MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
GONE IN 60 SECONDS
One minute of fluff! Who took over NBC?
- Talk about a quick start! Thirty seconds into tonight's show and we're already live at an event, the Women's Halfpipe Final. One of the things I like about this sport is the way it's scored. The ladies do three runs and only the best one counts. So unlike, say, luge, where you add all the runs together, in halfpipe the gold medal winner could literally come from anyone on any run. It makes each run more exciting.
Having said that, 17-year-old American Chloe Kim blows everyone away in round one, finishing eight points ahead of second and 17 points ahead of third. What is it with 17-year-old Americans in this Olympics? Anyway, the gauntlet has been thrown down! Anyone who wants a shot at gold had better bring it in the second round.
- An hour-and-a-half of snowboarding later, no one even comes close to Kim, so as the last contestant, she gets a victory-lap run, just to show off. And with the pressure off, the only person to beat Chloe Kim is Chloe Kim, getting a 98 to beat her earlier 93. Maybe she deserves the gold AND the silver. American Ariel Gold, ironically, gets the bronze.
- Now 97 minutes into the broadcast, we get our second sport, the downhill portion of the Men's Super Combined. This event is NOT live, so we can cheat and figure out what's going to happen based on the bib numbers of the racers NBC is showing us.
- But first, the not-medal ceremony for Chloe Kim. They won't actually be presenting the medal until tomorrow night, but they have a little ceremony on site. Personally, I hate having the medal ceremony later. I think that's a ripoff for all of the people who paid to see the event. If they paid to see the event, they should get to see a medal ceremony, too.
- I stand corrected! The Super Combined IS live. They're still dealing with wind issues, so the skiers aren't going off as regularly as they normally would, but we are watching live racing, so who knows what will happen when we're not at the mercy of the editors.
And the answer to what will happen is lots of crashes. Two men down in the first four skiers. I'd bet it's unlikely that this fifty percent ratio will continue, because the people still to come will hear the news and be more cautious.
- The first fluff of the night is for skier Bryce Bennett and his mustache. He's six-foot-seven and goofy. It's only a minute long, so that's about all we learn. He skis a little while afterwards, but not that fast. Hopefully the slalom is his specialty.
- How crazy are downhill skiers? Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal had season-ending knee surgery last year so he could be ready for the Olympics. Now sitting in second place after his downhill run, reporter Heather Cox asks him if the operation will affect his slalom. He responds that he hasn't raced slalom since the surgery, so he'll see. How do you even qualify for the Super Combined if you haven't raced the slalom? Why would you WANT to race the Super Combined if you don't even know if your knee can hold up? Crazy!
- Ligety! Ligety! Ligety! It's American Ted Ligety, back for more in the Olympics. Bode Miller mentions that he beat Ted in the downhill portion of this event back in 2006. If only someone had written about that. He finishes today in 19th place.
- More medals! Tonight it's Jamie Anderson for her win in yesterday's Slopestyle event. Does she sing? Nope. She blows out and looks at her own breath a lot. But she is smiling, so I suppose that's something.
- Back to the halfpipe we go LIVE for the Men's Halfpipe Qualifying. The Flying Tomato is back! Does Shaun White even want to be called that anymore? A nickname like that is fine when you're 19, but a little ridiculous when you're 31. Of course, it's also a little ridiculous to do three flips and a twist on a snowboard, so here we are.
- During live events this Olympics, NBC has been doing a split-screen with ads on one side and live event coverage on the other. What do I count that as, events or ads? I can't decide.
- A fashion note. Every athlete in snowboarding wears baggy clothing, hearkening back to the sport's casual roots. But Shaun White has an ad out this year where he's wearing this all-black, form-fitting suit that makes him look like a superhero. As the halfpipe ages as a sport, how long will it be before the athletes start wanting to ditch their baggy, unaerodynamic suits in favor of something with less drag? If the difference between being able to perform a 1260 and a 1440 was wearing a sleeker jacket, isn't it inevitable that someone will change?
So that's it. A pretty quiet night here for the Rockwood Olympic Watch. We exist to accentuate the ridiculous, and when NBC spends the entirety of their three-and-a-half hour broadcast on live events, there just isn't much ridiculousness there. If they keep this up they'll put me out of business!