said. And there’s no whining at the Olympics. Or there shouldn’t be. Still, the Korean short track team—who lost a sweep because their own team members wiped each other out on the last turn—blamed Apollo Ohno and said he didn’t deserve his medal. Worse? Ivan Drago (aka as Yevgeny Plushenko) whines that he was robbed of the gold. Whatever. Dude was shaky. He landed on his feet, but his routine was iffy, while Lysacek’s was solid as a rock.
  • I’m no Johnny Weir fan—which is a gross understatement—but he sure seemed to get underscored.
  • I’m a big Scott Hamilton fan. His sound effects and talking through grunts during every triple cracks me up. Plus, he’s married. That’s good.
  • How could Canada thinking that a public intention to “Own the Podium” would end well? America is pummeling them. Which is no big deal. Except they said…
  • Back to Ohno and short track: The short track relay is like putting the old Chinese Fire Drill in the Olympics. I like it, but I find myself twitching by the end. Yikes.
  • Shani Davis is impressive. Wow.
  • I admit it: I got into curling on my day off. It’s like darts. With defense. Or like chess, but you have to throw the pieces. And it’s something a guy like me could do. Sweet.
  • The Olympics always stuns me with the universality of athletic limitations around the globe. People from every part of the earth struggle against the same barriers, finishing races or jumps withing a few hundredths of a second of each other. It’s amazing. You’d think evolution wouldn’t do that. Just saying.
  • In light of that, Shaun White is something else. How can he be that much better than everybody else?
  • Why do certain Olympian hopefuls get blown up in the press while others get a collective shrug? For example, Julia Mancuso is fantastic. She won gold in 2006 in the giant slalom, and she’s won 2 silvers in Vancouver. Yet, she doesn’t get nearly the coverage of other prominent athletes. Why is that?
  • I’ve talked about a number of commentators that can be snarky. I’ve seen a few interviews with Stephen Colbert. He makes Costas and Collinsworth seem like tender-hearted Boy Scouts. Ugh. That said, his climbing into NBC’s fake fireplace was very funny.

15 Responses

  1. Colbert climbing into NBC’s fake fireplace was awesome… I was rolling on the floor!!!

  2. Enjoying your commentary, Chris! I think we’ve hit a slow patch with the ice dancing last night. I gave it up after the women commentating talked about one couple and said something about their knees and the ease with which they did something or other. It was too much! AND I was more than a little put out by the skater from Michigan who got Georgian citizenship so she could skate for Georgia. She’s not from there, nor has any ties there. AND her siblings are skating for Japan! Ummm – is there any national allegiance here? I hope she gets deported to Georgia and is required to live there. She might appreciate the country of her birth a little more! Contrast that with the story about Ohno and his dad and how his dad is a Japanese immigrant who gained citizenship in the US. And his son now wins gold for USA!

    But I am glad I stuck around for the interview with Evan Lysacek. Wow – my admiration for him went up several notches. He did not take the bait that Costas gave him to bad mouth Yevgeny and “respond” to quotes in the press. He was complimentary and gracious and I was impressed.

    Totally agree about Julia Mancuso – how many times can they say that she was not expected to medal. And how many times can we say “Lindsey Von’s friend and rival Maria Reich . . .

  3. Yesterday was a little dull, but I stayed up late the night before to watch the Slovaks beat the Russkies in hockey. Anytime Russia can get beat is good, even if it is by that infernally useless contrivance, the shootout.

    And we Canadians survived a scare from the Swiss by the same method…

    Now that hockey is getting going, the rest of it seems a little dull.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. I liked it when the camera zommed in on Tony Dungy during the men’s free skate and Scott Hamilton went on to say what a great man of character he was. Pretty neat to hear a reporter acknowledge that.

  5. Oops, I meant *zoomed* Ugh. Should have checked more closely!

  6. 1. Lysacek is a class act.
    2. Stephen Colbert is brilliant.
    3. Julia Mancuso is a great athlete, but I can’t get past the tiara-wearing at medal ceremonies. Get. Over. Yourself.
    4. Miss Johnny Weir was robbed.

  7. One mo’ thing – every winter Olympics, I really try to like ice dancing, because I love the skating in general, but I just can’t ever get excited about it. I think they should do it BEFORE the pairs / mens’ competitions. Then maybe it wouldn’t seem so, well, silly. I always picture the pairs skates sitting in the stands, watching the dancing and saying to each other, “Really?? REALLY? Seriously, REEEAAAALLLYYY????”

  8. 1. Koreans have some weird anti-Ohno obsession. After scoring a goal against the US in the 2002 World Cup they launched into this staged skating thing to mock him. Bizarre.

    2. The US women’s curling team captain’s haircut just beat up Johnny Weir’s.

    3. More reasons to like Scott Hamilton: He was born and raised in northwest Ohio.

  9. A significant chunk of the reason the Koreans don’t like Ohno (aside from his ability) is that his dad is Japanese. Lot of ancient hatreds lurking there.

  10. I have very funny friends. :)

    Jena, that spelling error will cost you 3 tenths of a point. Sorry.

  11. Anyone else think that there’s a “d” missing in Johnny Weir’s last name?

  12. Or a “q”?

  13. Anonymous, watch it. I don’t even know what “weirq” means.

    How about Ohno’s win in the semis? Houdini-like.

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

  15. Glad to eat a little crow here. The US has won a ton of medals, but Canada is on a major gold rush over the last several days. Very nice.

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