Wednesday, February 7, 2018

XXIII Olympic Winter Games, Pyeongchang 2018 (Introduction/Day 0)

OK, today I'm going to concentrate on figuring out how I'm going to enjoy these Winter Olympics. I love the Olympics, and I especially love the Winter Olympics, and I especially love it even more still when it is staged somewhere outside the United States--like this year.

We've got some alpine skiing, biathlon, curling, luge and ski jumping happening today in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, but I'm uncertain how much of that we are likely to see here because the opening ceremonies aren't until 8 p.m. Friday Korea Standard Time, which would be 5 a.m. Friday Channel 6 Standard Time. I'm really hoping Frank Morock and the sports desk at Channel 6 plan to show everything live in wee hours of the mornings the next couple of weeks, because that would totally suit my schedule. 



Previous and future reports:

-- I Olympic Winter Games, Chamonix 1924
-- II Olympic Winter Games, Saint Moritz 1928

-- VIII Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley 1960
-- XII Olympic Winter Games, Innsbruck 1976 
-- XVII Olympic Winter Games, Lillehammer 1994
-- XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi 2014

-- XXIII Olympic Winter Games, Pyeongchang 2018 (Preface)


  1. My local cable provider just had a commercial where they had some smart-aleck kids asking rhetorically, "Who watches TV on TV?" Well, one answer is that I do. As thankful as I am for my laptop and (to a lesser extent) my phone, my living-room television set remains my go-to device for entertainment--especially entertainment I'm going to share with other people. And per my local cable provider's ad campaign, this is OK; they say they are in the business of providing TV in whatever ways we customers want to consume TV.

  2. So, that's good. I'm wanting to watch the Olympics on my living-room TV for the most part over the next couple of weeks, and my cable provider says it's going to help enable that.

    Now the other people I'm depending on here are Madisonville Municipal Utilities (to deliver the power), SONY (whose work is done), my local public-safety and -security officials (to keep the crooks, flu and other forms of chaos at bay), NBC (for producing the content), the end-to-end network providers (undersea cables, satelites, middle-mile people, etc.), the athletes and event-support people making the magic happen in Pyeongchang, the sponsors fronting the money to allow it all to happen, the McDonald's eaters and Coke drinkers (and so forth) supportin the sponsors, the soldiers and other peacekeepers making sure the vandals and terrorists don't screw the whole pooch for he rest of us, my family and employers for helping create the space and means in my life to enjoy this time, and on and on and on.

    Point is that there's just a whole, whole load of people for whom I am thankful in advance at the start of this two weeks and change. It's quite a pageant you are putting on, and I really do appreciate all of your work, and I thank God for you and my getting to be here and being able to enjoy your efforts.

  3. Live curling on NBC Sports Network ... mixed doubles ... the Hamilton siblings of Wisconsin versus some Canadians ...

  4. After three ends, ...

    USA 101-2
    CAN 010-1

  5. I plan to get his party started in earnest with a new Day 1 post on Friday evening (U.S. Central) with Channel 6's big-show (tape-delayed) telecast of the opening ceremonies. I don't want to get the little paper flags out and go over the moon with stuff until the fam is home and free to hopefully enjoy that with me.

  6. USA 1010-2
    CAN 0101-2

    I like the mixed doubles. This is new in the Olympics. We've only had men's teams and women's teams competitions previously. I like those, too, but I do like to see spots where men and women compete together and against one another. They're pretty rare, actually. I just got together a weekly group of people playing basketball together at the church gym, and I tried to get men and women there together right from the get-go. Well, almost immediately, it turned into an all-guys thing, and already it'd be a pretty big hullabaloo for a woman to join us.

  7. USA 10100-2
    CAN 01013-5

    That is devestating. I don't know much about curling, but I know a steal of three is devestating.

  8. Now we've got some overtime mixed-doubles curling pitting China against South Korea. I imagine this is one of those you-can-throw-out-the-record-books situations, even in curling. It's 7-7 in the extra ninth end. China's in a timeout trying to figure out its last shot; South Korea then will get the last go of the end ...

  9. OK, China's got three in the house, but South Korea can pull off the home-ice victory if the woman curler can lay up in the button ... NO, MA'AM! ... TOO STRONG! ... South Korea's last rock sails to the back of the 4-foot ring, and China survives, 8-7. That has to be a heartbreaker for the Pyeongchang Countians.

  10. Programming note to self: Maybe what I need to do today is figure out one each of the 15 sports to focus on over the next days, and also I need to figure out how to do the EBOPs in that Google-cloud version of Excel.

    1. Programming note to future self: Don't waste your time on this stuff. You're making fun too complicated.

  11. NBC Sports Network started its live overage of the games with a 10 Central tape-delayed show of some downhill skiing, and the program's lack of Olympics gravitas--it felt like most any of the skiing shows NBC Sports Network plays on the weekends in winter--scared the dickens out of me. Has NBC decided to go less-is-more understated with these games? Then I woke up at 3:30 and flipped on the TV and found that NBC Sports Network was still the only one of the NBC networks showing anything Olympics, and I really got upset.

    But then I decided I needed to settle down and catch a clue of thankfulness. My default mood--particularly around big stuff like the OIympics, date nights, Christmas, new old NFL Films finds on YouTube, etc.--is entitled and disappointed, and I have to talk myself into being thankful for most anything. So first I have to tell myself I'm thankful, and then I actually do get thankful, and then everything's usually OK.

  12. Replies
    1. Nope. Last Olympics I made a point of getting cable so we could watch. I'm especially interested in streaming have no interest in prime time coverage. I was unable to watch then either. My cable subscription wasn't a good enough package. If NBC would give me a pay wall to access the Olympic coverage I would pay it, but otherwise I'm done.

    2. Ah, that's too bad. Yeah, I don't know what level we pay for, but it's about $40 a month and we get the big NBC, NBC Sports Network and USA Network, plus the streaming. It's expensive, but it's still worth it to us--we still find the cable package being the best package of channels and music stuff for us. We don't subscribe to any music services, etc.

      You might be more interested in the prime-time coverage this time because there is some live stuff the way the clocks work out. Also, there's something available on YouTube called the Olympic Channel, and that has some stuff, too.

  13. So my cable TV has NBC's Olympics shows on demand through March 31. I'm watching the prime-time big-NBC show from this opening night, and I just saw Nathan Chen's ill-fated performance in the team skate. Man, that was actually fairly harrowing live TV.

    I had a very, very bad work month about 10 years ago where it just seemed like I could not quit making mistakes. It was awful. I hate to even think about it, for fear of throwing myself back into a similar spell.

    Anyway, I really felt for Nathan Chen watching this, and I'm actually glad I didn't see it in real time. The 18-year-old from Salt Lake City came in as the two-time U.S. national champion; the 2017–18 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final champion (according to Wikipedia, that's considered to be the world's second-most-important annual competition in figure skating), and sixth-place finisher in the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships (that's the most). "Abysmal" is the word Johnny Weir used to describe Chen's Olympics-debut performance, and, indeed, Chen looked like he was just in shock coming off the ice. Even several minutes later, in an interview, he was still sweating. It was really rough.

    1. By the way, here was Scott Hamilton's reaction to Chen's short program later in this same show: "Woooooo! That was rough!"

  14. It's really cool how this team-skate event was set up. Ten teams competed. Each team had one entry apiece in men's singles, pairs, ice dancing and women's singles short and free programs. Within each competition, the 10 entries are scored and ordered--and then the placement corresponds to a number of points, 10 to 1. You add up the eight point totals per team, and then those grand totals determine the medals.

    So Chen 's fourth-best performance in the men's singles short program earned Team USA a disappointing seven points. Johnny Weir had said that the Americans really needed all 10 out of Chen's turn to improve upon their Sochi 2014 bronze-medal performance; now he felt Team USA was in real danger of slipping off the podium altogether.

  15. The pairs short competition was also staged on this soft-opening Thursday of the Olympics, and Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim delivered the same seven points in this eigthh of the total team-skate event. But I think this might've actually been a bit of an outperformance. The Knierims came in only 10th at last year's World Figure Skating Championships, and, in this short program at Pyeongchang, they finished ahead of two of the sets of pairs who beat them in the worlds.

  16. So here were the team-skate standings after these first two competitions:

    1. Canada 17
    2. United States 14
    T3. Japan 13
    T3. OAR 13 (I’m assuming they cheated)
    5. Israel 11
    T6. China 10
    T6. Germany 10
    T6. Italy 10
    T9. France 6
    T9. South Korea 6

  17. Aw, and here's Mike Tirico signing off the big prime-time show with a nice tribute to Bob Costas. I did miss Bob Costas this entire Olympics. I hope he's doing well.