Olympics 2010, Friday, Feb. 19
Today I watched:
Skiing, cross-country women's 15,000m pursuit
Ski jumping, men's normal hill, qualification round
Skiing, men's Super G
Ice dancing, compulsory dance
Curling, men's, USA vs. France
Snowboarding, women's half-pipe final (taped on Thursday, watched on Friday)
Skeleton, women's, 4th (final) run
Skeleton, men's, 3rd run
Ice hockey, Finland vs. Germany
Watched clips only: Ice hockey, Sweden vs. Belarus
Watching the Olympics is hard work. I'm officially exhausted. I have been planning my days around Olympic viewing, and when I couldn't devote my entire day to the Games yesterday it really threw me off. Regardless, I am caught up and am hoping for a good night of sleep so I can start out strong tomorrow.
Yet again, cross-country skiing was really exciting. Today was the women's 15,000m , cross-country women's 15k pursuit, which is a race that starts using the classical technique, and at a point during the race the skiiers change skis and ski using a freestyle technique. The race came down to a photo finish for the bronze medal, with Justina Kowalczyk of Poland just edging her Norwegian competitor. Gobo and I were cheering for Kowalczyk because she was the only racer wearing short sleeves. It was over 50 degrees today in Vancouver and the race looks really grueling, so I'm surprised others didn't opt for the cooler option. Gobo and I creatively called Kowalczyk "short sleeves" throughout the race.
The commentary during this Olympics leaves much to be desired, and today featured a classic line during the 15k pursuit. The announcer said "it's funny how you always ski to the limit of a race. If it's a 10k you're still fried at the end. If it's a 15, you spread out the energy." Wow, what a concept. When you race, no matter the distance, you race as quickly as you can for that period of time. When the distance is longer, you pace yourself a little more slowly so that you exhaust yourself at the end of the race, as opposed to before the end of the race. Who would have thought it? I'm so glad it was brought to my attention during the Olympics.
The repetition of the same ice dancing song and routine for each team was a bit tedious. Ice dancing is by far my least favorite figure skating event because it lacks jumps and excitement. It was interesting, however, to see how different teams dancing the same steps to the same music could differ so much. I don't know much about ice dancing, but it was obvious to me that the Russian team currently in first had the best dance--they seemed to glide more effortlessly than the other teams and they exuded charisma that I didn't get from anyone else.
More than any other Olympic sport, I cannot understand why anyone would ever want to compete in the skeleton. Could there be anything scarier than riding down a huge ice course face first, stomach down on a tiny sled? Terrifying.
In addition to watching the actual events, I also watched about 15 interviews between Bob Costas and Evan Lysacek. Does Team USA mandate that Evan wear his gold medal everywhere? It is so big that it looks a bit silly. Today I found out that Evan is part-Greek. I can't wait to tell my dad tomorrow, I love telling him when I find out some new random person is Greek. Opa!
Tomorrow seems like a pretty easy day: ski jumping, freestyle skiing, women's super G, 1000m short track speed skating and my new favorite sport, cross-country skiing. The hockey matches are Norway vs. Switzerland, Belarus vs. Germany, and Latvia vs. Slovakia, so I'm thinking I will skip those. Sunday will be a huge hockey day, so I should probably take it easy tomorrow and rest up a bit.