Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Burning out his fuse up here alone.
Tonight's coverage lasted a long, long time and China is no place to raise your kids. In fact, it's cold as hell. But if you're still standing you can read all about it.
- Mike Tirico is back, but now he's hosting from the US. The medal ceremony for Team Figure Skating is delayed because someone may have tested positive for a banned substance. Who? Who? Mike will let us know later.
- Lindsey Jacobellis, the 36-year-old American snowboarder, is back. Lindsey, you may remember from a long ago Rockwood Olympic Watch in 2006, blew her best chance at a gold medal by showing off on the last jump of her snowboard cross race and falling instead of finishing. She's been trying to win gold ever since. That's 16 years of frustration. Now she gets another chance. And she wins! Congratulations, Lindsey!
- Flashback! For those of you who weren't up in the wee hours of the morning today, Shaun White was in danger of not qualifying for the Men's Halfpipe final. Did he make it? Yep. You'll see the Flying Tomato LIVE tomorrow night!
- And now we are LIVE for the Women's Halfpipe to see if Chloe Kim can win tonight's second American gold medal. This really isn't the best event to watch live. About half of all the runs end up as crashes. And that gets worse as the event goes on because by the end, everyone is trying to do something spectacular to catch the leaders. Then you have to wait after each run for the scores to come in, even on the runs where a boarder crashes. This event benefits from editing, when you can get right to the important runs.
- Kim starts with a bang, nailing her first run and forcing everyone to try to catch her. And no one really comes close. Kim got a 94 in her first run. Only one other snowboarder had a score over 90. Even Chloe crashed her last two runs. So we watched two whole rounds of no one challenging Kim. She wins gold and makes it look easy.
- Lindsey Jacobellis finally gets a gold medal ceremony! This is our first chance to hear the Star Spangled Banner in these games. Will she sing? YES! She sings! She smiles! She laughs! I think she might have even teared up a little. It was a long time coming, Lindsey, but you're currently our favorite Olympian in Beijing!
- To the slopes we go, for recorded filler to kill time before the figure skating starts. Today it's the downhill portion of the Men's Combined. This is a good example of how editing makes the television better. We don't have to watch the mediocre skiers and the time between runs is minimized. It's just all skiing action.
- Steve Perino tells us about skis and their sharp edges. How is he going to demonstrate this? By going all Gallagher with them and using a ski to smash a watermelon, a papaya, and a mango. I believe him when he says the edges are sharp, but I don't know if this is the best way to prove it. After all, Gallagher busted all these fruits with a sledgehammer, and those don't have an edge. Maybe Steve should consult with Carrot Top next time. Fluff!
- TheFire.org sponsored an ad featuring Enes Kanter speaking out for free speech, which he says leads to free people. If only there was a country featured on this channel that would benefit from free speech.
- Mikaela update! Will she race the Super-G tomorrow? Ted Ligety says she's training today, so probably yes!
- Mike reports that Kamila Valiyeva the Russian Olympic Committee crime syndicate skating star has tested positive for a banned substance. Will she be able to keep competing? Will the ROC lose their team medal? The medal ceremony has been delayed. I, for one, am shocked. Who would have ever suspected that the Russian crime syndicate would be full of cheaters?
- Chloe Kim gets a Zoom call with her family in her post-race interview. Awwwww! She's going to cry!
- We are LIVE for the Men's Free Skate final. I had thought that defending gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu was out of the competition, but instead he's just in eighth place, so far behind that he won't medal again. He might as well be out, but how would NBC get ratings then? Nathan Chen is the leader.
- First up, China's Jin Boyang, skating to Ravel's "Bolero." I'm pretty sure at least two other skaters these Olympics have skated to "Bolero." It's getting as overused as "Carmen" used to be.
- Next on the ice, Kévin Aymoz of France, who with his dark outfit, short cropped hair and beard is the spitting image of General Zod. KNEEL BEFORE ZOD, JUDGES! Oops. The triple axel is his kryptonite. Back to the Forbidden Zone for him!
- Keegan Messing of Canada has a flannel-like outfit. Terry Gannon dares Johnny Weir to wear some flannel, and Johnny says he doesn't think he has any. I believe that. Can you attach sequins to flannel? That might be the only way to get Johnny to wear it.
- Yuzuru! Will he do a quad? I mean, it's the only shot he has of medalling, so he has to try, right? He did. And he missed. There will be no threepeat. Johnny and Tara commend him for his bravery in trying the quad jump. Bravery? He had to do it. What's he supposed to do, play it safe and settle for eighth place?
- Russian crime syndicate skater Evgeni Semenenko is next. He falls early, so even if he has some banned substances floating through his system it won't make any difference.
- Team Rockwood member Sandy is wonders what ever happened to Scott Hamilton? And just like that, here he is with Brian Boitano and Evan Lysachek, the last three American men to win the gold medal in skating. They all have advice for Nathan Chen, but really we only want to know one thing: What would Brian Boitano do?
- Jason Brown will be skating to music from Mr. Olympic Awesomeness himself, John Williams. I don't know if a piece from "Schindler's List" counts as a crowd pleaser, but I guess we'll see what he does with it. Are we all going to end up sobbing at the end of his skate? Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. If you weren't sobbing at the end of that movie you're a monster. Brown skates a very clean program and is smiling at the end. Good job, Jason!
- Georgia's Moris Vitelashvili is skating to a medley of Frank Sinatra songs. What did the Chinese judge think of his performance to the Chairman of the Board? "Moris Vitelashvili is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.'"
- Japan's Shoma Uno, the defending silver medalist. He is also skating to "Bolero." Someone needs to get these skaters something other than the "Classical Music's Greatest Hits" CD. He has five quads planned but doesn't nail them all. Amazingly, Yuzuru is still in the lead. Will Uno pass him? Yep. But Hanyu is still in second with only two skaters to go. He could still medal.
- Yuma Kagiyama goes next and knocks Hanyu down to third. So right now, it's an all-Japanese leaderboard. Only Nathan Chen can prevent a sweep!
- Nathan is wearing a nebula on his shirt and will be performing to "Bolero." Ha ha ha. No he won't. He's skating to an Elton John medley. When is he going to land? When is he going to come down? He nails a quad jump on the swell of "Rocket Man." Very nice. I think he pulled a jump in there somewhere, but it was still good. He finishes with "Bennie and the Jets." Tara says, "Give him his crown!" Maybe it's just because I knew the songs, but Nathan was the only skater tonight that I thought really played off the music. I'd be shocked if he doesn't win the gold after this.
- And I'm not shocked. He not only wins, he wins big, getting his highest score ever. Gold for Nathan Chen, the son of Chinese immigrants who, unlike some others, didn't turn his back on his home country. Good job, Nathan!
Three US golds leads to a great night! See you for more tomorrow!
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