Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympics 2010, Tuesday, Feb. 23

Today I watched:
Curling, women's, US vs. China
Ice hockey, men's, Switzerland vs. Belarus
Ice hockey, men's, Canada vs. Germany
Skiing, women's ski cross
Skiing, men's Nordic combined, team
Speed skating, men's 10,000m
Figure skating, women's long program
Bobsled, women's two man
Skiing, men's giant slalom
Ice hockey, Czech Republic vs. Latvia
Ice hockey, Slovakia vs. Norway
Biathalon, women's 4x6000m relay

After a relatively light Olympics-watching day yesterday, I was very busy today. I have to admit I haven't finished watching the women's biathalon relay--I am watching it as I type.

Today was a pretty exciting day in the Olympics. The most emotional moment was clearly Joannie Rochette's short program in women's figure skating. Rochette's mother had a heart attack and died at the age of 55 two days ago. Rochette still managed to skate a clean program and ended up in third place going into the long program. The US figure skaters were a disappointment. Apparently they both skated as well as they have in the past, it's just that their best isn't as good as the rest of the world's. The US has had great female figure skaters my entire life, so it's sad to see a competition where no one even expects our skaters to be serious medal contenders.

When NBC switched over to the final pair of the men's speedskating 10,000m race with seven laps left, I wondered why they even bothered to show us the skating at all. The lead skater in that last pairing was Sven Kramer, who was comfortably in the lead and on pace to break the Olympic record. When he finished his race the commentator declared Kramer the winner and said that he was "a short few seconds before celebrating officially." Those few short seconds never came. Kramer was disqualified because he ended the race in the wrong lane. Watching replays, it was clear that his coach had erroneously instructed him to switch lanes, costing Kramer the medal and Olympic record. NBC was, shockingly enough, airing the end of the race live, so watching Kramer learn he had been disqualified, and his angry reaction, was fascinating television.

I hadn't expected to watch all four hockey matches, but I ended up doing exactly that. I watched Switzerland vs. Belarus in its entirety. I ended up watching the third period at the gym, and had to extend my workout because the game went into overtime and I couldn't leave before the game was over. I watched the first half of Canada vs. Germany, changing the channel when the score was 4-1. I thought Germany did a really good job of challenging Canada through the first period, but they just couldn't sustain the effort. It was nice seeing Crosby miss a penalty shot.

Slovakia vs. Norway and Czech Republic vs. Latvia were both shocking games. The Czech Republic game went to overtime, with Latvia letting up a goal about six minutes in. Slovakia was tied with Norway until midway through the third period, when they finally scored to lead by one, and then barely held onto the one-goal lead for the rest of the game.

Tomorrow: Russia vs. Canada. I'm sure there are a lot of other events as well, and I'm sure I'll watch them, but all I can really think about is Russia vs. Canada. I'm worried for Ovi and friends, and it particularly concerns me that Ovechkin has said that he had trouble scoring on Luongo when Luongo played for the Panthers. (And speaking of Luongo, every time Mike Milbury says his name I feel hatred. Thanks again, Mike, for making the worst moves ever when you were Isles GM.) Game is at 7:30 on CNBC (no HD for hockey, yet again).

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