Kevin Frayer / AP
Oh, I agree, Chad. It is a travesty that I had to cover a night with exactly zero figure skating.
I would like to begin by noting for the record that neither my colleague, Bobby nor I are sportswriters, and this is most certainly not a sports blog. If you are looking for scores or times or insightful coverage of the physics of speedskating or anything sports related AT ALL, then may I suggest that you go here and read anything on this page that isn’t entitled “Tubular.” Thanks for visiting, and we hope you’ll check out our Glee coverage when it returns in April.
However, if you want to talk about Apolo Ohno’s hamster face or wonder why NBC has banished Mary Carillo to late night instead of giving her prominent time doing packages on why Canadians say “aboot” instead of “about” or how pretty Lindsey Vonn is, then welcome! You’re in the right place! Glad you found us!
And with that little bit of defensiveness out of the way, get ready for the most boring night of the Olympics EVAH. Bobsledding, downhill skiing, speed skating. And not a sequin in sight. BOO.
We start with Two-Men Bobsledding on what is apparently the world’s fastest track. Some Germans begin our coverage going
3000 90 miles per hour around the track. And then, hey more Germans. They are calling one of the riders, “The Bear” because he’s huge. Clever.
I am not going to yell about how much I hate these “Get Back” commercials for Leno’s return to The Tonight Show… I am not going to yell about how much I hate these “Get Back” commercials for Leno’s return to The Tonight Show…
Team USA, who are a couple bears themselves, seem raring (roaring?) to go in their, um, tight form-fitting teeny outfits. It’s a lot of bobsledder. Steve Holcomb’s (who is a soldier: props to him) team makes some technical error that our commentator gets all worked up about, which, alright. Calm down, we get it. They messed up. And then another American team goes and doesn’t do much better.
All of these bobsledders are huge, apparently. The Netherlands’ team are freaking N’avi over here with their 6’4″ and 6’5″ frames. Oh, I see you, alright. How could I miss you? You’re blocking out the sun already. A third American sled comes through and, I gotta tell you, bobsledding, like the luge, is all boring boring boring OH MY GOD ARE THEY GOING TO FLIP OVER AND GET HURT? boring boring.
Fortunately, we head to speed skating, before either my heart explodes or I pass out from boredom.
YAYAYAYAYAY! THE VIKINGS SPEED SKATE! WITH DRAGONS! I just can’t WAIT for this movie to come out. HURRY, MARCH 26th!! YOU CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH!
The speed skaters are all thighs and grace and hotness and so easy to watch. The South Korean, Mo Tae-Bum, has the lead in this 1500 meter race, until some Russian beats his time, which is then beat by Dutch Mark Tuitert and the
Netherland’sNorwegian (thanks, Myha!) Håvard Bøkko. Who, in addition to being somewhat gorgeous, has the second best name in the Olympics after Apolo Ohno, of course. Houston’s Chad Hedrick is next — YAY CHAD HEDRICK! — and he apparently used to hate Shani Davis, his fellow American speed skater, but everything is all cool now so LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT THAT ANYMORE. Hedrick, sadly, does not make it into medal contention. But how about that baby of his? Isn’t she adorable?
American Shani Davis’ turn! Shani takes the silver in a race that was really very amazing to watch. Bob Costas assures us that Tuitert’s gold in this event means much much more to the Netherlands than it would to us, so we should just let them have it. Or something. Which is both condescending to the Netherlands and insulting to Shani Davis. So, well done, Costas!
On to the Women’s Super G, which confuses me as much as it does Bobby. According to Wikipedia, the Super-G “incorporates aspects of both Downhill and Giant Slalom racing. It involves skiing between widely spaced gates as in Giant Slalom, but with fewer turns over a longer course and with higher speeds approaching those achieved in Downhill.” I see exactly zero difference from the downhill race from a few days ago, but then what do I know. Poor Emily Brydon of Canada has a horrible fall, which, sad, but she’s not hurt so we needn’t wring our hands too much.
psychic witch who predicted the medal outcomes for herself and Lindsey Vonn does relatively well until some Austrian comes along and beats her time. And there’s a lot of talk about how sunny it is, and how hard it must be to go from sun to shade for the skiiers and I can only imagine as I’m a huge baby when that happens while I’m driving. So.
Lindsey Vonn is getting ready for her run and doing something that I guess is supposed to be visualizing the run, but looks an awful lot like she’s in the middle of a Grateful Dead concert with the closed eyes and the waving her head and hands around. PLAY “UNCLE JOHN’S BAND!”
Hey! Lindsey skis on men’s skis in this event! Lindsey might be skiing on Bode Miller’s skis! But she isn’t! You know what, NBC? That’s not a story. For instance: I, too, might be skiing on Bode Miller’s skis next time I go skiing! But I won’t be! Why don’t you spend five minutes talking about that? O? Because it’s not a story? YEAH THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. Lindsey Vonn is not only really good, but she’s gorgeous to watch, and manages to take the lead. But we know she won’t maintain it BECAUSE THIS HAPPENED THIS MORNING. Gah.
TRUE FACT: Olympic athletes only eat Chicken McNuggets.
Austrian Lady takes the lead, so no gold for Lindsey. And then a Slovenian knocks Lindsey Vonn out of silver, so. Bronze! USA. Fun fact! the Austrian lady is barely related to someone known as The Herminator!
Apolo Ohno is under the delusion that the Canadian crowd wants him to win because he grew up about 100 miles away. Whatever, Apolo. We’re onto the 1000 Meter Men’s Short Track quarterfinals race, and the Canadian, Charles Hamelin, really needs to think harder about his hair and facial hair. He also probably needs to pull up his pants and get off my lawn. Now you will excuse me, I have an early bird dinner special to go to. Ohbytheway, Ohno qualifies for the semifinals.
Here’s a funny thing: the South Koreans HATE Apolo Ohno. Maybe because of the thing from Salt Lake where Apolo essentially stripped South Korea of their gold medal by suggesting that the South Korean blocked him. CONTROVERSY! So now the South Koreans are all mad that two of their skaters, in a scene from a Three Stooges movie, knocked each other out of competition seconds before crossing the finish line, and Ohno took the silver, surprising even him. HA HA! The South Korean who won said, AND I’M NOT KIDDING, “Ohno didn’t deserve to stand on the same medal platform as me. I was so enraged that it was hard for me to contain myself during the victory ceremony.” Don’t hold back, honey!
Also, the Koreans call Ohno, “The King of Fools.” Also, the Koreans call something that is a dirty trick, “Ohnolike.” Also, there is a Korean video game where you can shoot Ohno in the head. Also, they sell Apolo Ohno toilet paper. So, you know, South Korea is keeping this whole thing in perspective.
Cutie Patootie Celski qualifies for the semifinals. Yum.
OH, NBC? WILL YOUR 9 P.M. HOUR (10 p.m., for you east coasters) BE MORE COLORFUL AFTER THE OLYMPICS? WHY IS THAT? HMM? COULD IT BE THAT LAZIEST COMEDIAN ON LATE NIGHT, JAY LENO, WON’T BE THERE ANYMORE? “Get Back,” indeed.
Hooray! Mary Carillo! She’s back! With a package about the MOUNTIES. Yes yes yes yes yes. YES. Mary explains that to become a mountie is SERIOUS BUSINESS. Mary goes to the “West Point” of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police for those of you not down with abbreviations) in Regina, Saskatchewan. Heh. She said “Ree-gina.” Do you think the citizens of that town ever try to convince everyone to pronounce it differently? It’s cold there. Mary is going to find out what it takes to go from cadet to constable. Mary can’t march! Mary giggles when the drill sargeant yells at her! This is a fact: The Mounties were formed to deal with the drunks in the Northwest territories in the 19th century. Mary drives a car! Mary runs around with heavy things! Mary learns to handcuff someone! Mary shoots guns! And then they let her wear a Dudley Do-Right costume, which doesn’t seem right. MOUNTIES & CARILLO! FTW! You might have had Ice Dancing, Hankinson, but I got the awesomeness. I WIN.
O hey! Michael Phelps is in the stands for the Men’s Short Track, twittering. Yay? In the Semifinals, our adorable Celski gets grabbed by the Candian — who happens to be Neck Beard’s brother — in a tight turn, which ends with the Neck Beard’s brother flying off the track and and Celski dropping back to third, losing a spot in the finals to the two South Koreans, AND OH MY GOD, CELSKI GETS DISQUALIFIED AND THE CANADIAN MOVES AHEAD??!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?
BOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No. Wrong.
Apolo Ohno’s turn in the Semifinals against Charles Hamelin and his neck beard. And after lurking in the back of the pack for the entire race, he sneaks into the lead. Neck Beard comes in second. Hooray!
Oh, we’re not done with bobsledding? Huh. Super. I wouldn’t want to have missed any of this. While we weren’t watching, Australia and Great Britain had terrible crashes, and really, it was for the best that we weren’t watching, because ACK. Hey, the British bobsledding team? Super cute. I’m glad they’re OK, too!
Steve Holcomb’s team is ready for their second run. Holcomb wears some sort of Ben Kenobi hood before the run, for deep thinking, and then busts out and takes the lead from the Canadians. The Russians quickly remove us from our lead, though, and somewhere Plushenko throw back his head, while cackling and running his hands together evilly. That is until the Germans come and take it all away from everyone. OH HEY. GUESS WHAT. CANADA SLID DOWN MOST OF THE TRACK ON THEIR HEADS. Ugh. I kinda hate this sport.
Back to the speed skating: there’s some sort of loser’s competition from which cutie Celski was disqualified. BOOOOOOOO. Still mad about this noise.
Apolo Ohno is gracious about the South Koreans. GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP, SOUTH KOREA. APOLO HAZ IT.
Apolo, some South Koreans and the Hamelin brothers are set to race: and everything is all crazy and the Canadians are ovetaken by the South Koreans and yet, improbably, Apolo Ohno manages to pull off a bronze medal win despite everything, thereby setting an American Olympic medal record. So, Costas should be happy. Apolo and his bandana are very pleased with their accomplishments.
Wake me up when he’s competing in some sequins.
ALRIGHT. ENOUGH. I’m passing the baton back to Bobby who will be handling more bobsledding, skiing, speedskating and ICE DANCING? HOW DID YOU GET ICE DANCING AGAIN, HANKINSON? I smell tomfoolery.