Olympic Watch Rules
Friday, Feb 10
Saturday, Feb 11
Sunday, Feb 12
Monday, Feb 13
Tuesday, Feb 14
Wednesday, Feb 15
Thursday, Feb 16
Friday, Feb 17

Saturday, Feb 18

Sunday, Feb 19
Monday, Feb 20
Tuesday, Feb 21
Wednesday, Feb 22
Thursday, Feb 23
Friday, Feb 24
Saturday, Feb 25
Sunday, Feb 26
2000 Olympic Watch
2002 Olympic Watch
2004 Olympic Watch
Rockwood Main Page


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's all going so well! Lots of events, not much fluff, great coverage, good commentary, and...

Hey! Are those storm clouds?

• After Bob's intro, we start with a new sport, the Men's Parallel Giant Slalom in snowboarding. Our first race is... the gold medal race? What? Why are we starting with...

Ohh... because there are no Americans. Of course.

• Anja Paerson fluff! Who? She's a skiing star from Sweden, who coincidentally comes from Taernaby, the same town in Sweden from which Ingemar Stenmark came. And that town is so proud of her that the whole town gets together once a year for her birthday to celebrate. Can you imagine everyone in your town coming out for your birthday? Those crazy Swedes. Oh, and everyone in town knows she'll win, knows she's great, blah blah blah... fluff.

• Off to the Women's Slalom to watch Anja ski. Go Anja! We love you because now we know you're important thanks to fluff bearing your name! Anja finishes faster than the skier that immediately follows her, and then we get to see the two skiers' runs compared using Simulcam! I love Simulcam, even without a fluff piece devoted to it.

• American skier Kristina Koznick skis down the slalom run with bad knees. As someone with bad knees, all I have to say to this is OWWWWWWW!

• American Lindsey Kildow gets 30 seconds of fluff before her race. It turns out that once in a race in another country, she won a cow. Okay, that's worth 30 seconds of fluff.

• Resi Stiegler represents the U.S. by wearing tiger ears on top of her helmet compared to an earlier race, where she wore pearls. Could we maybe get someone who will represent the U.S. by winning instead of by looking funny?

• Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, and Dick Button talk about how much they liked last night's figure skating. In fact, they liked it so much that we're going to watch Sasha Cohen's program again! Admittedly, even I said that Sasha's program was worth the hype, but that doesn't mean I want to see it again tonight when we could be watching something that's happening today. Fluff.

• Okay, we've had some figure skating fluff, now we move on to... more figure skating fluff? Oooo... I don't want to say I knew this was coming, but I knew this was coming. Does NBC mean to tell us that there aren't any events they could be showing? How about curling?

The only thing I liked about these 12 minutes of fluff was that Costas named the skating commentators "The Quirky Quartet." It's not much, but I wanted to take something positive out of it.

• AAAAAA!!! We head over to the Women's Aerial Finals, where one of the first things we see happened yesterday, when Australia's Lydia Ierodiaconou blew out her ACL landing a jump, then screamed in pain and sobbed as she slid down the hill. Did I mention I have a bad knee? I realllllly did not need to see that.

• I really like the Aerial competition. The coverage is great, and commentators Trace Worthington and Steve Podborski are very good at explaining what's going on. I do have a question, though. Why is it when the skiers approach the jump, they stick their hands straight up into the air? I'm not faulting the Trace and Steve for not telling me, I'd just like to know.

• Tonight on Chevrolet Olympic Moments, Jimmy Roberts tells us that "fan" is short for "fanatic," and no group is more fanatic than... dah duh DAAAAA... The Dutch! At least, they're fanatics for speed skating. And they like to wear orange. Basically, this was four minute of bad Dutch fashion. The only truly notable thing here was that Jimmy got Bob to wear an inflatable orange crown. Other than that, it's hard to even comment on this segment because it was so bland that I've forgotten most of it already, and it just ended.

• Segueing over to speed skating for the Women's 1,500-meter race, and what can I say? As usual, the coverage is excellent. That's over 27 minutes of fluff-free racing! Great job, NBC!

• Back to the Women's Slalom. Meow meow Stiegler races meow with meow tiger ears meow on her head. Meow.

• Anja Paerson wins! There's gonna be a big party in Taernaby tonight!

• Back into the ice arena for the Men's 500-meter Short Track Speed Skating, but not before we get a minute or so of fluff on Korea's Ahn Hyun-Soo. He used to be young and disappointed, now he's older and confident. Yawn. Just show the skating, 'kay?

Paul Stanley is racing in one of the 500-meter heats! We can only hope Gene Simmons will be racing later. He'll beat the competition by a tongue! Oh wait. It's Paul Stanley of Great Britain. Never mind.

• Apolo Ohno qualifies, so we move to the next short track event, the Women's 3,000-meter Relay. It's going to be 27 laps. Think we'll watch them all? I'm betting we cut away.

Heh. Good thing I'm not a gambler. NBC shows us the whole event which, if you've ever seen the short track relay, is one step above chaos. Or is it?

In an extremely well-done segment, analyst Dan Weinstein actually guides us through how the short track relay works during the gold medal race by following one skater from the time she's actually competing to the time she's in the middle of the track, following her teammate around the outside. And just like that, an expert explanation makes the whole race seem perfectly organized. Excellent job, Dan!

• We shift back to the freestyle mountain, where hopefully we can make it more than five minutes without someone blowing out their knee. Well, the final Chinese athlete does a nice face plant on her landing, but at least she was okay. I know that makes me feel better.

• Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick shake hands on the medal podium as Enrico Fabris gets his gold medal for yesterday's race. Okay, can we let this spat-thing die now?

Oh, and Fabris? Singing on the medal stand. Excellent.

• Hey! Did you know there's figure skating in these Olympics? Well, just in case you forgot, we get another six minutes of fluff at the end of the program rehashing yesterday's short program and prehashing tomorrow's long program. Didn't we cover this for almost a quarter of an hour earlier?

Oy? Cracklin' good television? What kind of catch phrases are those? Why isn't Dick Button here berating Scott Hamilton and Mary Carillo?

• Normally, I count the last minute or so of each broadcast--the part where NBC shows a montage of today's events-- as events. However, today they showed figure skaters from yesterday. If it happened yesterday, it's fluff!

Well, although there wasn't much fluff tonight as compared to previous Olympics, today was definitely the low point of the Turin games. Sadly, three-quarters of that fluff was figure skating related. Does NBC really think people are going to forget about the most popular event in the games if they don't hype it throughout the evening? Oh well. Better luck tomorrow!





©2006 Brian Lundmark, all images and text on this page. All rights reserved.
Comments? Criticisms? Let me know by dropping me a line in the Rockwood Mailbag!