Yes, indeed, we did go to Curling. Specifically, the women's bronze medal match between the U.S. and Canada. Was it exciting? Well, "exciting" is a strong word. However, I will admit that it was interesting to watch. It's slow compared to, say, hockey, but ironically, this just adds to the tension by drawing everything out. In the end (that's a little curling joke), I'd probably watch it again, although unless I move to Canada and watch National Curling Night, that seems unlikely to happen.
This (56k) is just after the Canadian delivery. Curling, despite being on ice, is not a no friction sport, but instead a low friction sport. The "curl" comes both from putting a spin on the stone and having the sweepers melt the ice in front of it with their brushes. An expertly thrown stone can actually curl around stones on the opposite end of the sheet.
The U.S. Skip (40k) just after her delivery. I just thought these poses looked cool.
Here the two U.S. players on the left (68k) are sweeping in front of the red stone sliding in between them in an attempt to get it to stop where the third U.S. player is pointing her broom. I don't remember if they made this one or not. Ultimately the U.S. lost, but I wasn't taking notes, so I don't know where this was in the match.
How hard was it to get tickets to curling? Check out the best seats in the house (84k). This is a little misleading. Not in that those seats weren't the best in the house (they were center ice, front row), or that they weren't always empty (they were), but rather in the fact that it wasn't only curling that had tons of empty seats.
While all of the events were officially sell-outs, the truth was that groups and corporations had purchased a lot of those tickets, and when they couldn't find anyone interested in going, the tickets ended up in the hands of scalpers. I'd guess that with the exception of the women's gold medal hockey game, every event we went to had big chunks of empty seats. While this obviously worked to our advantage, it's a real shame that the biggest sporting event on the planet is satisfied with empty arenas because they got their money in advance.
Our suggestion? The tickets all have barcodes on them, so it's possible to know who has shown up and who hasn't. Any seats that aren't filled 30 minutes into any event get resold to anyone willing to wait in line. This puts the pressure on scalpers to get rid of the tickets, and would make the Olympic committee even more money by not only selling a ticket once, but twice! And as for those people who are late... anyone who can't make it to an Olympic event within 30 minutes of the start obviously wasn't that interested in it to begin with.
posted by Brian Lundmark at 12:29 AM
WOMEN'S GOLD MEDAL HOCKEY.
This was our most expensive ticket purchase at $150, but that was still only 60 percent of face value, so we thought it was a pretty good deal. Besides, how often do you get to see gold medal hockey?
The U.S. women (52k) skating onto the ice before the game as the predominantly U.S. crowd cheers them on.
Action! This shot (40k) didn't score, but I just wanted to point out here that my new zoom lens rocks!
Darn those Canadians! This shot (84k) was taken about, oh, two seconds after the final buzzer went off. I think they're a little excited.
What's the difference between winning the gold and getting the silver? Who do you think is ready to get out of the arena in this picture (108k)? And who do you think is ready to set up camp at the goal?
There's a lot of talk at the Olympics about how some athletes are just in it for the money and not because they actually care about being Olympians. That might be true in some cases, but the U.S. team sure doesn't look like they're thinking about money, here (100k).
Everybody sing along! "Oh Canada..." (56k).
The Canadians don't really look like they're just thinking about the money here (88k), either. I dare say they look genuinely happy.
And because I don't really like to close on a downer (for the U.S. fans, anyway), one of the three Olympic mascots was at the game, too.I caught up to him (60k) during one of the intermissions.
posted by Brian Lundmark at 12:30 AM