Special Event: 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang: Catch-all
February 10, 2018 7:49 AM - Subscribe

All events are welcome here. Eventually we might have separate threads for different events but for now, bring all your sports chatter in here, from skiing to skating to curling!
posted by LobsterMitten (502 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
(from the opening ceremony thread)

Meanwhile, I just caught a glimpse of the most magnificent villain/hipster mustache on a Norwegian ski jumper.

That would be Robert Johansson and he is my role model.
posted by Wordshore at 8:24 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I am a new luge superfan. I work for the parent company of Norton, who is the primary sponsor of USA Luge, and provides them research & development support, along with $$ and abrasive materials. Last year I got to go to Luge Fantasy Camp, and had an absolute blast, despite initial reservations (I'm the opposite of a thrillseeker).

Anyway! I am exceptionally pleased that after day 1, Chris Mazdzer (my personal favorite, he is a cutiepatootie) is sitting in 4th place. I think the American women and doubles have the best shots at medalling, but you never know. The exit of Curve 9 is supposed to be the hardest point on the track, so watch for that.
posted by Fig at 8:38 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


From watching the 15km skiathlon last night it seems NBC forces you to watch a commercial in order to find out the name of the event you're watching, because they only display it when they return from a commercial. If you turn on the Olympics and a commercial isn't playing, and you can't tell the event by looking, you're going to be waiting a while to find out what it is you're watching.
posted by rhizome at 9:08 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I feel bad for the mixed doubles curling team. Is it stage fright?
posted by ob1quixote at 9:33 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I feel bad for the mixed doubles curling team. Is it stage fright?

Our Eurosport comentator mentioned that since it's a recent event with some different rules, it might take a while before there are specialized mixed doubles teams.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:11 AM on February 10


That would be Robert Johansson and he is my role model.

My God. Can you imagine the man's pizza delivery skills?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:21 PM on February 10


While it's obviously their own business and none of mine, in the same spirit as criticizing the clothes they were forced to wear in the opening ceremonies:

I dislike it when a country's uniforms don't include their own name for it. Gimme all that Deutschland and Suomi and Bharat and whatnot.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:27 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


The Hamiltons seemed back to form this afternoon, so I'm glad for that.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:12 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I always love the snowboarding color commentators with their duuuuude-ness that hasn't quite been TV-sports-commentatored out of them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:39 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


“That’s the dude that waxes his board, day in, day out.”

The slope style finals were thrilling. I’m a sucker for big air tricks.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:41 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Snowboarding is exciting since it's so young, it's not the game of inches that more mature disciplines are ("all the top competitors do trick X and it comes down to very technical points of execution differentiation") -- it's a lot crazier and a lot more spectacular tricks and spectacular falls.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:46 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


(wait, what language were they just apologizing for? I missed it because my child is talking in my ear incessantly.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:04 PM on February 10


Virtue and Moir hit the ice for Canada with "Sympathy for the Devil."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:08 PM on February 10


The American kid said "holy shit" when his score came in.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:08 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


(wait, what language were they just apologizing for? I missed it because my child is talking in my ear incessantly.)

U.S. coverage of the Olympics is brutal.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:09 PM on February 10


Wow, Medvedeva was gorgeous to watch.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:06 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Women's slopestyle has been delayed due to wind gusts. Boo.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:30 PM on February 10


That Red Gerard triple cork 1440 was SICK! And such a ballsy run overall. I saw it live at dinner and about jumped out of my seat, the moment it was over I knew he had gold. Holy shit I can't believe he came out from under Mark McMorris and Marcus Kleveland, which was who our house was rooting for (and Seb Toots, but he didn't make it into the top 10). Kids these days.

This level of snowboarding is so intense to watch live -- I live in Mammoth where they held a qualifier for slopestyle, big air and halfpipe last month so I am reliving some of that craziness just watching on TV.

My enthusiasm for the snowboard events will only multiply when we get to the women's runs -- Chloe Kim (18) and Hailey Langland (17) are the definition of what women are capable of when a whole generation of them grows up riding. Psyched to watch them bust it out!
posted by Snacks at 9:46 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Here in Finland we woke up earlyish for Sunday to watch Finnish medal hope Iivo Niskanen compete in the 30km Skiathlon. He started well, too well, leading for much of the first ten kilometers, and now he's tired and half a minute behind the leader, Krueger of Norway, with two kilometers to go. Said Krueger has had a hell of a race, falling to the ground in the opening sprint and having to work his way up from the back.

Meanwhile we've been trying to play Spot the Icelander (Snorri Einarsson #48) but he's much too far behind to be shown on camera.
posted by Kattullus at 11:29 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Perhaps some of you may also enjoy Elle's round up of Hottest Men of the 2018 Thirst-lympics.
posted by TwoStride at 11:42 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


This is a pretty fun Olympics so far! The opening ceremony was cool, the snowboarding was pretty insane and the ice-skating commentators had bedazzled earpieces and looked bonkers. I am wildly impressed that the shirtless Tonga, as we're apparently calling him, made it to the Olympics in xc skiing after only 6 months on the snow. That's insane. I also liked his frank assessment of the difficulty "every time I race, I die a little bit".

I made the mistake of watching the opening ceremony on US TV. The NBC presenters are maddening.
posted by fshgrl at 1:20 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


The 30k skiathlon was great, the tragic fall, the comeback, phew! Funny to note that the Korean participant finished something like 64th (he was the last one in with a couple DNFs after him), and the Korean casters were obviously not even at the event and were commentating off the tv feed because they didn't even know he was still in it until they showed the final ranking. They got excited to see that he actually finished and it was like...hmmm...If you were there you would have seen him.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:09 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


A lot of anger here over the NBC commentator saying how all Korean people respect Japan during the opening ceremony.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:55 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Today's obligatory complaint about NBC coverage: it is bullshit that at 11am on a Sunday morning I cannot find any Olympic coverage on the tv.
posted by TwoStride at 8:17 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Finally we have coverage here! Men's skiathalon has some wipeouts already making it kind of interesting. It would be nice if the commentators would explain what "freestyle" means vs "classic." (I know, but in terms of making this accessible to a random viewer: fail).
posted by TwoStride at 10:38 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Brilliant insight from the skiathalon commentators instead: "These guys are racing like there's a gold medal at the end... Which I guess there is."
posted by TwoStride at 11:34 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


Despite being on the couch, just watching the skiathlon made me tired.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:57 AM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Krueger was just proof of my pro cycling logic: it's better to fall early in the stage than late. Also, great strategy by Norway.

Major surprise in the Mens' Luge. Loch was expected to win a third consecutive gold, but after entering the final run on first, he hit the wall and drifted off losing enough speed from having a .2 seconds advantage half-way to finish fifth.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:30 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think it probably helped Krueger that in falling he was too far back in the pack to get caught in that suicidal early sprint.

Meanwhile, I've been charmed by curling thanks to the hot Norwegian guy asking the audience for their input in a dispute about a rock.
posted by TwoStride at 12:32 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


A lot of anger here over the NBC commentator saying how all Korean people respect Japan during the opening ceremony.

apparently that commentator works for kissinger.

also his "assignment is over", according to nbc.
posted by anem0ne at 3:19 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


I watch all the curling I can find. It's the only Olympic sport where I can waddle to the fridge, get myself a beer, and imagine that it could be me out there if only I weren't so lazy.

This is obviously false but I can suspend my disbelief.
posted by Justinian at 3:24 PM on February 11 [7 favorites]


The women's hockey USA vs. Finland game today was close and fun to watch. I'm looking forward to the USA vs. Canada grudge match this week.
posted by cosmologinaut at 4:34 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


"imagine that it could be me out there if only I weren't so lazy."

So I live within walking distance of the Chicago-area curling club and I want to try ... but it's hella expensive!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:10 PM on February 11


So in the team skating, why is this Rippon guy skating rather than Nathan Chen, who skated the short? How does it work?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:28 PM on February 11


I now only have one or two MLB players that are older than me, so my dream of being a pro ball player is about to expire (no, I don't actually play baseball). So I am moving into curling for my late blooming sports fantasy.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:32 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


If teams have more than one person in an event, they can choose who skates what. This can allow the skaters to save some of their energy for the individual events.
posted by TwoStride at 5:33 PM on February 11


Sounds like we’re gonna get a lot of Coldplay tonight.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:35 PM on February 11


I really appreciate that Johnny and Tara are pretty clear in subtly sharing their disgust that the current scoring system rewards falling on every single quad jump rather than skating clean within your skills. It's ridiculous that Rippon is behind the guy who fell on almost every one of his jumps.
posted by TwoStride at 5:35 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]


For anyone wondering why the winners are given stuffed animals while on the podium, they will get their medals eventually. I've watched at least 4 medal ceremonies in the last few days and somehow completely missed this detail until the men's biathlon today.
posted by lilac girl at 5:46 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Re: Men's luge. I started following Chris Mazdzer on Instagram just a few days ago, cuz - well, ok, I'm gay and I like handsome guys in spandex, ok? - BUT also the guy is so incredibly positive and enthusiastic, he's completely won me over as a truly inspiring and fantastic human. I was SO HAPPY to see him medal today! I watched the full replay earlier, and after his final run where it was assured he had at least bronze, the German Felix Loch went for his last run and I thought "I suppose even the favorite guy could crash?" And then he very nearly did, taking himself off the podium, leaving Mazdzer the silver! And this is, what, his third attempt at the Olympics?

It's just so refreshing to see a good man get the reward he's earned.
posted by dnash at 6:12 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]


YAY Mirai!!

I love her. (And there's a hilarious gif of her before her free skate at nationals where she seems to pretty clearly say "fuck!" before she begins, which makes me love her even more).
posted by TwoStride at 6:20 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Does Mirai Nagasu have a tattoo on her leg or support tape under her tights? (I can't un-notice it!) BEAUTIFUL triple axel there!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:21 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I think it's physio tape on her thigh.
posted by TwoStride at 6:22 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


> it is bullshit that at 11am on a Sunday morning I cannot find any Olympic coverage on the tv
Yesterday and today, I turned on the tv @ noon because, Olympics. nuthin. weird programming decision, no doubt driven by market research.
posted by theora55 at 6:33 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Chris Mazdzer is the best. I am so, so so so pumped for him - he struggled so much through the World Cup races, and it's wonderful to see him get on the world's biggest podium. I've been sending some of his Instagram posts to my girlfriends with "look how hot this guy is, cheer for him at the Olympics in Feb 2018!" for like a year now, so I feel prescient, hahah.

Anyway -- Summer Britchner and Mortensen/Terdiman are my pick for US medals in Women and Doubles luge. Who knows after the men's results, though.

And, Tristan Walker on the Canadian doubles luge team is another very good-looking male athlete, although he doesn't post nearly as much on Instagram..
posted by Fig at 6:33 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I am in favor of any skater (Canadian Daleman) who uses Rhapsody in Blue! (Mini McGee also voiced his approval.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:35 PM on February 11


I would be more in favor of one who used Motorhead...
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:36 PM on February 11


Rhapsody in Blue has been forever spoiled for me because of whatever stupid airline had a parrot pecking out the tune in a commercial years ago.
posted by TwoStride at 6:37 PM on February 11


Too bad Jimmy Ma, who skates to Turn Down For What, didn't make the Team...
posted by TwoStride at 6:39 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I do like the luge, even though the helmets look like the helmets from Spaceballs.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:41 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Is it me, or does the fact that the Russian woman skater didn't get a single "yellow - element under review" mark during her performance suggest the judges were going really easy on her? Everybody else got a couple yellows at first. For her to get none at all, to me just looks like the judges weren't even trying to be critical of her at all. I mean, she was great - mainly through pulling the math trick of putting all the jumps in the second half of the routine - but you'd think the judges ought to be double checking at least one or two of those.
posted by dnash at 7:08 PM on February 11


From 4 years ago, Atlantic/Wire’s GIF guide to figure skating jumps
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:13 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Scott Moir singing along with his music while skating the shit out of it is my everything.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:03 PM on February 11 [5 favorites]


Too bad Jimmy Ma, who skates to Turn Down For What , didn't make the Team...

With that song, humping the ice until it breaks should give points.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:04 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


Scott Moir singing along with his music while skating the shit out of it is my everything.

I didn't notice the singing but his face is SO EXPRESSIVE anyway, it just makes me swoon. Only other ice dance skater I can think of like that is Charlie White.
posted by dnash at 8:38 PM on February 11


It was too bad about the wind during women’s slopestyle tonight. One of the commentators pointed out that we didn’t really get to see any of the competitors really open up. And they only got two runs each — it has to suck to mentally and physically prepare for more. On the other hand, it was probably a little bit of a relief to not have to fall on the second jump a third time (as it seemed like, for a while, everybody was wiping out there).
posted by liet at 9:32 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Watching women's slopestyle was brutal. Yeah, Jamie Anderson was predicted to win anyway, but Gasser had a good chance too. Plus watching that huge wind gust blow right into O Brian, and she didn't get to have her re-run. So painful to watch them unable to correctly speed check their jumps and hit the knuckle or just go too big.
posted by xtine at 9:40 PM on February 11


Has anyone else noticed the weird compression artifacts on the speed events? I've noticed it happen with speed skaters' helmets, alpine skiers' helmets, mogul skiers' skis when they do their jumps, speed skaters's arms when they fly by, etc. The body part/equipment piece affected flickers in and out of visibility.

Maybe it only happens when watching online, I'm not sure, but it seems unfortunate if they're using some compression algorithm that does poorly when something moves fast past a white surface. That happens a lot in the winter olympics, as it turns out...
posted by nat at 10:44 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I was catching up on the figure skating in the morning here in Finland and I have a question... was the audience booing the Russian figure skaters? It really sounded like they were, at least while one of the Russian couples was waiting for its presentation score. If so... what the hell, audience at figure skating?! If not... as you were.
posted by Kattullus at 11:28 PM on February 11


Wow Chloe Kim is good at half pipe.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:04 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


So can someone explain the biathlon start system to me? I don't get it and the internet is no help.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:03 AM on February 12


Was this the pursuit? If so, it’s based on the finish from the 7.5km from a couple of days ago. Best finishers start first.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:45 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


If anyone but me is wondering what sexist malarkey is restricting women ski jumpers to just one event, normal hill, while men get three, normal hill, large hill and team, plus the Nordic combined of cross-country and ski jumping, the Chicago Tribune has some answers.
posted by Kattullus at 5:25 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


tl;dr: it is the old sexist malarkey about how jumping too much will make your uterus fall out or something.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:57 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


It was too bad about the wind during women’s slopestyle tonight.

Yeah I was disappointed we didn't get to see better tricks because of the wind, I'm new to the sport but there was a vast difference between the tricks the men were able to pull off vs the women because of that wind. I'm glad Jaime Anderson won though, a commentator said she's only the third American woman to win back to back gold for a specific event across all Olympic sports, is that right? (my google-fu is failing, maybe I'm not using the write phrasing)

Wow Chloe Kim is good at half pipe.

Yeah she was incredible. Leagues above everyone else. 3.5 meters on that highest jump in her 2nd run! That's nuts!
posted by numaner at 7:03 AM on February 12


Me after watching two games of curling in full for the first time in my life: IT'S ALREADY THE FIFTH END DON'T WASTE THAT HAMMER NORWAY GET THAT FUCKING BUTTON
posted by numaner at 7:08 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]


also im sorry and Sven Kramer is pretty cool for winning 3 back to back gold in men's 5K meters but watching long distance speed skating is like watching nascar, and not in a good way.
posted by numaner at 7:09 AM on February 12


The women's hockey USA vs. Finland game today was close and fun to watch.

it broadcasted so late! i tried to stay up but i passed out around 2:30 am as they were heading into third period and it was 2-1 and I was like "pls don't tie while i'm passed out kthnxbye" and I was very pleased to wake up and finding out it ended 3-1. Also that Ruty (goalie for Finland who plays for University of Minnesota with a bunch from the US team) is amazeballs with how many shots they had on her.
posted by numaner at 7:14 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else noticed the weird compression artifacts on the speed events? I've noticed it happen with speed skaters' helmets, alpine skiers' helmets, mogul skiers' skis when they do their jumps, speed skaters's arms when they fly by, etc. The body part/equipment piece affected flickers in and out of visibility.

Compression artifacts don't do sports any favours. I recall watching the javelin two years ago, and between the motion blur of the TV and the compression employed by the broadcasters and relays etc until it reaches my STB, I mostly saw a whiteish thing with a lot of glitches around it.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:20 AM on February 12


From 4 years ago, Atlantic/Wire’s GIF guide to figure skating jumps

In place or in addition: this explanatory post is really nice, and I found the explanatory gifs more helpful than the Atlantic's.

How to tell a salchow from a loop on TV! Clockwise and counterclockwise jumping! What those little mini-hops that I saw on some of the routines were! WOW I GUESS THIS YUNA KIM LADY IS REALLY GOOD AT SKATING STUFF
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:37 AM on February 12 [6 favorites]


Why the triple axel is such a big deal
And the axel is named after Norwegian skater Axel Paulsen.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 AM on February 12


I haven't seen it yet, but Gold Medal for Jamie Anderson But a Black Eye for Snowboarding raises the question of weather NBC pushed officials into running snowboarding for tv coverage since skiing has already been delayed. It's interesting (and depressing) in light of an article I came across when I was looking up the rules for team ice skating that also said that basically NBC demanded it in order to add 4 more nights of ice skating to its coverage. I mean, none of this is a surprise, but... Skating, whatever, hopefully it benefits the individual events to get some practice in, but the danger of outdoor events vs tv ratings leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
posted by TwoStride at 9:07 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Why the triple axel is such a big deal

"A lot happened after 1991. But in the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota? Tonya Harding landed.

GEE I WONDER WHAT HE COULD BE ALLUDING TO
posted by numaner at 9:14 AM on February 12


the danger of outdoor events vs tv ratings leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

SERIOUSLY?? Ugh fuck NBC so much.
posted by numaner at 9:14 AM on February 12


SERIOUSLY?? Ugh fuck NBC so much.

I wouldn't be shocked, but the article raises the question and doesn't answer it at all except for a quote pushing back on that idea.

Anyway that event was a depressing mess. Of course the medalists (and really all the competitors) should be proud of themselves, but it can't feel good to win with runs that don't show what you can do.
posted by lalex at 10:18 AM on February 12


"SERIOUSLY?? Ugh fuck NBC so much."

NBC pays for about 25% of each Olympic Games' budget (around $880 million); European rights (all of Europe, excluding Russia) are about $330 million.

I'm not sure I buy that they'd push slopestyle to run despite wind; they had a shit-ton of figure skating to show last night, and surely they'd prefer bigger tricks in slopestyle for ratings juice.

But they have helped push for gender parity at the Olympics because Title IX in the US created an enormous body of top American female competitors across a big variety of sports(way ahead of many other countries), and NBC wants to show its homers!

It's a weird dynamic. NBC pays way, way more than it makes on the Games, apparently viewing it as a prestige event that burnishes their brand and makes them more attractive for other partnerships. Some combination of for-profit major networks in the US + NBC's willingness to overpay has created a situation where NBC pays almost 3 times as much as all of Europe, despite Europe being a considerably larger market! (It's also why NBC shows primarily overpackaged stuff on the broadcast network and puts the extended coverage and less-popular sports on pay channels.) I guess it's basically prescription drug pricing, but for sports, where the US market is distorted by profit-making companies rather than government entities making the deals.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:44 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


It's a weird dynamic. NBC pays way, way more than it makes on the Games, apparently viewing it as a prestige event that burnishes their brand and makes them more attractive for other partnerships.

They're playing a long game.

NBC pays for about 25% of each Olympic Games' budget (around $880 million);

Out of curiosity, where did you get that number? I ask because "the estimated cost of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is $10 billion, five times less than the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which were estimated to be the costliest ever." Previous highest cost of an Olympics was Athens at $15 million in 2004.

In 2014, NBC spent $7.75bn for the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic games in the US through 2032.
The deal covers six Olympics, from 2021 to 2032, and gives NBC rights to all media platforms including TV, internet and mobile. NBC's previous agreement, negotiated in 2011, included four Olympics through 2020 and cost the network $4.4 billion.

...

Even with the hefty price tag, NBC gets its money's worth, Comcast Corp. chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said. The London Olympics were the most-watched in U.S. television history, with 217 million viewers, while Roberts said the Sochi Games in February were the "most consumed."
$7.75bn divided by 6 games is just under $1.3bn.

Even if the $880 million you mention was (is?) correct, it would still be less than 10% of the total Olympic budget for Pyongchang. Numbers for Rio are similar: It was budgeted at 4.6 million but probably wound up costing over $13 billion.

NBC pays way, way more than it makes on the Games, apparently viewing it as a prestige event that burnishes their brand and makes them more attractive for other partnerships.

This is true, especially when one factors in the very costly logistics involved in broadcasting so many Olympic-related events at such a distance. The network is currently estimating combined ad sales of 1.4 to 1.5 billion dollars for the Super Bowl and winter Olympics. ($900+ Million estimated to be generated in national ad sales for Pyeongchang, an Winter Games record. Super Bowl LII coverage generated approximately $500 million in ad revenue. )

That should cover some but not all of the costs. Since the shows are so highly watched, they tend to sell advertising in packages to advertisers in longer term contracts that don't factor into the Olympics ad revenue. This means that they're using the events to not only attract advertisers but keep them spending money long term. They also use the Olympics to advertise upcoming NBC shows, which can increase their viewing audiences over time and allow them to ask for additional ad revenues.

The viewer numbers are interesting though.
103 million people watched Super Bowl 52.
28 million watched the PyeongChang opening ceremonies.
What this means in terms of long term advertising dollars is probably not so easy for the network to estimate.
posted by zarq at 11:28 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, that's the IOC budget for operating the games, it doesn't include the cost of building the stadia and infrastructure. It's comprised of TV rights and corporate sponsorships, mostly, about 50/50, and NBC's payment typically makes up a little over half of the TV rights.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:38 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Ah! Thanks. That makes sense.

I've been chatting with a contact at NBC frequently over the past few weeks on a separate project. The work the network puts into covering the Olympics is just astonishing.
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM on February 12


Just in case, by the way, anybody's Monday afternoon needed some enlivening, this Adam Rippon interview is pure joy.
BLADE: You recently shot down the rumors that you wear butt pads during your competitions with the following statement: “There’s been a lot questions to whether I compete with butt pads on and I’d like to set the record straight and let it be known that no, it’s just my real butt. Thank you for your interest, comments and concern. Love you.”
The fact that the original twitter comment includes the Oxford comma only makes it more perfect.

(Which is also to say that if you had any doubt that figure skaters are incredibly fucking tough, there's also a bit in there about how Rippon's shoulder got dislocated, so he popped it back in himself, then skated around the ice picking up dead insects per the ref, took 30 seconds, and placed second in an international competition.)
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:55 AM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the explanation about NBC and covering the Olympics! Good insights. But it's still really aggravating that they would sacrifice the performance of the athletes and possible safety concerns for the sake of ratings that they know wouldn't be that high anyway. The slopestyle live was pretty late at night compared to all their primetime figure skating stuff.
posted by numaner at 1:08 PM on February 12


But...did they make that call to keep slopestyle on schedule? I tend to think Eyebrows makes a good point that boring events aren't great for the network.
posted by lalex at 2:09 PM on February 12


Then the network shouldn't be in the Olympics business, because boring events are part and parcel to it.
posted by rhizome at 2:11 PM on February 12


boring events
are just events that need a Norwegian hottie to be featured while they're filling the air because skiing got canceled, hence my newfound love for mixed doubles curling.
posted by TwoStride at 2:15 PM on February 12


Then the network shouldn't be in the Olympics business, because boring events are part and parcel to it.

Sorry, I don't think I was clear, I meant that Eyebrows makes a good point that choosing to keep slopestyle on schedule, when the weather meant that the event wouldn't showcase the level of exciting tricks and jumps the athletes are capable of, would have been a weird call for NBC to make.
posted by lalex at 3:03 PM on February 12


My knee-jerk reaction to the figure skating team event when it was introduced at the last Olympics was that it was weird and gimmicky. But watching Adam Rippon and his Olympics roomie and BFF Mirai Nagasu win an Olympic medal together made my heart grow three sizes. And upon reflection, it's nice that skaters who don't have a shot at an individual medal--like Rippon and the US pairs team--can still be part of a medal-winning performance.

Speaking of Rippon, here's a fantastic article about what he means to one skating fan.
posted by creepygirl at 3:22 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


So this is the first time that I think I'm definitely older that pretty much every single Olympian, but it is really disheartening to hear them talk about 34 year-old Kelly Clark as if she's some geriatric wonder. It does make me root for her more, though.
posted by TwoStride at 5:05 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Yeah it makes me feel so unaccomplished that I can barely make it down a black diamond while Chloe Kim and Red Girard are half my age and doing crazy stuff. But yeah GO KELLY CLARK!

I don't understand how anyone could think slopestyle and halfpipe are boring.
posted by numaner at 5:20 PM on February 12


I don't understand how anyone could think slopestyle and halfpipe are boring.

Count me as one of those people who wasn't keen on seeing snowboarding become an Olympic sport, but consider me converted. It's fantastic to watch.

One side note: it's pretty jarring that "Crippler" is still a move that gets shouted out. Like, "Inverted 540 degree spin!" or "Sick 540 invert!" would a.) convey more information about it and sound more impressive and, b.) not be the invention of temporarily-able-bodied dudebros.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:45 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


So it’s not just on NBC, but it’s actually way more on FIS: https://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/snowboarders-happy-no-one-hurt-adverse-slopestyle-conditions/

Which has been literally caught on video saying they don’t care about their athletes. They care a LOT more about ski racing, and many in the freestyle community has been very pissed off about how they have been treated. It was actually FIS that said something like “go now or else we’ll cancel the whole event” ... Not even a delay, they really dont care. But how much time has all the racing events gotten? Which yes is still sketchy in wind but way more dangerous for athletes hurling their bodies into the air.
posted by xtine at 5:53 PM on February 12


1080s though. Geez.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:54 PM on February 12


NBC just gave a throwaway timeline of women's ski jumping saying they took a long time to make it an Olympic sport without a mention as to why it took so long. Way to go, NBC.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:04 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Aww, Kelly Clark wuz robbed! :(
posted by TwoStride at 6:08 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


I don't know jack about snowboarding and just tuned in 10 minutes ago but she was so clearly superior to the person before her that I'm baffled as to how this scoring works
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:13 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Given how everyone's been going on about how oooold Kelly is, I'm wondering if the judges are sort of signalling that they think it's time for her to retire.
posted by TwoStride at 6:15 PM on February 12


As an Australian skier I enjoyed watching the moguls, especially as our better skiers were from real places like Gosford and Geelong (and not Canadians who moved here as a flag of convenience because they didn't make the cut on the Canadian team...)

Of course, the "short shitty course" skiing event is realistically the only traditional ski event we can train for at home! The (European) Austrians don't even count moguls as real skiing and don't fund their team.

The front flip truck driver the Kazakh women's bronze medalist was throwing was my favourite aerial.
posted by other barry at 6:25 PM on February 12


Geeez Chloe Kim!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:31 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


Damn Kelly Clark should've gotten that bronze. But at least Kim got that gold.

I know they throw out the lowest and highest scores out of six judges, so maybe the 2nd lowest judge is also pretty low.
posted by numaner at 6:31 PM on February 12 [1 favorite]


That was a perfect goddamn run
posted by numaner at 6:32 PM on February 12


I want Chloe on the Wheaties box!!
posted by armacy at 6:34 PM on February 12


Holy shit Chloe Kim!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:34 PM on February 12


That was like watching a video game.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:45 PM on February 12


Women's halfpipe was SO brilliant to watch.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:46 PM on February 12


I hope the Australian who faceplanted (and looked bloodied and hurt when she got up) is ok, though I have faint hopes that NBC will deign to give us a follow-up on a non-American athlete, sigh.
posted by TwoStride at 7:11 PM on February 12


I hope the Australian who faceplanted (and looked bloodied and hurt when she got up) is ok, though I have faint hopes that NBC will deign to give us a follow-up on a non-American athlete, sigh.

Australian commentary says Emily Arthur has a slight concussion and a sore face. Not great, but she wasn't rushed to hospital or anything like that.
posted by other barry at 7:26 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris came back from a life threatening injury 11 months ago to win one of Canada's first medals at the Olympics ... and this isn't his first time making a come back after a major injury! What tenacity!
posted by chapps at 10:37 PM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Random thoughts catching up

- Ugh fuck NBC, I'm so glad I'm watching it in the UK. Claire Balding's commentary on snowboarding is adorably awkward.

- I really hope the women's snowboard slopestyle event is discussed further. I'm disgusted with the lack of transparency of what the fuck happened and why there were no advocates for these women athletes. I heard one of the commentators mention a stat like only 9 clean runs out of 50 something. That's insane and they're damn lucky no one got seriously injured.

- YAY Chloe Kim! How do they make it look so easy?! I am SUPER pumped for Big Air.

- I was really surprised to learn that the women's ski jump is only like 2 Olympics old and that it's still so unequal as an event. But I'm also surprised I'm surprised.

- I'm still coming to terms with these Team medals for individual events. One commentator thought it might work better if they happened after the individuals, sort of like how the relay race is at the end of the Summers. But then again, this order works for gymnastics.
posted by like_neon at 1:44 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I know everyone loves hating NBC's coverage, but I have to say the fact that the primetime shows are live this time has improved them. Things happening live means they can't interrupt for long fawning athlete life story profiles as often.
posted by dnash at 5:25 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


While watching the downhill section of the Alpine Combined earlier I remembered how utterly punishing a lot of winter sports are - mistakes are very often unrecoverable in events like alpine skiing and bob/luge/skeleton because once the athlete loses speed... it's often gone for good.

Also, Short Track is never short of drama. A Korean skater just went from being a photo-finish away from Gold to being disqualified over cutting in front of the Canadian skater. Crowd was not pleased.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:09 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I always think about how many of the winter sports are utterly insane. Oh, it's not hard enough to ski as fast as you can zigzagging between little mounds of snow. So make sure you do a couple of stylish jumps on the way down too!

Let's hurl ourselves down an icy track on a thin tray on runners! No, that's not exciting enough - now do it face down with your face mere inches from the ice!

Who built a 100m long slope at an angle of 80 degrees and thought athletes will once day launch themselves off this, fly through the air for 100+ metres and hope to land elegantly?

My theory is that these sports were invented over strong drink in countries with long dark winters and a lack of sharks, poisonous snakes and spiders to keep things interesting.
posted by pianissimo at 7:01 AM on February 13 [5 favorites]


and every one of these sports is super expensive to get into!
posted by numaner at 8:06 AM on February 13


I always think about how many of the winter sports are utterly insane

With sports like luge, skeleton and snowboarding, death never far at the Winter Olympics
Eight years ago, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed when he lost control of his sled and was thrown headfirst into a pole during a training run at the Vancouver Olympics. He was going almost 90 mph when he crashed.

Sarah Burke, a freeskiing pioneer who helped bring halfpipe skiing to the Olympics, died after she crashed at the bottom of a pipe during training in January 2012. It was the same pipe where Vancouver medal favorite Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury a few weeks before the 2010 Olympics.

Three months ago, French Alpine skier David Poisson died after hitting a tree while training for World Cup races he hoped would earn him a spot in Pyeongchang. Shaun White still has stitches in his tongue after slamming his face on the lip of the halfpipe in late October while training in New Zealand.

“I scared myself,” White said in a video of the crash posted last month. “I haven’t really had that much blood coming out of me before.”

And Canada’s Mark McMorris won the bronze medal in men’s slopestyle Sunday – less than a year after rupturing his spleen and breaking his jaw, left arm, pelvis and several ribs when he hit a tree. That accident came 11 months after he broke his femur in another snowboarding crash.

posted by zarq at 8:19 AM on February 13


I hope the Australian who faceplanted (and looked bloodied and hurt when she got up) is ok

Oh yeah, falling down hard toe side always suck. I get the wind knocked out of me every time. Last time it was in similar conditions they're having, super cold and the snow was icy and hard, and it felt like someone punched me in the gut. Not fun at all. (And I still do it every year!)
posted by numaner at 8:35 AM on February 13


I'm in the US, and I don't have cable. Is there any way to watch any events online, even if it's after the fact? Like, not even the whole event but just, say, a finals?
posted by Stewriffic at 8:36 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


(I haven't been able to figure it out, and I am sure I am overlooking easy on YouTube.)
posted by Stewriffic at 8:38 AM on February 13


I've been tuning in on Hulu.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:16 AM on February 13


I'm in the US, and I don't have cable. Is there any way to watch any events online, even if it's after the fact?

Are you not able to access the videos on NBC's coverage site?

I'm not sure if the website requires any sort of login to view full videos or live streams. If so, maybe a friend or family member has a cable account you could log in with?

(I'm watching regular NBC network stuff over the air in the evenings, and using the NBC Sports app on Apple TV for replays and NBC cable network channel shows, but I have a SlingTV account that allows for that.)
posted by dnash at 9:30 AM on February 13


The NBC coverage site let me watch 30 min of the opening ceremony and then cut me off. I didn't look into it and assumed I would have to pay. I would watch over the air but I don't have a TV. Ha. I'll check in to Hulu. Thanks!
posted by Stewriffic at 9:44 AM on February 13


I hope the Australian who faceplanted (and looked bloodied and hurt when she got up) is ok

per her twitter, Emily Arthur is okay!

We got really into women's ski jumping this year after watching a couple of the World Cup events, and became pretty big fans of the Slovenian team of Nika Kriznar, Spela Rogelj, Ema Klinec, and Ursa Bogataj. NBC, in classic form, didn't show every ski jumper even though it was on one of their whatever channels at some off hour so we didn't see Rogelj and Bogataj, booo, but it was super cool to see Nika Kriznar, who is only 17 (and our favorite because she had a bee drawn on her face in Ljubno), place seventh. She is going to go far (both literally and figuratively har har har har har).

That said, if you can only watch one jump it should be the one from Norwegian gold medal winner Maren Lundby. She is a BEAST, now someone needs to tell the Associated Press that Sweden and Norway are not interchangeable.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:58 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


I can watch replays of specific videos on NBC's site, like of Shaun White's qualifier from last night, and here's the link for the full event. You have to turn off adblock though, which sucks.

Also, how do you watch on Hulu? Do you have to buy the Live TV package?
posted by numaner at 11:02 AM on February 13


I haven't watched any olympics so far, but I have watched Leslie Jone's Instagram commentary and have been thoroughly entertained.
posted by Swisstine at 1:15 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


apparently Red Gerard showed up late because he was up late binging Brooklyn 99, then couldn't find his jacket so had to borrow Kyle Mack's (his roommate and Olympian who didn't qualify for the finals). then he won gold.

when I do the same I just get in trouble at work.

also due to regional differences he was binging the show on Netflix. It's not on Netflix for Americans because of Hulu having that right.
posted by numaner at 1:47 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I woke up in the middle of the night and my gears started grinding thinking about work stuff so I said "Fuck it," got up and plunked myself down in front of the Canada-Finland women's hockey game. Thirty-five seconds in, Canada scored and went on to win 4-1. I'm not a hockey guy, but I'm o.k. with Olympic hockey. The commentators on CBC noted here and there the members of the Canadian women's team who had to take leave from their jobs to come and play...

Also, great piece on the fight for women's ski jumping:

Once Prohibited, Women’s Ski Jumping Is Set to Take Flight

2014, kids. Women were considered too fragile to ski jump until 2014, and even then it took a lawsuit.

I love ski jumping because it's inherently bananas.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:49 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Oh man, some brutal wipeouts in men's halfpipe tonight.
posted by TwoStride at 6:38 PM on February 13


YEAH SHAUN WHITE!!!!

I'm so happy for him after his disappointment in Sochi!
posted by TwoStride at 7:04 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Yay Shaun White!

That crowd was so excited for him, too. And he's cryyyyyying and I love it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


I didn't like the repetition, but he definitely nailed his line.
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on February 13


Holy CRAP that snowboarding was amazing to watch. And it's awesome how tight the scores were among the top three guys! What a contest.

(And now Shaun is being shown sobbing while hugging his parents and I am having feelings.)

I hope the Japanese guy who had that hard crash is okay. That was brutal. His visor was shattered in pieces on the ground around him when he finally fell to the bottom of the pipe.
posted by Salieri at 7:17 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


And I felt bad for the other Japanese guy who seems to have hit his chin on his knee when he landed hard at the bottom of the pipe... I had a hit like that once and sincerely thought for a few minutes that I'd broken my jaw.
posted by TwoStride at 7:19 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Wow. Wow. Shaun had all reasons to crack and he nailed his third run to get it. Poor Ayumu, he looked like he was just lost.
posted by xtine at 7:20 PM on February 13


(And now Shaun is being shown sobbing while hugging his parents and I am having feelings.)

YES THAT WAS SO AWESOME. Yay for contemporary men having emotions!!
posted by dnash at 7:21 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Japan’s press officer is reported to have said Yuto Totsuka (the snowboarder who fell) has “no big injury” but was transported to the hospital for pain and injuries, especially to his hip, I'm looking for a primary source.

He was moving all four limbs on the ground there, so that's a good sign.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:21 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Also... women's Giant Slalom postponed because of wind, but they pushed the women freestylers to go or else. Keep in mind, FIS is an international SKI federation but somehow they are in charge of the snowboarders in the olympics too. (There IS a governing snowboarding body, but they don't get to manage the snowboarders in olympics. :/)
posted by xtine at 7:23 PM on February 13


Ryom/Kim, the North Korean ice skaters, are pretty badass!
posted by rhizome at 7:34 PM on February 13


It feels almost illicit to watch them! The commentators noted they're the only North Korean athletes to qualify on their own; the rest were given "wild card" spots by the IOC. They were elite competition level for sure, and beat some of the other teams!

They seemed physically diminutive, especially the man; he was not nearly as much taller than her as pairs couples usually are. Plenty strong for the elite-level tricks! But they are both very slight. Apparently the last couple years they've trained under a Canadian coach in Montreal (with a minder from NK supervising them).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:43 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


The commentating for them was atrocious. Lots of "they look determined," silence about emotion, and even seemed to imply there was something sinister in having to qualify for the team.
posted by rhizome at 8:02 PM on February 13


Ok, that's a great overhead camera shot when the pairs are doing the death spiral.
posted by TwoStride at 8:03 PM on February 13


Ryom/Kim were a lot of fun to watch, and man was she excited about the score. It was adorable. (And it was a new personal best for them, I believe.) I'm so glad they made it into the long program. And yeah, they clearly earned their way into this group.

I never know quite how to feel about the North Korean athletes because I don't know what kind of conditions they live under. Like...will there be consequences for them back home if they don't meet expectations? Same thing with the cheering section. Part of the charm of the Olympics are all the weirdo overinvested fans who show up to wear their country's colors and cheer their heads off. But I can't help finding the (all female, I think?) North Korean cheering section creepy. I love a good coordinated group effort going on, but I can't watch it without wondering if they've got handlers keeping an eye on *them* and their enthusiasm.

The commentating for them was atrocious. Lots of "they look determined," silence about emotion, and even seemed to imply there was something sinister in having to qualify for the team.

I found the Johnny/Tara/Terry commentary to be pretty good. It seems to me there was a lot from Tara in particular about what a good job they were doing showing the type of chemistry that the top pairs teams have, and how she lit up the ice in this program.
posted by Salieri at 8:09 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Who bedazzled their headphones
posted by rhizome at 8:12 PM on February 13


I gasped how synchronized Tarasova/Morozov's double triple was.
posted by rhizome at 8:40 PM on February 13


Terry needs a bedazzled headset too.
posted by jenjenc at 8:42 PM on February 13


Terry is the straight man, in all senses of the word.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:01 PM on February 13


Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by rhizome at 9:33 PM on February 13


He can't help it, he was born that way.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:03 PM on February 13


On a totally different note, Canada is winning the sportsmanship Olympics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:04 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I've really grown to love Terry. He has to do the whole non-skater "Okay, I'm the outsider, explain the sport to me like I'm an idiot," thing at every competition for the benefit of the general audience, but it's obvious he has lot of respect for the sport and for the athletes. He's like the anti-Al Trautwig. And he has really good chemistry with both Tara and Johnny. The whole straight man thing really works when he's paired with the two of them, because there seems to be a lot of genuine affection among the trio. The other two have such big personalities, and he provides just the right balance.

I'm also really enjoying Tanith White's commentary on the ice dancing! I can pretty much only identify a twizzle, so she's been good about pointing out where the judges can be deducting points in terms of distance and speed and edges and all that other technical stuff.
posted by Salieri at 10:10 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Awww. You know who else has fallen in love with curling this Olympics? Mr. T!
posted by TwoStride at 5:31 AM on February 14 [3 favorites]


So I am 0/2 on my luge predictions, but the American women did pretty well with Erin Hamlin coming in 6th, and Summer Britchner was in 8th until having a rough 4th run.

If you didn't see Emily Sweeney's luge crash, it was horrifying -- I am absolutely floored that she was able to get up and walk away from that. Curve 9, man. Video here. Just the feet-first impact into the roof (!!) of the track was awful.

One of the key safety points they gave us at luge camp was that if you crash, whatever you do, hang on to your sled. It's hard to see this in TV, but there are actually up and downhill parts on luge tracks, so you'll eventually slide down to a low part of the track (where they picked Emily up (her crash was actually at a horrible point, the curve where she crashed her feet is at the top of an uphill). If you let go of your sled, it'll probably shoot out in front of you, and at some point will come back to you end up. It's 50 lb of metal that'll have some speed to it, and you don't want to get hit with that.

Anyway -- you can see that she lets go, but it follows her down, and she's able to grab onto it so it stops when she does. Luge/Skeleton/bobsled is scary stuff. Even the small wall taps hurt! I ping-ponged through the alley on one run, and ended up with deep purple bruises that were like 6" x 5" on my upper arms. And I was probably only going 30-35 mph.
posted by Fig at 7:04 AM on February 14 [3 favorites]


No, I think Terry is great, he does a really good job providing a solid frame for the other two. In Sochi (their first outing), it was more obvious he was the grown-up providing the Official Sportscaster Frame to keep Johnny and Tara commentating properly -- prodding them with questions, getting them to explain things, drawing out their thoughts. They're much more polished now, but Terry still does a great job of providing the frame for them and serving as the audience surrogate and being the good-natured straight man for their joking around.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:13 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Who knew a Tongan cross-country skier could be so engaging with his shirt on?
"If you look at the Olympic creed, it’s about struggle. The guy who gets a gold medal, he’s going to burn his lungs until he collapses at the finish line. The guy who comes last is going to burn his lungs until he collapses at the finish line. None of them are going to give up. One may be faster than the other, but they’re still going to give everything that they have."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:47 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


Ok, I've decided that this is the Olympics I root for everyone over 30 who are apparently one step away from the nursing home, so in that light, go 34 year-old Italian skier currently leading the women's GS!
posted by TwoStride at 5:23 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Skeleton is bonkers. Like the Luge, but head first! Just because.
posted by PearlRose at 6:19 PM on February 14


And yay for old man Svindal in the men's downhill!
posted by TwoStride at 7:16 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]




AWWWW, Terry wore a pale pink shirt to match Tara and Johnny, who are in pink for Valentine's Day (in the US). Tara and Johnny are so delighted he got in on the matching! He even has a pink pocket square!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:48 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Awwww, yay German pair!! What a magnificent skate!
posted by TwoStride at 8:07 PM on February 14


Terry's gonna have bejeweled headphones by Friday.
posted by rhizome at 8:13 PM on February 14


The pairs-skater ladies whose costumes involve pants: I like this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:32 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Right on, Germany.
posted by rhizome at 8:32 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


I really liked the shot we got of the top three pairs crying and/or hugging and congratulating when the final results came in.
posted by TwoStride at 8:37 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


So happy for Savchenko! (And once again Canadians #winning at sportsmanship, they could not have been more delighted for her either!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:55 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


So happy for Savchenko! (And once again Canadians #winning at sportsmanship, they could not have been more delighted for her either!)

Yessss, I was just coming here to say those same two things! Savchenko was cool as a cucumber when the scores for the Chinese team came in, but then once it was official after the Russians skated...both her and Massot, just sobbing. I'm such a sucker for the tears.

And yay to the Canadians for being so honestly joyful and excited for them! Duhamel's hugs were giving me all the feels. I was rooting for the Germans because of Savchenko's long history and their amazing free skate, but oh man the Chinese team must have been hurting. They're so so good, and the score couldn't have been closer at the end. I'm sure they're agonizing after the mistakes they made.
posted by Salieri at 9:20 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Women's Giant Slalom is turning into some good playoff ball.
posted by rhizome at 9:43 PM on February 14


Rewatching the skating and it's obvious how much the Germans beat everybody else. Sui/Han seem like they scored too high...still silver I suppose, but it wasn't that close.
posted by rhizome at 2:39 AM on February 15


There's something oddly satisfying about the relay lugers slapping the sign at the finish line.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:58 AM on February 15


Re: Pairs free skate. To me, the results are wrong. Germany and Canada were technically about equal, I'd say, but presentation-wise I would have put the Canadians first. The German guy is kinda of wooden, his face has little to no expression, he's just kind of a prop for her over-the-top-ness. The Canadians are much more equally matched in artistic expression. And I don't know how the Chinese pair ended up ahead of Canada given that they had a couple major mistakes.

It was the right three pairs for the medals, just in the wrong order. :)
posted by dnash at 5:14 AM on February 15




The Canadians had major bobbles on their jumps and one of the throws, though, and I do not think that should be rewarded with gold.
posted by TwoStride at 6:08 AM on February 15


Madness at the end of the Men's 20 km biathlon.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:10 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Is it possible to ask for more detail/less liveblogging in here? Not to pick on lmfsilva, but since it's the most recent one: I would appreciate having a little more on stuff like "Madness at the end of the Men's 20 km biathlon," which sounds interesting but I'm nowhere near a tv and cannot stream. Is it a tight race? A pileup? A ska band at the finish line?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:23 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


There's something oddly satisfying about the relay lugers slapping the sign at the finish line.

I feel like the luge events were invented by a bunch of elementary school students on a snow day. "Hey, that's cool, but let's go two at a time" "Hah, I'm brave enough to go head first!"

Incidentally, Korean network tv keeps showing speed skating over and over again and I get so confused and cheer for the same race like a half dozen times a day before realizing that I have seen it before.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:31 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


fuck nbc
posted by anem0ne at 7:18 AM on February 15


That pronunciation thing is ridiculous, given that, as one of the comments pointed out, NBC still makes a huge deal out of calling it "Torino" rather than the American "Turin."
posted by TwoStride at 7:24 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


which sounds interesting but I'm nowhere near a tv and cannot stream.

This brings up the interesting question of whether FanFare is like, idk, the political threads on the blue where folks are expected to provide the detail you request or if it's for people actually consuming the media that is the subject of the post.

For me it's the latter, and I like comments like lmfsilva's because I like the community feel and don't feel like people should like they have to explain everything out on FanFare, but obviously reasonable people can disagree.
posted by lalex at 7:25 AM on February 15


Paywalled. How are they pronouncing it? I feel like the spelling is kinda close to the pronunciation but there is possibly some ambiguity on how to pronounce "chang". Are they saying "chay-ng" instead of "chah-ng"? But I mean, it just takes one correction and you move on. What's their excuse to keep sounding stupid?
posted by like_neon at 7:28 AM on February 15


NBC has decided that they want everyone to say "Chang" ryhmes with "tang." Igonoring all advice to the contrary, because they somehow feel that "tang" sounds better. And then they like quadrupled down on it by essentially blaming the few people attempting to say it correctly on their broadcasts as, like, not getting their house style memo.
posted by TwoStride at 7:31 AM on February 15


I would love it if all the athletes they interview keep saying the name of the place the correct way. Or even better, interrupt the interviewer with the correct pronunciation everytime they say it wrong.
posted by like_neon at 7:32 AM on February 15


honestly, if the mispronunciation was done out of ignorance, i'd be fine with it. it's what happens with seoul all the time. but the fact that there's a house style promulgated by a fuckwit who probably pronounces the names of frozen's ana and the title khaleesi correctly...
posted by anem0ne at 8:17 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Yikes! Austrian Snowboarder Markus Schairer Breaks Neck in Snowboard Cross Crash. (He somehow got up and finished the race and while obviously is being rushed to treatment, there were no immediate signs of lasting neurological or motor damage).
posted by TwoStride at 9:52 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


And I actually found this a bit heartwarming: the US Snowboard Cross men's team as self-described "idiots having fun" from similar blue-collar backgrounds. One of them, at 36, is the oldest snowboard racer and he's brought his 13 year-old son to take in the full Olympics to meet as many athletes as possible.
posted by TwoStride at 9:58 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Is it possible to ask for more detail/less liveblogging in here?

If I didn't knew NBC was such a fuck-up with timeshifted events, I would have less problems spoiling things.

(Basically, the favourite Fourcade was leading comfortably with no misses and slightly less than two minutes to spare until the final two shots... which he missed. Ended fifth.)
posted by lmfsilva at 10:02 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


... Are we considering spoilers here? I honestly don't think it's possible--nor do I personally care (if we're doing an informal survey of those in this thread), since basically the sheer fact of being online/on social media in the course of a day means I'm getting spoiled.
posted by TwoStride at 10:07 AM on February 15


If I didn't knew NBC was such a fuck-up with timeshifted events, I would have less problems spoiling things.

Ugh, I feel that. It's a fine line for sure!

Fourcade is amazing. He did so well in the 12.5km pursuit! This is neither here nor there but has anyone read(/written) anything about the logistics behind how athletes get giant flags immediately after competing? Someone handed Fourcade a giant French flag like 50 feet before he crossed the finish line in the 12.5km, does everyone bring a flag just in case? I would imagine the favorites do, at least. This probably a stupid question but if anyone knows anything about the intricacies of flag logistics please share.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:17 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Are we considering spoilers here?
With some events in the Olympics it's generally easier to watch a timeshifted event without being spoiled (even the Eurosport App, for instance, only gives a "event (results)" notification)- I would have zero problems spoiling the World Cup or the Euros or the Superbowl or whatever because you can easily be spoiled browsing anything. I'm looking at the Winter Olympics news in SB Nation, and their "full coverage" has zero mentions of the Men's 20Km Biathlon at this time. Bleacher Report, same thing. Sports Illustrated? Nope.NBC? Fox Sports? Ha ha. ESPN was the only one with a story. (Might also be a good time to say, everyone moans on how us-centric and personal narrative based the NBC coverage is, but I don't see anyone doing much better - everyone seems more concerned in click-bait fluff).
(not to abuse the edit window, I'm ok with spoilers in sports stuff, but if given the chance of saying "something incredible happened, have a look" instead of spoiling it, I'll take it)

Fourcade is amazing. He did so well in the 12.5km pursuit!
I know! After he cleared the first three shooting rounds, I thought he had it in the bag and made a quick trip to buy lunch thinking I'd be in time to see the end of the competition. I was very, very confused when his time in the split was in the red.

how athletes get giant flags immediately after competing
I think coaches or athletes from other events in attendance have them. I remember one time in the Summer Games the athlete wasn't even expecting to medal, and went around the track looking for someone in attendance with a flag he could borrow.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:42 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


It's still stupid that they insist on chayng -- this is not like insisting that they call it "Pah-ree" or "Moskva" -- but

That pronunciation thing is ridiculous, given that, as one of the comments pointed out, NBC still makes a huge deal out of calling it "Torino" rather than the American "Turin."

All the signs and graphics that year said "Torino 2006" because the Italians insisted on having their own language even when a pack of foreigners were in town
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:04 AM on February 15


All the signs and graphics that year said "Torino 2006" because the Italians insisted on having their own language even when a pack of foreigners were in town

What about on-air pronunciations?
posted by rhizome at 11:39 AM on February 15


...they kept saying Torino instead of Turin, as was indicated earlier?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:51 AM on February 15


Isn't "PyeongChang" also in the Koreans' own language? Imagine if the previous example pronounced it "Tor-eye-no."
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Yes? That's why I said that using "chayng" was stupid?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:09 PM on February 15


Then it seems we probably agree. :)
posted by rhizome at 12:22 PM on February 15


So I've largely been not watching the Olympics because of (a) timeshift and (b) my city is in a endless process of trying to decide about bidding for the 2026 Games and I really don't want them to do that, so I decided to ignore them as best as possible as my own little useless protest.

But the men's 10k speed skating was last night, and it's one of my favorite events. It's like the marathon of speed skating (at least at the Olympics, there are much longer events held). So I watched the replay of the final three races on CBC even knowing the outcome, and it was great fun to watch (there were no American skaters in it, so I have a suspicion that Americans may not be able to find even the highlights, if you can have highlights of two men skating in circles for 12 and a half minutes). But I have to wonder what information the CBC announcers have in front of them, because during the final pairing, the announcer ("good" ol' Steve Armitage) was - in trying to inject excitement into the finish - wondering if Sven Kramer had it in him to overcome the 14 second deficit he was carrying into the last lap even while the on-screen clock made it clear that he had already finished out of the medals. Like, you don't shave 15 seconds off your time in the space of 400 meters in that race, and that's pretty apparent even to a novice.

Anyways, just a bizarre thing that I normally don't experience with CBC on the Olympics - they are pretty good at being plain about what is going on in the event and not trying to hype non-existent drama. The woman calling the event with him seemed a little baffled, honestly - she saw that Sven was well off pace and couldn't make it up many laps previously. But well worth watching the 4th and 5th pairings if you can; those were two pretty good races that decided gold and silver even though the medalists weren't against each other.
posted by nubs at 12:27 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


NBC is actually showing the men's 10k right now, we've been watching guys skate in circles for like 45 minutes! (And nope, not a single American so far.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:23 PM on February 15


It's a highly specialized event, I think - there are 12 competitors total for these games. But I hope you enjoy it!
posted by nubs at 1:59 PM on February 15


It was interesting! As always at the Olympics, I ended up cheering hard for someone I'd never heard of ten minutes before. We also saw a complete women's cross country skiing race (10km, apparently) that had me shouting at the television, and those two events were the entire two-hour block.

The midafternoon network slot for NBC tends to show complete events, and slower ones, from the less-marquee sports, although they're always super-unclear on whether it's live or pre-taped. The prime-time show is always pretty overproduced and focuses on the headline sports and headline names (and feels pretty highlights-y), but the midafternoon show is great for a more "slow tv" feel, and complete events, and less-polished announcers. (All they're pre-empting is trashy syndicated talk shows, so the ratings don't have to be all that high.) Actually, you hear a lot of non-American accents on the afternoon commentators, so I always wonder if we're getting a shared feed from another English-speaking country, or just borrowing British/Aussie/Northern European sportscasters for sports we don't do much of in the US, or if NBC has them on staff full-time or what.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:14 PM on February 15


Alexa Scimera-Knierem is on NBC SN talking about her illness, and it's heartbreaking to hear another top athlete had her pain minimized by doctors. It was quick but she made it clear that happened and ugh. Ugh. Also the host asked Alexa, after airing a clip of her saying the only way to top yesterday would be to have a baby on Valentine's Day, he asked her if she had "any news." Buddy, I don't know how to break it to you that the human gestation period is not 12 months long.

That said, Tanith White and Scott Hamilton are another excellent skating commentator duo! I really love that Tanith takes the lead and Scott seems delighted to be secondary. They have great chemistry and, like Tara and Johnny, really seem to enjoy each other's company.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 4:40 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Sorry, non-US mefites, that was an entirely US-broadcast-centric comment. At this rate maybe next time we should have a thread just for complaining about NBC.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 4:41 PM on February 15


How did doubles luge even get started? Was there heavy drinking involved?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:44 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Bode Miller is so sleep-inducing as a commentator that he needs an opiate warning on him.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:08 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


The quantity of stuff thrown onto the ice after the Hanyu short program is called a Piaf.
posted by rhizome at 9:26 PM on February 15


Nathan Chen was painful to watch. Rippon was really good, though!

I love Uno's shirt ... very Game of Thrones, lots of great detail up close!

Hanyu was amazing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:38 PM on February 15


Question: I'm in Japan so I'm watching on NHK but do all skating broadcasts have a technical score "ticker" somewhere? There's one in the left corner for the broadcast I watched that has the leader's score and then the current skater's score moves (or not depending) as they progress through their program.

I'm looking forward to the time-honored modern Japanese tradition of all the different newscasts replaying the entirety of Hanyu's program tonight and tomorrow morning (where they will also throw in Uno's too as an afterthought).
posted by LostInUbe at 9:52 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Javiiiiii!

I'm so exited about how well Javier Fernandez did. He's such an incredible skater and this hasn't been his best year, so I'm thrilled he nailed his short program. I want him on the podium so badly.

There were some rough skates tonight (poor Nathan, with all the stupid hype), but there were also some really great performances. Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez, Shoma Uno, Jin Boyang, Adam Rippon...*kisses fingers*. What a great finish after the splat-fest that was the men's short in the team event.

Question: I'm in Japan so I'm watching on NHK but do all skating broadcasts have a technical score "ticker" somewhere? There's one in the left corner for the broadcast I watched that has the leader's score and then the current skater's score moves (or not depending) as they progress through their program.

NBC has this, along with little colored green/yellow/red dots to tick off the individual elements as they are completed.
posted by Salieri at 10:06 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Thanks. After looking again, there is something similar to the dots too. It looks like a little power-up gauge.

Ha, another channel is already showing a replay of Hanyu's short program. Wait, check that. At least four other channels are showing some version of his skate. Nothing fills the afternoon news shows like a great performance from a national hero.
posted by LostInUbe at 10:14 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Oof, poor Nathan Chen. I always feel conflicted watching Olympic skating, because every damn time some accomplished skater gets absolutely crushed by the pressure, and I hate seeing that. It has happened so many times that I know that if I watch Olympic skating I’m going to watch some poor kids have the worst skates of their lives.

The USFSA’s decision to send Adam Rippon to the Olympics is looking like a really smart call now, on a number of levels. So happy he had another good skate.

On another happy note, I’m thrilled for Hanyu. It’s such a physically demanding sport these days with the quads, it feels like any injury could be career-ending. Glad his ankle is apparenly better. He’s one of the few skaters that excels under the current scoring system and makes his programs look like works of art. Fingers crossed for him in the long program.
posted by creepygirl at 10:34 PM on February 15


I thought I saw one of the Icelanders in the 15km cross-country ski event, but it then it turned out to be someone else. But I did see his name on screen.
posted by Kattullus at 10:54 PM on February 15


Oh, and in case your thought process after watching Hanyu's performance was something like mine... "oh wow oh wow such amaz... what is this now... are people throwing Winnie the Pooh-bears onto the ice?" ...indeed they were.
posted by Kattullus at 12:17 AM on February 16


Oh man, I'm so gutted for Nathan Chen. I'd really hoped he'd gotten his nerves out with the team competition, but last night was painful. On the other hand, I'm really happy for Adam Rippon, who's really grown on me and is clearly having a blast. Hanyu was pretty spectacular.
posted by TwoStride at 5:57 AM on February 16


I love that they apparently couldn't show Hanyu's Pooh Bear tissue dispenser in the rink because of marketing issues or something, and then it straight up rained stuffed Pooh in that stadium after his skate.

I know it wouldn't have been fair to any of the other guys to be left off, but I selfishly wish that Jason Brown was here as well for the US. Watching him skate is a religious experience.
posted by Salieri at 6:33 AM on February 16


Kelly Conaboy (formerly of the hairpin) is doing some really fun recaps for The Cut. Recommended if you like brief, goofy summaries.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:15 AM on February 16


"Now the Olympics distilled again to maybe their most gasping, writhing finish line, and a Swede crossed, careened rightward and sprawled onto his gut for a good 10 seconds. A Czech crossed, stopped abruptly and toppled. A Norwegian contender churned in under undulating Norwegian flags in Norwegian hands in the stands, spilled and began squirming gently on his belly.

A Swiss arrived in a time torrid for 15 kilometers of cross-country skiing — 33 minutes 43.9 seconds — then realized it would mean a gold medal and began to sob. A South Korean made it to the end of this admirable torture, plopped down facedown and rear up, rolled over and kicked his skis a bit with his poles sticking straight up. A Canadian crossed and seemed almost to croak, staying prone while an Australian veered to the right, while a Greek skier came by, an Iranian, a Bosnian, before finally, haltingly, managing to sit, legs splayed.

The clock showed 4:21 p.m. Friday. The public-address announcers continued their near-screaming. The sun had started to go. The cold had started to get mean. The medals had gone clinched.

Yet, somehow, after this graphic theater of steep human effort, after the stands had gone from full to half-full to one-third-full, and the national flags on the flagpoles started to look lonely, this match of 116 contestants still had resilient men out there in the pretty woods and the wretched upslopes. It still had something else lurking just before its curtain. It still had announcers, blaring through the venue, trying to manufacture noise and achieve encouragement.

It still had another show."

Thirty-six minutes after the gold medal was won, the Olympics happened
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:06 AM on February 16 [10 favorites]


‘Skating was always there’: Eric Radford’s road to becoming the first openly gay man to win gold at the Winter Olympics:

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA—When Eric Radford was a kid he wanted to be a pilot, and then when he saw figure skating he thought that was as close as you could come to flying. He was the only boy who was a figure skater in Red Lake, Ont. — Balmertown, really, one part of the six-town amalgamation that totals just 4,107 people over an area about the same size as the city of Toronto. Viewed from a distance, it sounds like the start of a movie.

“It’s a gold-mining town, in the north, hockey town, male figure skater,” said his older brother Richard. “And the only one. It was very hard for him.”

Except most lives that start that way — kid gets bullied, discovers he’s gay, leaves home to follow a dream at 13 — they don’t end the way most movies do. Suicide rates are higher for LGBTQ kids than for straight kids; they get bullied more, and are more likely to experience homelessness.

Eric Radford is the movie. The 33-year-old won silver in team figure skating in Sochi; this year Canada won gold, and with that Eric Radford made history: the first openly gay male athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.


For context, here's where Red Lake is.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:27 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Wow! Nathan Chen just redeemed himself a bit with a really beautiful skate where he landed 6 quads (with just a hand down on one of them)!
posted by TwoStride at 6:29 PM on February 16


Urgh....I'm really happy that Nathan pulled that off, but I have to admit that the rest of his program outside the jumps leaves me cold. He was able to get a monster score based on those jumps, so good for him, but right now he's lacking that something that really moves me. He's still so young, though.

I've been mostly okay with NBC so far, but I'm really annoyed that they chose to show all of Nathan's quads in slow motion while waiting for the scores and then didn't break for commercial until after the scores came in - with the result that they came back after Misha Ge was already partly through his skate. And then Tara and Johnny had to talk about Nathan over the first half of his program! Gaaaah. Misha is such a beautiful skater and he's almost certainly retiring in the near future. They owed his program more respect.
posted by Salieri at 6:58 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Bode Miller is making me HATE DOWNHILL SKIING, he is SO FREAKING BORING.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:06 PM on February 16


Oh my God and now Tara/Johnny/Terry are apparently going to spend each skater's program telling us exactly how they're technically inferior compared to Nathan. I wish I could mute the commentary.
posted by Salieri at 7:34 PM on February 16


It is astonishing how Bodie Miller and the other guy are basically wrong about every single run they watch--anytime they're all, "this person is having a great run" that person ends up like 2 seconds behind, and anytime they're all, "this person's run has been disappointing" they end up in first.
posted by TwoStride at 7:35 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I also particularly loathe how Bode Miller periodically interjects a reminder of how awesome Bode Miller is compared to all these schlubs. Especially the lady schlubs.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:39 PM on February 16


Well, what with those silly ladies getting distracted from their sport by getting married and everything....

(That nonsense was Bode, right?)
posted by Salieri at 7:43 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Honestly, the Canadian skater whose routine was basically silent film performance? Give him the medals. Don’t care how many loopdeflips he didn’t do. That was dope.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:53 PM on February 16


Haha, I love that the snow boarder Ester Ledecka beat Anna Veith's time in the women's alpine super G after NBC stopped showing it because, supposedly, everyone who had a chance at gold had already gone. Yay, upstarts!
posted by the primroses were over at 8:18 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I also just came in to say yay Ester Ledecka! (And NBC apparently wasn't the only one, lots of stations cut away to more marquee events, believing the Super G to be over!)

She snowboards in the snowboard giant slalom in a few days, making her the first to ski and snowboard at the same Olympics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:20 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


They mentioned that she was using Mikaela Shiffrin's skis, and earlier in the week they'd made some mention of skiers using other skier's skis... how does that work? I would have thought everyone had their own skis and would be obsessive about them? Or are they speaking more metaphorically about the skis, like just referring to brand/dimensions?
posted by TwoStride at 8:25 PM on February 16


Ok, I'm kind of liking this Chinese skater who just did a bit to the Mos Eisley Cantina song (original).
posted by TwoStride at 8:29 PM on February 16


In case you wondered, Hanyu donates all the Winnie the Poohs to children's charities in the cities where he skates.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:45 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


LOL I love that the cameras just did a big closeup of a Pooh sitting on the boards as Hanyu skated back to his coach.
posted by TwoStride at 8:50 PM on February 16


I can't believe Hanyu pulled off such an incredible performance coming back after a recent injury. He's so freaking beautiful to watch.
posted by Salieri at 8:52 PM on February 16


I AM SO EXCITED FOR JAVIER FERNANDEZ!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:00 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


OMG what a competition. JAVI HAS A MEDAL!!!! And Hanyu and Uno were fantastic! I think this turned out exactly right.

It sucks for Jin Boyang that he wound up just off the podium, but that was Fernandez's position at the last Olympics and look what happened this time around. I hope Jin sticks around for a long time and skates many more Star Wars routines and comes back again in four years.

And yay to the US guys for all winding up in the top ten! Adam Rippon was exquisite, as always.
posted by Salieri at 9:16 PM on February 16


Damn, that was emotional. Poor Shoma. He's stuck in that position behind Hanyu. And if Vincent Chen puts it together, 2022 is going to be something.

Hanyu is not just a great skater, he's so good at working the crowd. His little hop onto the podium just now was adorable.

Also, great run for Brian Orser as a coach.
posted by LostInUbe at 9:29 PM on February 16


OMG Hanyu showed he has extraordinary mental and physical toughness along with exquisite skating skills! His performance and his reaction made me cry. So happy for Shoma and Javi as well.

Nathan Chen actually won the long program. Maybe it was because the sound cut out for me during his program (lousy Comcast), but it didn’t really grab me, despite his improvement in his overall presentation skills. If this is the direction men’s skating is going, I’m not a fan.

I’m bummed that I didn’t know I was supposed to be watching MSNBC(?) if I wanted to see Vincent Zhou’s skate. :(
posted by creepygirl at 9:37 PM on February 16


I’m bummed that I didn’t know I was supposed to be watching MSNBC(?)

NBCSN (their sports channel)--I've learned to keep switching back and forth between NBC and NBCSN for the best spread of sports coverage...
posted by TwoStride at 9:47 PM on February 16


Oh, thank you, that makes much more sense. :)
posted by creepygirl at 9:49 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Stupid NBC doesnt have the full super-g video up on their site. I want to watch the full stream not the highlight recap.
posted by Justinian at 10:36 PM on February 16




Homan has lost 3 in a row, and Koe was just dismantled by the Swedes. We've got a Canadian curling crisis coming on.
posted by clawsoon at 1:16 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


The Olympics are the only sports I follow — or followed, past tense. With the Pyeongchang Winter Games, I haven’t been able to watch so much as a single full replay clip without crying; that, or shouting. I can barely read the next-day write-ups. I grieve or I rage. When I’m having dinner with white friends and they discuss the latest athletic triumph, I try not to listen. But still, I get pulled in.

“Do you know that part of Korea?” they ask. “Have you been to Pyeongchang?”

“I visited the province once, just for a couple of days,” I say, and I leave it at that. What I don’t explain is that my father’s from that region, as is the rest of his family. His father, my grandfather, helped govern the province of Gangwon, where Pyeongchang is located. I was born in Seoul; a sizable percentage of my family used to be from what’s now North Korea. None of this is worth explaining, not while I’m at dinner with my friends.

posted by ChuraChura at 5:57 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Okay, look. Not proud of feeling like this. But those commercials with Keanu Reeves crying about web pages or making a motorcycle fly with the power of his keanu are great.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:11 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


And now Koe is down 7-6 to the Swiss at the start of the 8th end, and the Swiss have the hammer.
posted by clawsoon at 6:15 PM on February 17


I have to admit that even though big cruise ships seem like my idea of hell on earth, I'm charmed by the Shaq Carnival Cruise ones. I think it's the way he says, "OCEAN!" and circles his arm at the start.
posted by TwoStride at 6:19 PM on February 17


Those ski jumper suits make all of the athletes look like Gumby.

Also, apparently Gus Kenworthy is doing his slopestyle with not just a broken thumb but also a massive hematoma on his hip which has already been drained a few times. Oooouch.
posted by Salieri at 6:34 PM on February 17


The athletes (in particular the figure skaters, but also the slope stylers and anyone else who does tricks) are so skilled and graceful that they make it look effortless and easy. A couple of times I've sat there and thought "I could do that, it's just jumping into the air and twisting" - and then I mentally slap myself about the head. I can't even ice skate, let alone ski. I can barely rollerskate. I have more chance of being drawn in a worldwide lottery to colonise Mars than I have of being able to do even a fraction of what the lowest placed competitor can do.

Anyone else experiencing this phenomenon or is it just me?
posted by pianissimo at 7:26 PM on February 17


I like the disco flares of the ski jump outfits!
posted by rhizome at 7:27 PM on February 17


7 contestants in short track is too many.
posted by rhizome at 7:36 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Also, apparently Gus Kenworthy is doing his slopestyle with not just a broken thumb but also a massive hematoma on his hip which has already been drained a few times. Oooouch.

Yeah, his Instagram "story" videos have documented the hematoma draining. He seems to be taking it quite in stride (there was a comment like "hey, maybe I shouldn't let them drain this cuz I've got amazing booty right now because of it").

It makes me nervous watching him ski, but he's doing good - in 7th of the 12 finalists.

And I'm so pissed when I look at Twitter and see all these fools whining that the news shouldn't be talking about how Kenworthy is gay. "It's not relevant, just talk about his athletic performance!" Grrr. As long as gay kids in this country are still being driven to suicide by hateful families and communities, then damn right it's relevant! Seeing his mom, boyfriend, and family waving rainbow flags on NBC nationwide TV was so fantastic! Somewhere some kid may have just seen that and learned that they're not doomed to a sad life.
posted by dnash at 8:16 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


Anyone else experiencing this phenomenon or is it just me?

I get this too, sometimes! I also follow college gymnastics, and I know that feeling from watching those athletes as well.

The commentators like to say that the mark of the very best is that they can make these skills look easy, and I think that's what we're responding to. Seeing these world-class athletes expending all their effort to do these incredible things and have it look like they're barely trying...it makes it seem like a natural thing that all human bodies were designed to do. Like, look at them fly! I can fly, too!

And then I walk into the next room and trip over my own feet and slam my shoulder into the door and remember why these people are at the Olympics and I'm not.

Seeing his mom, boyfriend, and family waving rainbow flags on NBC nationwide TV was so fantastic!

Yes! And I love that the commentators were so matter-of-fact about introducing his friends and family...."and that guy right there is his boyfriend." Like, even a decade ago I can't imagine hearing the word "boyfriend" on NBC like that. It just felt so good to hear that simple word.
posted by Salieri at 8:23 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]


On the Men's Giant Slalom, henrik kristoffersen finished 10th on the first run, but made an incredible second to climb to the silver medal.

This reminded me how barely playable Winter Olympics for the Mega Drive was, but it captured the anguish of waiting for results better than any winter games since.
(It also has a pretty solid soundtrack that I forgot to ask a friend of mine if he wanted to remake it together)
posted by lmfsilva at 1:18 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Sadly, Gus Kenworthy came up short in the finals last night, so no repeat medal for him. But he did get in a pretty amazing moment where he and his boyfriend kissed on national TV! It was a clip of Gus getting hugs of support from friends and family before his first run in qualifiers.

A couple significant things: This wasn't actually shown "live." It was time delayed, because NBC was covering other sports as well during the prime time show. (I was flipping back and forth between the TV version and the live event streaming online, which is how I know the TV coverage was delayed.) So that means NBC chose to show the kiss. They could have easily edited it out if they wanted to, but they didn't. It's right in there along with hugging his mother like any other athlete would be shown doing. And the announcer knew the boyfriend's name. His boyfriend's existence and identity was part of the background info on Kenworthy just like it would've been for any other athlete, not elided or ignored.

In other words, it was significant for being so completely normal.
posted by dnash at 8:42 AM on February 18 [8 favorites]


Belatedly seconding the Javi Fernandez luv. I recall picking him out of the crowd when he finished down in the teens at Worlds. My only critique in recent years was sometimes he seemed a little too much Orser's mini-me. (Luv Orser, just wanted JF to have his own style.)

He was prolly upset the missed quad cost him a step up the podium. But I'm glad he got any medal- better than I can say for past male faves, like Browning and Joubert.

A couple of times I've sat there and thought "I could do that."

I mentioned in the Lipinski thread I've had the opportunity to watch many champ figure skaters way up close. Five seconds and you know how HARD it is. It's astonishing to watch a triple or quad from about 20 feet away, or to walk past a pairs team warming up & suddenly he's lifting her (& you're like, "Please don't drop her - on me.")

Or, as a tennis pro once said to me aboot top players in that sport, "It's like they're not even human."

all these fools whining that the news shouldn't be talking about how Kenworthy is gay. "It's not relevant, just talk about his athletic performance!"

I almost replied to someone on twitter who did the old "I dont care who xx sleeps with":  "Anyone who says that really *does* have an issue with it."
posted by NorthernLite at 10:53 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong for me to want to see footage of a curling stone being launched down the bobsled course, the ski jump, and the various downhill courses?

I mean, that's a rhetorical question. Obviously it is not wrong.
posted by ardgedee at 11:13 AM on February 18 [9 favorites]


Curling should involve a bobsled track between the thrower and the field/target/whatever.
posted by rhizome at 11:39 AM on February 18


Can we talk about the amazing battle for all the medals in men's biathlon 15km mass start? I love all the permutations of biathlon, but the head-to-head racing induces the most shouting in our household.
posted by ikahime at 11:47 AM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Is it wrong for me to want to see footage of a curling stone being launched down the bobsled course, the ski jump, and the various downhill courses?
Put some people chasing it for a gold medal, and you have Winter Cheese-Rolling.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:39 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Oh - speaking of curling stones, I was kinda wondering about how they're made, and thought there must be an FPP about that at some point. Sure enough... here's a post from filthy light thief about it from a couple of years ago.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:03 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about the amazing battle for all the medals in men's biathlon 15km mass start? I love all the permutations of biathlon, but the head-to-head racing induces the most shouting in our household.

I just finished watching the replay. That was awesome.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:25 PM on February 18


Here's an article with a photo of Martin Fourcade (France) and Simon Schempp (Germany) at the finish line. Talk about heartbreakingly close.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:09 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Watching Canada vs. Japan in women's curling right now. I'm slowly figuring out this sport. It's compelling, honestly. I'm a terrible Canadian, I know.

Oh! And! Remembering TwoStride's comment above...CBC did a radio interview with Mr. T about curling on Friday. Read about it or listen to it here (interview is about 7 minutes long).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:23 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Watching Canada vs. Japan in women's curling right now.

Rachel Homan has the most intense stare I have ever seen. After she throws her rock, I'm half-expecting lasers to shoot out of her eyes and burst her opponent's rocks into flames.
posted by clawsoon at 4:39 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Canada 8-3 vs. Japan!

Time for ice dance short dance.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:16 PM on February 18


I am cackling at how disgusted Tanith White is by the lax technical judging in the ice dance short, compared to how tight they were with the scores in the team competition.

Which...I totally understand. It must suck for the athletes to get a level two one day and a level four the next week for almost the same thing. How do you know what to expect or how to improve your skating when the judging is inconsistent? Plus, there's no room to really separate out the truly great teams when they're throwing out level fours like candy.

Also, watching the team from Great Britain and hearing about how her knee is basically held together with wire? These people are insanely tough.
posted by Salieri at 6:46 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


This Gilles/Poirier song doesn't sound like CanCon.
posted by rhizome at 7:28 PM on February 18


OMG, Gilles/Poirier bringing the cheese factor with the mid-dance costume modification. I am HERE for them.
posted by Salieri at 7:33 PM on February 18


I'm torn between hating all of the face mugging and cheeziness that's going on with the Latin theme and deciding to relax and treat it all like an homage to Strictly Ballroom.
posted by TwoStride at 7:35 PM on February 18


With less makeup.
posted by rhizome at 7:38 PM on February 18


Mike Tirico is growing on me, he's loose and kinda funny during the interstitials.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:05 PM on February 18


LOL how do you go to the Olympics without a costume guaranteed not to malfunction??
posted by TwoStride at 8:23 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


(Sorry: for those not currently viewing, the French ice dance lady's top came loose during their dance so, you know, they lost some points while she was making sure she didn't flash the arena).
posted by TwoStride at 8:25 PM on February 18


Not taking anything away from Papadakis and Cizeron...but that music sucked the life right out of their routine.

Virtue and Moir brought energy and life to theirs.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:26 PM on February 18


I think their shot at the podium is slim, but I'm still holding out hope for the Shibutanis. I really love them, and I'm so looking forward to their free dance.
posted by Salieri at 8:30 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm rooting for the Shib Sibs, too.
posted by TwoStride at 8:37 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Bobrova and Soloviev were lots of fun.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:39 PM on February 18


I am beginning to suspect that the presentation scores in ice dance are determined - if not on purpose, then unconsciously - by taking the technical score and adding or subtracting a small negative number.

Click the pluses here to show the full breakdown of the scores. The "Unfactored Program Components" scores sure do look like the technical score divided by 5 and then wiggled a bit. Did Tanknova and Zilberberg really do all of skating skills, transitions, performance, composition, and interpretation of music at a level in the narrow range between 5.46 and 5.75? Did Wang and Liu really do them all in the range between 7.11 and 7.39? It's the same pattern for all pairs.
posted by clawsoon at 9:16 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


("negative" was superfluous in "small negative number". Missed the edit window.)
posted by clawsoon at 10:41 PM on February 18


("negative" was superfluous in "small negative number". Missed the edit window.)

*deducts points from your presentation score*
posted by Literaryhero at 1:11 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Robert Johansson final jump clinches the Team Ski Jump gold for Norway.
posted by lmfsilva at 6:30 AM on February 19


I was mad people published stills of the ice dance wardrobe reveal. A woman works so hard and ends up having idiots embarrass her. (I unfollowed someone who first tweeted the pic with a stupid "heh-heh, a titty" type joke, then insulted me in DM for calling him out.)

Re: figure skating scoring: Hah. I knew when they changed up the whole judging system 15 years ago, it wasn't going to stop cheating and bias.

I'm almost glad my fave female figure skater isn't competing. I'm already exhausted from the viewing marathon, I can't take any more "drama." This happens when I'm following a multi-week competition like tennis slams and the Olympics.

Anyone else feel that way?
posted by NorthernLite at 9:13 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


I thought I didn't care about anything Olympic except news stories about Adam Rippon, but then I caught ice dancing last night at my mom's and I was riveted. Like the best winter sports, it's an insane thing to do, but delightful for exactly that reason!

I really loved the Shibutanis, partly because they're so damn good, and partly because as siblings, they can't do the usual romance storylines. They emphasize their athleticism and warm personalities instead, and it ends up being fresher and more fun to watch than the 30th clench session to "Despacito."

I also think the world (though probably not the Olympic authorities) is ready for same-sex ice dancing, specifically a fusion-themed Steven Universe dance. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:49 AM on February 19 [3 favorites]


I was watching pairs skating with my dad and he kept calling it "mixed doubles", so I think he's ready for it too!

As a Canadian my heart desperately wants Virtue and Moir to take the gold for their final Olympics, but my expert friend (to whom I defer on all things skating-related) has his money on Papadakis and Cizeron (and a major shitshow about the judging as a result, but that's business as usual for olympic ice dance...)
posted by btfreek at 10:52 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


> They mentioned that she was using Mikaela Shiffrin's skis, and earlier in the week they'd made some mention of skiers using other skier's skis... how does that work? I would have thought everyone had their own skis and would be obsessive about them? Or are they speaking more metaphorically about the skis, like just referring to brand/dimensions?

They were talking about an actual pair of Shiffrin's skis, but now that claim is in doubt
Mikaela Shiffrin said she can’t help clear up the mystery of whether Ester Ledecka used Shiffrin’s skis when the Czech Republic athlete pulled off a stunning victory last week in the Super-G at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“We actually really don’t know if they were (mine) or not,’’ Shriffin, the American ski racer, told USA TODAY Sports Monday after completing a training run on the Alpine downhill course. “I haven’t got confirmation.’’
[...]
“To be honest, she skied the course the best,’’ Shiffrin said. “so I don’t think it made a difference whether they were mine or not.’’
Ledecka is only an inch taller than Shiffrin (5'8" vs. 5'7") so they could have the same Boot Sole Length. Though the off-the-rack Super-G ski comes with a binding without Atomic's Variable Positioning System, she might be running something else which would accommodate a slight change. But "Podium-level racers might travel with 10 to 20 pairs of skis each," (for only 4 disciplines) so they wouldn't be Shiffrin's only SG pair anyway. I'm guessing that Atomic makes Shiffrin a dedicated SG ski, too. They don't "mass" produce a DH ski, so their SG is DH legal 210cm, when it's allowed to be 205cm.

To retreat a bit from equipment obsession, Ted Ligety doesn't like the direction (back to the '80s) the FIS is going with larger radii and longer skis. I've been looking for snow-spray-less carved turns but Ligety claims "these new skis will be completely foreign (less controllable), making them/us get into awkward body positions and ski in a “jumpy” manner so that we can create enough force to turn them. We will also take a straighter line in which we will slide the top of the turn then hit the edge hard." Marcel Hircher really showed how it's done yesterday. So smooth.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 12:50 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


Olympic Curling Rocked by Russian Doping Case

Other curlers respond:
Canadian second Brent Laing said he knows nothing about the drug or what it does for you. Unlike Kennedy, he was surprised to hear of a positive test in curling.

“Beer and Advil, those are the only painkillers I’ve ever heard of for curling,” he said. “I imagine it wasn’t that. Hopefully not, or else I’m in trouble.”
posted by clawsoon at 1:24 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


Awww: "Sam... he's insanely pretty... find a way" is Sally Field's response to her son's crush on Adam Rippon.
posted by TwoStride at 1:30 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


> "it's not hard enough to ski as fast as you can zigzagging between little mounds of snow. So make sure you do a couple of stylish jumps on the way down too!"

I was curious why the hell there isn't a mogul-skiing-only event, but it turns out that skiing bumps and doing flips evolved out of "hotdogging" where falling on purpose & bouncing back up is part of the flair.

Super Combined (Downhill + Slalom) is my favorite combo. Why jumping and cross country are combined in some "Nordic" events puzzles me the most.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 1:37 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Why jumping and cross country are combined in some "Nordic" events puzzles me the most.

I'm pretty sure that combination is how you're supposed to travel across Norway.
posted by clawsoon at 1:49 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


IIRC the distinction between Nordic and Alpine events is the type of boot used - Nordic uses bindings with free heel, while alpine uses fixed-heel bindings.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:06 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


For those who like to joke about NBC's Olympic coverage, 2m30s of light watching.
posted by rhizome at 2:56 PM on February 19


I'm pretty sure that combination is how you're supposed to travel across Norway.

Yes, everyone knows this. The Dutch will speed-skate back from South Korea to the Netherlands, and the Norwegians will cross-country ski up the side of a convenient mountain, then simply ski-jump home from there.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:08 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


And let's not forget about the Germans, who will return as soon as they find an ice tunnel and a large tray.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:42 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


The Canadians need people to bodycheck all the way home.
posted by clawsoon at 3:44 PM on February 19


it's a good thing south koreans only need to hop on a short track to get home.
posted by anem0ne at 4:02 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


Downhill training runs in primetime? Are we talking about practice?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:39 PM on February 19


The larger national teams with more skiers use the training runs to decide which 2-4 skiers will be in the competitive event. So they are training runs, but they also let teams scope out each other's skiers, and for larger teams they serve as preliminary rounds.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:42 PM on February 19


I just can't root for Virtue and Moir because of their epic stinkfaces from Sochi. Sort of similarly, I'm so annoyed that Ashley Wagner pops up in a commercial what seems like every single break.
posted by TwoStride at 7:39 PM on February 19


Yay Shib Sibs, with a lovely skate that almost makes me like Coldplay!
posted by TwoStride at 7:55 PM on February 19


Gilles and Poirier's James Bond skate was pretty dope. Their last lift made me gasp out loud.
posted by btfreek at 7:59 PM on February 19


The French pair's skating is astounding, but it's a pity she swapped yesterday's wardrobe malfunction for an ugly dress with a trip to wedgietown for this skate.
posted by TwoStride at 8:05 PM on February 19


Papadakis/Cizeron were sublime. Nothing against Virtue/Moir, but I hope the French skaters can manage to pull out a gold after they got such a raw deal last night with the costume malfunction.

The ShibSibs are queen and king of my heart. Their skating brings me to tears. I don't know if I can even watch the rest of the competition because I want so badly for them to get the bronze.
posted by Salieri at 8:08 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


I just can't root for Virtue and Moir because of their epic stinkfaces from Sochi.

I asked Google, but it was not able to tell me what you are referring to.
posted by clawsoon at 8:08 PM on February 19


Virtue and Moir were extremely displeased by their silver finish at the last Games and kind of scowled through the podium ceremony.
posted by TwoStride at 8:10 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Man, I am super-tense about this ice dancing!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:13 PM on February 19


Setting aside my knee-jerk dislike of V&M, I still would have given the edge to the French pair. They were so fluid and graceful...
posted by TwoStride at 8:22 PM on February 19


It seems scowling is kind of a thing in this scene.
posted by rhizome at 8:22 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]


The French man in the ice dancing pair has the longest neck I have seen outside of cultures where they use those ring things to elongate their necks.
posted by clawsoon at 8:25 PM on February 19


Oh shit, now the bejeweled vs. plain microphone teams have been equalized. This could get gory.
posted by rhizome at 8:35 PM on February 19


The CBC coverage of Saint Tessa and Pope Scott I is just so over the top ridiculous it soured me on them (the commentators described everybody except for the French as literally skating for bronze, like even before Sts. Tessa and Scott set a blade on the ice,it was assumed they were second at worst). Then they had such a great skate (that lift thing in the middle of their program!) that I liked them again, then CBC just showed yet another hagiography. *sigh*
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:36 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]


the commentators described everybody except for the French as literally skating for bronze, like even before Sts. Tessa and Scott set a blade on the ice

Yep. I was thinking, "You never know if a sparkle or a spangle fell off of somebody's costume that's going to trip them up and make you sound silly."
posted by clawsoon at 8:39 PM on February 19


D'awwww, only silver for Papadakis/Cizeron, but a great performance from Virtue/Moir as well. I would have reversed the top two just based on my non-expert feels, but they were both fantastic.

And the ShibSibs get their medal!! I couldn't be more pleased. Poor Hubbell/Donohue - you could tell by their reaction after they'd finished that they'll each be having some sleepless nights obsessively going over their dance and picking out ever tiny 'if only' moment. Fourth is a rough place to land.
posted by Salieri at 8:41 PM on February 19


I didn't see this posted here: Virtue/Moir are in love with each other (a conspiracy)
posted by rhizome at 8:42 PM on February 19 [3 favorites]


There are a lot of people in Canada who are a bit.. invested in the Virtue/Moir relationship. It's a little tinfoil hatty, especially since they've gone on the record multiple times to say they're not together and talked about the difficulties in managing relationships in their personal lives when their professional lives are so intertwined.

That said, let's not lose sight of what's important here: Leslie Jones is much happier about tonight's outfits than last night!!
posted by btfreek at 9:09 PM on February 19


Yeah, one of the precursor tweets that pointed me to that mentioned that many Canadians would also very much like them not to turn out to be a couple.
posted by rhizome at 9:16 PM on February 19


Leslie Jones has a sick ticket hookup. I need someone like that if I go to Tokyo in 2020.
posted by rhizome at 9:18 PM on February 19


Now the really important action begins - how will Homan's rink do against China?
posted by clawsoon at 9:24 PM on February 19


That rule change for tie-breakers in bobsled was weak.
posted by rhizome at 11:01 PM on February 19


Well. Damn. "Still mathematically alive" say the CBC announcers about the Canadian women's curling team.

This might be the first time since 1924 that Canada isn't on a Olympic curling podium. (That's not as impressive as it sounds.)
posted by clawsoon at 11:48 PM on February 19


Me a week ago: I hate ice dancing, it's for people who couldn't make it as figure skatings.

Me today: OH MY GOD I LOVE TESSA AND SCOTT. I LOOOOOVE YOU TESSSSSAAA.
posted by Justinian at 1:27 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


I am all in on the Korean women's curling team right now. In fact I am going to make a fan club for Kim Eunjeong's glasses.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:06 AM on February 20


I'm watching a rerun of CBC's post-ice dancing Tessa and Scott montage and... did somebody manage to get their shippy fanvid on broadcast TV? Amazing.
posted by btfreek at 12:39 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


No one's talking about the US Men's Curling extra-end win over Canada? We had stuff to do yesterday but delayed the chores so we could watch the tie breakers. US brings the hammer! :D (they are scrappy, but are soooo not going to medal)
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:19 PM on February 20


It's true I don't understand much of the strategy in Curling and I was half-asleep by then, but anyone understood what was the strategy of the Canadian team against China yesterday with their last stone? They were trailing by one and had one point on the end. The left side was well covered, but the right had a more or less clear path. Why didn't they use the last stone to put a guard on the right?
posted by lmfsilva at 2:29 PM on February 20


I just took a quick look at the last few stones, lmfsilva, and I'm not an expert but I grew up in a family that curls and watches curling fanatically, so here's my take:

-Canadians need to steal one to send the game to extra ends; they were sitting shot stone on the 4 foot with the Chinese on the 8 foot.
-In good ice conditions (and I understand these aren't the best) the play would be to use your last stone to draw to full eight foot, sit second shot, and force the other skip to attempt a double takeout to win. Given the poor ice, they decided a guard was a better idea, to force the Chinese skip to attempt to draw her final shot inside the Canadian stone. A draw to inside the 4 foot is not an easy shot to make, and the Chinese skip apparently had some difficulty with draw shots earlier in the game.
-A hit/takeout is a considerably easier shot to make than a draw; you aren't as concerned with what happens to your rock, you just want to hit the opposing stone hard and spill it out. The guard was to prevent the shot from just being a takeout.

So they buried their stone on the left, to force the Chinese skip to come down the right side and make a shot of the right curl and weight to draw inside the Canadian stone. Which she did.

I know there's some angst about how Canadian curling is doing at these games, and I'm wondering if it is more of a reflection of the fact that the rest of the world is starting to field much more skill than anything else.
posted by nubs at 3:16 PM on February 20 [6 favorites]


The CBC commentators went into great detail on the analysis of the Canadian team's options before that last stone, and - if my own sleepy brain remembers correctly - they basically came to all the same conclusions as nubs.

Favourite fun fact from last night: The Chinese skip played in Edmonton for a few years, affectionately known to the locals as "Betty".
posted by clawsoon at 3:56 PM on February 20


OKAY IT WAS BRIEF BUT THERE WAS LESDOGGGG WITH FOUR GEES AND ADAM RIPPON COMMENTATATATING POST-HOC ABOUT THE GRUBLETS ON ICE LAST NIGHT

GIANT HEART SIGN
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:38 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Women's short track relay: I have no idea what just happened.

There were, like, 40 people on the ice; there seemed to be no logic to how and when they would tag the next skater; two teams crashed and were taken out; another was disqualified; and two teams that weren't even in the finals won the silver and bronze.

I think that was the most exciting and confusing 5 minutes of the Olympics so far.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:51 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Short track is a stupid sport.
posted by rhizome at 5:53 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


The Italians were in the A-final; they were just in the back. It looked to me that somebody (either China or Canada) tripped over the Korean skater.

But I have no idea how anyone keeps track of anything. And apparently you can skip a tag and just do it later?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:59 PM on February 20


And apparently you can skip a tag and just do it later?

Thats what I saw too! There was a point in which one Korean skater chased her teammate around at blindingly fast speeds for a full lap and a half, like she was saying "hey....HEY...hey!! Hey - okay tag you're i- hey! HEY!" Until she was finally able to apply a tag. Meanwhile, there were 40 identically dressed people also skating around at blindingly fast speeds.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:42 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Women's downhill is deliciously sketchy.
posted by rhizome at 6:47 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


That's cool, no NHL in the US team this time. I prefer the Olympics to remain amateur, and it sounds like they're doing pretty good regardless!
posted by rhizome at 7:37 PM on February 20


Aww, I was really pulling for Mirai to nail that triple axle again. Meanwhile, her thigh tape now seems to say USA on it, making it more distracting...
posted by TwoStride at 8:17 PM on February 20


Terry is getting in on the gold sartorial highlights.
posted by rhizome at 8:31 PM on February 20


I think her tape said USA in the team event as well! People were posting online afterward asking if she had a USA tattoo, and KT was like, "Hey, that's our new Olympic tape!"

Incidentally, yesterday I needed to buy some physio tape. KT was offering a discount on their promotional USA tape, but I decided that, not being Mirai Nagasu, I'm not awesome enough to pull it off.

(Also I live in Texas and I'm afraid of being taken for a MAGA-hat if I use it.)
posted by Salieri at 8:43 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


I always love the arm-over-head jumps. (Those are named after Brian Boitano, right? but not "Boitanos," something else.)

Medvedeva has very balletic arms. I don't totally love her music, since a lot of her passes are a bit more frenetic than the music. I understand why with her very balletic qualities she'd use classical music, but the speed of some of her elements just didn't match the music very well. Not that I know what she ought to skate to, but I bet she'd rock some Elvis.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:11 PM on February 20


I really have issues with a lot of the music. There is SO MUCH music in the world, must we hear Carmen over and over again? And some of it's so boring!

On the other hand, the programs that have most moved me so far were Rippon and the Shibs' Coldplay-heavy free skates, so perhaps I'm not to be trusted.
posted by lalex at 9:15 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Awww, I'm sad that Kostner struggled with her jumps.

I have such a love for the older skaters who might not be able to master all of the crazy jumping of the younger athletes, but have such a wonderful musicality and presence and sense of self in their skating. Kostner is exquisite.

As expected, it looks like the gold will be either Zagitova or Medvedeva. Given how Zagitova backloads her program and is insanely solid on her jumps, I think she'd have to have a meltdown to lose. I'm hoping Miyahara can sneak onto the podium as well.

I'm utterly charmed by Medvedeva's love of dancing and anime.
posted by Salieri at 9:27 PM on February 20


Osmond was great; some of her jumps were so big and powerful they looked more like throws, like she was doing a pairs skate and had a ghost partner!

I dig Zagitova's costume. It's sort of like "Swan Lake, but with robots." Technically awesome; didn't feel like it connected as well with the audience as some other programs did.

I agreed with Tara about Miyahara's program, btw, I really liked the creative and different choreography. It made it a little harder for me (a casual fan) to compare it to the other skates so I have nothing to say about the score, but I really enjoyed seeing things done a bit differently and I was quite charmed by it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:33 PM on February 20


I wonder if "it hasn't really sunk in yet" - which I keep hearing athletes say after they win a medal - means that they didn't feel anything special about winning, and won't feel anything, despite having dreamt about how exciting winning a medal would be.
posted by clawsoon at 4:13 AM on February 21


Holy fuck the American women just won a gold in the cross country ski relay! That's the first US gold in cross country and only the second US medal, ever. Kikkan Randall is 35 and this is her 5th and probably last Olympics. I'm just thrilled for her and Diggins. Amazing.
posted by fshgrl at 4:55 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]


OK, I know that I'm a bit late to this one, but: choosing "Moonlight Sonata" for your ice dance / figure skating routine is grounds for automatic disqualification.
posted by LMGM at 6:46 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Holy fuck the American women just won a gold in the cross country ski relay! That's the first US gold in cross country and only the second US medal, ever. Kikkan Randall is 35 and this is her 5th and probably last Olympics.

Anchorage just woke up and we’re losing our collective shit over this! Kikkan is also the only mother on the Olympic team (there are like 20 dads) and does a lot of great things in the community for women and for kids...there’s nobody in the active/outdoorsy community here who hasn’t interacted with her pleasantly in some way. All-around A+ hometown hero, we are thrilled.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:49 AM on February 21 [9 favorites]


Also, seriously: this is her fifth Olympics. That is incredible and would be BANANAS in most other events. WaPo wire story, hometown paper story. Cross-country skiing is a hell of a sport.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:01 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


OK, I know that I'm a bit late to this one, but: choosing "Moonlight Sonata" for your ice dance / figure skating routine is grounds for automatic disqualification.

Everytime it pops up, I hope they're doing a choreography about being chased by a gang in East Glasgow.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:39 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


They're about to show the cross country skiing women's team sprint on NBC, right now (in prime time!). Which sort-of gives away the game that something excited happened for the US, if you didn't already know. But in case you want to watch!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:31 PM on February 21


Can someone who knows about skiing tell me what the team of dudes with machines is doing with the skis on the sideline?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:35 PM on February 21


That was a very exciting race and OMG the announcers were fucking losing it during the final sprint and I am crying!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:50 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I KNOW RIGHT? LET'S WATCH THE FINISH AGAIN! (sorry, Facebook link, but it's worth 60 seconds of your time with the sound up)
posted by charmedimsure at 6:29 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


THANK YOU!!!! I missed the broadcast of the cross country win! That was amazing.
posted by Salieri at 6:42 PM on February 21


Here it is on Twitter if you don't have a Facebook login. Really exhilarating!
posted by lalex at 6:49 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Can someone who knows about skiing tell me what the team of dudes with machines is doing with the skis on the sideline?

The guys with the the waist-high equipment with the skis upside down on top? They are waxing and otherwise preparing the skis for the skiers. This is a huge deal for classic cross-country skiing (where you are diagonal striding in the tracks and there is glide wax, that controls your forward movement, and kick wax that controls your traction and ability to push off) but still really important in freestyle on the high level, especially in the sprint events when the skiers are coming in separated by seconds.
posted by charmedimsure at 7:06 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Nice piece from Outside Online: The U.S. Women's Cross-Country Gold Is a Huge Deal
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:10 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


Okay, here we go - the best rivalry in hockey and perhaps all sports. Nothing smart to say, just let's go Canada! Four in a row is not enough!
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:04 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


It's amazing how the Olympics and women's World Cup soccer are pretty much the only events that make me root against Canada!
posted by TwoStride at 8:21 PM on February 21


I had previously soured on Virtue and Moir, then fallen in love with them during their skate, only to sour a little on them a little with the over the top fanservice video afterwards.

But I couldn't help falling back in love a little after they showed Scott Moir in the crowd - standing up, arms outstretched, beer in hand screaming "WAKE UP REF".
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:23 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


Looks like I woke up at just the right time. This is some good hockey.
posted by clawsoon at 10:10 PM on February 21


Scott Moir in the crowd - standing up, arms outstretched, beer in hand screaming "WAKE UP REF".

I had to rewind my live feed just to confirm that yes, that was indeed Patrick Chan sitting next to him looking quietly mortified.
posted by btfreek at 10:11 PM on February 21 [7 favorites]


I'm definitely rooting against Canada after that brutal hit (shoulder to head) agains the American player that went unpenalized.
posted by TwoStride at 10:12 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Oh geez - penalty, tied game, four minutes left.
posted by clawsoon at 10:16 PM on February 21


How much overtime do they get before a shootout?
posted by clawsoon at 10:22 PM on February 21


I think it's 20 minutes, sudden death.
posted by TwoStride at 10:27 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


And it's 4-on-4? Oh geez again. (I woke my daughter up by saying "Oh geez!" too loud when that penalty happened.) The Americans seem to be 20% faster than the Canadians.
posted by clawsoon at 10:37 PM on February 21


I kinda feel like it should be 4-on-4 all the time.
posted by TwoStride at 10:51 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


I really wish the medal games didn't go to shootouts.
posted by bassooner at 10:53 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Order of Canada for Szabados. No matter what happens in the shootout, she kept us alive in the overtime.
posted by clawsoon at 11:04 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


You gotta give it up for the 20 year-old Olympic rookie in the US goal, too.
posted by TwoStride at 11:09 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


THIS IS VERY STRESSFUL
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:10 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


*Two* Orders of Canada.
posted by clawsoon at 11:12 PM on February 21


:-(
posted by clawsoon at 11:13 PM on February 21


Yeah Rooney!
posted by TwoStride at 11:15 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, not a Lamoureux. Both goalies so impressive, though! A good game, but Canada's tank looked empty by the end.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:17 PM on February 21 [3 favorites]


I love all the players stripping off their helmets and fixing their hair into better ponytails!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:17 PM on February 21 [4 favorites]


I think I may need a shower after that Jocelyn Lameroux gamewinner.
posted by bassooner at 11:19 PM on February 21


I wanna know who they were talking to on the phone that seemed borrowed from a coach.
posted by TwoStride at 11:20 PM on February 21


And in 3 hours the Canadian men will meet the Americans, who already beat them once, in curling. Too much for one day.
posted by clawsoon at 11:47 PM on February 21




The U.S. Women's Cross-Country Gold Is a Huge Deal

Ahhh too bad I missed this! I've been making an effort to watch the XC events.

Cross-country skiing is hugely underrated, even by skiers. I always recommend it to anyone who goes alpine skiing or snowboarding, it's a great day out (and cheap, no lift tickets) and will really improve your balance and give you a new perspective on sliding on snow. As a bonus, I guarantee your cocky friend who skis/boards really well and is a showoff, will get terrified on gentle downhills and crash at least once.
posted by other barry at 2:17 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


"This is the Miracle on Ice for 2018." - CBC announcers about USA men's curling win over Canada just now.

Might be a bit of an exaggeration. How many of you Americans were glued to the screen for this curling semi-final?
posted by clawsoon at 5:44 AM on February 22


Biathlon women relay was sensational today. Every shooting an enormous surprise (for the good and the bad). For the neutral observer it was nervewrecking. Can't imagine how it'd feel if you're rooting for one of the winning or failing teams.

So much happening; Makkerainen! Wiener! the Germans and Norwegians! and what a surprise the Swedes are! Domracheva!! pffff, I need a lie down...
posted by Kosmob0t at 5:50 AM on February 22


The highlight reel we've all been waiting for: Scott Moir keeps Canadian women's hockey fans smiling.

Best moment of the Olympics. Right there. "WAKE UP, REF!"
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:50 AM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I had to rewind my live feed just to confirm that yes, that was indeed Patrick Chan sitting next to him looking quietly mortified.

I think Patrick Chan always looks like that. He has resting deer-in-headlights face.
posted by clawsoon at 7:40 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Moving back over to curling for a second - the tie break match between Great Britain and Switzerland had one of the most amazing curling shots I've ever seen.

9th end, GB is ahead 5 to 4. Tons of stones in the house, but GB's are holding the Swiss ones to where they'd only score two. Then Switzerland pulls of a shot (video clip here) that makes you realize why they call it "the hammer."
posted by dnash at 8:14 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Important question: does the Canadian team have Official Olympic Jammies? Did I somehow miss this?
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:26 AM on February 22




It's been their exhibition skate for the whole season! You can see it here at the Canadian nationals gala (spoilers?)
posted by btfreek at 12:39 PM on February 22


Is there an explanation for the way US Speedskating outfits draw the eye?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:45 PM on February 22


I'm no eyeologist bob but I think its because it uses contrasting colors to completely and obviously highlight the crotchal area.
posted by Justinian at 1:53 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I'm gonna take this moment to lament in a fit of almost-constant pique that Olympic clothing is not available for purchase. I'm not so into the AT&T Crotch skinsuits, but under the imaginary specter of Official Canadian Olympic Pajamas? Take my goddamn money.
posted by rhizome at 2:00 PM on February 22


I would pay in Euro, plus shipping, for pajamas or a sweatshirt patterned like the Dutch speed skating suit.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:53 PM on February 22


Right? It seems like such a missed opportunity. I mean, they might not sell a ton, but with Just-In-Time manufacturing and other customization technologies, not to mention Authentic Nigerian Olympic Parkas, that it would be a pretty cool limited edition thing.
posted by rhizome at 5:22 PM on February 22


Similarly, I loved the nordic ski suits the American gold medalists wore yesterday--the star pattern on the blue was really pretty.
posted by TwoStride at 5:25 PM on February 22


Thank God, it's the last day of short track!
posted by rhizome at 5:28 PM on February 22


This is a truly odd story.
posted by LostInUbe at 5:30 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Aw, yay for Hungary in the short track relay with their first-ever Winter Olympics gold medal!

I have been enjoying the crowds in South Korea, they seem very generous to the competitors, and well-educated in the sports. When something really exciting happens, the crowd reaction often clues you in before the announcers explain it. And other than in short track (where it seems like a pretty homer crowd!), they're very appreciative of the winners and how well they race/play/skate/whatever. It's always nice to hear big cheers for impressive performance, regardless of allegiance, makes the games feel more exciting.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:27 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


TARA AND JOHNNY BEDAZZLED TERRY'S MICROPHONE!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:03 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I really dislike Bradie Tennel's long program--lady, you're 20. Save Cinderella for the Juniors.
posted by TwoStride at 7:30 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Wasn't the last song in Tennel's program "Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green"?
posted by clawsoon at 7:35 PM on February 22


Yes, which was used in the live-action Cinderella that came out a couple of years ago.
posted by TwoStride at 7:37 PM on February 22


Ah, I see.
posted by clawsoon at 7:39 PM on February 22


Ohhhh, Daleman is breaking my heart right now.

Also, how many Olympic skaters does Brian Orser train? Because it seems like half of them. I love seeing him in all the different team jackets.
posted by Salieri at 7:42 PM on February 22


Accourding to Out Sports, he's training 5 Olympic skaters. But it definitely feels like more than that!
posted by TwoStride at 7:45 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Poor Daleman. I felt so bad for her! The crowd was really trying to pull her through it, too.

Choi was awesome!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:54 PM on February 22


Aw Mirai, popping all these jumps. :( I was hoping the US ladies would just manage a clean skate tonight, but there have been so many shaky programs.

Choi, though, was fantastic! It was great to see the home crowd going all out for her.

And yeah, I noticed the crowd trying to cheer Gabby on - that was really nice.
posted by Salieri at 7:57 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Heh, not to edit my own comment, but I just noticed I did the "ladies" thing instead of women. I guess I've got "ladies figure skating" on the brain - oops.
posted by Salieri at 8:02 PM on February 22


Miyahara remains my bae. I just really like how she skates!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:16 PM on February 22


If you need something relaxing, here's a video of Hanyu and Uno plus others messing around during practice for the skater's exhibition.
posted by LostInUbe at 8:18 PM on February 22


Is there a figure skating equivalent of Laird Hamilton, somebody who invents amazing new techniques and jumps and is respected as one of the best, but who eschews competitions and just skates for the joy of it?
posted by clawsoon at 8:19 PM on February 22


Can we just take a moment to silently marvel that in a sport where careers are so short that many competitors peak in their late teens or early twenties, Carolina Kostner is competing in her fourth Olympic games? Her fourth! She's been a top tier skater for (more than, because she had to qualify) TWELVE YEARS.
posted by bettafish at 8:40 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Kostner really impresses me that she's still in it and really IN IT, but also? it's a little strange seeing an adult woman body do all the skating tricks! I end up so focused on that that it's hard to pay attention to how well or poorly she's doing!

I'm terrified of Zagitova's game face, how does a 15-year-old even have a game face like that? It's like a haka all by itself.

Such a great skate by Zagitova!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:40 PM on February 22


Yeah it was astounding when they pointed out that Zagitova was like 8 months old when Kostner was in her first Olympics.
posted by TwoStride at 8:44 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I don't think I've ever seen a skater jump clockwise before. Huh.
posted by clawsoon at 8:47 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I can't believe they're not mentioning how the setups for Osmond's jumps were so much harder. She'd do those 360s before them where the kids are straight gliding. Good score, so I suppose the judges noticed!
posted by rhizome at 8:48 PM on February 22


Good skate for Osmond! But ohhhhh, I really was hoping for Miyahara for the bronze.
posted by Salieri at 8:49 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Mad props to Kaetlyn Osmond for skating a great program between Zagitova and Medvedeva!
posted by btfreek at 8:49 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Katelyn Osmond!!! GREAT WORK! And she was having a shit-ton of fun in the second half there. EEEEEE I'm so excited she will medal!

Artistically it felt like Medvedeva was in her own class. (Also, holy cow, the Anna Karenina program, what a weird thing to skate to and HOW AMAZING.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:54 PM on February 22


I would have given the edge to Medvedeva, who is just amazing.
posted by TwoStride at 8:57 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Oh noooooo, Medvedeva! Shoulda been gold, girl.

I'll keep you in my pocket with Michelle Kwan.
posted by Salieri at 8:57 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


My uneducated brain thinks this is the right result.
posted by rhizome at 8:57 PM on February 22


I was team Zagitova until that last skate, but then Medvedeva was SO GREAT in the free skate. I'm kinda sad she didn't win gold!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:00 PM on February 22


Oh my goodness, I cannot possibly fathom the amount of pressure both these Russian women are under. Medvedeva in tears right after finishing, before her score was even announced... :(
posted by btfreek at 9:01 PM on February 22


Less than 2 points difference in the end. Wow.
posted by clawsoon at 9:02 PM on February 22


They ended up with the same free skate score so it came down to two record making short programs. 1.31!
posted by LostInUbe at 9:03 PM on February 22


Also Medvedeva has a special place in my heart for being a huge nerd off the ice.
posted by btfreek at 9:04 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Second Olympics in a row where my choice for ladies' figure skating takes silver! :( Not that Zagitova is undeserving, but Medvedeva's skating just seems to have more personality (to my layman's eye).

#TeamYunaandEvgenia
posted by bettafish at 9:07 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


What's with no medals, just the stuffy?
posted by clawsoon at 9:09 PM on February 22


They do the medal ceremony later.

This time with the Olympic anthem, hah!
posted by Salieri at 9:10 PM on February 22


"Two quads and seven triples" - apparently an even younger Russian skater than Zagitova recently landed that in junior competition (did I hear that right?), though I didn't catch the name.
posted by clawsoon at 9:14 PM on February 22


Medvedeva has an Armenian father, and Zagitova has a Tartar father. Now I'm curious to know whether class, ethnicity and figure skating are as tangled in Russia as they are in the US.
posted by clawsoon at 9:19 PM on February 22


They do the medal ceremony later.

The closest answer that I've found so far to my actual question - why? - is because tradition. Which isn't really an answer, but at least it lets one know that a real answer is likely not forthcoming.

I may have been thrown off by the medals being handed out right after the hockey game last night.
posted by clawsoon at 9:39 PM on February 22


"Medvedeva has an Armenian father"

I saw this and texted my Armenian brother-in-law to be like, "Did you know Medvedeva is half-Armenian?" and he was like "DUH," and of course he stayed up to watch her skate because she's half-Armenian.

One day I'll find an Armenian he doesn't already know about!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:43 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


clawsoon, I think you’re talking about Alexandra Trusova? Apparently her quads aren’t consistent yet but she’s landing them in practice, if I’m interpreting skate forum discussions correctly.
posted by bettafish at 10:31 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


So the three things I learned tonight:
1). Ski cross is an awesome sport. No timers, no points, just whoever crosses the line first with a bunch of jumps in the way. (I may be slightly biased because of the Canadian 1-2 finish, but only slightly.)
2). The gold medallist, Kelsey Serwa, trains with the silver medallist, Brittany Phelan, and they appear to be buddies.
3). Kelsey Serwa is (based on three minutes of TV coverage) a hilarious dork, and her instagram is top-notch. Her and Brittany do a thing called "wacky workout Wednesdays" which is just... astounding/delightful.
Squats + juggling (seriously, watch this one)!
Planks + planks!
Balls, balls and more balls!
Pullups plus!
Teamwork with teammates!
Post surgery workout!
Bonus GoPro from the track.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:46 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I can't get over Canada being shut out of the medals in men's curling. Canada has won silver or gold in every winter games since 1998 until now.
posted by zachlipton at 1:24 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Giving out all the medals once a day in one place is great, because you can get a much larger crowd.
posted by Pendragon at 3:32 AM on February 23


It also means the ceremony can be performed in a climate-controlled environment rather than on an icy hillside in sub-zero weather.
posted by ardgedee at 4:09 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


The men's 4 x 7.5km relay came down to the last shooting round, where the Swedish skier outshot his Norwegian competitor and took an unassailable lead, after the two teams had been neck and neck.
posted by Kattullus at 4:35 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I like Biathlon the most. There's a lot of chance of upsets while still being fair. (unlike shorttrack or other sports where opponents can push you off the track).

Also, in my opinion, all those jury sports belong in a circus. Yes it's entertaining to watch but I like my sports to be pure.

Speaking of pure sports. It's a pity long track speedskating isn't appreciated more. It's just too small a sport I guess but as it is comparable to the (arguably) most important sport in the regular olympics (running), it's weird that it is about the least watched sport in the winter olympics.
It's a real shame todays blistering 1000m final (with just 0.04s between the first and second place) will not be noticed outside of Norway and the Netherlands.
posted by Kosmob0t at 4:57 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


zachlipton: I can't get over Canada being shut out of the medals in men's curling. Canada has won silver or gold in every winter games since 1998 until now.

On the Olympic Games report this morning on the radio, nary a peep about the curling loss. I was beginning to question whether the game happened last night or not.

In 2014, we won not only all the gold medals in both men's and women's curling and hockey, but every match except a couple of round-robin men's curling matches, too. From total dominance to this.
posted by clawsoon at 5:11 AM on February 23


I'm impressed that the Brits have managed to stay in the contest in their semifinal against Sweden. That Swedish woman's curling team plays with relentless insouciance. They're like a murderous gang of comparative literature grad students.
posted by Kattullus at 5:14 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


And now the Canadian men are down 0-3 against Germany halfway through the game in the hockey semi-final??
posted by clawsoon at 5:16 AM on February 23


Holy moly, that other curling semifinal, between Korea and Japan, is tight as heck. The Korean team looked like it had won with its last shot in the final end, but made the slightest of mistakes and the Japanese stone ended up closer to the centre by two or three centimeters. So now it's the eleventh end and I can feel the tension in the curling centre all the way here in Finland.
posted by Kattullus at 5:52 AM on February 23


It came down to the final stone, which Kim Eun-jung placed perfectly. One nice thing about curling is that it allows for close-ups of the athletes' faces and it was obvious that she was in the zone.
posted by Kattullus at 6:12 AM on February 23


"Ski cross is an awesome sport. "

I love ski cross and snowboard cross, they're easy to understand, exciting, fun to watch. It's easy to get invested in each race even if you don't know who any of the competitors are. And there's always the risk of falls, BUT even people who wipe out sometimes manage to get back in it, even though it's such a short race. It's good stuff!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:18 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


1). Ski cross is an awesome sport.

Ski cross and snowboard cross are probably my favourite Winter Olympic sports since they're the most exciting and videogamey. Just don't showboat on the last jump before you've actually won...
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:49 AM on February 23


And now the Canadian men are down 0-3 against Germany halfway through the game in the hockey semi-final??

I'm not sure this is surprising given that the NHL didn't schedule a break this year?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:17 AM on February 23


GCU Sweet and Full of Grace: I'm not sure this is surprising given that the NHL didn't schedule a break this year?

Thing is, though, that most of the world's best players already play in the NHL. What I'd expect is that the country with the deepest talent pool would gain an advantage in that situation. The country with the largest number of players who didn't quite make the NHL should be at an advantage. And I assume that's Canada.

But I could be oversimplifying.
posted by clawsoon at 7:44 AM on February 23


By last night, I was really pulling for Medvedva, and loved, loved, loved, loved her long routine -- she's skating to Anna Karenina, and the dramatic way her routine ends, where she turns and faces the judge's stand with the sound of the oncoming train? Oh man, it's something.

So when she broke down in tears of release as she left the ice, and buried her face in her coach's shoulder, I got teary, too. Earlier, Johnny Weir made this heartbreaking comment about how, every time you skate, you're trying to earn your coach's love. And how, in the end, it really did come down to the 10% bonus that Zagitova got for backloading jumps to maximize points and capitalize on her jumping gifts by sacrificing artistry, and ao3874p123j4easdf
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:05 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Call me cynical but it seems to me those theatrics after the kür is an act. Some cry, some others laugh over the top, in a way that seems to suggest they found it unbelievable they could skate thát good. As if they don't do those routines every day all day in training.

Don't get me wrong, those kürs are impressive as hell and I'm also glued to the screen when it's on. I also thought Medvedva had the most spirit/charisma (for lack of other words) while dancing but that brings me back to my opinion about jury sports. There's just something very unsatisfactory about rating all those excellent competitors.
posted by Kosmob0t at 10:16 AM on February 23


As if they don't do those routines every day all day in training.

But the difficulty of skating and these other kinds of competition is that it's often so heartbreakingly impossible to replicate your training performance when it's just you in the spotlight in front of the judges. Look at Bradie Tennell, who hadn't fallen on a jump in performance for like 6 months until the pressure of the Olympics got to her. So I do think that most of it is genuine joy +relief when you did not fuck up in the most important moment of your career.
posted by TwoStride at 10:24 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I get what you're saying and you're right that there'll be an enormous amount of relief when they pull it off. Still, I think the part just after the finish is also part of the act, rehearsed and all. It'll most probably be a mixture of the genuine relief with the rehearsed act. Some of it put me off but that's just me.
posted by Kosmob0t at 10:39 AM on February 23


I think it's less likely to be an act because, as one of the commentators noted, if it is they screw it up a lot -- when you finish and look disappointed at your own performance you're giving the judges your own permission to smack you down.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:09 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm probably skating dangerously close to conspiracy nut category premises here but they could only be doing the act when all went well. ;-)

Joking aside, I haven't got a real clue here so I'm more than willing to lay this to rest. It's just that some antics were a bit too much for me but that could well be due to cultural differences. Sorry for the derail!
posted by Kosmob0t at 11:34 AM on February 23


Kosmob0t, I get what you're getting at, but IMO the slightly mannered affect of skaters at the kiss and cry is a combination of a) knowing they're being scrutinized in close-up and that any perceived failure in manners or sportsmanship will follow them around for years, and b) socially permissible catharsis. It's a lot easier to let yourself go when the scoring box is officially called the kiss and cry! I don't think that means their reactions aren't genuine, though. There's a huge difference between doing well in training and doing well (or poorly) in front of millions of people at the highest stakes, highest prestige performance of your entire career.
posted by bettafish at 11:53 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


On that note, is it weird that my favorite Olympics figure skating performance is Jeremy Abbott's short program in 2014? Poor guy took a very hard fall at the beginning of the routine, lost twenty seconds of time to getting back upright, and managed to adjust his program on the fly to get all his required elements in while hiding the no doubt massive amount of pain he was in. Huge respect.
posted by bettafish at 12:03 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: I love ski cross and snowboard cross, they're easy to understand, exciting, fun to watch.

Another nice thing about them is that the race format eliminates the effect of changing snow conditions on the outcome. In the timed events, so much of the variation comes from how much the snow has been cut up by previous racers that it hardly seems fair.
posted by clawsoon at 5:00 PM on February 23


I found it deeply cathartic that Deadspin agrees with us that Bode Miller is the Worst Sports Commentator Who Ever Lived.
posted by TwoStride at 5:23 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


"I found it deeply cathartic that Deadspin agrees with us that Bode Miller is the Worst Sports Commentator Who Ever Lived."

YESSSSSSSSSSS thank you for sharing that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:06 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Snowpants that only go up to the waist are dumb.

I just watched a big air snowboarder slide down the hill on the bare skin of his back because he was wearing snowpants that only go up to his waist.

This is a winter fashion which needs to go away.
posted by clawsoon at 6:16 PM on February 23


Hey, well slopestyle and big air is a judged event. They're dressing up fashionably for the judges just as much as the ice dancers are!
posted by other barry at 6:32 PM on February 23


So I put the tv on while folding clothes and noticed a Sebastien Toutant doing well in his first jump in big air (and even better in his second). Wondered why his name sounded so familiar, then I remembered this. (And he hung on to gold tonight -- nice!)
posted by maudlin at 7:16 PM on February 23


NBC is showing the men's gold-medal curling match live (US is in it!) at 1:30 a.m. Eastern, if you happen to still be up!

How long does a curling match usually take? I like watching it but probably not enough to stay up much past 2 a.m.!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:08 PM on February 23


Here in Finland we woke up at seven in the morning to watch the 50km cross country skiing, featuring Finnish medal hope Iivo Niskanen. He's been leading the whole race and at the 30km mark he doesn’t look to be slowing down. Poltoranin of Kazakhstan is 13 seconds behind, and Bolshunov of Russia is 18 seconds behind, and the chasing pack is almost a minute behind the Finn. Taking the lead so early is risky but if he feels like he can keep that rhythm, it's smart tactics because he's not much of a sprinter, unlike the Norwegians in the chasing pack.

Eteenpäin Iivo!
posted by Kattullus at 10:19 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I am very excited for this curling.

Each team gets 38 minutes of "thinking time" (you automatically forfeit if you run out of time, so you don't want to do that) plus a time out and set breaks between ends, and going for the gold, they'll probably use most of their time, though that first end went pretty fast. So I'm not sure; maybe closer to two hours?
posted by zachlipton at 10:43 PM on February 23


There are now 7.5 km to go and Bolshunov is in the lead by five seconds. He took the lead from Niskanen with about 10 km to go and then Niskanen changed his skis, allowing Bolshunov to build up a lead of about 10 seconds. It looks like it will be a duel between the two of them for gold. Poltoranin is almost two minutes behind, and the chasing pack even further back. This is exciting as fuck.

Hyvä Iivo!
posted by Kattullus at 10:52 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Niskanen pushed ahead of Bolshunov and the Russian doesn’t have the energy to chase! Niskanen has broken free! He’ll win gold! He has won! Niskanen is Olympic champion! Finland has its first gold! There’s bedlam here in our apartment in Helsinki! And probably in lots of places in Finland.

SO WORTH GETTING UP FOR AT SEVEN ON A SATURDAY!
posted by Kattullus at 11:10 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Ok thanks to Kattullus, I put the 50km on in another tab, and that was an amazing finish. Niskanen looked like he had nothing left, and then where did that come from?
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


John Shuster, you magnificent bastard.
posted by zachlipton at 12:51 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The US men's curling team is living hope for aging hipsters everywhere. What a performance!
posted by Kattullus at 1:39 AM on February 24


zachlipton: Niskanen looked like he had nothing left, and then where did that come from?

Niskanen said in a post-race interview that he decided to slow down once he realized that Bolshunov was cathing up with him, let the Russian pass and lead for the last few kilometers so that he would have a little bit left in the tank for the last kilometer. I'm just flabbergasted at the idea of having energy to spare after skiing at full clip for two hours. I just get exhausted thinking about it.
posted by Kattullus at 1:51 AM on February 24


In honor of the US Men's Curling gold: Tyler George's Shoes Are Revolting:
They are his most important piece of equipment, and for an American curler with dreams of Olympic gold, they are virtually priceless.

“Even though they look like they were in a Dumpster fire,” he said.

They are, of course, his shoes — a pair of 8-year-old Skechers that he has worn into oblivion at curling tournaments all over the world. Now, they are with him here for the 2018 Winter Olympics in all their tattered glory. George loves them, needs them, cherishes them.

His teammates tolerate them.

“They’re a mess,” Joe Polo said.

“Disgusting,” Matt Hamilton said.

“Oh, God,” John Shuster said.

posted by TwoStride at 6:48 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]




Figure skating gala program

Shibutanis with Sinatra and Jay-Z! Javier Fernandez's aerobics class! Boyang Jin as Spiderman! Tessa and Scott and the Tragically Hip (as mentioned previously)! Also I sense a higher than average amount of K-pop in this program.
posted by btfreek at 10:53 AM on February 24


Somebody Needs to Make a Movie About John Shuster and His Ragtag Team of Curling Rejects

A bunch of friends, not wanting to go into the stone-polishing industry, take up a sport that carries them to glory. Call it "Sliding Away."
posted by rhizome at 10:57 AM on February 24


Halfway through the curling final. Enjoying it in the UK. A friend in the US wants to watch the second half - how can she do this (does not have time to do complex set-ups because not long to go)?
posted by Wordshore at 5:16 PM on February 24


My children are arguing about whether the four-man bobsled is a delivery bobsled or a minivan bobsled.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:42 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


The Latvian bobsled team's uniforms are AWESOME!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:48 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Also these NBC bobsled announcers are AWESOME and I want them to commentate like everything. They were crying before with emotion about friends of that sledder who died, they were shouting with joy at the ROK sled tieing with Germany, and then literally breathless and unable to speak at that last run; they are SO EMOTIVE, they need to narrate all the audiobooks and also everything else.

(Tirico is having basically my same reaction when they cut back to him. He is both delighted and amazed by the bobsled announcers.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:07 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Yeah I feel like the male bobsled announcer needed a cigarette after he finished calling the last four runs.
posted by TwoStride at 7:18 PM on February 24


Meanwhile Zagitova's gala skate is both deeply weird and, oddly, more artistic than her gold medal skate.
posted by TwoStride at 7:19 PM on February 24


"Yeah I feel like the male bobsled announcer needed a cigarette after he finished calling the last four runs."

yeah it's like hard to express how emotional he was about the whole thing in a way that's totally foreign to US network television, you should go find a stream if you missed it! It was delightful.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:04 PM on February 24


NBC is showing your race, Kattullus, and this is some exciting shit! And it's amazing how you can literally see people falling apart and running out of steam. I have a lot of questions about classic style cross-country skiing but I guess I will go google them up. :)

My abs hurt just watching this.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:09 PM on February 24


This gold medal hockey game has certainly gotten exciting.
posted by clawsoon at 10:24 PM on February 24


I wonder how NHL players are feeling right now.
posted by clawsoon at 10:48 PM on February 24


Probably like they're not coming back. Sure, audiences were probably down from previous editions (however, that might be compensated in Europe with Eurosport doing most matches on basic cabl + cheap streaming), but if the NHL was expecting a borefest where the washouts of Canada, US, Russia and Sweden would destroy everyone until the medals, Germany losing the Gold with less than a minute of regulation makes a too-compeling story.
posted by lmfsilva at 12:21 AM on February 25


Eyebrows McGee: NBC is showing your race, Kattullus, and this is some exciting shit!

Hell yeah! My girlfriend and I went on a rare childless outing together to a charming af small city in Finland called Porvoo. The only problem was that the breakfast at the B&B we were staying at began half an hour into the race. So we had to alternate stuffing our faces with running upstairs to the TV room to see how Parmakoski was doing. Everyone was expecting Bjoergen to win but Parmakoski was an outside shot at silver. How she tore up the track to claim silver in comfort was amazing to see. Nilsson Swede in third was also happy to triumph in a tight race for bronze. It was a rare podium in that everyone was ecstatic with their medals, not having lost out on a bigger prize.
posted by Kattullus at 4:30 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


As a follow up to something I posted earlier which talked about the Korean pursuit bullying incident, one of the skaters accused of bullying ended up winning silver in the mass pursuit, making the situation all the more awkward.
posted by LostInUbe at 4:52 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


And now Pyeongchang will tear down its Olympic stadium, because they don't want it to end up like these ones or this one.
posted by clawsoon at 6:10 AM on February 25


Wow, this is a nightmare: Austrian nordic skier loses out on medals after going off course.
posted by TwoStride at 8:01 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


And now Pyeongchang will tear down its Olympic stadium, because they don't want it to end up like these ones or this one.

Olympic Stadiums in Winter Olympics are kinda weird because unless they're temporarily using a football, baseball or all-purpose stadium, there's just not that much you can do with them during and after.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:29 AM on February 25


Figure skating gala program

It seems like NBC barely showed any of it during their regular coverage show last night, but I urge fans to seek out video of Javi Fernandez's performance. It's completely hilarious!
posted by dnash at 10:14 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


TERRY IS PARTIALLY BEJEWELED
posted by rhizome at 5:21 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I am thoroughly enjoying these K-POP performances (as is Team USA)
posted by Fig at 7:04 PM on February 25


omg terry's headphones!

I need an interview with Terry!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:17 PM on February 25


I'm still catching up on some stuff so my Olympics will go on for another few days at least. I wanted to tell y'all that if you didn't watch the end of the [Finish Line Only] Women's Cross-Country Team Sprint [Spoiler] let me put it this way: Seeing it just now to post it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up all over again. When I was watching it for the first time off the DVR I woke up the house shouting at the television.

That's the kind of drama I love in the Olympics, not the fake stuff NBC wastes tens of thousands of dollars shooting promos for.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:31 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


BBC Why?
posted by Pendragon at 3:53 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


And this is a nice article from the Guardian: Champagne on ice: the mystery and myths behind Dutch skating success .
posted by Pendragon at 4:07 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


BBC Why?

Good team effort by Germany there.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:57 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Tara, Johnny, and Leslie Jones Strut to Beyonce (and crash into a random onlooker).
posted by TwoStride at 4:58 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Somebody Needs to Make a Movie About John Shuster and His Ragtag Team of Curling Rejects

Literally every Winter Olympics I rediscover that I really enjoy watching curling, and this year it was so good.

Mixed doubles seems super great, and I really want to see more of it!

The women's tournament was awesome, and even though the US team didn't make the playoffs the whole thing was great (the South Korean team was so super stoked and was a joy to watch!).

And holy shit the comeback for the US in the men's tournament! Of course I TiVo'd the final game and NBC ran a totally different event instead because fuckin' NBC, so I had to figure out a way to cast the recorded live stream on NBC's website from a laptop to my chromecast to actually watch it on a TV, but wow what a match. Shuster's beautiful double to take a 5 point end had me nearly jumping out of my chair!

Curling: why the hell isn't this more of a thing?
posted by tocts at 5:35 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Note to self: there is no Latervia Olympic Team.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:57 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Hallo,

The closing ceremony has occurred, but there is a new thread on the blue about Norway doing well at Winter Olympics.

Ha det.
posted by Wordshore at 7:20 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


dnash is absolutely correct, Javi Fernandez' gala skate is a hoot.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:21 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


People more knowledgable about figure skating than I - is there a technical name for this throw, or can I continue to call it the "AAAAH HE JUST CHUCKED HER LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES"?
posted by btfreek at 8:17 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Soooo.... they're called "throw jumps" and are named for the type of jump the skater tries to achieve once they are assisted into the air by their partner. This is a Throw Quadruple Salchow. But since that wasn't really a throw jump but a spin throw landing(?), I actually have no idea what we would call it. I like "throw sack of potatoes". :)
posted by zarq at 10:28 AM on February 26


I'd just like to assure everyone that the blanket being by the Finnish team for the Finnish president's newborn was completed and delivered.
posted by Kattullus at 12:44 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]


So in light of this comment, I feel like I should put some words on a cake. I'm thinking a nice round boston creme. Go Olympics!
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 2:29 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Hey, the Paralympics are on, on NBCSN!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:25 PM on March 9 [4 favorites]


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