The Den Mother’s Olympic Update: Part 10
I’m listening to WEEI sports radio in Boston, and the morning show hosts are discussing today’s men’s 1500m speed skating race. One of the hosts is saying that he will try to avoid finding out the results so he can be surprised when he watches it tonight. The problem, he points out, is that he goes on the internet frequently as part of his job, and a consequence of the internet age in which we live is that it’s almost impossible to avoid news you don’t want to see. Perhaps that is a big factor in the poor television ratings for the Torino Olympics. Just a guess.
I, too, want to be surprised by the men’s speed skating results, so I have turned off the radio in favor of CDs and avoiding the internet like the plague. By the time lunch time came and I was able to start writing this update, the race was underway. That means today’s update may be briefer than usual and include fewer links or pictures. Sorry, but I refuse to ruin it for myself.
Incidentally, the last time I deliberately kept myself in the dark about an Olympic event was 26 years ago, when I watched the United States hockey team play the Soviet Union on tape delay. The game took place on a Friday afternoon and was being televised by ABC that evening. I was babysitting for some friends of the family, put the kids to bed, and spent the next 2 1/2 hours on the edge of my seat. What a wild ride!
Curling Makes the World Go ‘Round
Even as my family and friends continue to mock me for my new found interest in curling, Google presents it’s daily Olympic doodle, a take-off on their logo that incorporates an artist’s rendering of one of the sports in the winter Games. Today, the “OO” is two curling stones.
The Den Mother’s Day 10 Viewing
Those men’s aerials were something else. I watched with my parents, and we all agreed they competitors are a few lamb chops short of a mixed grill. Did you notice how the jump ramp is virtually vertical at the take-off point? These guys don’t take off and fly forward; they take off and fly up. Way up. I don’t know how they don’t break their legs when they land. And think about the stress on your spine as it tries to absorb the shock. The human body wasn’t made to do things like that. What we saw law night was a preliminary round, with the medal competition still to come. I’d tell you when it’s scheduled, but I’m avoiding NBC’s Olympic web site…
The Bode watch continued with coverage of the men’s giant slalom. Mr. Miller turned in a solid second run that couldn’t make up for the sloppy first one, and he finished in sixth place. He and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal were co-leaders ever so briefly until the first run leaders came down. In the end, Austrians Benjamin Raich, who skied like a man on a mission, and Hermann Maier captured gold and bronze, with Joel Chenal of France winning silver. American Daron Rahlves was out of it after missing a gate in the first run. Perhaps it isn’t fair to pick on Miller when Rahlves has disappointed too. The difference is that Rahlves hasn’t spent the last three months foaming at the mouth and trying to create a cult to himself.
Austria continued its alpine success by capturing gold and bronze in the women’s super-G as well. Michaela Dorfmeister won her second gold, edging out Croatian phenom Janica Kostelic. France’s Frenchwoman Carole Montillet-Carles finished fifth and the U.S.A.’s Lindsey Kildow seventh, amazing feats considering both were still in agony from their downhill training crashes last week. Those two women get the Olympic perseverance award.
The gold medal in ice dancing went to Russia’s Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, who skated as well as they had to preserve their lead. Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto turned in a good but not great free dance which got the night’s fourth best score, but it was enough for the silver medal, the first for the U.S. since a year long ago that escapes me (1976?) but I can’t look up because I don’t want to know about the speed skating results. Most notable among the non-medalists was the program by Israel’s Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski, who skated to “Bolero”. That’s something like George W. Bush going to Germany and giving an “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech—it’s been done, and so memorably that it’s best that no one ever tries to do it again. Also of note is the Canadian couple who suffered the worst fall of Sunday’s original dance; they had to pull out of the competition because of her injury. And once again, the costumes were horrible. Whatever happened to the days when figure skaters looked dignified?
I don’t think NBC showed any of the team ski jumping, did they? No matter—the Austrians won. What a great showing tothey have had so far, except for that biathlon drug thing, of course.
See all of Monday’s results at the official Torino web site.
What to Watch on Day 11
Besides the men’s 1500m speed skating, I have no idea what is on NBC’s prime time coverage tonight. And I refuse to go on their web site to find out. Did I mention I’m avoiding any chance of hearing the race results?