Saturday, February 10, 2018

XXIII Olympic Winter Games, Pyeongchang 2018 (Day 1)

We had some stuff come up in the last 24 hours, so my XXIII Olympic Winter Games watching is off to a sporadic start. It's Saturday night, and we're about half through NBC's Friday-night show featuring the opening ceremonies. It has been fantastic so far--fantastic! Now we've switched over to the live Saturday-night show. There is some figure skating happening. I'm OK with figure skating.

The Olympics are great. And you know what? They're even greater with a 9-year-old. But there's not a lot of time for blogging.

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


  1. Is there a way to text-search comments on Blogger posts? I'll bet there is.

  2. Well, apparently not. That's a shame.

  3. So a couple of American siblings just did some ice dancing to some Perez Prado music, and I thought they were fantastic. I'm 49, so, of course, there is only one ice-dancing duo I actually remember, and, of course, that's Torville and Dean from 1984. Well, against all of the ice dancers I don't remember seeing in the 34 years since, these two Perez Prado dancers are the best I've seen. But their scores were not that strong, apparently because they're skates weren't far enough apart from each other on some turns. Well, they looked great to me, and I have several Perez Prado record album, and I think they're great, too.

    1. Though that short-program score wasn't as strong as maybe we all had hoped/expected for the "Shib Sibs," it was good enough to hold the line for Team USA in the greater team-skate standings. The Shibutanis came in second place, to the Canadians' Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and that nine points was huge in the standings.

      It is also precisely how the skaters' World Figure Skating Championships results suggest things should've gone, given the Pyeongchang field in this event. At the 2017 worlds, first place went to Virtue and Moir, and the Shibs placed a distant third. The second-place finishers were Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, but those two elected to not participate in the Olympics team skate.

      By the way, there has been a lot of speculation about whether Virtue and Moir are secretly in love. Here's my take. I know all about love. I've been married now almost 15 years, and I had all kinds of exciting love affairs and heartbreaks in the years leading up to that, and I've watched a lot of TV shows and movies with love stuff. So I know what I'm talking about here, and my take is that Virtue and Moir are on the up and up when they say their love is platonic. Of course, I could be wrong--I was really rooting for Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods to make it.

  4. Hey, outstanding! Red Gerard, a 17-year-old originally from Westlake, Ohio, has won the men's slopestyle snowboarding event! That's Team USA's first medal of the Pyeongchang games. This actually happened on Sunday (Day 2) over there.

  5. I've got to figure out how I'm going to watch these things. This always happens, and it always takes me like five or six days to figure it out.

  6. Gleirscher takes the lead … Mazdzer is next … first time in these Olympics that I can hardly type from nervousness …


  8. OK, Austria's Gleirscher holds first place, but Mazdzer holds second ... only Loch to go ...


  10. Luge men's singles ...

    Gold: David Gleirscher of Hall in Tirol, Austria
    Silver: Chris Mazdzer of Pittsfield, Massachusetts
    Third: Johannes Ludwig of Germany

  11. Oh, wait, I put all of that stuff last luge stuff into the wrong post. I'm moving it over to the Day 2 post.

  12. So, after, the fourth-and-last short programs of the team skate--women's singles--the top five teams advanced on to the free programs. It really wasn't very close at the cut line:

    1. Canada 35
    2. OARs 31
    3. United States 29
    T4. Italy 26
    T4. Japan 26
    6. China 18
    7. Germany 16
    T8. Israel 13
    T8. South Korea 13
    T8. France 13

  13. Team USA got only six points out of its women's singles short-program performer, Bradie Tennell, but, again, as in the pairs, these were crucial points to have scratched together.

    Tennell, a 20-year-old from Winfield, Illinois, appears to have only in the last year risen to the upper echelon of U.S. women's figure skating. She didn't even compete at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships. In fact, only one of the three American women's singles competitors there last March made it to Pyeongchang. At the 2017 worlds, Karen Chen placed fourth; Ashley Wagner, seventh, and Mariah Bell, 12th. But at the national championships in December and January, those three skaters finished third, fourth and fifth, in same order as at worlds. Tennell and Mirai Nagasu, a 24-year-old from Arcadia, Callifornia, leapfrogged the veteran performers. Team USA could send three singles performers to the Olympics, so those were Tennell, Nagasu and Chen, with Wagner and Bell being alternates.

    In the singles short program in the Pyeongchang team skate, the top three performers were the first-, second- and sixth-place performers at worlds. Tennell came in ahead of the 10th-, 14th-, and 19th-place performers at worlds. Had Tennell not beaten those three more internationally seasonsed skaters, Team USA would've still advanced to the free programs in team skate--but it might well have slipped out of the top three in the standings.

  14. Bradie Tennell‏ @bradie_tennell
    Had an amazing birthday surprise from @United today! They are flying my mom and brothers to South Korea to watch me compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games! #teamunited #teamusa #grateful
    8:12 PM - 31 Jan 2018

    Here's a great little feature from Elaine Teng of ESPN The Magazine on Bradie Tennell and how her mom, a nurse and former personal trainer, helped her properly rehab after injuries derailed her rise after winning the 2015 U.S. junior title.

  15. And in the one last eighth of the team event on tonight’s prime-time show--pairs free skate—the Knierims (who are kind of like “figs” Joanna and Chip Gaines) tack on another seven points for Team USA. The key story here, standingswise, was that the Italians switched pairs teams before the free skate, and, where it only got four points out of pairs short, Italy nabbed nine big points in pairs free. So in the very late Madisonville night of Saturday, Feb. 10/midday Pyeongchang Sunday, Feb. 11, the new margin for error for Team USA (bronze medalists in this event at Sochi 2014) narrows with three eighths yet to go:

    1. Canada 45
    2. OARs 39
    3. United States 36
    T4. Italy 35
    T5. Japan 32