Friday, February 26, 2010

Whacky 2010 Olympic Winter Games? Blame Canada!

I have never really been too enthusiastic about the Olympic winter games. I like the ice skating, but never really understood why someone would want to race down a snowy mountain at the speed of light or hurl themselves off a ramp to tumble through the air at dangerous heights. It has always seemed more like daredevil stuff more than sport to me, but these 2010 games have had my attention like no other. The only explanation I can come up with for the controversy, drama and excitement is Canada, so I blame them. Here are some of my personal favorite highlights, some whacky, some awesome.

· I didn’t get the chain link fence blocking access to the Olympic cauldron. I don’t think many Canadians got it either. There was a lot of disappointment expressed over it, but the VANOC wouldn’t budge on safety and security. There was also that little mechanical snafu at the opening ceremony.

· Not enough snow! I never would have imagined that Vancouver, BC, Canada would have a snow shortage in February, but it happened. I would have gladly collected and delivered the excess we had here in Washington to them.

· Canada’s high hopes to "Own the Podium". The tally is telling. The US might be renting the podium at Vancouver. It turns out Canada spent $110 million on campaigning for taking 35 medals at these games. Fiasco.

· USA Curling disaster—neither the men nor women medaled, prompting the US Curling Association to overhaul their team selection process.

· USA beating Canada in men’s hockey. Awesome for US, pretty friggin embarrassing for Canada. Apparently, Canada hasn’t lost to the US in decades. We actually import our talent from them.

· Men's figure skating drama. As if the costumes weren’t bad enough, we actually had a Russian vs. American diva-off. Plushenko says his quad jump alone deserved the gold, but, Evan Lysacek won it. Maybe he should wear more sequins next games.

· USA men's Nordic combined history-making. This is seriously cool. Until these games, no American had ever won an Olympic gold in any Nordic sport. Now, we have a gold and 3 silvers. Demong and Spillane gave us quite a show!

· Bode Miller’s redemption. Turin was a disappointment, but Bode has risen to glory in Vancouver. Men’s super combined: GOLD! Men’s super G: SILVER! Men’s downhill: BRONZE! And, I think we’re still counting…

· US women's alpine debacle. Julia Mancuso wants and deserves some of Lindsey Vonn’s spotlight. The rivalry got heated this week when Vonn crashed on the giant slalom track and interrupted defending champion, Mancuso’s, run. It was pretty terrible, but the mudslinging afterwards was unwarranted on Julia’s part. I’m sure Lindsey Vonn would have preferred not to crash and break her pinky finger.

· Apollo Ohno (or shall I say Oh-YEAH!) has become most decorated American winter Olympian ever. “I’ve always, in the back of my head, wanted to be known as one of the greatest short-track speed-skaters of all time,” said Ohno. I guess, he will be with 7 total medals. GOLD: 2. SILVER: 2. BRONZE: 3. And counting…

· Shani Davis repeats Gold and Silver performance from Turin. And that’s pretty sick. He missed the call from then Senator Obama. I’m thinking a repeat deserves a Presidential shout out.

What am I missing? Share your highlights.


  1. While Canada won't be taking 30 medals, they may still win the gold medal count, which is what most of the world considers to be more important than the total medal count.

    What's stood out to me the most is the continued disgraceful behavior of the IOC. First blaming human error on the luge death. Second, the IOC head giving an ultimatum that women's hockey may be axed if it doesn't get more competitive. The idea that the IOC would even consider dropping women's hockey, when men's hockey was even more lopsided in favor of Canada in its Olympic infacy, is so absurdly sexist that it deserves a post here. And third is the women's ski jumping fiasco yet. That's right, women can't compete, even though a woman has the record at the ski jump being used for the competition! How do you all NOT get fem-angry about these things?

  2. Oh good god, and I hadn't even seen this yet --

    Can you believe that? FEMALE Gold Medal Olympians were celebrating by DRINKING and SMOKING CIGARS! How dare they act so un-lady-like? No wonder the IOC is investigating! The IOC can't possibly stand for women wanting to celebrate like men ALWAYS do.

  3. Thanks for the heads-up on these developments, DRDR, they certainly make me femangry! I liked how in the video clip regarding the women drinking champagne the male anchors are all up in arms, and the female anchor let's them talk, before witheringly putting down the legitimacy of their argument. Champagne is regularly sprayed at the conclusion of sporting events. Beer makers are sponsors of a multitude of sporting events and the Olympics. To say drinking alcohol after an event is somehow counter to the image of an Olympian, and to express the outrage that Skip Bayless brings to the discussion, is simply senseless. The worst is when he says people would give male hockey players a pass because they see them as "hard-core athletes." As opposed to the delicate flowers on the women's team?
    I agree the woman who is underage in BC, though not in her home province of Quebec, should have known better, but other than that, what's the big deal? If these were men, commentators would be saying "Look at these athletes savoring their victory." And that's what's happening. No debauchery, no strippers, no barfights, no rowdiness.
    Just incredible athletes savoring their victory.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, DRDR. Women should totally be able to celebrate like men. Femangry!

  5. Skip Bayless is a tool, I actually don't know a single person who pays attention to him.

    I see the point of the above comments (e.g. women should be able to celebrate like men), but the whole celebration was weird to see, which probably threw most people off. First, I've never seen beer used, it's typically champagne. Also, you actually never see these kind of celebrations (with alcohol) out on the field of play ever. The champagne showers you've all seen were in the locker rooms, which makes a difference. This is reason that every pro sport has now brought their trophy ceremony away from the locker room to boring ceremony in the middle of the field.

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  7. Mony, that may be so, re: Bayless, but when he says that the men's team is perceived as hardcore athletes insinuating that 1. the women aren't hardcore and 2. because the women aren't hard core, they don't get to celebrate and party in the traditional style of hardcore male athletes, I can't help but pay attention to his flagrant sexism! I don't mind them partying like dudes. I like to nurse a glass of Macallan and light up a Romeo y Julieta as much as the next guy(except I'm usually accessorized with pearls and 4 inch heels) because it's 2010 and I do what I want, but I agree that Coors and champagne on the ice is weird and possibly inappropriate. We really don't see much of that anymore--probably for a reason.

  8. I'm pretty sure the Red Sox division title celebration in 2007 involved beers and cigars out at Fenway, and Jonathan Papelbon dancing very publicly and flamboyantly in his underwear. I don't recall anyone accusing the Red Sox of violating the sanctity of baseball. And that was blatantly in public, while this women's hockey celebration was meant to be private -- the press just happened to still be in the building finishing up work.


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