It’s another great day of competition from Beijing 2022. Jill went to see figure skating – the men’s short program – and the finals of mixed doubles curling.

Also on tap today:

  • Alpine Skiing – Super G
  • Biathlon – Men’s Individual
  • Freestyle Skiing – Big Air
  • Ice Hockey – Women’s prelims
  • Luge – Women’s Singles
  • Snowboard – Parallel Giant Slalom
  • Speed Skating

Red Envelope campaign!

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Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!


TRANSCRIPT

Note: While we make efforts to ensure the accuracy of this transcript, please know that it is machine-generated and likely contains errors. Please use the audio file as the record of note.

Beijing 2022: Olympics – Day 5

[00:00:00] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day five coverage of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics 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 no hao, how are you?

[00:00:26] Alison: I’m doing well this morning. I got a little extra sleep because I kept falling asleep during events.

[00:00:34] Jill: Oh, that’s always fun when that starts happening.

[00:00:38] Alison: Yes, but I was able to catch up this morning without getting spoiled. So there was a lot of excitement today. So I’m excited to talk about it.

[00:00:46] Jill: I am too. I just I’ve seen replays. I’ve seen some stuff and I’m curious about many things, but first we will go into what officiating or volunteer job would you want to do.

[00:00:58] Alison: So I watched some luge today and there were these people who were just standing next to the luge track in volunteer uniforms, not watching, standing like guards. I have no idea what they were doing and I don’t really care, but they looked really cool. They just stood there very at attention like they were waiting for, they were waiting.

[00:01:23] Jill: Huh. That’s interesting. I wonder. Yeah, that’s very curious. Very curious. I think today I’m starting to get a little list going, but I think today I would like to be the, one of the curling ice techs. There is a job after the pebble, the ice, they have to go over it. And what they do is they put all these curling stones in a cage thing and they push the cage down the sheet. I would like to do that.

[00:01:50] Alison: Well, that’s very similar to job one you liked in Tokyo where you liked the truck, the little mini truck that was bringing back the javelins and the shot puts.

[00:02:01] Jill: Yeah, but this is a manual thing. It’s not a, it’s not a robot.

[00:02:04] Alison: Well, you know, you gotta make it work however you can.

[00:02:08] Jill: Okay. So speaking of robot stuff, I’m going to try to get a picture of this.

If not blows my mind, but it, it’s twisting my brain a little bit. So here in the convention center, the main media center where we are, they are constantly sweeping the floors, which is nice. It’s not the magical hour of vacuuming, which I think has passed, but we’re talking about sweeping the main floor. It’s concrete so they have to sweep it with brooma. So those fuzzy brooms and there’s

[00:02:34] Alison: When the curlers get knocked out of the tournament, they get sent to the media center to sweep.

[00:02:41] Jill: That would be funny. It would be entertaining that’s for sure. So there is a robot sweeper, and then there’s a person on like an automated, it almost looks like a base with sweepers attached to it. And then there is a person with a push broom, and I do not understand why we have three layers of sweeping, but we do.

[00:03:01] Alison: Very dusty when those winds come down from Mongolia.

[00:03:04] Jill: I guess. So so how are we doing in the fantasy?

[00:03:08] Alison: It’s getting heated now.

DLN has retaken the lead at 85, tied with psgola and Einarsen has come back onto the podium position at 84. I’m holding strong at 14th. Jill you’re in 44th.

[00:03:27] Jill: Not worried about it because I totally forgot to do my fantasy league again today for the fourth day. But I spent some time this afternoon and locked it in for tomorrow, feeling good about my team feeling good.

[00:03:40] Alison: You know who my star athlete was today? Amos Mosaner.

[00:03:42] Jill: That was a good pick. That was an excellent pick. But I’m enjoying, hanging out in the bottom with all my fellow people on the bottom who are also having either trouble locking in their leagues or making some choices that aren’t paying off. So, hey, it’s fun down here.

[00:04:02] Alison: So it’s at the Olympic fan zone and our league is Keep the Flame Alive Podcast.

And apparently you can still beat Jill, even if you haven’t started yet.

[00:04:11] Jill: Oh, snap. You could. Hey, that’d be a good challenge. See if you can beat me. Starting now. You could probably start day 10. It’s still see if you can beat me.

[00:04:25] Alison: I know I’m talking a lot of smack for a girl who finished, like at the bottom, in our Tokyo fantasy league.

[00:04:31] Jill: Hey, enjoy it while you can, enjoy this moment.

So we’ve got some news from the follow-up file. You know, the other day I talked about the ski jumping venue and how I was worried about it being a white elephant. But I did see on CCTV, they were showing venues. And what really worried me there is because it’s an installation, like the stands are permanent and stuff made out of concrete and there’s actual buildings. Whereas like in biathlon, half of the stuff, the stands seem pretty temporary or there’s some stands that are, that seem pretty permanent, but there’s a lot of temporary stuff. And like I’m climbing up scaffolding to get to the, press tribune because it’s not permanent, but you walk around the ski jump venue and you’re like, whoa, this is permanent. Okay. But in the summer, the flat area where the skiers finish, that’s a soccer field.

[00:05:20] Alison: Oh, well, that makes a lot of sense.

[00:05:22] Jill: That does. And then that made sense why they would have a permanent stadium because they put their seating there and they can have soccer matches. So hopefully that’s going to be a nice little dual use venue.

This I did not know in the team event for figure skating. There was a story in the South China Morning Post on Zhu Yi, the woman’s figure skater representative from China, but she’s actually American and got selected to be on the Chinese team ahead of a China born skater.

She fell pretty badly in the competition and boy were people given her the royal treatment on social media. So there was this hashtag called #shameonzhuyi and then it disappeared after a few hours. So it seemingly was censored. They don’t know. But people have been picking on her because of her family ties; they’ve picked on her because she can’t speak Mandarin.

And we’ve got Eileen Gu who just won a gold medal. She is also American born and competing for China, except for she does speak fluent Mandarin, and they love her here.

[00:06:33] Alison: And what’s funny is that the flip side of that. So Zhu is getting the heat in China, Eileen Gu is getting the heat here. Or the American press, a lot of controversy in the American press of why is Eileen Gu representing China?

And there’s also a lot of commentary from Chinese dissidents here in the west saying that she’s simply a puppet of propaganda. Oh, that’s interesting. And on top of it, she’s made some very American statements saying things like, oh, the people in China should, just use a VPN to get news.

And some things that clearly she’s an American, you know, young person who doesn’t have this worldly view. So she’s gotten herself into a lot of trouble. So yeah, Zhu Yi. Yeah. I did see that story that she’s just abused on Weibo, that they had to shut down her account because of the heat she got. So it’s wrong on both sides.

Wow. But I think one of the big stories coming out of this is going to be these American athletes who are representing China and how that came to be. Did China go after them? And I don’t mean go after in a, in an attacking sense, but we know China wanted to have a very strong team going into these Olympics.

And if you can’t build it, do you buy it right? Right. Do you collect these foreign born athletes who have ties to China? And that seems to be what they’ve done in some sports.

[00:08:20] Jill: Yeah, it’s also like they’ve gone out and acquired the coaching to help build their own teams because they just don’t have the knowledge base here yet.

So it’s, it is a very interesting situation. It’ll be interesting when we get back and can really examine it further and learn a little bit more about how this team came to be.

[00:08:37] Alison: Country swapping is becoming more and more. I saw a luger today who was clearly not Korean. She’s actually German born, but competing for Korea.

[00:08:50] Jill: There are a lot of people who do end up like some Russians will end up competing for Korea. And yeah, that’s very interesting, but there’s also the, Hey, I may look a certain way, but I was actually born in this one country. That foreign looking person.

[00:09:08] Alison: Oh, right. I am absolutely not doing a xenophobic thing, but just the idea. It was, it amused me for a moment where clearly this woman was German, had a German name and then competing for Korea. So there was that moment of dissonance, but I’m seeing a lot of it. We saw it in Pyeongchang. We saw a little bit in Sochi, but I feel like this time it is really ramped up as to people competing for a country they weren’t born in and they weren’t raised in and they don’t train in, but have some extenuating ties to. And how does that change the whole dynamics of the Olympics when it’s a country-based competition?

[00:09:49] Jill: It’s a good question. Something to look into. Because it was very complicated and I think it varies case by case and athlete by athlete.

Do you have somebody like, what’s her name? The, your favorite Hungarian. Quote, unquote, Hungarian who’s had no ties or, you know, do you have somebody in a sense, Eileen Gu is an interesting case because she does speak fluent Mandarin. So she has a deeper connection culturally to this country, even if she is quite American or we talked about the skateboarders in Tokyo, where they pretty much all trained in California and lived there. So trying to figure out what’s the best place. And there are athletes who, with some of these countries, the talent is so deep and the competition is so fierce in order to reach your goals, you can swap countries.

[00:10:43] Alison: Or you can’t get support in one country because we know so many federations are so political. Right. You know, you had an athlete like Kaillie Humphries who had abuse issues in her home country and then was married to an American, moved to America and a trained here. So there are so many different questions. And are we inadvertently going back to Pierre de Coubertin’s dream? Because his original idea was you weren’t representing your country.

[00:11:13] Jill: Hm. Interesting. All right. Put it on the list. We’re going to look at it. We heard from listener, Marilyn, who let us know that the song you were looking for that reference to Gina Lollobrigida is actually a TV theme song from the 1968 ABC TV show, The Ugliest Girl in Town. And there’s a line in there that says you don’t need to be a Gina or Sophia.

Is this what you’re thinking of?

[00:11:40] Alison: This is not the song. There was also a song by Johnny Mathis about being in love with Gina Lollobrigida. I had a conversation with my mother and it turns out Grandma Virginia made up the song, which is why we can’t find it,which actually makes me love it all the more. So I’m going to have to talk to my sister who has all the family memories in her. And when I’m functioning on the same time zone as she is, and see if she remembers this song because my grandma did make up things like this, and came up with it, she was a very funny woman.

So we think the Gina Lollobrigida song was made up, which is even better. So if I can get it, I will attempt to share this with all of you.

[00:12:29] Jill: Okay. You know, grandma’s a singer songwriter. That’s also a good find.

[00:12:35] Alison: She had many talents.

[00:12:38] Jill: So, one other thing in our follow up file in ice hockey, I did not realize this until today because I did not see the game. There was a delay in getting the COVID-19 test results from the Russian Olympic Committee team. And that caused their match with Canada to be delayed and rescheduled.

And the players had to wear masks.

[00:13:00] Alison: And there’s even more of a controversy because some of the delay was that the Canadians were not receiving the information from the ROC. So there was a communication issue. And then in the third period, the ROC decided to take off its masks. Oh, okay. Just, we’re not going to wear masks anymore and we’re fine.

And Canadians were not happy about that choice.

[00:13:23] Jill: Yeah, I can imagine.

But Canada did win that match 6 to 1. All right. Let’s look at today’s action. We had some action at the Alpine skiing venue. They got some races off today.

[00:13:35] Alison: So today there was a lot of testosterone in this race. It was so much fun to watch,

[00:13:42] Jill: Really. Okay. So this was the men super G what can you tell me because I have not seen it yet.

[00:13:47] Alison: You need to go back and watch it. That conditions looked really good. No major crashes. Bunch of people went off the course because they were taking risks. Like you would not believe they were going for crazy fast times. And every time somebody hit the bottom of the course, so much yelling, screaming, adrenaline releases.

This was a fantastic race. It’s like I said yesterday, it’s everything you want in a downhill. This was everything you wanted in a super G, but better than the downhill, because nobody got hurt.

[00:14:22] Jill: Nice. Nice. So gold went to Matthias Mayer from Austria. Silver went to Ryan Cochrane-Siegle from USA and bronze went to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from Norway.

[00:14:36] Alison: One thing I want to mention, and I’m going to be mentioning this kind of throughout the show. There is a parent line. We are seeing Matthias Mayer. We mentioned yesterday is the son of Herman Mayer, who was successful in, in his career. Ryan Cochrane-Siegle’s mother, Barbara Ann Cochran skied at Sapporo 1972.

[00:14:56] Jill: Wow. Very nice. Over in biathlon, it was the men’s 20 kilometer individual race. Gold, went to Quentin Fillon Maillet from France. Silver went to Anton Smolski from Belarus and bronze went to Johannes Thingnes Boe from Norway. This was fun. JT. I know. Well, I watched this on, the race, it was on the feed when I was here in the main media center.

And I also had it on the little, my info system that we have access to. That’s got all the standings and the results. And I don’t know if you can see this where you are. They have a whole set up for biathlon where you can track how they’re doing time-wise with the skiing. And then there’s another tab for the shooting and they just have every lane and the person’s name will pop up and then it’ll show the, things going down and if they’ve missed a target and it’s so much fun to watch

[00:15:55] Alison: Yeah.

On the NBC feed, they, when they were in the shooting range, you do see a picture of their targets. So you see it in real time as they’re doing, if they miss it flashes red, if they hit it, it goes down. So you see that part of it, but there’s not all. And their name and flag are next to it. So, you know, who’s who, but it sounds like yours is fancier.

[00:16:18] Jill: It’s fancier because you can see everybody you on the feed, you only get to see who the director has decided should be shown at the time. So if you care about somebody who’s further down in the rankings, you’re not likely to get to see them unless they really start doing well. Or there’s nobody else in the range and it’s time to go to the range.

But a good race. QFM as they call him has just been having a great year. Such a good competitor. That’s really great. And Smolski has been popping up all season and that’s really good for the program for Belarus. And what can you say about JT? I mean, he’s just a great competitor. So this was a good race.

[00:17:04] Alison: Any update on his COVID status or is he’s still in protocol?

[00:17:09] Jill: Do not know because I did not see the press conference. So I don’t know if if he is. I didn’t go to the press conference. He probably was still in protocol, but he was sitting like they have a little waiting room because you kind of have to sit there and wait for the results uh, if you’re gonna do well.

And he had started out pretty early in the order. So he had to sit there for a long time.

We had the women’s sprint over in cross country. We had the women’s and men’s sprint free finals for the women. Gold went to Jonna Sundling from Sweden. Silver went to Maja Dahlquist from Sweden and bronze went to Jessie Diggins from the USA and very exciting because it’s been a long time since the Americans have won an individual medal in cross country skiing. And it may be the first

[00:18:10] Alison: It’s the first. The first woman.

[00:18:12] Jill: That’s what I thought. If you read our book club book by Peggy Shinn on the women’s cross country program, Rosie Brennan, who was in that book finished fourth.

[00:18:22] Alison: And yet again, Jesse Diggins did a little sprint at the end. Oh, did she need to get that. Here comes Diggins

[00:18:28] Jill:. So how was the call on that? Did you watch the race?

[00:18:33] Alison: I just saw the end and Kikkan and did a good job of not losing her mind. So Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, you will recall were partners in Pyeongchang, they won the first gold medal in cross-country for the American program and now Kikkan and is doing the call on NBC.

So obviously she’s very close with Jesse, so you could hear it, but she stayed professional. Chad Samela lost his mind.

[00:19:04] Jill: I will have to try to find it. Because you know, somebody put that call online somewhere. For the men gold went to Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo from Norway. Silver went to Federico Pelligrino from Italy and bronze went to Alexander Trenentev from ROC.

Over in curling, we had the medal games for the mixed doubles tournament for the bronze medal match. Sweden defeated Great Britain nine to three. So a lot of British people, very upset about the loss and that was it. I went and saw the gold medal game between Italy, Norway. Oh my gosh. You were so right about Amos Mosaner, sorry about Amos Mosaner. Sorry. I had to pull his name up. I couldn’t remember. A tall drink of water and oh my goodness. He is handsome and so strong. Just it almost, I mean the final score was eight to five.

So obviously they didn’t shut Norway out, but it was like every shot they wanted to make they made, and they were just a beautiful, nice takeout, nice placement of guards. Good strategy. It was just a beautiful game to watch and they went the whole tournament undefeated. It’s so nice that they want for all the hard work that they did.

I mean, they clearly were the best team in this tournament which is amazing to see.

Oh, wow.

[00:20:46] Alison: So we are not just joking when we say Amos Mosaner is tall. I looked it up, he’s six, six. Holy cow. It is no joke. It is no joke. And I also want to mention Stefania Constantina, the female half of it. She’s only 22.

[00:20:55] Jill: Wow.

[00:20:57] Alison: And man, does she know what she’s doing? They are a really special teams. So clearly they are going to be back. Amos Mosaner I think is 26. So they’re very young. There’ll be back for Milan, I hope. Oh, and can you imagine in their own country, they would be defending gold medalists at home and there.

We were joking on the Facebook group. And I have been, as I’ve mentioned on the show, trying to learn Italian and listening to the curling matches. All I got was E’ buona. The rest of what they’re saying, I couldn’t catch, but let me tell you something, e’ buona.

[00:22:35] Jill: That’s right. Speaking of yelling. So the Norwegian team as one of the shots just made me laugh because I not sure what they were trying to do, but the woman was yelling at her partner to a sweep partner and he said something back.

And so she just yelled the same thing louder and then louder again when he kept talking back, I thought that was so it was, I thought it was funny. The mixed doubles teams have such wonderful and very different dynamics. You really can see the personalities of these players come through because of that interaction between the two of them.

So I definitely want to have on my list for when we’re done to talk to some of these teams yes. And learn about the different, the dynamics and what the different dynamics can be.

So, in the venue they had on the jumbotron, they’d have little games like hockey, they’d have little games or things. This time they had a red envelope game where they came, where they would pan the audience with the camera, but then on the screen overlaid are these red envelopes that were flying all over the screen.

So the audience had to try to catch them in the if they could. And that’s a good segue to talk about our own red envelope campaign. This show does cost money to produce. And while our listeners have been extremely generous in supporting us through the Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing and also through Patreon patronage. We’re coming up on two and a half years until another Olympics. So to celebrate the Lunar New Year, we’re asking for donations of at least $8, which is a lucky number, symbolizing good fortune in China. And this will help get us through to Paris 2024.

If you are enjoying the shows and having fun watching the games with us please consider giving us some funny financial support. You can go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.

All right, men’s figure skating short program. This was fun to watch this.

[00:23:51] Alison: Were you there?

[00:23:52] Jill: I was there. I got there for the beginning of group two. So I did see a Donovan Carillo, the Mexican figure skater. Oh my, he was really dynamic. He knows how to put on a show and he smashed his season’s best. So many seasons best went down. It was so nice to see. People were doing a really overall, a really good job.

He had, you had a couple of falls, but overall really great competition. And it was nice to see everybody just realize their best at the moment they needed it to happen.

[00:24:26] Alison: Someone who did not have a good program was two time defending gold medalist, Yuzuru Hanyu who popped his first jump. And with the way the short program works, ended up with zero points for that element. I n the press conference afterwards, he said he hit a rut in the ice and that disrupted his takeoff.

[00:24:46] Jill: Yeah, that was really interesting to hear. I did not go to the press conference, but it was just when he popped it, it was gasp worthy because it was completely unexpected and put him into eighth place overall. So if he’s going to get a three-peat gold medal, he’s got a lot of work to do and he has to hope that other people don’t do as well in the long program, but that is unlikely given the talent we saw today.

[00:25:19] Alison: Right? So the other Japanese men picked up the pace. So Yumi Kagiyama, who’s all of 18. We mentioned him in the team. He ended up in second place. Shoma Uno had a small slip, but nothing serious. He ended up in third, but the star of the night was Nathan.

[00:25:39] Jill: Oh, yeah, he was, he just was all business. And got it done. I gotta say though, Kagiyama was phenomenal in person. It was such a good program, so many good elements to it and the presentation, and he was so excited to do it. Like you could see the joy in his skating,

[00:25:59] Alison: which is something that has become a very heated discussion on the Facebook group.

And I want to mention the Facebook group Uh, it’s keep the flame alive podcast group on Facebook. And we are having a very heated discussion because of music choices. And there was some defense of Bolero after my comments yesterday, but the idea that you can really tell the difference when a skater loves their program, loves their music, feels like it fits them.

And when a skater has just been assigned a piece of music by their coaches and choreographers.

[00:26:37] Jill: Oh, this was so evident today. Totally.

[00:26:41] Alison: I mean, and Kagiyama, first of all, he has this exuberant personality that comes through and they gave him a program that let him be him.

[00:26:50] Jill: Yeah. It, and that really showed one. I am gonna call out the names

Konstantin Milyukov from Belarus was one of those. He had some Nutcracker music by Tchaikovsky, and just looked bored and automatronic. It was not fun to watch. And I’m now getting to an age where these they’re starting to look really young because some of these kids, they’re still teenagers. They don’t have the same connection to some of this music that maybe they would have a better connection to music they liked.

[00:27:24] Alison: So, you know, you have somebody like, and it’s not just, oh, let’s do classical versus modern music. I mean, Keegan Messing from Canada always uses very modern music and it was great to see him back because he missed the team competition because of COVID protocol. And yet his connection to the music gives him these artistic scores that make up for some technical deficits and it matters.

[00:27:51] Jill: It really does. I have to call out one other program on this, hold on.

Adam Siao Him Fa from France, his music was from Star Wars. It was like the Darth Vader March, the hooked on classics version for the 21st century. And I was so there for that

[00:28:08] Alison: and it was really fantastic. And what made that so great to me was his foot work sequence. It was a lightsaber fight. Yes. You could tell what he was doing and that it wasn’t just, oh, I had this music and I have this costume, it fed into the actual steps and movements.

He did. Yes. Outstanding.

[00:28:32] Jill: Yeah. He was so much fun to watch it. So many people, so much fun to watch. And then that was such a big contrast when they did not connect with the music. And I think that’s. You know, it maybe is something that skaters need to advocate for the, for themselves more in that. And it’s really hard to do when you’re young and you’ve got a coach that’s trying to get you to your goal of being in the Olympics, but there has to be more conversations over making programs work for skaters because that’s a huge element to what makes a program work and what makes a good score and gets them to realize their goals.

[00:29:13] Alison: So we’ve had a Bolero, we’ve had a Nutcracker and other Tchaikovsky pieces. We’ve had Rachmaninoff. We’ve had Carmen. I have yet to see a Malaguena and it is not an Olympics without a program to Malaguena. So ladies and pairs, I’m waiting.

[00:29:36] Jill: I’m not one of the programs. I want to call out is more Morisi Kvitelashvili from Georgia. He did this one handed cartwheel at the end.

[00:29:48] Alison: He did it in the team too. And I, and when we were watching it, my husband looked at it and he said, wait, is that allowed?

[00:29:55] Jill: It’s like, I’m like, Hey sir, are you Surya Bonaly, come on. No flips. But he was also fun to watch. He did really well for his personal scores, but not quite in the same league as the Japanese skaters and Nathan Chen, but the cartwheel really threw me surprised that he gets away with it.

[00:30:18] Alison: There was a Brian Orser sighting. Yes, my imaginary skating coach. If I was a figure skater and his skating partner and also fellow Olympian, Tracy Wilson, with skater, Jason Brown, who proves that you don’t need a quad to be competitive.

[00:30:36] Jill: Right. He had a beautiful program too.

[00:30:39] Alison: Oh man. He sold it. Like you would not believe again, the music fits the skater.

[00:30:45] Jill: Right. And I do think Jason Brown is one of those people who knows how to perform and knows how to put on a great show and that comes through so well in his skating. He just really can put the feeling into it and connect to the music and also connect to you the audience and to the judges.

I’m sure. Feel that connection too.

[00:31:05] Alison: that was the one program, obviously and the Chinese skater where I heard the crowd react

[00:31:09] Jill: They did. So a couple of days from now we’ll have the free skate for the men. I can’t remember if I’m going to try to get out for that, but I might because I’d love to see the long programs of all, so many men who did such a good job. Then it’s so nice to see the men’s talent pool worldwide be so quality.

Let’s move over to freestyle skiing. This was the big air competition for the free ski and uh, gold went to Eileen Gu representing China. Silver went to Tess Ledeux representing France, and bronze went to Mathilde Gremaud from Switzerland. You watched this. I’ve not seen thid.

[00:31:53] Alison: I did watch this. The one thing I noticed was some of them use poles and some of them do not. So they’re allowed to do either, both. So Eileen, who is a no pole, but Mathilde Gremaud is a pole.

So I’m interested to know, is this how they were trained? Is it a regional thing? how that develops?

[00:32:15] Jill: Did she use her poles at all or did she just hold them the whole time?

[00:32:20] Alison: She used them in the start. Okay. To use the poles, to get themselves going into it, to generate speed. So maybe it has to, but it does get in their way, I would think when they’re flipping.

[00:32:32] Jill: Yeah. That, That’s what I would think as well.

[00:32:34] Alison: No, huge falls. I mean, of course they were some wipe outs, but it was a good competition, lots of beautiful jumps. This is another thing. Some of them start down the track backwards. Oh, right, right. Depending on how many turns you’re going to do.

I can’t imagine going into the ramp backward.

[00:32:57] Jill: I can’t either, but I bet if you start this young enough and they’re fearless, you’re just like, oh, well I’ll just turn around and do it like this. It’s true.

[00:33:06] Alison: And speaking about being young, American Darian Stevens kept tapping her ear at the top of the ramp and having a college age daughter,I know that motion she’s had. That’s changing the song on your earbuds. So she was trying to find her I’m going to do my Olympic run playlists.

[00:33:30] Jill: Interesting. Interesting. This is a venue I want to go out and see for sure,

[00:33:35] Alison: Please, because it’s, the ramp itself is stunning. And then when they give you the drone shot, it is just acres of brown industry.

[00:33:47] Jill: Yeah because I think it used to be some sort of steel facility. I have to look into this, but that venue they’ve transformed something to make that venue. It is in Beijing, but it is like a 55 minute bus drive from where I am. So that’ll be it’s on my list because I definitely want to see that venue and also see a little bit more of the city from a bus.

[00:34:12] Alison: And I’m very curious as to why this venue they have during the day. And some of the other mountain venues are at night because I would think this venue and I’ve seen the photos of it lit up. It’s stunning. And why would you want to have all these television shots of this industrial vastness where like at the sliding center, they’re doing it at night.

[00:34:34] Jill: Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know how they put the schedules together or how that works. Again, put it on the list. It’s interesting because ski jumping has been both during the day and at night and ski jumping has a big light element to the top of the tower as well, but it’s been off for competition.

So I don’t know what the story is with that either. Oh, I’m speaking of odd things we’ve seen, I have started to ask around about the cow sign on the top of the mountain at Alpine.

[00:35:09] Alison: oh, okay. So there was a photograph that we saw of several coaches on a mountain adjacent to the downhill run, where they’re able to kind of get an eagle eye view of the skiers coming down.

But for some reason there is a cow sign on this.

[00:35:28] Jill: Like warning you that there are cows.

[00:35:32] Alison: There’s no way a cow could climb this mountain. I mean, even the coaches are kind of hanging by a thread. Honestly, it looks like a Ricola commercial where they’re going to start, you know, saying Ricola. I mean, they’re just hanging on this by these tiny little edges.

[00:35:49] Jill: Well, I will keep working on it and see if I can find the answer. I don’t know. But I’ll keep you informed.

Moving over to ice hockey, we had more women’s preliminary round action. US and Canada played. Canada won 4-2. Japan beat Czech Republic three to two. So Sweden beat Denmark 3-1, and Finland beat ROC five to zero.

So that means Canada is the only undefeated team in the tournament. They are at four and O. In the rest of the group A, USA is three-one and the other three teams, Finland, ROC are Switzerland, are one and three. In group B, Japan is three and one. Czech Republic, Sweden, China are all two and two. And then Denmark is one and three.

[00:36:33] Alison: Keep your eye on Japan. They are coming on strong. Oh, I think we may finally see not a gold medal match of Canada and the US really.

[00:36:48] Jill: Are they? Wow. That is a bold statement to make.

[00:36:51] Alison: There are variables, not saying I want to see that, right, because I love a good US/Canada, I think is by far the best rivalry in all of sports, any sport, US, Canada, women’s ice hockey, but Japan, they’ve got their eyes on it.

[00:37:08] Jill: Interesting. I’ll keep an eye on that. Over in luge, we had the end of the women’s singles, a tournament ended with gold going to Natalie Geisenberger from Germany, silver, going to Anna Berreiter from Germany and bronze went to Tatiana Ivanova from ROC.

[00:37:27] Alison: So Felix Loch was there cheering for his German compatriots. And I found this little tidbit talking about parents, his father, Norbert Loch, who was an Olympian in ‘84 is the German national coach. And nobody was more excited for Natalie then Felix and Norbert.

[00:37:49] Jill: Aw, that’s so nice. There was another legacy athlete in this competition That is Nina Zoeggler from Italy who finished 16th. Her father’s Armin who is legendary in the sport, many time medalist. And I was reading a story about her and as she is she apparently came to the sport all on her own free will.

He’s like, I never did anything. She just did it all herself. And she started she’s like, I want to try natural luge. And then he kind of said, you know, you can do artificial too.

[00:38:24] Alison: I mean, you can do much worse than having Armin Zoeggler as your dad to get you into luge.

[00:38:32] Jill: In snowboard, we had the parallel giant slalom races for the men’s and the women’s. I saw bits and pieces of it here and there, but I didn’t see the end, which was, sounds exciting because it’s our favorite Czech snowboarder, Ester Ledecka who defended her 2018 gold medal.

And now she’s going to try to do the double, like she did in Pyeongchang and compete in the super G coming up.

[00:39:00] Alison: which is sort of like having somebody compete in, you know, figure skating and speed skating. They’re very different. And people say, oh, you’re going down the mountain on the snowboard.

It must be the same, but it is very different skills, very different kinds of training. And what happened to Pyeongchang was considered a fluke, but the fact that she came back and defended, at least half of her double is really amazing. This girl. Incredibly talented, obviously works incredibly hard and is so much fun to watch. Yes.

[00:39:39] Jill: And so just full of joy, love, you can see the love of the sport in her when she competes. So, Ester Ledecka won gold, silver went to Daniella Ubling from Austria and bronze went to Gloria Kotnik from Slovenia. And on the men’s side, gold went to Benjamin Karl from Austria. Silver went to Tim Mastnak from Slovenia and bronze went to Vic Wild from ROC.

[00:40:07] Alison: So if you think we’ve been saying Slovenia a lot, we have. They are doing incredibly well as is Sweden, at least with the, in the early medal table. So you’re not imagining that.

[00:40:21] Jill: Yeah that’s, that’s really impressive. Good for Slovenia. That’s gotta be so exciting for them. And Sweden, winning medals in stuff they haven’t won medals in for a long time.

And that’s really exciting as well.

 

[00:40:34] Jill: And finally we go over to the speed skating oval for long track speed skating. We had the men’s 1500 today. Gold went to Kjeld Nuis from Netherlands, silver went to Thomas Krol from Netherlands and bronze went to Kim Min-Seok from Korea.

[00:40:51] Alison: So the Koreans have now moved over to long. Just like the Dutch are starting to move into short track yesterday. Susan Schulting won a medal in short track, and now the Koreans are doing the opposite switch, which is fantastic. Because again, we were talking about Slovenia. I like this cross-pollination and seeing different countries emerging in these different sports because you see the different styles.

Exactly. I wonder how having Pyeongchang or how it played a role or if it played a role in the Koreans developing more speed skaters on the long track? Well, they have a ribbon now. Yeah. That’s a state-of-the-art ribbon. So you can’t do better than that. That’s true.

[00:41:36] Jill: All right. That brings us to the end of today’s competition.

What’s on tap for TKFLASTAN.

[00:41:42] Alison: So we got some more competition for snowboarder, Chloe Kim, who’ll be doing the prelims of the halfpipe, trying to defend her gold medal from Pyeongchang, as is John Shuster. Team Schuster begins round robin play in the men’s curling tournament versus ROC.

[00:41:58] Jill: So excited to watch both of those. I don’t think I’m going to get up to the mountain in time because I believe Chloe Kim is like at 9:30 in the morning and that’s fine. With how long it takes to get out to the mountain but I might be able to see Team Shuster kick off their tournament. So I’m excited to watch them in person because they have so much fun as a team, but they, it’s.

It’s interesting because they have a player like Matt Hamilton on the team has got a huge personality, but when they’re curling, it’s like business and it’s really good teamwork with that team.

[00:42:39] Alison: That’s all Shuster. Shuster is the skip and they know it and they follow his lead and they do their job. Yeah. The best kind of teamwork.

[00:42:47] Jill: Yeah, exactly. But they all give input too. And that’s totally welcome. And that’s really nice to see where they just kind of banter back and forth over what do we do this, what do we do that?

And then Shuster takes all that information in and makes a decision. And then they just that’s what.

[00:43:03] Alison: Yeah, and that banter we will be able to understand it. Won’t be just, “E’Buona”

[00:43:11] Jill: Buona. Well, you kind of get through that Wisconsin accent. So I don’t know. You might not be able to understand.

[00:43:21] Alison: I’ll just offer him a jello salad.

[00:43:23] Jill: Oh, don’t even bring up jello. Do not bring up jello. I am going to take offense to that. Just Midwestern, stereotypical people who think we’re fly over country.

We don’t all eat jello,

[00:43:36] Alison: Jello salad with the marshmallows, for the potluck. Don’t you know,

[00:43:40] Jill: Next time we come to the Midwest, you’re just going to get jello salads, everywhere.

[00:43:45] Alison: Salads for you. Love the Midwest. Don’t even. I love all of you.

[00:43:53] Jill: Speaking of love, we would like to thank our researchers for today. Any Tremainis and Games and Rings.

[00:44:00] Alison: And speaking of things we love, our mascot this week, Luna. We have been posting some lovely photographs of her on both Twitter and Insta. So take a look. She’s in some interesting places where she likes to take a nap and all I can say is Luna, I understand given our time difference this week, I will fall asleep in the sink as well.

[00:44:26] Jill: Speaking of needing a nap, it’s about bedtime for me.

So that’s going to do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow for another great day of competition.

[00:44:35] Alison: And in the meantime, be sure to celebrate the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Facebook group. It’s the place to hang out with other listeners and see Jill’s daily diary of her meals and some favorite foods which have been fun to see.

Jill is also on Twitter. I am on Instagram, both are @flamealivepod. You can email us@flamealivepod@gmail.com or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s choose (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:45:09] Jill: Yeah. And on Twitter, you get my daily breakfast, which I’ve been here just over a week and there has been something new and amazing on the breakfast buffet every day. I am gobsmacked. But it’s always fun and new and exciting on the breakfast buffet at the Beijing Fujian Hotel. That’s all I have to say. And I can have breakfast in a few hours, so we will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.

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