Discussion in 'Community' started by s65horsey, Jan 23, 2014.
I think he's a Mexican playboy with way too much money, he always takes part in the alpine events.
Glad to find this thread, s65horsey! I have been in love with the Olympics since I was a kid (going all the way back to the 1980 Lake Placid games). I probably won't have time to watch as much as I'd like to, but hopefully I'll be able to catch the main parts of my favorite events (figure skating, ice dancing, and downhill skiing). Getting access to more comprehensive coverage will also be an issue for me since we ditched our cable last year and only have access to the free over-the-air NBC channels. So I'll miss be able to access the streaming coverage available with cable subscriptions.
Someone above mentioned the BBC coverage...I bet it is great--how I wish I had access to that! I've always been frustrated by the fact that being limited to U.S. broadcasts makes it difficult to get enough good coverage of non-American competitors. I would also be especially interested to hear tips from non-U.S. posters here about which athletes from their countries to keep an eye out for.
While we're waiting for the Games to begin, I'd be interested to hear what some of everyone's favorite Winter Olympics moments of the past have been....there are many for me, but Torvill & Dean's Sarajevo performance of "Bolero" is definitely one of my faves (In fact I think my all-time favorite Winter Games would have to be the 1984 Sarajevo games) . I also fondly remember Alberto Tomba ("Tomba the Bomb") and Bill Johnson in downhill skiing. But like others have mentioned here, I'll watch almost anything that is part of the Olympics!
I'd also be interested in hearing why other posters in this thread love the Olympics so much. I'm not a sports fan at all with two exceptions--my alma mater's football team and the Olympics (winter and summer, though winter is my favorite). For me, in spite of increasing commercialization and various "scandals" over the years, I just love the original ideals behind the "Olympic movement," the history of the Olympics, and the chance to learn the personal backstories of the athletes (particularly the non-American ones...I tend to find them more interesting)
So, let the Games begin!
@Obi Anne for posting that interesting history of women's ski jumping and sharing your personal connection to the sport. That's so cool that you, your sisters and your father were involved in the long struggle to get the event recognized and in the Olympics!
Looks like we get blessed time-wise for these. Opening Ceremony coverage starts at 3:30 PM UK time on BBC2 on Friday. I'm not a fan of figure skating/ice dancing and that kind of stuff so I'll give it a miss. I do like speed-skating, ski jumping, slalom and downhill skiing so they will be on my list. Bob, luge, and curling will be on the list as well. The biathlon is so-so - depends on how bored I am. Not a hockey or snowboarding fan either.
Speed skating and slalom are also among my favorites. I still remember Eric Heiden winning 5 speed skating golds in Lake Placid!
The field for the Women's Figure Skating is easily the best in History. Yuna Kim won the Gold 4 years ago and she looks awesome. Just youtube her
Long Program from 2010 which she received the highest score in history and you will tune in. Japan has two outstanding women including the awesome Mao Asada, Russia and the Ukraine have medal contenders and Caroline Woszniaski of Italy is easily a podium threat not to mention she has the looks
of a SuperModel. I don't care about the haters the Women's Long Program is the Main Event of the entire two weeks with a TV audience outstripping
the Superbowl by hundreds of millions on TV.
Being an old timer I still find Oksana Baiul's Long Program in 1994 the finest performance maybe ever-it was certainly the most emotional
I should just look it up but is Lindsay Vonn even going after her knee injury?
I don't remember for sure, but I thought I heard last week that Vonn said she would not be able to compete.
I haven't been following the lead up to any of the events, so I wasn't aware about the strong women's skating field this year, but your overview gets me even more excited for it!
Do the TV audiences for the women's long program really exceed the Super Bowl?! I did not know that, but I like it!
Oh yeah, Oksana's 1994 performance was definitely memorable!
Yep on the TV thing by a lot. She was world champion at 15 and a Gold Medalist at 16 amazing. She threw in two extra triples at the end…..gutzy easily my favorite Olympic moment ever. I just rewatched it on youtube good lord what an emotional skate.
For sure you will be blown away by the field this year.
Sucks that Vonn is out really bummed she is so dominant.
I wonder what will overshadow these Olympics more.. Islamist Terrorism, Gay Rights, or Ukraine's fall into chaos?
Great thread in pairs the Germans are the class of the field and the US could well get two of the 3 medals in Ice Dancing, if we ever win the gold in Ice Dancing its this year.
If there should be another arctic blast that buries us in our homes again, let it be a day of Curling.
Yeah, troed desperately to get fit after her injury last year, but ended up re-tearing the ligament. She tried to ski anyway, but was essentially skiing on one leg. At this point one hopes she didn't do any lasting damage with the hurried comeback attempt.
@Pensivia to answer your question about what I love about the Olympics,it's simply that I love sport. I was brought up in the skiing world and in my family we used to say that we never celebrated New Year, since that was in the middle of the season, instead the New Year was when it was time to put the skis into storage. Swedish television and Eurosport together has an excellent coverage of winter sports, so I basically have the TV on all weekends in the background so I can see as much as possible from the biathlon, alpine and nordic skiing world cups. I love watching the World Championships, but the Olympics are even bigger. There is something special about a competition that only comes every fourth year, and you notice that there is something special for the athletes as well. That's extra evident for those athletes who can't handle the extra pressure and go home without any golds, despite maybe dominating their sport outside of the Olympics. I also love that this is the opportunity to watch those smaller sports that you might not even have heard about. There are more smaller sports in the summer Olympics, but I would probably never watch the moguls or skating if it wasn't for the Olympics. The Olympics also give these smaller sports a chance to present themselves, I don't think many Swedes had heard about curling until it was introduced in 1998, and Sweden all of a sudden got a medal in f a by then unknown sport. Now curling is quite big as a TV sport, and definitely one of the high points of the Olympics, especially since the Swedish teams are pretty good.
As for favorite moments, wow, there are so many. The first Winter Olympics I remember were the '88 ones in Calgary. Already at that time it was the figure skating and the skiing that was interesting. I think I'm going to list my favorite moments game by game.
1992 - The Nordic Combined individual event. Sweden doesn't have any representation in this sport, but I've had a soft spot for the French team since I saw the '92 event. Fabrice Guy was the favorite and won, but I became a fan of Sylvaine Guillaume who had jumped badly and then did a great cross country run and ended up with the silver medal. Otherwise the 92 Olympics is tainted by the shock of the Swedish fiasco in the men's cross country relay. We ended up fourth, and that was more or less the end of the golden years of Swedish cross country in the 1980's. A couple of years later a fourth place would have been considered a success, and little did we know in '92 that it would take 14 years until the Swedish team got a new medal.
1994 - Oksana Baiul's free skating program is one of the best programs I've seen, but I would also like to put in a word for Phillipe Candeloro's free skating program that surprised everyone and made him climb up to the bronze. He skated as one of the three musketeers. The Swedish ice hockey gold is one of the most classic Swedish Olympic moments, we won after a dramatic penalty shoot out against Canada. I was on a train during the game, and I still remember moving through the train and hearing the reactions from compartment to compartment during the penatlies.
1998 - As mentioned previously these were the Olympics when I first heard about the sport of curling, and it turned out to be an exciting and interesting sport. Pernilla Wiberg's silver in the women's downhill is one of my favorite moments from that year.
2002 - This is the games I think I rather would forget. The Swedish ice hockey team started out great in the group stage only to loose out against Belarus on a stray goal/goalkeepers mistake. Magdalena Forsberg who dominated women's biathlon could never get her nerves in order for the Olympics, at least she managed two bronze medals (half the Swedish total medal count) in these games. This was unfortunately also the last games that in hindsight were destroyed by doping in the cross country arena. In hindsight it's been known that doping, especially blood doping, was rampant in the 1990's and early 2000s. Three of the gold medalists in 2002 were to be disqualified after the games. It was painful to watch the men's double pursuit, which was the first cross country event. Johan Mühlegg of Spain, he used to be German, raced away from the rest of the field. The only one trying to keep up with him was Sweden's Per Elofsson, who dominated the World Cup in that year. In the end Elofsson was crushed by Mühlegg's speed and ended up fourth. Of course Mühlegg was doped and lost his gold medal, and Elofsson was awarded a bronze but he could never regain the energy lost when trying to keep up with a doped skier so he didn't perform well in any of the remaining races.
2006 - Happier times, and happier games. Much had been done to get rid of the doping in cross country, so Sweden was back on the podium. I remember not daring to watch, so instead opting for listening to the radio with some friends when it was the finals of the sprint relay. Sweden won both the men's and women's event, and that was the first cross country gold medals since 1988. Otherwise the women's curling final that went into an extra round after the ordinary rounds ended in a tie, and the Sweden won after quite a complicated last stone. I also distinctly remember the ice dancing, where the Italian couple had made a comeback to be able to compete at home, and the man tripped in one of the programs. The stare afterwards from the female of the couple could easily have turned the whole arena into ice.
2010 - I know I might repeat myself here, but you have to understand that cross country is really big in Swedish, so many of my favorite moments from the 2010 games are also related to those event. The biggest thing was the gold in the men's relay, the first since 1988. The most powerful moment though was Anja Pärson's bronze in the alpine combined event. Normally a bronze wouldn't be a big deal for her, she was one of the best skiers and had taken medals in each game since 2002. The thing with her 2010 medal though was that she had crashed really bad in the women's downhill. It's one of the scariest crashes I've seen, and her father and coach even acknowledged that when he saw the crash he was sure that she was going to die. In the end she could limp away from the arena with a badly bruised leg. The combined event was the day after the crash. It was a miracle that she could even stand on skis, and then to ignore the pain (she could hardly walk) and have the nerve to actually go down the downhill course again shows what a great athlete she was. She got almost as many congratulations afterwards, both from the press and the other competitors, as Maria Riesch who won the gold.
So there you have some of my strongest memories of the Winter Olympics.
The Olympics are a time where I will watch pretty much any sport for hours on end.
My favorite winter events are curling, (of course!) aerials, bobsled, luge and figure skating. Cross country is probably my least favorite.
Can't wait for the Opening Ceremonies.
You are a fellow real athlete your story and insights make me glow inside. You love your sport, I loved mine but barely qualified in one event at US Nationals one time in 17 years of competitive swimming, I have no regrets I live in the US and we are absurdly strong in swimming. Real knowledge and all the feelings that go with it matter so much. Ever watched Ekatarina Gordeeva and Sergei Grikov skate? Watch there clips on youtube and
then to see what happened to him one year after they had won gold for the 2nd time had me on a puddle in the life in unfair mode.
I look forward to all your posts the next 3 weeks very much!
The way the Japanese Figure skating is treating Miki Ando is so horrible, her program was outstanding at Nationals and she could easily Medal but
they won't pick her due to her lifestyle. Japanese society may have given up its Militancy but they have a society that is still about saving face and
public ostrasizing (SP) that actually sickens me. NO I am not anti-Japanese but man this one has not changed since 1945.
Aside from the controversy about Russia's anti-gay policies, there's also quite alot of concern about terrorism at Sochi. This has come to a bit of a head here in Austria, where the nation Olympic committee has received a letter threating to kidnap two female Austrian athletes, including slalom skier Marlies Schild, the women's record-holder world cup slalom wins.
On a more lighthearted note,
@Obi Anne, that matador skiing outfit has to be seen being worn to fully appreciate how ridiculous it looks
It's not a matador, it's an Amigo!
Call it what you want, hal, it's looks absolutely idiotic.
Except for our dear Mexican friend, what other people from countries not exactly known for winter are you going to look out for? Brazil and Jamaica are both fielding bobsleigh teams again for example. I'm going to keep an eye out for Vanessa Mae, who's qualified to enter the slalom for Thailand.
IN Pairs Figure Skating Robin Szolkowy and Aliona Savchenko from Germany, favorites and great to watch two excellent Russian Pairs Teams will round out the medal favorites, all 3 pairs fast, polished, difficult programs very interesting .
I could care less about the men but I am a junkie for the women, then pairs and ice-dancing.
Carolina Kostner is another world class woman's skater who I would love to see skate clean.
NO Lindsay Vonn just really stinks, I blame her injury on Tiger Woods she should run far from that
guy. Why he ever got married enjoy your women but ruining a sweet gorgeous young woman's life
who a fellow golfer and close friend of hers set then up. At least she got a lot of money is young and
a flat out 10. If she ever wants a nice guy she will have her pick.
I enjoyed reading about your favorite memories, Obi Anne. I must have missed the ice dancing in '06, but I especially enjoyed your description above!
Hmmm...am I wrong for also loving the "quirkier" aspects of the Olympics like this? I'm looking forward to seeing this guy in action