It’s the first day of Paralympic action from Tokyo….not that we could figure out how to see much of it. We’ve got a big beef with NBC, some new-found appreciation for wheelchair rugby, and even kind things to say about Mike and Maya.



Tokyo 2020 – Paralympics – Day 2

Jill: [00:00:00] Konichiwa Paralympics fans and lovers of TKFLASTAN, and welcome today to coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. I am your host. Jill Jaracz joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison Brown, Alison, Konichiwa!

Alison: Konichiwa. I feel much better today because many on the Facebook group reassured me that they too cried like babies when watching the opening ceremonies.

Jill: It was a good one. It was a really good show.

Alison: Very well done. I’m going to now travel everywhere I go in the dazzling bus. Wave at people from my open, back with a guitar. It’ll be great.

Jill: I can actually picture that. So you go, all right.

Jill: Before we get to today’s coverage, we have a little [00:01:00] news and follow up file. British table tennis player. David Weatherill has been deselected by Paralympics GB because he breached team rules. They did not elaborate on what that meant, because I believe it’s in arbitration, but this was supposed to be his fourth Paralympics. And he was to compete in class six singles and the class six and seven team event. And I believe the rest of the team is going to compete without him.

Jill: The two athletes from Afghanistan who were not able to get out of the country to get to Japan, to compete, they have managed to leave Afghanistan. They are safe. The International Paralympic Committee says they can confirm that they’re out of the country, but they won’t say where they are, but they’re keeping tabs and making sure that everything is okay with them. You know, who was at the Paralympics? TBach!

Alison: Is he taking over the Paralympics as well from my beloved Andrew Parsons, because that would not be okay.

Jill: I don’t know because I was watching some swimming and they had a metal [00:02:00] ceremony and like, wait a second. That looks like TBach, what is he doing here? But apparently he came back to Tokyo to go to the opening ceremony. He did not go in Rio and that was a big kerfuffle. If you wanted to bring up some drama. You could say that, oh, there’s some bad blood between the Olympics and the Paralympics and all this stuff. And TBach is just showing that, but apparently TBach had to go to a funeral. So that is why he did not go to Rio, but he came back to Tokyo to go to the opening ceremony and he was at several events and is getting criticism. The chair of the government subcommittee on the response to the coronavirus was not thrilled that he came back.

Alison: You know, it’s almost like he’s getting the feeling of being a female athlete in that you’re too female, or you’re not female enough. And, you know, maybe it’ll make him sympathetic to some of those issues.

Alison: Hmm. Maybe.

Jill: Oh man. So I don’t know if this will be a segment or not. But I am so angry.[00:03:00] If it’s a segment, it’s, “How Hard Is It to Watch” or is it “Beef of the Day” or is it, “What Are We Angry About Now?” Because I’m just so angry after day one of competition.

Alison: Yeah, agreed. I am angry about the same thing as well and incredibly frustrated.

Alison: And we are not alone in this one.

Jill: Oh man. Okay. So what we’re frustrated about is the ability to watch the coverage and I get it that there’s a record number of hours of Paralympic coverage here in the United States. In many, in several countries. I don’t know about many, but in several countries there’s more coverage than before, but the way NBC wants to talk about it, it’s like we are showing you so much coverage.

Jill: It’s not set up in the same way as the Olympics coverage was. They keep talking about how you’ll stream stuff and we’ll have coverage on NBCSN from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM. Well, it [00:04:00] is so hard to find streams. It’s not the same as if you go to the NBC Olympics streaming site, where on the Olympic side, you could hit explore a sport and just go find your sport.

Jill: They don’t have that set up for the Paralympics. And that makes me so, so angry.

Alison: Right. They have Paralympics set up in one thing. So if you want to find any Paralympic sport, You look at the Paralympics as a whole, not track and field, swimming, fencing. So you just see what’s there today. You can’t find specific sports easily.

Jill: Right. And that’s, that is so frustrating. If I think some replays are starting to show up because I noticed if you didn’t, I think you had this problem in the Olympics. If you did not get into a stream, the stream would just shut off when the whole thing was done, when the event was done and you weren’t caught up, you were done.

Alison: Correct.

Jill: And that is frustrating. And, and [00:05:00] I’m, I’m livid because I’m a Luddite who keeps cable around for the specific purpose of making watching Olympics a lot easier, and it is so difficult and so frustrating. I stayed up late because I got sucked into the 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM coverage. USA was playing New Zealand wheelchair rugby.

Alison: I watched that too!

Jill: Oh, it was a, it was a great game, except for the fact that, did you know New Zealand did a haka? Hey, guess what? We didn’t get to see the haka!

Alison: Before or after?

Jill: I believe it was before because they lost, you can, you know, we’ll get to wheelchair rugby, but they did lose pretty badly.

Alison: Because the way the coverage worked and yet when we talk to rugby because I do have comments about their coverage of rugby. They showed an incredible amount of empty arena after. Like we watched everybody leave the court. We watched everybody walk. We watched, you know, people sweeping the, the court. And it was the [00:06:00] strangest it’s like we were watching snow. Remember in the old days when the television stations would go out and he would just watch snow. Like, why am I watching this man sweeping the court? Cause I expected them to then be showing the next match.

Alison: Oh no, that’s in a different place. You got to switch streams, even if it’s the same location.

Jill: It was so frustrating. And then if you did watch it on television, which is, that’s how I was watching it. You got to see a good, I want to say a good 10 minutes on Chuck Aoki and granted he’s– when we talk about rugby, he is phenomenal.

Jill: We just noticed how phenomenal he was as a player. So it was. What did we find on social media? I guess they’ve got one of the people in the studio is going to be really focusing on what are people talking about on social media? I might have some words for them.

Alison: You were talking about how bad coverage is.

Jill: Yeah, right?.

Alison: And we had this problem in the Olympics to a certain extent where it was [00:07:00] they’re touting quantity. We have 7,000 hours of coverage. With Paralympics we have 1200 hours of coverage. One, your quantity is useless if it can’t find it. And two, your quantity is useless if half of it is an empty court being sweat, like, are they counting all that time?

Alison: Yeah, I’m sure they are. And then the half an hour of the feed where it says coverage will begin shortly.

Alison: And so that’s why I never start anything on time, because usually it says coverage will begin shortly for 30 to 50 minutes after the supposed start time. And so this 1200 hours of coverage is no great shakes.

Jill: Oh. And it gets worse on the NBCSN because you know what happened this morning? They replayed the second half of that game on their highly touted 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM coverage.

Alison: Right? Because they are going to have daily coverage, I think from 10 to three Eastern time in [00:08:00] the U S where they’re going to replay some of the overnight stuff.

Jill: Yeah. But that is replay. But when you say like we’re having coverage of the Tokyo day, During the Tokyo day,

Alison: It should all be live.

Jill: It should be live. Or, or, and I get that some stuff could be on tape because everything’s happening simultaneously. If you’re trying to package things and they did, they did a lot of jumping back and forth between sports and that, I know it, it got a little hard to follow because I think especially with Para-, well, you know, you have this with Olympics too. If you don’t watch a sport at all and don’t know much about it, you really need to sit there and watch it for a while to understand. And if you don’t have a good commentator that’s helping you along every step of the way, you really need to watch it for longer. So when they show you like three or five minutes of goalball with a not so great commentator, you’re starting to make up the rules for yourself. It’s not pretty

Alison: It’s like playground goalball ball, and we’ll just change the rules. But I will [00:09:00] say this, it is better than. What’s available in a lot of other countries.

Jill: Yes. I do have to be thankful for that, but we can do better.

Alison: But it’s still terrible.

Jill: Yes. Yes. And there are a lot of packages about athletes. If you want your athlete stories, you’re getting them with this coverage. So

Alison: Well, isn’t that when we spoke to Giles Long, he talked a lot about how to make Paralympics more exciting for people to watch. And he was very anti, the inspirational story. He wanted to focus on the competition, but NBC can’t do that. It’s like against their DNA. They have to do the inspirational story. And what’s so frustrating is this year we had that whole, We the 15 campaign, which is all about, treat disabled athletes, the same. Focus on the competition. Let’s not talk about them as superheroes and they, and yes, many of them have overcome amazing things and let’s not [00:10:00] discount that, but they’re athletes first.

Jill: Yes. Okay. I have two very different things on two points you said, but let’s start with, We the 15, because I find it ironic that We the 15 exists except for the fact that you cannot watch any live streams of wheelchair, fencing, TaeKwonDo, or power lifting. Those will not be covered. They will be doing a daily highlight video. And I got to tell you how upset I am. Not only, okay,

Alison: That’s probably three things that you were absolutely looking forward to.

Jill: Definitely on all three, we’re dying to know how wheelchair fencing works. If you’ve seen Rising Phoenix, and you’ve seen the story about Bebe Vio, the Italian wheelchair fencer, I just want to watch all of her fencing and I want to watch multiple bouts. And I know there’s a million fencing bouts on, but I can tell you what highlights means. That means like two points [00:11:00] and you don’t get enough in two points of a bout, I’m sorry. So I find it ironic that the International Paralympic Committee is pushing this We the 15 movement, yet they can’t get their entire athlete community, the coverage they deserve.

Jill: There’s that point. Then. Okay. So yesterday Giles had told us that LEXI was going to be available on NBC, so I have seen LEXI precisely once so far. Have you seen it?

Alison: I didn’t see it at all. I was thinking that when I was, I was watching the cycling because there’s multiple classes. At first, I thought, okay, rugby, there’s one class, but I figured with cycling, they would give me LEXI.

Jill: Or swimming. I got LEXI once when they showed like, when the race was starting and the athletes were walking in, so they had the graphic on the screen and LEXI popped up and this was a visually impaired one. So they, I knew exactly what it means, but then it went away and I’m like…

Alison: And they didn’t show it for other races?

Jill: Not that I noticed because I [00:12:00] didn’t always have my eyes glued to the TV every single second. And I mean, if they can put NBC and the Agitos and “Live” in the top corner, they can find a place for LEXI to go up there too. That’s what I have to say. So angry about that too.

Alison: And so now NBC is going to say, well, we’re not going to show more Paralympics because we don’t get enough ratings. Well, you don’t get enough ratings because your coverage is terrible.

Jill: Right? So everybody, if you have a DVR, if you have, if you’re a Luddite like me and you have cable set your DVR to record the whole thing, watch some of it every day. You don’t have to watch it all because you can fast forward through. a lot Yeah, I’ll get to something else. I’m so angry. I’m just angry today.

Alison: Frustrating, frustrating, because

Jill: Right?. And I was hoping, , because, we’ll get to wheelchair basketball. The U S women were playing wheelchair basketball, and I was hoping that was on the overnight coverage and it didn’t show up.

Jill: I saw a [00:13:00] little bit of Algeria, and then I switched to something else. But I saw Carolyn Manno, who’s the overnight host, talking with one of the analysts who was very good conversation. I learned a lot about the two teams, but never saw the game, but then I could watch the second half of wheelchair rugby again.

Alison: Let’s get on to happier things.

Jill: OK, so we’re going to skip my new obsession with a stupid Nike commercial, which I, I, I see that Nike commercial, I’m just going to punch somebody. .

Alison: So Jill, what officiating or volunteer job would you like? I’m going to make you happier. I want to get you a clipboard, and a stopwatch.

Jill: I have so many things to choose from. Really, seriously. Every time I found a new sport, there was something there that I wanted to do.

Jill: But I think we’ll start with wheelchair rugby because I did see a scoring table. Officials behind it. Wearing little blazers, nice [00:14:00] little scarf. And you know, they were keeping time and score and all that jazz. That’s right up my alley.

Alison: Well, my job is also at wheelchair rugby. So as we’ve mentioned, wheelchair rugby is a rough sport. It’s nicknamed murderball. People go flipping over. And when someone in the wheelchair flips over, there’s a person who brings out a little carpet square to put under it so that as they’re turning the wheelchair back up, they’re not trying to slide across the floor.

Jill: Right. You know, I knew you would be involved in that. I saw that I’m like, I think that’s going to be Alison’s job.

Alison: Now. I am not strong enough to lift any of these people. There’s no way there, especially the men. They’re just so much bigger than I am, but I could bring out a carpet square.

Jill: I love it. It was fascinating though. If you’re interested in wheelchair rugby, we have a movie club and we’ll be watching “Murderball” next, so join us for that conversation. We’ll have it sometime in September. But all right. [00:15:00] Okay. That was nice to talk about that. It calmed me down. Just the idea of keeping score, keeping time, tracking some penalties. I’m all about that.

Alison: And I can check all their straps. Cause they did. They’re like, are you still all secured? Did anything happen to the chair? I’m like, that’s my mom job.

Jill: I do want to know how heavy those chairs are because they look really sturdy, but they could be pretty light.

Alison: They would have to be light, cause they were flying around that court.

Jill: Well, they’re strong guys though.

Alison: I know that’s true.

Jill: All right. Before we get to today’s action, we’d like to tell you about our Kickstarter campaign. So we got accredited as media for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. We have been talking about how lousy the Paralympics coverage is. I think we might be the only podcast at doing daily recaps of Paralympic stuff. I looked around yesterday because I subscribe to a whole bunch of podcasts that talk Olympics and they were all doing Olympic stuff. [00:16:00] There’s not that many, that cover Paralympics as well. There’s one in England that has just little short, tiny, short interviews, but I think we’re the only ones doing daily recaps. And we would like to do them from Beijing. We have to pay for that. So we were really surprised to get these accreditations. It’s going to be an expensive trip. We want to make that happen, but we need some help to get there. And your support goes a long way in providing that. So we have a Kickstarter, you can find out more about it on alive pod.

Jill: We’ve got some great supporter bonuses. Like we’re sending postcards from the Games. We’ve got a a viewing guide that we’re putting together that, we’ll give out as well for different levels. So check that out. alive pod. We’re doing great so far, 40% of the way there, but we need some more help to get us over that line.

Alison: Speaking of getting over the line.

Jill: Yeah. Track [00:17:00] cycling. What did you watch?

Alison: I watched, because I definitely saw that world record.

Jill: Oh my goodness.

Alison: So this would have been the C1 3000 meter individual pursuit race. What amazed me because I have not watched much paracycling was all the different combinations of equipment.

Alison: Right? So some people cycle with a prosthetic. Some people don’t. And how they start and the starting a block for lack of a better word, how they get that all to work, you know, ye who is fascinated with gear.

Jill: I know. It was fascinating because I did see, and I’m sorry, I didn’t write down this person’s name who know was just peddling with one leg And the strength in that leg. Honest to Pete. It was so impressive. Just like how, and, and the balance that you have to have too. I mean, it’s just incredible what you do and making [00:18:00] that choice of having a prosthetic, because Denise Schindler from Germany, she had a prosthetic on her leg and it was, it was really interesting to watch how that, that prosthetic worked as well and how it clipped into the bike. So, yeah, and different handlebar configurations, and, oh, it was just really, really fascinating

Alison: And the race was amazing. And you got to hang out in your velodrome for awhile.

Jill: I know. And you know, that’s very calming. But so many people in this individual pursuit, they caught up to the other rider, cause this is the one where they start on opposite sides of the velodrome, and they have to basically chase each other and you either go the full distance of the race for time or you manage to catch the other person. And so many of them did. It was really, really interesting. And world records dropping like flies. That was the other thing.

Alison: Love that, love when that happens.

Jill: So in the women’s C one to three, 3000 meter individual pursuit, the gold went to Australia’s Paige [00:19:00] Greco. The silver went to China’s Wang Xiaomei and bronze went to Germany’s Denise Schindler. Then there was the women’s C4 3000 meter individual pursuit. Gold went to Australia’s Emily Petricola, silver went to USA’s Shawn Morelli and bronze went to Canada’s Keeley Shaw. And we also had the same race for the women’s C5 class. Gold went to Dame Sarah Storey from Great Britain. Silver went to Crystal Lane-Wright from Britain. Bronze went to France’s Marie Patouillet .

Alison: Can I just say we have a cyclist? Whose name is “lane right”?

Jill: Oh, because one of the U S rugby players, his last name is Wheeler.

Alison: Wheeler. Josh Wheeler. Yes. I had a note about that too.

Jill: And then we also had the men’s B class 4,000 meter, individual pursuit, victory, and the B class signifies visual impairments. So this again, I, I really wanna know, I know [00:20:00] how this works because the cyclist rides with a pilot and the pilot does not contribute to the speed of the vehicle, but they are there for steering. And I think I can figure out, like you can probably feel the power from the athlete who’s sitting behind you , since you’re clipped in, your legs, probably just go with the flow. But you mean they have to go otherwise you’re not, you’re not moving anywhere

Alison: Otherwise you go crash.

Jill: Right. And it’s interesting to watch the athlete, how they try to be aerodynamic on the bike and just, oh, that the whole, and the partnership thing, I mean, I know how you love your partnerships.

Jill: So.

Alison: I do.

Jill: Netherlands, Tristan Bangma won gold with a world record and his pilot was Patrick Bos. Silver went to Great Britain’s Stephen Bate with pilot, Adam, Duggleby, and bronze went to Poland. Marcin Polak with pilot, Michel Ladosz. And I did watch that race. Poland was going up against a French cyclist. [00:21:00] And, the camera just kept focusing on the French one and then near the end, they’re like, oh, Poland might take this, take this win. It’s just like, wait a second. Have we watched Poland at all? Like not really, not during this race. And then you go, well, that’s, that’s Paralympics coverage,

Jill: Moving on to goalball. We had preliminary action in men’s and women’s groups. So on the men’s side, Brazil defeated Lithuania 11 to 2, and Lithuania is the defending gold medalist. So this was a pretty big rout. Japan defeated Algeria 13 to 4 and Germany defeated Turkey, six to 4. On the women’s side, RPC defeated Canada five to one, Turkey defeated Japan, seven to one, Israel defeated Australia 11 to one, and the U S defeated Brazil, six to four, and the U S is the defending bronze medalists. So that’s a good start for them, except I would have thought you’d be able to watch that on the overnight coverage.

Alison: Nope.

Jill: [00:22:00] Nope. I saw a little bit of the RPC /Canada game and a little bit of Turkey and Japan, surprisingly enough.

Alison: On the American television who’s so focuses on team USA.

Jill: I know.

Jill: And

Alison: then I couldn’t find the USA match.

Jill: Yeah, it was really weird.

Alison: Maybe it’s being embargoed and they’re going to show it in the daily coverage.

Jill: Maybe, but you would think that they’d want it for like prime time.

Alison: Fair enough.

Jill: Maybe they, maybe they’re doing like a, uh, early prime time highlight reel. I don’t know.

Alison: Maybe they’re just stupid as we suspect,

Jill: I find goalball interesting as well. It’s really interesting to watch how they can spread themselves out because you look at it and go, how can anybody score a goal? Because you get three people in there and they can stretch out far enough. And how do you roll that ball so it gets there? A., I want the ball to be bouncier, but I know that would just wreak havoc on everything.[00:23:00]

Alison: Can you hear a ball?

Jill: You hear it a little bit, but so I’m sure it’s a little bit louder, but I want to, I’m curious to know how loud it is for the athletes to hear. And in passing, one of the commentators said, oh, this player is the sensor, but she’s going to throw the ball. And usually the sensor, who’s the person in the middle of the. team. I wonder if they are kind of key to hearing where the ball is going and communicating that to their teammates. I don’t know. These are guesses because guess what?

Alison: The announcer doesn’t tell you anything.

Jill: Not too much, no. Moving on.

Alison: Let’s get to a sport we understand.

Jill: Moving on to swimming. Lots of swimming going on, but I guess you didn’t see much of it or any of it.

Alison: I didn’t see any of it because it was on at like three in the morning and the frustration level had reached a certain pitch. I’m like, I’ll try again tomorrow. So I’ll probably see a lot of it on the recap.

Jill: Okay. I watched [00:24:00] some heats and that was interesting. It’s interesting to see, the different ways people can swim, to be quite honest. I watched some backstroke. 100 meter backstroke. Did not even think about this. When you have a leg impairment and you’re doing backstroke. Oh, well, and with any stroke, really, and you’re doing over 50 meters, I didn’t really think about the fact that you touch the wall and you have to turn around, and you can’t push off. So all the momentum you get from going into the turn you lose, because you can’t use your legs to propel you in the other direction. So you have to do that all again with your arms.

Alison: The body mechanics of watching para sports is so fascinating.

Jill: Right?

Alison: Like all the different ways that people have learned to use their bodies. I mean, we find that fascinating when we watch the Olympics, you know, we’ll watch rhythmic gymnastics and make fun of them and yet they fold their bodies in half. Like my body can not [00:25:00] do that. And I’m a pretty flexible person, and this is on like a whole, 10 steps above level of what the human body is capable of. And it’s amazing.

Jill: It is. And in one race, you can have people starting from the blocks versus starting in the water. And I’d love to be able to talk with people and figure out, okay, how did you figure out that starting in the blocks was okay for you or was better for you versus starting in the water and vice versa? Like what, what’s the advantage for your body to choose a way to swim? So it’s fascinating stuff.

Jill: We had the men’s 400 meter freestyle gold. This was the S nine category. Gold went to Australia’s william Martin. Silver went to France’s. Ugo Didier and bronze went to Australia’s Alexander Tuckfield. You know, Australia just kind of cleaned up today on the medals. They’ve really got a whole bunch.

Alison: Well, it’s swimming.

Jill: Well, that’s, that’s true too. In [00:26:00] the women’s 400 meter freestyle S 9 category, gold went to Australia’s Lakeisha Patterson, silver went to Hungary’s Zsofia Konkoly, and bronze went to Great Britain’s, Tony Shaw.

Jill: Okay. So I need to pause here because I remembered, oh, we’re getting into the S fourteens and the commentator kept saying, well, this race is going to be really fast because it’s S 14. What is S 14? I had to look up our viewing guide. Thank goodness we put together a viewing guide that’s got very, very brief descriptions of the classes. It’s just to dip your toes into the water. And S 14, I believe is the intellectual disabilities. So yes, they’re going to be faster because they’re more able-bodied, but can’t you explain what the classes, because you’re not showing it with LEXI. It doesn’t help. I wonder if the guidance is just say what the class is but don’t describe what the class but is that [00:27:00] helpful?

Jill: Is there direction to not describe this stuff,

Alison: To not talk about the disabilities and not focus on that. She just, this is the class. I wonder. That would make a lot of sense actually.

Jill: Right. but if you’re new to Paralympics and you’re wondering, why am I watching the same distance race four times in a row? And I don’t know what the differences between these classes, especially if it’s something that you can’t see readily. I mean, some people you can see. They’re in a wheelchair when they roll out to the deck and some you can’t, and you wonder what’s going on there, because there are different disabilities that are not as visible to the eye. So I don’t know. It’s a little frustrating, but I’m curious about that.

Jill: Men’s 100 meter butterfly for the S 14. This was the first time the race was in the Paralympics. So that was very cool. Gold went to Brazil’s Gabrielle Bandera. Silver went to Great Britain’s Reece Dunn. And bronze went to Australia’s. Benjamin James Hance In the women’s 100 meter butterfly S [00:28:00] 14, gold went to RPC’s Valeriia Shabalina who got a world record. Australia’s Paige Leonhardt got silver and Australia’s Ruby Storm took the bronze. In the men’s 100 meter backstroke S 1 category, gold went to Israel’s. Iyad Shalabi. Silver went to Ukraine’s Anton Kol, and bronze went to Italy’s Francesco Bettella. In the men’s 100 meter backstroke, S 2 category gold went to Alberto Abarza from Chile. Silver went to Gabriel Gerardo dos Santos Araujo from Brazil, and bronze went to Vladimir Danilenko from RPC. In the 100 meter backstroke S2 for the women. Gold went to Singapore’s Yip Pin Xiu, silver went to Japan’s Yamada Miyuki, and bronze went to Mexico’s Fabiola Ramirez.

Jill: In [00:29:00] the men’s 50 meter breaststroke SB 3 category, gold went to RPCs Roman Zhdanov who got a world record. Spain’s Miguel Luque got the silver, and Japan’s Suzuki Takayuki got the bronze. In the women’s 50 meter freestyle S 6 class. Gold went to Yelyzaveta Mereshko from Ukraine, Elizabeth Marks from the U S won silver, and Anna Hontar from Ukraine won bronze. I did watch this race. Maresco got a Paralympic record and Elizabeth Marks was leading. no, no, no. She had a really bad reaction time and, and I guess traditionally she has a slow reaction time, but is faster in the water. And her reaction time was like 0.4 seconds slower than Mereshko’s. And she’d lost by .04.

Jill: Yeah, it’s

Alison: a 50 meter. So it’s the splash and dash so any slight error, [00:30:00] and you’re done.Error.

Jill: But she did get a silver, so that’s good for her.

Alison: Yeah.

Jill: In the men’s 50 meter freestyleS 10 class, gold went to Australia’s Rowan Crothers. Silver went to Ukraine’s Maxim Krypak and bronze went to Brazil’s Phelipe Andrews Melo Rodrigues In the women’s 50 meter freestyle S 10 class, gold went to RPCs Anastasiia Gontar. Silver went to Netherlands, Chantalle Zijderveld, and bronze went to Canada’s Aurelle Rivard.

Jill: In the men’s 100 meter butterfly, S 13 class gold went to Belarus’ Ihar Boki who just totally dominated this race. He got a Paralympic record. He was close to a world record, but he just was so far ahead of everybody. It was really, it was a great race to watch. Silver went to Ukraine’s Oleksil Virchenko and bronze went to Uzbekistan’ Islam Aslanov.

Jill: In the women’s 100 meter butterfly, S 13 class, gold went to Italy’s [00:31:00] Carlotta Gilli, silver went to Italy’s Alessia Berra, and bronze went to RPCs Daria Pikalova.

Jill: In the men’s 200 meter freestyle S5 class, gold went to Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo, silver went to Spain’s Antoni Peonce Bertran, and bronze went to Brazil’s Daniel de Faria Dias.

Jill: In the women’s 200 meter freestyle S five class ,gold went to China’s. Zhang Li, silver went to Great Britain’s. Tully Kearney and bronze went Italy’s Monica Gobbioni. And the men’s 100 meter freestyle S 8 class gold went to Australia’s Ben Popham. Silver went to RPCs Andrei Nikolaev and bronze went to Greece’s Dimostenis Michalentzakis.

Jill: In table tennis they had more than 120 singles matches. Yesterday. Went all day long apparently. I did see a little bit of it. They did show some. They’d pop in and out. [00:32:00] It’s almost like the NBCSN broadcast didn’t know where to go if they didn’t have a, a game that was going to be long. So they’re like, well, we’ll pop over to table tennis and then it would be a break or something in between sets. And then they’re like, well, we’ll go to goalball for a couple of minutes. And then we’ll go over here and then we’ll, maybe we’ll go back to table tennis

Alison: I wonder if NBC was having trouble because other than swimming, we weren’t seeing a lot of medals and NBC functions so much on medals.

Jill: Right.

Alison: That, oh, this is early pool play, so where do we go?

Jill: Hey, that could be, that could very well be. I did get to see our TKFLASTANI Millie Tapper from Australia. She beat Taipei’s Lin Tzu Yu three to one. It was pretty good match. She went down in the first set, but came back and won the next three and did a good job. and I saw some wheelchair table tennis, but

Alison: I, did as well.

Jill: Okay. So I, of course I got no explanation on this because I wondered if [00:33:00] the wheelchairs had to be stationary because there wasn’t a lot, you know, I kind of expected there to be an ability to move the chair a little bit to the left and the right much like wheelchair tennis, but smaller.

Alison: Well, I’m just trying to think of the geometry of it. If your wheelchair moves a few inches, you’re not going to hit the ball the way you want to.

Alison: So if you use a lot of upper body force that could shift the position of your wheelchair, could shift the angle.

Jill: Okay.

Alison: So then you’re not in the proper position, which I guess you could adjust with your not swinging hand, but it goes so quickly.

Jill: Right? Yeah. I didn’t know. And these look like standard wheelchairs, not anything specialized that would be able to pivot a little bit easier.

Alison: Right. I agree that, I mean, I don’t know. But they did look ordinary , for lack of a better word. They didn’t look like the wheelchair rugby wheelchairs that are clearly specialized.

Alison: Yes.

Jill: If you know something about wheelchair table tennis, [00:34:00] let us know. We are open to learning so much over the next couple of weeks. I’m excited about that.

Jill: Over to wheelchair basketball. We had preliminary rounds for women’s and men. The women, , played four games, so China, defeated Algeria, 74- 25. I saw a little bit of that and China was pretty dominant pretty quickly, but, oh man, you just for get, I know we’ve read the book by David Davis about the history of wheelchair basketball and the deliberate decision to use standard size basketball hoops. And when you see these players sitting down and making these just gigantic shots, it’s incredible. It’s gotta be so hard.

Alison: I mean, the strength, the ball handling skills, the dexterity of their upper bodies is fantastic. I would expect there are a lot of, able-bodied basketball players that would like their ball handling skills.

Jill: Oh, I’m sure.

Alison: Of the wheelchair basketball because what they do, I mean, talk about finger rolls. I mean, the way they can [00:35:00] move their hands because they have to, they’re amazing. Beautiful to watch if you like that kind of basketball.

Jill: uh, Netherlands defeated USA 68 to 58. So I learned that the USA is mostly rookies this year, but the Netherlands team has been 10 years in the making. So this could be fun to watch them during the whole tournament. Canada defeated great Britain, 73 to 54, and Japan defeated Australia, 73 -47 .On the men’s side, Spain defeated Korea, 65- 53.

Jill: Wheelchair fencing, which of course we cannot watch, it was the men’s and women’s individual Sabre competitions all day yesterday. So in the men’s category A, gold went to China’s Li Hao, silver went to Ukraine’s Artem Manko, bronze went to China’s Tian Jianquan, and the category B for men, gold went to China’s Fang Yanke, silver went to Poland, Adrian Castro, and bronze went to Greece’s Panagiotis Triantafyllou. On the women’s [00:36:00] side in category A, gold went to China’s Bian Jing silver, went to Georgia’s Nino Tibilashvi li, and bronze went to Ukraine’s Yevheniia Breus. Category B, gold went to China’s Tan Shumei, silver went to Ukraine’s Olena Fedotaand China. Bronze went to China’s Xiao Rong.

Jill: Wheelchair, rugby. This was so much fun to watch.

Alison: Okay. So we’ve talked about Murderball. I haven’t watched the movie yet. I’ve never watched a wheelchair rugby game before. I will now be watching all of them. So fast, so dynamic, I was talking about ball handling skills with the basketball. This was off the charts. They talk a lot about it being, you know, Murderball and demolition Derby, but it actually isn’t.

Jill: No, there wasn’t a ton of crashing into each other.

Alison: Right. It was if you’re super skillful and can move that thing around and get the angles, right, you just fly right in [00:37:00] there.

Jill: Right. And it was so interesting to watch the defense in front of the goal in front of the try line and how they attempted to close up those holes in those gaps. And I think the camera angles could, if you could get like a camera angle from the opposite side of the court, so you could see what the players see and see what holes they’re trying to get into. That would be interesting.

Jill: We were watching this and just, I got to say Chuck Aoki, I mean, real deal. How fast he can pivot. He was pivoting faster than everybody on his chair. It was so amazing the dexterity he had. And I want to know what he does to get that.

Alison: So what was so interesting was I missed the very beginning of the match. And so when I started watching Chuck Aoki was not on the court. Do you call it a court? Let’s call it a court.

Alison: So when I started watching the game, he was not on the court. So a few minutes in, he comes on and all of a [00:38:00] sudden I said to myself, oh, he’s the best player on this court, even to my completely untrained eye, like you said, the speed, the strength, the ball handling, the ability to, to weave in between was so much better than everybody else.

Alison: And it’s not like these guys are schlumps, they’re amazing. And then he comes out and brings it to a Michael Jordan level. Yeah. It’s so much fun to watch.

Jill: I was surprised at how big the score differential was against New Zealand, because New Zealand wasn’t really slouching either. They had some really good players.

Alison: New Zealand, all the players are new. This is all their first Paralympics.

Jill: Oh, okay. There you go. So you’re, you’re missing some of that. I mean, just like the passing involved on both teams, just some of these passes were amazing. Some of the steals were just fantastic. Just like, oh, you, you think you’re throwing it to your teammate? No, you’re throwing it to me.

Alison: And how differently they were all [00:39:00] built. It surprised me how, just like on a basketball team, you would see the skinny point guard and the giant center. And even though, obviously they’re all in wheelchairs and they do have different disabilities, but you could see the different roles. The USA team even kind of has a bit of a goon like in hockey teams. So great. But the best thing about this match was the Japanese school children in the stands. Did you see that?

Jill: I put a picture on Twitter,

Alison: All sitting there in their uniforms and you know, all spread, which I thought was bizarre.

Jill: Right? They’re, very spread out like two or three chairs between them. But if you look on an angle, you see like a whole diagonal, it’s like diagonal stripes of students, and they’re very quiet and they’re wearing their masks and it’s. I wonder what they think of the sport, because I mean, it’s gotta be more fun in person.

Alison: And they were very young. These were not middle school kids. These were, I want to say they [00:40:00] looked like the equivalent of USA, maybe first graders, maybe 5, 6, 7. They were little. so yes, we can watch wheelchair rugby and we are going to watch wheelchair rugby.

Jill: So USA defeated New Zealand, 63 to 35 and then the other game that was played was Australia versus Denmark. Australia’s defending gold medalists, but Denmark beat them 54- 53. And I hope I can find this game and watch it today because that has to be a nail biter.

Alison: Pool play is no joke in this field.

Jill: I know and this is going to be a good tournament. If this is what day one is like for this tournament oh, it’s gonna be exciting. then in the other parts of the pool, Great Britain, defeated, Canada, 50 to 47. I did watch this game and this was also really good to watch. cause it was much, it was much closer than the U S but Great Britain just kept they edge out and Canada would catch up and Canada just couldn’t get ahead of them. And then Japan beat France 53 to [00:41:00] 51, which I know! A host nation, but close score. So I do want to go back and try to see that..

Jill: If you’ve seen our website at all, you might notice that yesterday we started including transcripts with our daily show. We’re going to include them with our show notes from now on. And that is because we have some wonderful patrons whose ongoing financial contributions allow us to do things like offer you transcripts and offer you different things that go along with the show. And we are so excited. We’ve wanted to do transcripts for a long, long time. And it’s really, I am very thankful that you have been pitching in and helping us make that happen. If you would like to give an ongoing contribution, please check out our Patreon page at All right. What do we got on tap for TKFLASTAN?

Jill: Millie Tapper

Alison: is back today against Brazil ‘s Alexandra Costa at table tennis in pool play. [00:42:00]

Jill: Excellent, good luck on finding that.

Jill: So it is time to say sayonara. As always, you can email us at or text voicemail us at 2 0 8 3 5 2 6 3 4 8. That’s 2 0 8, flame it. You know, what we want to hear is what commercials are bothering you that we can just talk about incessantly, because otherwise we’re talking about that Nike one that I can’t stand, and I don’t want to give Nike that kind of airtime. And you know what, whenever Mike and Maya would pop up, cause I saw them a couple times. I’d be like, oh, there’s Mike and Maya. And I kind of liked them..

Alison: See, now that you weren’t fretting about them, they became like the cute kids that live down the street and don’t cause any trouble.

Jill: Well, pretty much I’m not yelling at them to get off my lawn in this case.

Alison: We’re yelling at NBC to put this or sports on.

Jill: That’s right. Don’t forget our Kickstarter help us reach our goal of bringing you on the ground coverage [00:43:00] of Beijing and a better Paralympic experience that you’re not getting anywhere else. That’s alive pod. As we go out to music by Mercury Sunset, thank you so much for listening and until tomorrow, keep the flame alive.


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