THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018
ATTACK OF THE VIKINGS
Life lessons in winning while you can.
- Live skiing! We don't even have time for formalities anymore. NBC just dumps us into live events. Today we start with the Women's Slalom, where Mikaela Shiffrin will attempt to win her second gold medal in as many days. She won the giant slalom yesterday. We saw the first of her two runs during prime time and she won it sometime in the early morning, American-time.
- Before Shiffrin skied her first run, reporter Steve Porino noted that the notoriously-nervous skier had vomited. Nerves, he wondered? Then after she finished, Heather Cox interviewed her. Her first question: tell me about the vomiting. Then, as other skiers are slaloming down the mountain, Dan Hicks and Bode Miller talk about the vomiting some more. In an event filled with dozens of world-class athletes, it's good that NBC knows what is important.
- Off to the skeleton, where Korea's Yun Sung-Bin will try to channel his inner Iron Man and win the gold. I'm guessing he will, because his is one of the few skeleton runs we see before we switch back to skiing.
- It's the attacking Vikings! The Norwegian skiers have all adopted alter-egos as Vikings, banding together as a team to help each other win medals in the Olympics, a tradition that started years ago in the Albertville Olympics. It's apparently been successful, as they've won over 30 medals since then. But despite all of that, they still can't help the Minnesota Vikings get out of the NFC Championship. Fluff!
- And now we'll see if the Vikings' training paid off in the Men's Super-G, which we join LIVE! The first two skiers miss gates at the same place on the run, but neither of them are Vikings. No, if they were Vikings, they'd make it all the way until the end until they broke your heart in an unexpected way. Sorry. Wrong Vikings.
- Finally, a Viking! Kjetil Jansrud uses the knowledge of other's mistakes to make it down the mountain in first place. Two skiers later Aksel Lund Svindal moves into second. Two skiers after that, Alexander A Kilde starts fast, but then smacks a gate with his right hand on a jump and loses his pole. He continues down the hill, stumbles again and finishes in eighth. I've never seen anyone crash in that manner. THAT is the Viking finish I would expect!
- Yesterday, Mattias Mayer of Austria wiped out a bunch of photographers. Today, he beats the Vikings for first place. I wonder if Steve Porino discussed this possibility with his mother in that bar last night.
- Back at the skeleton for the final run. Matt Antoine from the United States is too far behind to have a shot at a medal. This is where the scoring system of skeleton is inferior to snowboarding. Matt's final run was basically just for show. But what if all he had needed was the fastest individual run instead of four combined times? Then every racer in the final round would be a potential winner. That would make this a lot more exciting.
- Yun Sung-Bin gets some fluff. Korea's only sliding track is the one Yun trains on, which just happens to be the Olympic track. He stares pensively into the distance. Wondering… wondering… is this piece fluff? Yes, Yun. Yes it is.
- Does Yun win? Of course! He was so far ahead that all he had to do was not crash. Like I said, wouldn't this have been more interesting if he would have had to slide fast? Because he did. Yun set the track record, so he would have won gold anyway. But had they scored this like snowboarding, this would have been exciting like Shaun White's win instead of predictable like a victory lap.
- Lindsey Jacobellis is back for the Women's Snowboardcross, still trying to get a gold medal after giving one away with hubris in 2006. This is a quarterfinal, so all she has to do is finish in the top three of these six boarders. She finishes first.
- The quarterfinal was taped, but now the Snowboardcross semifinal is LIVE. Jacobellis again needs to finish in the top three of six. She finishes in second, so she'll make the final for one more chance to get a gold.
- But now over to LIVE figure skating and the Men's Short Program. Adam Rippon of the United States is the first skater we see. Admittedly, I don't know much about figure skating moves, but I'm pretty sure I saw Adam do the "start the lawnmower" a couple of times. I guess he takes influences from everywhere. He's in first place for now.
- Back to the Women's Snowboardcross Final. Can Lindsey Jacobellis, 12 years later, finally redeem herself for her silver-should-have-been-gold in 2006? Five racers to beat for gold and we're watching it LIVE!
Lindsey starts fast, but halfway through the race she's losing speed and getting passed. I don't think she's even going to medal… OH! There are crashes on the final stretch! Did Jacobellis medal? No, she did not. First and second place crossed on their feet, but although third place crashed and slid prone across the finish line, she still finished three-hundredths of a second in front of fourth place Lindsey. I thought she had made it into third, but the photo-finish-cam showed her missing by half the length of her board. Let this be a lesson to you kids. When you have a chance to win a gold medal, win it first THEN show off. Heed the tale of Lindsey Jacobellis, who was oh-so-close to being an Olympic champion.
This was kind of a short report today, but the broadcast was shorter by thirty minutes and, honestly, when all NBC shows is events, I sort of get caught up in it all and forget to type. See you tomorrow!