Saturday, February 12, 2022
Shake it down, shake it down, shake it down now.
The Olympians are mighty, mighty and they're letting it all hang out.
- Once again, Mike welcomes us to Los Angeles, where a giant sporting event will be hosted by a country that isn't committing genocide against millions of its citizens. The Super Bowl is tomorrow. Who are you picking?
- To the HOUSE OF SPEED! Tonight we start with heat three of the Women's Skeleton. Katie Uhlaender of the US is the first slider we see. She ends up in 7th place after this heat. Next up is American Kelly Curtis. She spends a lot of time bouncing off walls. Not good.
- After the break we find out that Katie pulled a muscle in heat three. Then they show a flashback to the 2014 Sochi games. Katie finished fourth, knocked off the medal platform by a Russian slider. That Russian slider, it turns out, later was found guilty of taking banned substances. What? A Russian athlete cheating someone out of a medal? I'm shocked! Shocked!
- Katie's fourth run is good, but I think she'll be too far behind to medal. There are still a bunch of women left to race. Hannah Neise of Germany wins, meaning Germany has won every Olympic race held on this track so far. Katie finishes sixth.
- But all that was before, this is now. We are now LIVE at the HOUSE OF SPEED for the debut of the Women's Monobob, a one-person bobsled. Who's the favorite? It has to be the Germans, doesn't it?
- Korea's Kim Yoo-Ran is the first-ever Olympic monobobber. She bangs into the wall a lot. Is this normal? Well, she's the only one who's ever done this, so right now the answer to that is yes.
- Elana Meyers Taylor of the US is the fourth monobobber down. She's currently in first place, but not by much. She got sideways a few times. It's not likely the next 16 sleds will all do that.
- Former Canadian and now American Kaillie Humphries goes down next. She takes over first place.
- The Russian Crime Syndicate skater Kamila Valiyeva will have her drug test hearing tomorrow night. I apologize to all NFL referees who I’ve ever complained about taking too long during a replay review. Why is this process taking so long?
- Who's ready for some ice dancing? This is pre-recorded, so we'll probably only see the good skaters in this coverage.
- It's some Tara Lipinski fluff. She's not even in the Games! But she is calling them. The other night NBC had a camera focused on her while Nathan Chen skated his long program. She was dancing along in the booth. Tonight she tells us about all the skating pairs that will play music she'll be dancing to. Okay, but we'll never see any of this, so why does it matter? Fluff.
- Let's go around the Games! The US beat Canada in Men's hockey. The US lost to Great Britain in Women's Curling. Two Norwegian brothers won gold and bronze in the Biathlon.
- But now we are LIVE at the snowy mountain for the Men's Giant Slalom. So it DOES actually snow here. Who knew? NBC shows a POV camera shot so we can see how much the snow is obscuring the course. The pre-recorded POV didn't look that bad, but conditions have since gotten worse. As the powder gets deeper, the times are getting slower.
- Let's talk about skiing gear. Steve Perino tells us how much skis weigh. A recreational ski boot and ski weighs about seven pounds. An Olympic ski boot and ski weigh about 16 pounds. And the bindings need more force to break loose. Steve shoves a 2-by-4 into an Olympic ski boot and tries to get it to break out of the binding. It doesn't work because the tolerances are too high. Interesting!
- River Radamus of the US finishes ninth in the first run. His teammate Tommy Ford finishes 19th. That’ll be a big gap to make up.
- Back to ice dancing, and first up are the Russian Crime Syndicate dancers Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. They’re skating to “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker and “Brickhouse” by the Commodores. Who won the Cold War? The Americans won’t be skating to Russian pop music. That’s all you need to know.
- Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates are up next. After their fluff, that is. They’re not just skaters, they’re in luvvvvvv. Awww. Their love and skating carry them into third place for now.
- Next up: ABBA. Sorry. It’s Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Porrier who are both wearing orange, sequined, disco jumpsuits. They skate to Elton John. Does that mean he has to send out a tweet to them, too? If he doesn’t, that means he only supports winners like Nathan Chen.
- The next US skaters are Madison Hubble and Zach Donohue. Is there a rule requirement for US ice dancers to have a Madison on their team? They’re skating to Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty. Madison number two moves into third place and bumps Madison number one down to fourth.
- Back in LA, Mike interviews Lindsey Vonn about the Giant Slalom course. She says that the changing conditions will make it harder for the leader, Marco Odermatt, to maintain his lead, since his second run will be so much different than his first. This isn’t necessarily uninformative, but it’s not at the event, so this is fluff.
- Back to the HOUSE OF SPEED for more Women’s Monobob. You know what all these track events need? The slalom event has been using a skycam that flies over the end of the ski run that gives the viewer a good feel for how a slalom run looks and how the skiers adjust. The sledding sports need a skycam going down the mountain to show how all of these turns tie together. All of these static cams are technically fine, but they don’t give you a good feel for how the whole run proceeds. And if not a skycam, they need to equip each sled with a camera in the nose like in NASCAR. You need a consultant, NBC? I’m here for you. Call me!
- Americans after heat two: Elana Meyers Taylor is in fourth. Kailie Humphries is in first. Germany’s highest position monobobber is Laura Nolte in third.
- Let’s wrap it up tonight with the medal count. The US has 11 total, five gold. Tomorrow night has a chance to add some more LIVE after the Super Bowl on what NBC is dubbing Super Gold Sunday. Well done, NBC pun authors. Well done.
See you tomorrow night after the Super Bowl. Who's going to win tomorrow? Rams? Bengals? Madison? Madison? We'll find out Sunday night!
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