Friday, February 17, 2006
week into the Turin Olympics, and the U.S. team has had its share
of disappointments, but the Olympic Watch keeps on rolling along.
start Friday night with Bob giving us a little information
on the Mole
Antonelliana, once Europe's tallest
building at 548 feet tall. It is Turin's signature
building and now hosts their Cinema museum. It also has a glass elevator which is oddly reminiscent of the one in Charlie
and the Chocolate Factory, except one would hope that it didn't actually contain that creepy Willie Wonka.
• Off to the mountain for Men's Skeleton. Why do I like this event
so much? Well, first of all, it's absolutely insane to go head-first
down a mountain on a sled. Second, one-thousand one. That's the
difference in time between first and tenth place.
• Over to a different
mountain, we have the wrong portion of the Women's Alpine Combined.
High winds forced the IOC to postpone
today's downhill portion of the Combined, so the women started
with the slalom part of the competition first. Not, however,
before they sent a human guinea pig down first. Nika Fleiss of
was sent down the mountain as a test to see if the downhill
course was ready to be run. One spectacular crash later, officials
that mayyybe it wasn't.
• Janica Kostelic
fluff. The Croatian is one of the favorites in the Alpine combined,
and now she really needs to medal, because
her brother Ivica won the silver medal in the Men's Combined
earlier this week. One minute of fluff isn't going to compensate for no
medal at future family gatherings.
• Steve Porino reports from the top of the hill that U.S. skier Lindsey
Kildow, she of many
minutes of previous fluff, looked like
she was in pain when she earlier did her practice runs on the slalom.
• "Conviction!" They're
young hot prosecutors, average age: 28 years old. This show is
destined for failure. If it held true to it's
premise, the cast would have to turn over every couple of years,
otherwise we'll be following old, experienced prosecutors, and
• Lindsey races down and finishes in obvious pain. Meanwhile, Julie
Mancuso, the other American star, makes her slalom run wearing
not a helmet, but a tiara. Another U.S. skier, Resi Stiegler,
is wearing a pearl necklace. Allllrighty then.
• Back at the final run of the Men's Skeleton, a bunch of grown men
prepare to hurl themselves down the mountain again. Seventy-plus
miles per hour and leading with your face. This is obviously
not an OSHA-regulated sport.
Wow! Jeff Pain of Canada "bounces around like a pinball" and
STILL finishes as the leader in skeleton. But
then Duff Gibson, also of Canada, beats Pain by .26 seconds after
making a clean final
run. Duff? Duff-Man!
• Ice Dancing!
Not a sport. Oops! I mean, another sport! I will say this, whereas
in ice skating any homely but athletic girl can compete,
it is apparently a requirement of ice dancing
that all of the women be smoking hot. Seriously, I can't believe
the ice isn't melting.
• Another advantage of ice dancing compulsories: all couples dance
to the same song and do almost the same moves, so you can easily
get up and get a sandwich and not worry about missing anything
other than the next hot woman.
Dick Button says that what he likes about this ice dance is that,
his words, "you and I" could
get up and dance to it right now. I can
only assume he was talking to analyst Sandra
Bezic and not to play-by-play
man Tom Hammond.
• Tracy Wilson
shows us a graphic about the required moves and how the scoring
ice dancing. Again, why
is it that we can get a scoring breakdown for something
like ice dancing, but we couldn't get one for the snowboarding
• Lindsey Kildow tries to tough it out, but falls on her second slalom
run. Neither tiara nor pearls help the rest of the U.S. team
move up the standings.
• Next up, Women's Snowboard Cross. Gold-medal winner Seth Wescott
looks on as we watch the women's quarterfinals. He's happy
because he's the boyfriend of Switzerland's Tanja Frieden, who won her
• Lindsey Jacobellis
fluff. She takes a special thrill in being in a predominantly
male sport. She also take pride in working
hard in a sport that's known for people being lazy
and laid back. Yay! She's a hard worker. Back to the events,
• A short minute-long
interview with Seth Wescott, who says he's going for Lindsey,
his countrywoman, and Tanja, his girlfriend. But
Tina Dixon misses the question we all want to
know: what if it came down between country and girlfriend, Seth?
I appreciate that
you felt patriotic during the medal ceremony,
but are you going to abandond your country for a woman? Shame,
• Back at the
ice dancing arena, the cumpulsories continue with their bland
sameness. Same moves. Same songs. Same smoking-hot women.
• Sandra Bezic
says Ukranian dancer Yelena Grushina has wonderful feet. Yeah.
It's her feet I was
• Fluff on Tanith Belbin and Benjamin
Agosto, the American ice dancing couple. This is unusual because
rather than using a narrator, the
whole segment relies on captions to tell the story. It's also different
in that the whole thing looks like a commercial for a soap opera.
Oh, and Tanith? Smoking hot.
• Dick Button says that even though the dancers' movements sometimes
look exagerrated, it works well in the arena, where the space is
big, as opposed to your television, where the space is small. Hey!
Did Dick Button just insult my TV?
Says Sandra Bezic of Tanith, "She had to work that twizzle." Of
course she did. And let me just say that I, personally, would love
to see Tanith work that twizzle again.
• Back on the snowboard cross course, we follow the boarders down
the hill using Skycam. Great shot! Much like with the Skycam on
the halfpipe, it really gives you a sense about just how fast the
boarders are going.
• In what has to be one of the most
shocking upsets of the Games, snowboard crosser Lindsey Jacobellis
U.S. crashes in the middle of
nowhere with a huge lead and ends up finishing second
when the gold was easily hers. And why did she crash? Todd Richards
shows us the replay and points out that as Lindsey went over the
second to last jump, she tried to do a method
missed the landing. Her lead was so large that she still didn't
lose by much, but she did lose. Even worse, she only had one boarder
to beat, as two of the other four had already crashed earlier in
Remember yesterday when I said the snowboarders
coming over that last hill should qualify
first and show off later?
this is why. Now, instead of Lindsey Jacobellis' name being immortalized
for winning the first Women's Snowboard Cross, she'll be immortalized
for choking. In the future, "pulling a Jacobellis" will
not be a good thing.
• Hmm... now the real question arises.
Seth's girlfriend Tanja was the one who beat Lindsey. Do I smell
conspiracy? Girlfriend or country, Seth?
• Back at the arena, more smoking hot women and guys in tuxes are
still dancing the same routine to that same song. We move on...
• "As always," says Bob, "Here's Jimmy Roberts with
Chevrolet Olympic Moments." As always? What about yesterday,
Bob, when we were blessedly Jimmy-free?
Anyway, Jimmy Roberts today
details Lindsey Jacobellis' fall. Jimmy basically rubs it in
for three minutes, comparing Lindsey's fall to Leon Lett's Super
fumble or Greg Norman's Masters loss, except, says Jimmy, this
is worse. He thinks this will go down as one of the biggest gaffes
all time. You know, I can hardly disagree with Jimmy here, given
that I just said pretty much the same thing two paragraphs ago.
I just didn't say it over and over for three-and-a-half minutes.
• Coming back from the break, Bob interviews
Lindsey, asking her the obvious questions to which she still looks
stunned. The only
real revelation comes when she says that she was relieved to
only have been passed by one person after her fall, since she didn't
know how big her lead was.
This statement is actually pretty
revealing. I know that I'd
been blowing off her "still glad to win the silver" statements
as just something you say when you know you've blown it. However,
if she really didn't know how big her lead was, she probably
WAS glad to win the silver, assuming that she was going to passed
everyone and get nothing. That's still no excuse for how she
lost the gold, but it does lend credibility to her statements
happy with the silver.
Well, there was more fluff today, but then, with a whole night
of ice dancing, that was pretty much expected. Still the fluff was
held to a minimum. Now if the U.S. team could just hold the choking
to a minimum, we'd be in good shape. See you tomorrow!