I watched bits and pieces of coverage today and catching up tonight, so here are few notes along the way, …
Watching replays of Shaun White’s snowboard run and also watching video of him on skateboard half pipe, I am very impressed by the athleticism, imagination and enthusiasm displayed by the young, gangly redhead. Kudos also to two-time medalist Danny Kass who scored his second Silver.
Markku Koski of Finland took Bronze while another Finn, world champion Antti Autti dropped to 5th. Finland may be the best per capita Winter Olympians, – maybe.
The best Canada could muster was 11th with 2 other not making it past qualification. Now, I can’t do *anything* like those tricks, but 11th? Seems Canada would do better considering the succes in related freestyle skiing disciplines and the prolifieration of snowboard culutre in Canada. Comments?
The American women carried the Snowboarding mojo into today with Gold (the funloving Hannah Teter) and Silver (the saucy Gretchen Bleiler) and SLC Gold Medalist finishing in 4th after a wee fumble on her 1st run and a crash on her 2nd run after enormous airs. The rolling Norweigians scored another medal with Kjersti Buaas winning Bronze. note: Maybe it is the Norweigians who are the best Winter Olympians? Someone needs to do some math here.
This sport has evolved so fast since debuting in 1998, the riding is so good now and the bar is raising so fast. 17ft walls of pipe, 18th ft airs, linking 720, 900s, reversing 540s – form, style amplitude in spades – really unbelievable how much the sport improves each Olympics. Canadian women finished scattered in the 20s up to 15th. This event was one my faves to watch in SLC 2002.
Like White, 19yr old Teter got a real-time victory lap to whatever they want as they ride down to claim the Gold Medal. Whoa, can you write a funner ride? What a thrill for those youngsters with so much in front of them (Tony Hawk is still an innovative skateboarder in late-30 so White could be doing both for decades still). Unbelievably, Hanah Teter rode so loose and smooth and high that she almost accidentally scored a higher score than her first run.
Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy, … and even worse, 9th in the 500m (by the way, ESPN has Wotherspoon listed as USA) not even close and then an smiley American wins – couldn’t it have been veteran Shimizu or anyone? Argh. I dig the event and think doing the 2 races (the event is determined by the combined time of 2 runs) in one day is sensible though the racers may not like it. Who’s the Canadian hope for 2010?
What a wild sport! and very popular in Europe. Looks totally fun, like aerobic-paintball – the Russians dominated the women’s event though there are a lot of medals in this sport with different lengths and variations. A Canadian Woman finished back in the pack with 3 penalties (i believe this means a missed shot requiring an extra km or so of skiing) – I’ll learn more about this sport.
After much pre-games negative blather about not being finished in time, the facilities look great on TV – in particular the downhill ski hill was beauty and long track speed skating oval and cross country ski areas too. I think being on the ground before hand, it is easy to see all the stuff not finished. But, only the parts which appear on TV is *really* important (heh) and the rest of the “uncompleted” parts are draped over with bunting and decoration.
A note for my Olympic Flashback file: Once you are there, and the events are on, you are running on adrenaline and excitement and are just focused on the amazing sports in front of you and hardly aware of the rest of the commotion – you are in the center of the universe and the rest of the world is just taggin along.
That being said, I found the “big news stories” for Canada in 02 didn’t hit the street buzz as fast as it did the TV coverage. Examples are both the Sale/Pelltier issue and the Wayne Smackdown – we were so caught up in events that we didn’t know what was up for a day or two when the buzz got so huge and strangers stopped us to tell us how upset they were about the incident and we were like, “what?”, and then the Wayne incident was the buzz at the next game.
But, we were only catching a little bit of grating Bob Costas in the US-centric delayed coverage in the evening wrap up. This time maybe different with more communiation abilities but who knows, public may travel faster on the ground.
The newsmedia doesn’t seem to like to create controversy, but sure likes covering any hullabaloo going on. As such, the sensational story of the day is (duh) covered to death – like is the case the alleged Gretzky gambling conspirisy which is being blown WAY out of proportion.
I say, shut up already, let the courts do their business and the athletes tend to theirs and move on already! Seeing Wayne being grilled by the same stupid questions over and over after he politely explains the situation and asks for questions about Team Canada Men’s Hockey and nobody can muster a hockey question, instead another inane gambling-related question. Ashamed, these reporters should be ashamed and obliged to turn in their hack credentials and find a new profession with nothing to do with hockey, or interpersonal relations for that matter.
Women Luge too, several luges crashed which looks really unpleasant terrifying really. The sport would be fun for amateurs with some kind of easy-luge for beginners.
The track is tough with harsh corners and hard ice. Really the sliding sports are better on TV then in person as the luges move so incredibly fast that you can hardly process what is going on and before you can blink they are rumbling down and around the next turn.
Some Canadians representing – Red Deer’s Regan Lauscher 25, Meaghan Simister 19, from Regina, the cool and tough Alex Gough 18, from Calgary. But the event is tense and ugly after a few wrecks and trouble in general. Go Alex Gough!
The Curling tourney got underway today and I saw breifly…
- the Shannon Clyde Rink losing a defensive battle against Norberg of Sweden in a good game despite missing a team member to illness.
- the Newfoundlanders representing Canada curled well and beat Germany after falling behind 2-0 early.
These may be replayed in full later …
All for now,