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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympics 2010, Saturday, Feb. 27

Today I watched:
Speedskating, women's pursuit, semifinals and finals
Speedskating, men's pursuit, finals
Snowboarding, men's parallel giant slalom, qualifications
Skiing, women's cross-country 30,000m mass start
Ice hockey, Slovakia vs. Finland, bronze medal match
Skiing, men's slalom
Bobsled, men's four-man, runs 3 and 4
Figure skating, champions gala
Curling, men's, Canada vs. Norway, gold medal match
Curling, men's, Sweden vs. Switzerland, bronze medal match

Most exciting event of the day? Cross-country, of course. It amazes me that the skiers are racing for over an hour and a half and yet the race still ends in a sprint: the gold and silver medalists were separated by just .3 seconds at the end of the race. Perhaps more surprising is that the bronze medalist was more than a minute and a half behind the first two finishers. It seems that almost every cross-country and biathalon event in these Olympics has had a dramatic finish, and this was no exception.

The bronze medal hockey match was exciting as well. Slovakia led 3-1 in the third period when Finland scored three unanswered goals, gaining the lead. With three minutes left in the game Slovakia went on a two-minute power play and by the end of the power play they had pulled their goalie, meaning they had six skaters on the ice to Finland's four. Despite several great scoring chances, Slovakia came up one goal short for the second night in a row, and Finland earned the bronze.

The speedskating pursuit events were exciting, even if the US didn't win, and the figure skating exhibition was entertaining, although not something I would have aired in HD instead of hockey.

The bronze medal curling match turned out to be more entertaining television than the gold medal match. The Canadians won the gold pretty easily. The bronze medal game was 4-3 in the ninth end when Switzerland had four stones in the house and Sweden had one stone left. They managed to knock all four stones out of the house, retaining their 4-3 lead. The tenth end was dramatic, since the score was separated by just one point, and Sweden made a mistake with its last stone, leaving the door open for Switzerland to score two points with the final rock of the match. Switzerland came through by just inches, winning the bronze.

Tomorrow is the final day of the Olympics, and there is very little left to watch, but that which is left is great: the men's hockey gold medal match between the USA and Canada, and a final men's cross-country race. Of course, the Olympics will end with the closing ceremonies, and I hear that my Olympic Boyfriend will have a special role as the games are passed from Vancouver to Sochi. Then he can return to DC and we can start watching the NHL again.

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