After so many weather delays, wind goddess Yondung finally calmed the fuck down and allowed the ski events to FINALLY take place. The first event NBC covered was the first of two runs at the Women’s Giant Slalom which I suppose is like the Slalom event but … gianter.
The reason we care about this event is that it’s Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin’s first performance at these Olympics and NBC has been HOT AND BOTHERED about her from the moment they arrived in Korea. However, before we get to the downhill’s Golden Girl, we have to endure some 70? 80? other skiers, all of whom are going down the same course, going through the same … slaloms? Are those flags called slaloms? Or is slalom a verb? Is slalom the act of skiing downhill all curvy?
The thing is, I don’t know much about skiing, besides how to do it without falling on my ass. Mostly. And that’s why when the announcers say one skier has a shitty form and another looks great, I’m just like, “I mean, if you say so.” I know that the one Swiss skier who flew into a bunch of photographers probably didn’t do a great job (but it was the only interesting thing to actually happen), but otherwise, we are talking about a bunch of women coming down the same course REALLY REALLY FAST, sometimes the time difference between them as little as .2 of a second and what I’m saying here is that I’m pretty bored after about skier number 3.
Anyway, Mikaela Shiffrin is, of course, the last skier to go down, and on her first run, she comes in second to Italian Manuela Mölgg. And, I mean, Mikaela looks great? I guess? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that the time from both runs will be added together so we won’t know how Mikaela has performed until after the second run which GOD DAMMIT won’t happen until after the primetime broadcast. Y’all, you guys, I can’t. I’ve got jury duty in the morning, so I can’t stay up to watch Mikaela win the gold — which she did.Embed from Getty Images
Next up in the OHMYGODIAMTRYINGTOCAREABOUTTHISBUTYOUAREMAKINGITHARD: Women’s 1000m Speed Skating. The first race that we watch is between Team USA’s Brittany Bowe against the Dutch Jorien ter Mors, who eventually wins the gold (Bowe will eventually come in fourth, which considering the talent in this event is pretty impressive in its own right).
But I don’t want to talk about results. I want to talk about Team USA’s speed skating outfit.
Look. It’s bad enough that the crotchital area is highlighted in a different color than the rest of the torso — but to be fair, Team USA’s isn’t the only team’s uniform that does this. What I find … questionable … is the highlighting of the inner crotchital area, the inner sanctum, if you will, or “the sweet spot” as someone I was watching the Olympics with called it last night, someone whom I will decline to name. WHY? WHY DO THIS? DOES IT MAKE THEM FASTER? DOES IT DISTRACT THEIR COMPETITORS? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?
Next event: the first two of four runs in Men’s Skeleton, the event for those of you who find Luge boring. Instead of speeding down an iced track feet first on a sled with nothing but a bicycle helmet protecting you, how about going down that same track head-first with nothing but a bicycle helmet protecting you because who wants to live forever?
South Korean Iron Man, Yun Sung-bin, takes the lead and breaks the track record on BOTH RUNS which is pretty amazing.
But for my money, Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong, the first athlete from that country, had the best helmet (and the worst times).Embed from Getty Images
And then more skiing. This time, Men’s Downhill, in which there are roughly 3000 competitors, and no competitive Americans. NBC tries to make us excited by hyping up “THE ATTACKING VIKINGS,” three Norwegians, two of whom do take gold and silver. I am not excited.
Here’s what I am impressed by in the Men’s Downhill:
- That the entire sport is essentially an exercise in pure gravity and not getting killed.
- The length of the track, which is 2707 feet, which these men hurtle themselves down at 80 miles per hour, arriving at the bottom of the track in about one minute, and forty seconds. Do you know how long it would take me to get down a run that is half a mile long? A LONG TIME, THAT’S HOW LONG.
- The fact that we are measuring the length of the track in Statues of Liberty:
First of all, everyone knows that we only measure things in Altuves, making this track 499.7 Altuves. But, second of all, how did we decide on measuring the length of the ski track in Statue of Libertys in the first place? As far as I know, skiing and the Statue of Liberty have nothing at all to do with each other? Whose idea was this and how far into the back of their head did the graphics team’s eyeballs roll when they were given this assignment?
- Speaking of measuring things: Team USA skier Bryce Bennett’ is 6’7″. HIS SKI POLES ARE ONLY TWO INCHES SHORTER THAN ME. This is insane. Look, Mr. T stands at 6’5″, so I know from tall people and the fact that their center of balance is not in the same place as someone my size (that being Hobbit-sized) and what I’m saying is, OH MY GOD, BRYCE BENNETT, DO NOT DO THIS, YOU ARE GOING TO HURT YOURSELF IF MY HUSBAND’S SKIING IS ANY INDICATION.
So I’m only half-paying attention to the event when we come back from a commercial break and announcer Bode Miller is suddenly apologizing for saying some shitty thing about how a female skier’s performance suffered after she got married — and after SHE TORE HER ACL, BY THE WAY, BODE. MAYBE, BODE, SOMEONE WITH THREE BABY MOMMAS AND FOUR KIDS SHOULDN’T BE GIVING HIS OPINIONS ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE’S MARRIAGE, DUDE.
Anyway, like I said, two of the three Skiing Vikings, or whatever they’re called, take the gold and silver, and Team USA never had a chance. Find shorter skiers, Team USA.
Then there’s a piece about how Mikaela Shiffrin said she was going to win 5 gold medals and then she regretted saying that she was going to win 5 gold medals but now she’s cool with having said she was going to win 5 gold medals. There is nothing wrong with having goals, girl.
Also, she rides a unicycle.
Finally, Pairs Figure Skating. We skip most of the crappy teams, including Team USA, and cut right to the expected leaders, beginning with France. Points for Vanessa James’ pantsuit. Points deducted for using a remake of “Sounds of Silence” by Disturbed.
They do fine and earn a 143.19 putting them in contention for bronze. Note: they will not win bronze.
One of China’s teams performs to music from “Star Wars,” which, yay! Awesome! But then Yu Xiaoyu just falls all over the damn place, and they drop from a respectable fifth place to well in the double digits.
So, Germany: Aliona Savchenko has been in the Olympics FOR THE PAST 16 YEARS. She predates me and Bobby doing this Olympic blog, y’all, that’s how long she’s been in the business. She won bronze in Vancouver and Sochi, but she’s never won silver or gold, and she knows at AGE 34, TIME IS RUNNING OUT.
And she gives a performance of a god damned lifetime. She is so lovely and perfect and gorgeous and perfect and I just want everyone else to just not even bother because she is so absolutely perfect and after it’s all over, she collapses onto the ice because she knows she just fucking killed it and GOOD LUCK, BITCHES.
Germany scores a 159.31, which places them well into position to earn gold even though they came in FOURTH in the short program. Fourth!
Canada performs, and they’re good. They’re good! They’re boring — but they’re good, and they score a 153.33, giving them a solid shot at silver.
China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who came in first in the short program are then up, and she falls and Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski try to be nice about it saying something something “emotion and power,” but everyone knows we just watched them blow their chances at gold.
The final pair is the Olympic Athletes from Russia who are in some ridiculous polka-dotted clown outfits, skating to Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman,” and just flopping all over the place, and Tara Lipinski is UP. IN. ARMS. over the music, as if that is the only problem with this mess of a routine which it most certainly is not.Embed from Getty Images
They score a 143.25, knocking themselves out of the medals, and guaranteeing that Aliona Savchenko GETS THAT GOD DAMNED GOLD MEDAL ALREADY SO THAT SHE CAN RETIRE. FINALLY.
Alright, sorry for the relatively abbreviated post — I’m writing this literally as the next batch of Olympics begin, which I will be covering tomorrow. We’ve got Men’s Figure Skating! Skeleton! Snowboarding! Freestyle Skiing! and, oh. yay. more downhill skiing.