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Anyone Watching the Olympics? (Read 1587 times)
solodka
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Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Feb 18th, 2006 at 10:08am
 
Column: the Best and Worst of Week One
By TIM DAHLBERG


TURIN, Italy (AP) - The week that was ended with two gold medals that weren't. That's not all that bad, because a wacky snowboarder and some scrappy Swedes at least gave America something to talk about other than Bode Miller's party habits and Johnny Weir's bus schedule.

The Olympics were beginning to get a bit boring when Lindsey Jacobellis had an Olympic moment unlike any other. At least she lost her gold quickly; the same can't be said for the U.S. women's hockey team.

Missing some Olympic moments? For those who can't watch the 24 1/2 hours a day NBC is devoting to the games, here's a recap of the best and worst so far:

BEST REASON TO HIDE IN THE WOODS - Jacobellis is a snowboarder. Enough said. She had the gold medal on snowboardcross wrapped up, only to blow it on a hotdog move. In true snowboard culture, though, she'll likely turn into a celebrated hero and the endorsements will follow. Wherever she goes, Jacobellis can tell everyone, ``Dude, I was trying to do an ancillary stoke and beefed. I felt wack, like a botwoker.''

BIGGEST UPSET - Do you believe in miracles Swedish style? The United States and Canada had lost to each other but to no one else in either the Olympics or world hockey championships since international competition began in 1990. That changed Friday when Sweden beat the United States 3-2. In case Janet Gretzky was wondering, the U.S. team was a prohibitive 4 1/2-goal favorite.


BEST WIPEOUTS - There's a reason they keep a medical helicopter next to the downhill course. It's the same reason television loves the race. People like to watch other people crash and, between the downhill and the luge, there was more flopping on ice this week than in a Seattle fish market.

BEST NEW SPORT - Snowboardcross by a wipeout. It's NASCAR on ice, motocross on boards. Better yet there's no judging, which means first one to the finish really does win.

BIGGEST BUST - Bode Miller takes this one, his first win of the week. This guy was on more magazine covers than Britney Spears in the weeks leading up to the games, but so far has been shut out in two events. Give Miller some style points, though, for being seen pounding down shots and beers up in the mountains between races.
Placing second here were the Curl Girls, the American curlers who had a great name but, as it turns out, not much game.


WORST NEW SPORT - Team pursuit. What were the game inventors thinking when they met in a secret room deep inside IOC headquarters to dream up this speedskating sport? You win if your third place guy crosses the line before their third place guy? And you do it on opposite sides of the track? Goofy.

BEST CHALLENGE TO AMERICAN IDOL - NBC is paying more than $600 million to televise the games, and still it gets squashed by amateurs trying to sing. Here's a suggestion: Bring Yoko Ono back for a few nights and have her loudly screech something about imagining peace again like she did in the opening ceremony. Give her a trip to Hollywood if she does it well enough. It seems to work on that other network.

BEST TEAMMATES NOT TO HAVE - Speedskater Shani Davis refused to skate in the team pursuit and ruined Chad Hedrick's chances at five medals. Todd Lodwick went one better, blasting teammate Carl Van Loan's performance in the Nordic Combined, where the United States finished seventh.

``We've got one guy way out of shape and picked for the team,'' Lodwick said. ``(Van Loan's) the weakest link.''

Oh, yeah, well take this, sniffed Van Loan: ``Todd is not a team player and never has been. He has threatened not to ski this event because of selfish reasons.''

BEST REASON TO STAY IN A HOTEL - Johnny Weir thought his bed in the athletes' village was too hard, and his floor too dirty. Worse yet, there was no room service and no concierge to read the bus schedule. Weir couldn't do it himself, and said it cost him a figure skating medal. Still, he learned something from his first Olympics: ``I learned I definitely want to stay in a hotel,'' he said.

BEST APOLOGY - Russian star biathlete Olga Pyleva, after losing her silver medal and being thrown out of the Olympics for doping: ``I am sorry that I shattered my reputation. Now I am sure that international athletes will change their opinion about me.''

BEST LINE AFTER WINNING: ``At the start I was thinking, 'Do it! Do it! I have to attack! Attack!' All the way, I felt like I was going fast. But when I saw my time, I thought, 'Grandiose!

''' - France's Antoine Deneriaz, after winning the men's downhill.

BEST LINE AFTER LOSING: ``It would have taken a hurricane wind to get me into first.'' - Bode Miller, after failing to medal in the downhill.

And, finally, the best surprise of all. The games are nearly halfway through and there hasn't been a hint of a scandal yet.

Don't get too excited, though. There's plenty of figure skating yet to come.

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solodkasertze  
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #1 - Feb 18th, 2006 at 6:58pm
 
i am watching quite a bit of it.
i was particularly impressed with the snowboarding kid that won (even though i cannot remember his name)
hockey is always fun although i still do not think that the professional players should be allowed to compete.
and of course figure skating.  the usa ice dancing team favored to win
the gold trains just a few miles from where i live.
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #2 - Feb 20th, 2006 at 5:20pm
 
shaun white is the snowboarder's name!

my local ice dancing pair are now in second place after a near flawless performance last night!
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solodka
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #3 - Feb 20th, 2006 at 8:37pm
 
Was the female, in the local ice dancing pair that you are referring to, wearing a red dress with cutouts last night?  If so, I happened to catch the last bit and thought they were fabulous!
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #4 - Feb 20th, 2006 at 9:49pm
 
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« Last Edit: Feb 21st, 2006 at 3:47am by solodka »  
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #5 - Feb 20th, 2006 at 10:56pm
 
yes, that was her!  they will be on tonight again for the final dance!
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #6 - Feb 21st, 2006 at 7:30am
 
This year's Olympics has really opened my eyes as to the state of Athletics in the U.S.

Too much "me me me" and not enough "I'm representing my country" is going on...
The U.S. Athletes need to re-examine the meaning of Olympics and the Olympic Spirit.

For example:

1) The female snowboarder who "gave away" her gold because of hot-dogging (and then took a day or 2 to admit that she had made an error.) 

2) The Speed Skaters who signed up for a team event, and then did not skate (I think that happened both with the men's and the women's speed skating! IF they did not intend to skate in the relay, they should have let someone else compete in their spot instead of signing up and then disqualifying our teams by not participating. 

3) Okay, I understand that if you're upset that someone did not skate for the team Speed skating event and ruined your chances for 5 gold medals. However, does that mean you can't congratulate the Gold Medal Winner (even though you came in 4th?).

These athletes are setting a poor example for the up and coming young athletes of the future!

**** and we wonder why no one is watching?
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Never Give Up! Never Surrender! ~ Galaxy Quest&&&&A Romantics Fanatic since the tender age of 14...
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #7 - Feb 21st, 2006 at 5:05pm
 
our "local" ice dancing pair took the silver medal!!

Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto

oh and who do you think scored the only goal against sweden in men's ice hockey on saturday?

Livonia's own Mike Modano!
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #8 - Feb 22nd, 2006 at 12:53pm
 
I think the guy in that ice dancing pair actually went to my rival high school (Birmingham Groves!)
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Re: Anyone Watching the Olympics?
Reply #9 - Feb 22nd, 2006 at 12:54pm
 
Apparently, I missed the world's longest "icy stare" from the Italian couple earlier this week-- THe guy dropped the girl and she gave him the evil eye after their program was over...
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