The Den Mother’s Olympic Update: Part 13
I’m baaaccckk! After a great night’s sleep, I was once again in top TV-watching form for yesterday’s prime time coverage, which lasted until midnight. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to post any pictures today. But we’re in the home stretch—there are only three days of competition left before the closing ceremony brings it all to a tidy conclusion.
Americans are nothing if not good-humored. We proved that when we responded to the September 11 attacks with like the famous “Osama Got Run Over by a Reindeer”. If we could find something to laugh about in the worst terrorist attack in the history of the republic, the Olympics sure aren’t safe.
When the city of Atlanta hosted the summer Games in 1996, a group of residents found a way to express their displeasure with the way the Games were being organized and staged: they lampooned the organizing committee, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) with their own group, Atlantans Disgusted with the Olympic Games (ADOG). In this article, it’s called Atlantans Disgusted with Official Games, but you get the point. I heard rumors about ADOG collector pins while I was there, but I never actually found one.
The comical curmudgeon spirit is alive and well today, with online magazine The Onion weighing in with its own special Olympic hockey coverage.
TURIN, ITALY—The U.S. men’s hockey team, the lowest-ranked of all national squads going into Wednesday’s quarterfinals with a 1-3-1 record, is continuing a tradition of non-miraculous play that began immediately after the medal ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY.
Laughing really does make it better, doesn’t it?
The Den Mother’s Day 13 Viewing
Only if both [American Sasha Cohen and Russian Irina Slutskaya] screw up will Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa have a shot.
Thus spake the Den Mother yesterday. Lo and behold, Irina Slutskaya fell and Sasha Cohen fell twice, so they had to settle for bronze and silver respectively and leave the gold to Arakawa and her fall-free long program. It was Japan’s first medal of the 2006 Games and its first ever Olympic figure skating gold, and second Olympic figure skating medal overall.
Did Cohen choke, as she is known to do when it’s on the line? It started out looking that way, with a fall and a stumble on two early jumps. But to me, “choke” means that you have victory in the palm of your hand and then throw it away (think 2004 New York Yankees). Or you make a mistake and just fall apart. She didn’t. She started very shaky, then pulled it together to finish strongly. The Detroit News‘ Bob Wojnowski thinks it should be called a choke, but even he acknowledges that Cohen may have been skating hurt.
Someone who most certainly, by anyone’s standards, did not choke is freestyle skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, who successfully executed a quintuple twisting triple somersault nicknamed the “hurricane” in his second jump of the men’s aerials final. But he used his hand to steady his landing, and the judges knock off points for something like that. Han Xiaopeng of China won the gold despite a fifth-place second jump. Belarus and Russia took silver and bronze. Give Peterson credit for guts; he decided to go all out and let the chips fall where they may, even if it cost him a medal. Give him 40 lashes with a linguine noodle for his post-jump antics, in which he punched a friend during a drunken brawl.
Before the evening broadcast started, by the way, I watched the end of the women’s curling gold medal match. Sweden defeated Switzerland in an extra end.
See all of Thursday’s results at the official Torino web site.
What to Watch on Day 14
On tap tonight is the women’s giant slalom, four-man bobsled, and my favorite speed skating race, the men’s 10,000m. NBC is also showing the traditional Olympic figure skating exhibition which is always fun because some of the skaters do programs that are less serious and designed for fun.
Other Olympic News
Sweden defeated Switzerland in 11 ends yesterday to capture the women’s curling gold medal. Canada crushed Norway for the bronze medal; the Norwegians conceded after the eighth end.
Earlier today, the U.S. men’s curling team beat Great Britain in their bronze medal game. Canada captured gold with another decisive victory over Finland.