Oh, yay, more downhill skiing. Tonight, we begin with Women’s Slalom, another event that Mikaela Shiffrin is supposed to completely own — in fact, of the 9,000 events she is competing in, this was supposed to be her best according to someone, Bode Miller, maybe? I don’t know.
In Slalom, like Giant Slalom, but less gianter, the competitors ski very fast down the track twice, zooming around the poles, and their scores are combined. The skier who gets down to the bottom the fastest without hurting herself or crashing into any innocent photographers wins. It’s pretty simple. And it’s very boring.
Also, too, there are literally 78 skiers. 78! Are there even 78 different countries competing in the Olympics? (92 actually, but you get my point.) And I’m pretty sure NBC showed them all. However, unlike in the Giant Slalom when she seemed to go dead last, Mikaela Shiffrin goes fourth, so it’s easy to pay attention for her run and then zone out again for the next 30 minutes.
Shiffrin makes it down the mountain in one piece at a time of 49.37 seconds, placing her in fourth place when it’s all said and done, which is even more remarkable when we learn that she had been violently vomiting seconds before she stepped into the gate, which Bode Miller and The Other Guy suggest was just caused by nerves.
At the bottom of the mountain, NBC catches up with Shiffrin, who is a peculiar shade of green as she explains that it wasn’t nerves at all, it was unexpected and violent and felt like a virus is coming on. This is, weirdly, contradicted by her trainer who insists that nope! just nerves! And then The Other Guy and Bode Miller spend a long time talking about all the times that Bode Miller threw up before competition because he was nervous.
And maybe it was just nerves, but also, maybe, perhaps an elite athlete knows her body better than people who aren’t inside of it and maybe when that elite athlete is in a venue that is currently being hit by a virulent strain of Norovirus, maybe, perhaps it might have been something more than nerves. ANYWAY.
The second run takes place after primetime, and, sadly, our girl does not win, ultimately coming in the worst place that you can in the Olympics:
We check in with the Men’s Skeleton again, which Iron Man Yun Sung-bin has completely locked up. And, in fact, he breaks the track record a THIRD TIME in his fourth and final run, after he’d already won the gold, you know, because why not.
However, the best part of the Men’s Skeleton is when, while discussing Great Britain’s competitor (and eventual bronze medalist) Dominic Parsons who is earning his Ph.D. in turbo-diesel engines, the announcers declare him being “too smart for this sport.” TRUTH. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE A FUCKING IDIOT TO COMPETE IN THIS COMPLETELY BONKERS SPORT. COMPLETELY WITHOUT A FUNCTIONING BRAIN WHICH WOULD END UP TOTALLY SMASHED IF YOU COUGHED OR HICCUPED DURING THIS EVENT.
Oh, and Yun Sung-bin, who is a very handsome young man with a mysterious “difficult” past that is only briefly alluded to, after winning the gold, he bows to the fans and I am a little bit smitten.Embed from Getty Images
Next, Men’s Super G, which is introduced with a package about those “Attacking Vikings,” which includes this image:
OK, calm down, Mance Rayder and the Freefolk, and go put some pants on.
As for the Super-G itself, it’s exactly like Downhill? But apparently moreso? And I’ve read the Wikipedia page, but I still have no idea what the “G” stands for or why it’s “Super”? And apparently, before the race, the skiers need to pack snow on their boots because it’s warmer today than it was yesterday (or tomorrow, I’m really not sure what day it is)? I’m very confused.
The Men’s Super-G has 62 skiers in it, which is so many skiers, especially when they are skiing one at a time, and — to just be completely frank — when America’s best skier could only manage to come in 14th. Only one of the Wildlings manage to medal, and Austria’s Matthias Mayer, who tried to kill a bunch of photographers in the Downhill by skiing directly into them, somehow manages to ski through the bruises and take gold.
And honestly, the most interesting thing that happens during the Super-G is that we learn that fellow lady Wildling, Marit Bjørgen, won her 12th medal, a silver in cross-country skiing, making her the most medaled female athlete in Winter Olympic history. (The most anyone has won is 13, and if you guessed it was another of the Freefolk, you were right.)Embed from Getty Images
Elsewhere, some Dutchman is sad because he was supposed to win the 10,000m Speed Skate, like 3 times now, and he just keeps not winning. 😦 😦
You know what is the opposite of watching 90 people ski downhill one at a time? Sending 6 snowboarders down a track at the same time, while navigating jumps and sharp turns.
THIS IS WHAT A RACE IS SUPPOSED TO BE. THIS IS WHAT A RACE LOOKS LIKE. AN AUSTRIAN BROKE HIS DAMN NECK DOING THIS.Embed from Getty Images
So the story here is that Team USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis, one of the world’s best in this sport, just can’t seem to make it happen in the Olympics. She won silver in 2006; she done fucked up in 2010; she done fucked up in 2014; and now here we are, in 2018 and probably her last chance to win gold as she is 11,000 years old.
(Note: She is 32.)
We begin with Jacobellis’ quarterfinal in which right out of the gate — WHICH IS 9 AND A HALF FEET IN THE AIR BECAUSE THIS SPORT IS AMAZING — half the snowboarders just collapse and roll around in the snow for a while. But not Jacobellis, who manages to come in first, even though Canadian Tess Critchlow is irritatingly close to her the entire time, trying to kill them both. BACK THE FUCK UP, LADY.
In the semifinal, Jacobellis goes up against Czech Eva Samková and her amazing drawn-on mustache, which I vaguely remember being a thing in Vancouver.
Samková and her mustache come in first, Jacobellis safely second, and someone else, who cares, comes in third. But the point is, Lindsey and her Very Important Redemption Story have made it into the finals.
Finally, the final. As they line up in the gates, we learn that 32-year-old Lindsey Jacobellis is next to 16-year-old Italian Michela Moioli, which 1. just doesn’t seem fair to make someone in their 30s compete against a teenager, especially in a sport that is more akin to roller derby than anything else and 2. 16 YEARS OLD? THAT IS LITERALLY HOW OLD MY KID IS. I NEED TO GO LIE DOWN.
Out of the gate, Lindsey Jacobellis looks great and handily takes the lead. But then, towards the end of the track, she suddenly remembers that she is in her thirties, competing against LITERAL TEENAGERS, and she just becomes so tired, falling back into fourth place to go take a nap. The 16-year old Italian wins gold, another 16-year-old Françoise wins silver, the mustache (who is only 24) wins bronze and MAYBE THIS IS JUST A YOUNG PERSON’S SPORT. LINDSEY. No redemption for you. Go sit in the corner with that Dutch speed skater and make your retirement plans.
Finally, the thing I came here for: Men’s Figure Skating Short Program. Which begins two hours and forty-four minutes into my three-hour recording, which I had to start watching late because of an Amazon Prime Food Delivery Crisis. (Don’t ask.)
But honestly? I am fine because the only performance I get to see is the one I came for: Adam Rippon, my delicious full-grown monster. Rippon does not do the big athletic quads but instead brings a sassy, sexy, cheeky and FLAWLESS performance. I mean, HE VOGUES, YOU GUYS.
Oh my God, I love him so much, I want him to be all Olympics.
However, because he doesn’t do a stupid quad or even try a stupid quad and fall on his ass and RUIN PERFECTION, he only gets an 87.95, placing him in 7th place. And I don’t need to have seen the other routines to know that this is nonsense.
(Although I did watch Nathan Chen’s performance, and let’s just say we should keep him in our thoughts and prayers.)
More Men’s Figure Skating tonight, along with Freestyle Skiing, Women’s Skeleton and BAH! more Alpine Skiing.