WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018
A MOUNTAIN FULL OF SNOWFLAKES
Bode Miller said what?
- Right out of the gate we get skiing, which starts… uh… right out of a gate. Tonight is going to be skiing-heavy, as several skiing events have already been postponed from earlier this week due to bad weather. But the sun is shining bright today and there's no wind, so off to the Women's Giant Slalom we go, LIVE.
- Unlike previous Olympics, there are big blue marks painted on the course, clearly designating the line the skiers are supposed to take. If you recall, Team Rockwood had previously wondered how the skiers know which gates to go through. They'd always known this before, so why are there blue lines now? My hunch: because this race is happening at around 10 a.m. Korea time, parts of the course are still in shadow, so the event organizers are giving the skiers a clue on where gates are.
- Mikaela Shiffrin of the US is the seventh skier down. She makes it down safe and sits in second place for now. The second run will come up later.
- Switzerland's Lara Gut wipes out near the top of the run, and her momentum carries her right into a bank full of photographers. Sometimes it's dangerous when you're trying to get a good position to make a good shot.
- At the bottom of the run, reporter Heather Cox interviews Shiffrin. "What," she asks, "Is your strategy for the second run?" I can answer that, Heather. Go that way. Really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.
- Austria's Anna Veith is having a hard race, says Bode Miller. She tore her ACL a couple of years ago, and then she got married, which Bode said isn't usually a good sign for skiers. I don't know who, but somebody is going to get triggered by this statement.
- Enough skiing, let's watch some speed skating in the Women's 1,000-meter race. The first race we see is Britney Bowe of the United States versus Jorien Ter Mors of the Netherlands. Bowe looks like she's running away with the race, then Ter Mors comes out of nowhere on the last turn and blows by her, setting an Olympic record in the process. That has to be disheartening.
We see two more pairs of racers. In the first race, Japan's Miho Takagi knocks Bowe from second to third. And in the second race, Japan's Kodaira, the current world record holder, finishes second, knocking Bowe down to fourth and out of the medals.
- One more chance for the US. Heather Bergsma gets her own fluff because she's married to Dutch speed skater Jorrit Bergsma and they raced each other for a reality show. It's funny because neither of them likes to lose.
But not liking losing doesn't mean you skate any faster. Heather finishes sixth.
- To the skeleton run, where first we're greeted by… the skeleton dancers? I'm not sure what that's all about. A bunch of people in heavy parkas dancing for the crowd. Anyway, to the races. Yun Sung Bin of Korea knows the track and it shows. If you don't like him because he's the home team or because he's fast, you can like him for his helmet, which has Iron Man painted on it. Sweet.
- Skeleton GoPro! Yeah, leading with your head while going 70 mph is just a little unsettling. Pretty cool, though.
- Now that I've seen a few skeleton racers going down the track with a plain-colored helmet, I think Yun has the right idea. You know what would be cool? Someone should slide down the track with the Rocketeer's helmet. Surely that fin would give you some kind of advantage.
- Back on the mountain for the psychotics. That's right! It's time to see who's mentally unfit to be among normal humans. It's time for the Men's Downhill. And this is LIVE, so there are no editors to tip us off to who will make it to the bottom of the hill, and who will end up tangled in a ski fence.
- Coming back from commercial, Bode has to apologize for his earlier marriage comment. Told ya!
- Austria's Mattias Mayer had a crash earlier this week in the slalom where he ran off course into some spectators, coaches, and a drill. Reporter Steve Porino wanted to explain to us that his family was upset about the presence of a drill on the course. He started his report by saying, "I was at a bar with Mayer's mother last night…" I'm sure the rest of the report was fine, but after that I was laughing so hard that I missed it.
- Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who just two days ago was the crazy man who didn't want to practice his slalom because he didn't know if his knew would hold up, appears to have just won the Men's Downhill. They won't know officially for a little while because while 18 racers have gone, there are actually closer to 50 to compete. It's just that the rest are so bad, they have no realistic chance to win.
- So now that the downhill is all but decided, we join the live US-Canada Women's hockey game, already in progress. It's 0-0, but we're not staying with this. It's just a look-in. Instead, we're going to get some Mikaela Shiffrin fluff. She rides a unicycle, her mom is her best friend, and she gets nervous before races. Also she wants to be an inspiration to people to chase their dreams. Yay, Mikaela! You are an inspiration. But this segment is still fluff.
- It's time for more live action with the freestyle program in the pairs' figure skating. The Americans are outside of the top six, so we won't see them.
- Johnny Weir tells us that the French couple was so gutsy to go for a throw that they missed because the scores are so close. Didn't he just tell us the other day that it's better to miss a difficult jump than make an easy one? Make up your mind, Johnny!
- Chinese skaters Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao are performing to songs from Star Wars. I award them the gold medal! Oops… two early falls. The Force is not with them. Johnny says Zhang is like the Incredible Hulk. Wrong cinematic universe, Johnny! How did they do on points? Heh. May the "FOURTH" be with them.
- Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot are phenomenal. Massot finished their routine by holding Savchenko up in the air with one arm like she weighed ten pounds. Not that she's a heavyweight or anything, but still, try running around the house backwards holding a ten pound sack of flour overhead… okay this comparison is getting ridiculous. I sound like Tanith describing a twizzle.
- The Incredibles 2 trailer just aired. The Olympics are meaningless.
- Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China were the leaders after the short program, but Savchenko and Massot were so good, they'll need to be perfect just to stay ahead. I think. Take any opinion on figure skating scoring I have with a grain of salt, since I don't know what I'm talking about. I only know what Johnny Weir tells me, and he tells me different things just to make me look silly.
Anyway, they fell a couple of times, but I don't know if those falls were enough to cost them the lead. I'm guessing yes. Let's see if I'm right.
I'm right! The Chinese missed first place by 43 hundredths of a point. There ain't nothin' to this figure skating scoring.
- Now only the Olympic Athletes From Russia can stop Savchenko and Massot. And they fall about a minute in. It's over. At one point, even a cameraman in the background is seen not shooting their program, but walking away disinterested. It's bad news when even the cameramen are bored with your skating.
- Whereas usually the camera focuses on the skaters that just finished as the scores are revealed, NBC is spending more time watching Savchenko and Massot. The scores come in, they win gold, and they start crying. That's a great shot. That's quite a way to end the night.
Watching the ice skating pairs short program was kind of anti-climactic after seeing Shaun White win a medal on the final run, but I guess when you're watching live events, it would be bad form to complain. See you for more, tomorrow!