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Everything posted by FiveRingFever

  1. Kelly Clark. 5th Olympics, 3-time medalist.
  2. Germany sucks but Netherlands appears to be the odd team out. I bet they would have advanced in a round robin format like volleyball has.
  3. Two-run downhill? Sacrilege. Also, does the author realize that the distance XC races are just more laps run on the same courses as the other races?
  4. Apparently, the bay will not be cleaned up in time for the games. http://espn.go.com/olympics/story/_/id/10948291/official-said-brazil-not-meet-water-pollution-targets-2016-games
  5. I've been putting on Today in the mornings to try and catch their Sochi stories. I didn't see Vonn at all, but I could have missed it. I did see a story on the mothers of Davis & White.
  6. That's not correct. ABC would have shown a taped package in prime time much like NBC does. http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/olympics-will-bidding-be-a-games-changer-for-u-s-networks/
  7. I'm not sure Vonn would be all that interesting on TV.
  8. So, you would rather follow up one poor decision with another?
  9. I have gone to around 20 Olympic wrestling sessions and have been to 2 U.S, wrestling trials. I also have seen Olympic softball and baseball, and I don't give a crap about squash. I think wrestling belongs in comparison to the other two sports in terms of tradition, international participation, and relatively low logistical demands. I don't think it's even close for that matter. The problem with wrestling really was its governing body. They seem to have gotten their heads out of their rear ends and made a lot of necessary changes, so I would be surprised not to see them back in 2020.
  10. It's actually a lot easier for MLB to accommodate the Olympics than the NHL, but they're too busy worshipping at the altar of the almighty dollar to give up their All Star weekend cash cow and play a few scheduled double headers. God forbid we don't get to see the Home Run Derby!
  11. I'm not comparing them, which is why I asked in the first place. I basically was wondering if Canadians beyond the Toronto area were interested in the PanAms, or if they're apathetic like Americans would be if they were held in the USA. Secondarily, I was also wondering how interest in the PanAms compared to the WWC, which, as I stated, is of particular interest to me personally. I don't think those are unreasonable questions to ask of people on this board. No offense intended.
  12. I was curious because they definitely wouldn't be high profile at all in the states. There was a time when the PanAms were much more popular here, and they actually were televised on a major US network. I remember some classic boxing matches back when the Cubans and Americans were two of the top teams in the world. I'm sure the PanAms would still be a good event to attend if it's in your backyard, but I can't see a lot of people shelling out for plane tickets and a hotel room to attend. It seems like the Women's World Cup is a higher profile event, but maybe that's just my perspective from following women's soccer since I first saw in in Atlanta. I actually will probably try to attend a few WWC games wherever the US team ends up, but I think I'd rather get to Toronto for an Orioles/Blue Jays game than for the PanAms.
  13. Do Canadians in general give a rip about these games? The PanAms are pretty much the junior varsity in terms of the higher profile sports. The only reason I pay attention is that some of the events qualify spots for the Olympics,
  14. I think because the figure skating team event has both a short and long program for each discipline and requires three sessions, they needed to begin early because the figure skating venue is also the short track venue. I'm not sure why they need to start the other ones early, but if it means another night of coverage, I'm all for it.
  15. I like Hicks. He's solid on everything he does and definitely an upgrade over Ryan. I wonder what's behind the switch. I would think that Alpine and long track are roughly equivalent in prestige, so maybe it's because the US alpine team happens to be pretty strong right now. Or maybe he just likes the scenery.
  16. I remember they also showed USA-Canada (somewhat abbreviated) from Sarajevo in '84. But I guess in some people's minds, the Olympics have never been on a network other than NBC.
  17. Not usually a huge fan of commercials, but Visa has been showing one about Lopez Lomong, one of the former "lost boys" of Sudan who carried the US flag at the 2008 Opening Ceremonies. Definitely one of their better efforts.
  18. I guess us mere mortals will have to scuffle through.
  19. Is there a way to go back and edit a post once it has been submitted?
  20. I find the parade of nations to be mostly boring, especially in person. On the other hand, I'm sure it's an incredible thrill for the athletes, so I guess it's just a necessary stretch of monotony to endure.
  21. So, day 7 found me starting at curling. The previous night, I had made it back to my hotel at around 1230AM following the late hockey game. My feet were pretty raw from blisters, and I was really concerned. I knew that I would have to do a fair amount of walking from the Canada Line to curling and then later to speed skating. Curling was at 9:00, which meant setting the alarm for 6:00. I spent quite a bit of time trying to deal with my feet, so I got a later start than planned. I got to the venue about 10 minutes until 9:00, but the securtiy lines were pretty monsterous by then. I arrived at the start of the second end. The seats at curling are uncomfortably tight and the sections are huge. If you get in the middle, you could have 15 seats in either direction. I was in the very back row, so at least I could stand a bit. This was my only curling event. The matchups were USA/Denmark, Germany/Norway, Canada/Sweden, and Great Britain/Switzerland. The Canadians smoked the Swedes. The ends in that match always had multiple rocks in the house and some complicated shots. The Germany-Norway match was also pretty entertaning. It was tight for a while, but eventually the Norwegians proved to be the better team. The Swiss/UK match was a lot simpler in terms of the approach. The Brits were in control with last rock at the end of the match, and they just had to knock out one Swiss stone with the last rock. The last shot totally missed. These guys are the defending world champions? That was pretty bad shot for a team that was supposed to challenge Canada. So, the last match was the USA/Denmark. USA had a point lead, but Denmark had last rock. The US actually was in good position to win the point in the last end, but their last shot wasn't so great. So, Denmark won the point and it was headed for extras and I was headed for a decision. If I stuck around, I would probably be a little late for the speed skating. Do I support the USA team, even if they're winless and already out of the tournament? I decided to stick around. The US had last shot, so they were in a good position to win. Like the UK match, it came down to the last shot. Denmark had one unguarded stone. It seemed like a pretty easy shot. The US skip gagged the shot. No wonder they were winless coming in. Why exactly did I stay? As you might imagine, it took a while to clear out of the arena. The Candian match was conceded early, so I figured the Canadian fans would leave en massse after that match concluded. That's generally how it works with the home nation. Instead, nearly everyone stayed until the USA/Denmark match was over. Keep in mind that both teams were winless. My thoughts on my one and only curling experience. Great fans, mediocre venue. Having 4 matches going at once keeps it pretty interesting because most matches get staggered and one is usually approaching the last few stones of the end. The Canadians are really formidable. Of course, I didn't see every team in the tournament, but I would predict that they will win the gold medal. Not exectly going out on a limb. Off to speed skating. This was the women's 1000m and Canada was favored for a couple of medals. As it turned out, the Dutch were the strongest overall team. Every Olympics they seem to have athletes that peak at the right time. Also, their incredible depth allows them to medal even when one of the skaters has an off day. So, the Dutch were sitting 1-2 with two pairs left. Then, Nesbitt from Canada skated second to last. She really looked gassed going into her last lap and her splits weren't all that great. Somehow she hung on by 2 1/100ths to take the lead. Groves was in the last pair and finished short of the podium. As always, the crowd was a lot of fun thanks to the Dutch fans and having Canadian medalists. So far I had seen all 3 Canadian gold medalists. Then, it was off to the men's figure skating finals on my aching feet--- next blog entry.
  22. Wednesday was one of my most anticipated days as I would get to see Lindsay Vonn in the downhill and Shani Davis in the men's 1000. I slogged my butt out of bed super early to catch the Whistler bus from Langara. I packed some earplugs for the ride with the plan to grab some sleep. The buses really make good time and we arrived in about two hours. I got my first view of Creekside. Really spectacular. The option of getting to the venue was to take the chair or walk uphill. The security lines seemed pretty long for the chair. so I decided on the morning constitutional and made my way up the hill. It was pretty steep in spots but the weather was great, so I got some good views along the way. The volunteers give everyone encouragement as they make their way uphill. The volunteers here are fantastic. They really are friendly and very knowledgable. It was about a 15 to 20 minute hike, and you could sign your name on a wall they had at the top to mark your achievement. This is the difference between Whistler and Cypress. There's a great atmosphere of fun at Whistler. Cypress is so ordinary. When I got to the top, I thought I would be rewarded with a short security line. Wasn't happening. It didn't really matter becuase I had 45 minutes before the race start. After grabbing some food and some merchandise, I went to the standing area to check out the course. It was really packed, so I grabbed a spot close to the entrance. I was behind quite a few people, so I know that I wouldn't be taking too many pictures. One of the unfortunate things was that the sun was right in line with the video board, so it was a little inconvenient to watch the race progress. Julia Mancuso was one of the early racers, and she took the lead. Then raccer after racer came down, and all were well back of her time. It was apparent that she had a good run. She was still in the lead when Vonn stepped in. This was the moment I had been waiting for. She started and each of her intermediate splits were way ahead. What a great run. No apparent mistakes. After she crossed the line, the Americans in the crowd were going crazy. There were still some big names coming. It pretty much came down to Paerson and Riesch to see if Vonn would have the gold. Paerson had a decent run going. She wasn't going to touch Vonn and probably not Mancuso, but she seemed to be in line for the bronze because Goergl was about 1.5 seconds back in the bronze position. Toward the bottom of the run, Paerson must have been going for it and she crashed big time. The video operator actually killed the feed during the crash because it was so nasty. There was a long course hold and Riesch was next. Riesch was out of it early. She just didn't seem to have it that day. Maybe seeing the crash made her tentative. Anyway, after she was done the race was pretty much over. Vonn gold, Mancuso silver, Georgl silver. A great start to my day. I left before the back (low-seeded) racers went becuase it was time to head to the Richmond Oval. I hiked back down the path and hopped on the bus, which sat for a bit waiting to fill up. The ride back to the city took a lot longer than the ride up, so I didn't have time to get to my car to change out of my snow boots. I took the Canada line train, which was pretty crowded to the Aberdeen stop. It was a long walk to the oval, about 15 minutes along a river. I have to say that I was unimpressed with the location. It's right in the middle of industrial parks. Why did they pick this location? It's quite an ugly area. Even the river views are terrible. Oh well. I got there a little before the scheduled start, but the security lines were really long. I ended up missing the first 5 pairs, which doesn't really matter much because the lower seeds go first. I got to my seat and found the seating to be really, really tight. The guy next to me was huge, so he was almost in my lap. Speed skating is always a great event, largley in part because of the Dutch fans. They have their own brass band, Kleintle Pils, that plays during the ice resurfacing break. The atmosphere is always terrific. The race, as you would expect, gets more exciting the closer it gets to the final parings. Chad Hedrick went up against Mo Tae-Bum, the 500 gold medlist, in the fourth to last pair. Mo scorched the track early, as you might expect. He had the #1 time in all of the splits going into the last lap. Down the final straight, Hedrick tried to reel him in. He came close, but Mo held him off. Hedrick's wife was sitting in the row in front of me with their young daughter. She had a monster rock on her finger, so Chad must be doing OK! The next pair didn't threaten. The second to last pair included Morrison from Canada. The crowd got really pumped, but each split time showed that he was out of the medal chase. You could sense the collective bumming out in the Canadian crowd. Finally, it was Shani time. His splits were a little behind Mo, but I knew he would have a better final lap. Sure enough, he crossed the line for gold. Hedrick held up for bronze. A banner day for this American spectator. My last event was the Czech Republic vs. Slovakia in men's hockey. Unlike Russia-Latvia, this was a quality game. The Czechs pulled it out 3-1, and Jagr was the man. I though he was all washed up. My bad. The crowd was again great. So far this is the best hockey atmosphere I've ever expeerienced. Can't wait for the quarters and semis. Unfortunately, all the walking that day tore up my feet. I had a couple of nasty, nasty blisters on the balls of my feet after I got back to the hotel around 1245 AM. Not good. The next day was all city events, so that was good. And it will be summarized in my next blog entry.
  23. It's been a while since I posted. Late night hockey games the culprit. I've done a pretty good job at picking out the Canada and USA gold medal events. So far, I've seen each country win 3. I went to women's snowboard cross the other day. Let's say that it didn't live up to my expectations. For those who have never been, there are 2 qualification runs that narrow the field of 24 to 16 for the head-to-head racing later. The event was held up 1.5 hours because Cypress was fogged in. Then, we got all of two runs in (the second a wipeout before the fog rolled in again). It was then on and off with the runs because the fog would clear and then come in again. Let me also say this-- the qualifications are soooo boring. You take the best time of the two runs and then toss your worst run. Top 16 advance to the quarters. Some of the boarders were in over their heads on that course. Tons of DNFs. Tons of yawning. I looked around me and people weren't paying much attention to the runs. I can't say I blame them. By the time the quarterfinals blissfully arrived, there has been another cumulative hour of delays or so. It was pretty crappy with all the waiting. Plus, I knew that I would miss some of the men's figure skating becuase of the delays. The quarterfinals were pretty good. You don't get to see much of the event live other than the finish. The top 4 in qualifying all advanced out of the quarterfinals. Then, the first semi saw the top qualifier from Switzerland bomb out. The second semi tossed Jacobellis from the USA. That was serious bummer for me. She was one athlete I was really hoping to see do well when I was choosing which events to attend. By the time of the final, I knew that I would have to make a med dash to the buses, so that plus the loss of Jacobellis really made the event kind of a downer. Ricker won the second gold for Canada, so there were plenty of people to cheer her on. Good win for Canada but I had to go. Nothing like a power walk in snow boots to make your feet feel like they're on fire. I powered down to the bus and made in back to Lonsdale Quay. I grabbed a cab (and practically had to direct the driver to the drop off point for Pacific Coliseum). I ended up missing the first 5 skaters, so it wasn't too bad since the best skaters generally go last in the short program. The one exception was Plushenko (skating 10th), and I arrived in plenty of time to see him skate. My spirits were defineintely a lot better watching the skating. There were some truly great perfromances (Plushenko, Lysacek, Takahashi), some uneven but not bad (Lambiel, Chan, Oda) and a few disappointing, most notably Abbott and Joubert. Then there's Johnny Weir. I like watching him skate, but he just doesn't have the difficulty. 6th place after the short program was apretty good results for him, though. Overall, I think the men's figure skating event is the marquis event for Vancouver after hockey. That was a very entertaining short program. Having a ticket to the free skate also helped make the short program even more compelling. Then, it was out to watch the Russia-Latvia men's hockey game. It was already 2-0 by the time I got there. It was totally one-sided, so I couldn't tell if Russia was that good or Latvia was that bad. 8-2 final. Ovechkin had a couple goals. That guy is so good. The GM place arena (or whatever they renamed it for the Olympics since GM isn't a sponsor) is really nice. Definitely the biggest hockey arena for any Olympics that I've attended. It's also fun to experience a hockey game in Canada. It's a total party atmosphere in there. I can't wait for the knockout rounds to start. It was quite the long day. Parts of it sucky, more parts of it great. The next day was one that I really was looking forward to, but that's for my next entry.
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