Sports on today’s program:It’s Day 6 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and once again we have the question of who’s the real winner: The mountain, or the Alpine skiers? Plus, it’s not redemption for Lindsey Jacobellis, TKFLASTAN hits the halfpipe, and do we have another version of Elizabeth Swaney?
- Alpine Skiing – Women’s Slalom
- Curling – Men’s tournament kicks off
- Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Big Air
- Ice Hockey – Men’s prelims
- Luge – Doubles
- Nordic Combined – Normal hill
- Snowboard – Men’s and women’s halfpipe; women’s snowboard cross
- Short Track Speed Skating – Men’s 1500m, women’s 1000m, women’s 3000m relay
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Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
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 6
[00:00:00] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day six coverage of the Beijing 2022 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 Ni Hao. How are you?
[00:00:24] Alison: Ni hao, sort of feel like I’m playing hockey right now. We’ve got so many things flying at us all over the place.
[00:00:32] Jill: Well, it is the magical hour of vacuuming here in the media center. And they stopped. I don’t think they’re done, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. No vacuum around you, but they see the blanket fort goup. That girl, I don’t think so. I really, I think there, man, we got to get this done.
It’s vacuuming time, but we will do the best we can. Because that’s what, that’s all we got, really.
[00:01:00] Alison: It’s kinda like the athletes in the cold, you gotta power through.
[00:01:04] Jill: Oh yeah. Some of them aren’t happy. I’ve been reading about it, but it’s true. There’s not much. I mean, they do have, they do have limits, but apparently we’re not hitting them, but you know, we are going to hit our volunteer or officiating job that we would want to do.
What would you like to do today?
[00:01:21] Alison: So yesterday at snowboarding, there was a woman who was helping. The snowboarder would come down, stand in a particular spot to receive their scores. She would then direct them to the next location. She did not want to be on camera, but unfortunately she was on camera every time because they would follow the athlete to the next destination.
And she kept trying to duck out of the camera. And I want to say to her, sweetheart, I will take your job because I will absolutely want to be on camera. I will wave. I will have my TKFLASTAN shirt on. I will be all for it.
[00:02:01] Jill: Fascinating. It’s a good job though. I got to see some big air on TV and I want to be the guy at the top who, you know, who I’m talking about because you know, when it comes to a clipboard.
[00:02:18] Alison: Was there a whistle too, because then that would be perfect, and a stopwatch. It would be just your job in heaven.
[00:02:24] Jill: No, but it was the guy who was at the start that made sure that, that told the competitors when it was time to go down the hill and he must’ve checked them off the list.
And then it gave him a big thumbs up when it was good to go and they went down, it just looks like, he knows, go ahead.
[00:02:39] Alison: I have something called hitchhiker thumb, my thumb curves back. I wonder if that would make me ultra qualified or disqualified for that job?
[00:02:51] Jill: Well, it would, might make your thumb more visible, but you’re going to be wearing big, huge gloves.
So it just depends on how far, but I mean, it could move the thumb away from the other fingers and the big, huge gloves. And that could be a bonus.
[00:03:05] Alison: I like those jobs where I can show off my deformed hands.
[00:03:09] Jill: I don’t think they’re deformed. Will come on be nice to my friend Alison.
[00:03:13] Alison: They’re deformed along with my Fred Flintstone feet.
[00:03:18] Jill: Right. We have a ton of follow-up stuff in the follow-up files. First off we have taped from Clare and Deedra from the mixed zone after biathlon from the individual race. We’ll put that on after we sign off tonight. So keep listening after we say goodnight.
Happy news. Josh Williamson is on a plane and headed over here.
[00:03:39] Alison: And I think by the time we post the show, he will be there. It is a long flight, but he posted that yesterday on Instagram and we are so, so thrilled for you, Josh. I sent him a message directly letting him know I have never been so excited to see someone on a plane. Wow.
[00:03:54] Jill: Don’t tell him I can’t make it to see that
[00:03:59] Alison: I haven’t told them that yet.
[00:04:00] Jill: Yeah. I may have to figure out a way to take that out, but yeah, it just the sliding stuff I’ve figured out that the competition center is early in the morning, or late at night out in either cluster are going to be impossible to get to for me. Because it’s I already going to be after two weeks. So getting up early enough to take the multiple levels of transportation, just it’s not happening.
I can’t make it happen. So I’m really sorry. But if you’ve seen any of the luge, you’ve seen that there’s nobody alongside the track. So you’re just watching it on TV anyway, which is kind of a bummer.
[00:04:45] Alison: luge has been good. We’ll get to that later. Okay.
[00:04:48] Jill: Sounds good. Huge scandal here in team figure skating.
So the medal ceremony has been delayed because there’s an issue with the ROC figure skating team. Mark Adams, who was spokesman for the IOC would only say it’s an emerging legal issue. So he couldn’t talk about it. And then Christine Brennan from USA Today wrote that it is a doping situation, she found an unnamed source who would give her some info.
So it’s some kind of doping situation apparently. And Inside the Games ss reporting that it’s a positive drug test for Kamila Valieva, prior to Beijing for a recreational drug violation. But because she’s under 16, they can’t release any details, even if she’s found guilty.
So the question according to Inside the Games is, was this recreational drug violation in competition or out of competition.
Alison: So whatever drug that would be, and the only drug I know of that has different levels for in competition and out of competition is cannabis is when that test was done and came back positive. So. That’s all we know, and nothing is official and the teams have not received their medals because this is happening.
And there was some reports yesterday that several of the ROC figure skaters did not attend practice, but Jackie Wong, who is there with you, reported that was a planned rest day. Okay. So that was not part of this scandal. So if you see that Jackie says, Nope, he talked to the coaches and he looked at their schedule.
So that was a planned rest day. But we have not seen Kamila Valieva since the team competition, she missed that practice session. So we’ll see if we see her come back out for her next one.
Jill: Wow. This is interesting. I will say that. So, and Jackie’s on the case, he’s been doing a great job and is at the skating venue all hours of the day because they practice insanely early.
So he’s there a long time. Watching and taking notes for everyone. So follow him on Rocker Skating or rockerskating.com.
Alpine. So I started asking around about the picture that I think. Was it Lori, Listener Lori? That posted the picture who somebody took a screen cap.
[00:07:20] Alison: It might’ve been listener Don. I’m not sure.
[00:07:24] Jill: Yes. The screen cap of the mountain. So one of, one of you, I’m sorry, we don’t have which one posted a screen cap of the mountain and there’s people on the mountain and there is a cow sign. It’s just, it looks like a road sign that, you know, warning that there are cows. And we wondered why would there be cows on top of the mountain?
So those are indeed coaches. They are taking video and getting a bird’s eye view of the track. And normally you don’t see them because in competitions they’re up in trees instead. But here we don’t have the trees, there on the rocks. So you notice them more. I did start pulling volunteers to ask them about the cow sign, because I figured who might know what a cow sign is more so than a Chinese person, they were like, yeah, that’s a cow sign. I said, what are the cows doing on the mountain? Like, we don’t understand why that’s there.
[00:08:24] Alison: Okay. Well, if they don’t understand and we don’t understand, maybe that’s, maybe it’s supposed to be a mountain goat. It looks like mountain goats.
[00:08:33] Jill: I don’t have everything here.
[00:08:39] Alison: They have pandas in plastic suits. So why wouldn’t they have them?
[00:08:43] Jill: There you go. There you go. You’ve got an update on American skier Nina O’Brien.
[00:08:48] Alison: Yes. So she has posted on Instagram. She had a compound fracture of both bones in her lower left leg in that crash. Two days ago she had surgery in China to stabilize the leg and will be heading back to the US as soon as she is stable enough, her pictures were really lovely in that she looks great. She looks positive. She doesn’t look like a girl who’s going through it. So that was wonderful to see. Of course she’s heartbroken, but health-wise, you know, O’Brien is heading in the right direction. So that was a good sign to see.
[00:09:27] Jill: Yes. And hopefully she recovers quickly.
I mean, that’s going to be a long recovery, but I hope the process goes well. And that trip goes well coming home because that’s not going to be fun. I can tell you that. Delta take care of her. I forgot to mention the other night when I was at curling and for the mixed doubles finals we have not talked about the Team Italia outdoor jacket and how they are very cool. And at the opening ceremonies, they were like hiding a light under Italian flag, poncho of ugliness.
[00:10:03] Alison: So are these that royal blue jacket with the flag on the sleeves?
[00:10:08] Jill: No, this is a white jacket and it has in red letters and green letters. It’s kind of a funky font Italia all over it. I’ll try to get a picture if I can find one, but
[00:10:19] Alison: yes, we’re really not seeing that.
[00:10:23] Jill: I really like it. And then I thought, why didn’t you wear that instead of those weird ponchos over your jackets at the opening ceremonies?
[00:10:31] Alison: Though at at mixed curling, it looked like some of the people were using the ponchos to wave
[00:10:36] Jill: They were, and that was kind of, that’s fun.
I’m all for that. But the look on the big day.
What do we miss about luge?
[00:10:44] Alison: So gold medalists, Natalie Geisenberger was a three-peat for women’s luge. Yes. And this is also less than two years after she gave birth to her son. Wow. We love a mom gold medalist. So a few months ago in the fall, she came to the test event and she was in COVID protocol during that test event and she was horrified by the conditions complained loudly, threatened not to come back to the Olympics because of how bad the conditions were, decided to come, ended up with her third gold medal.
[00:11:24] Jill: Wow. Wow. I did see a little story about her. Then she flat out said she is not talking about China until she got home.
[00:11:32] Alison: Smart girl
[00:11:34] Jill: I have an update on the big air venue. Why is it so industrial looking? This is the China Western Beijing’s Shogong industrial park in the district. It was once a steel factory and those towers are for cooling towers and the, apparently there’s an old oxygen factory there on the site too.
That is why it looks so industrial. It’s a repurposing venue that had been derelict. And so now it’s got a kind of a cool feel to it. Apparently that is not just only a big air venue. It can be repurposed for aerials as well. Somebody asked if we…
[00:12:12] Alison: Me.
[00:12:13] Jill: Oh, okay. That’s good to know. Because I’m not doing so well at remembering which listeners are asking. So, so you asked me, you asked if I could hear the skates and that this was for figure skating, right? Yes, no, I cannot hear the skates because the music is loud, very loud and I am there’s a very big press tribune for figure skating, but the lower portion is for very important outlets, like the Olympic Information Service and people who have rented desks, because apparently you can rent desks at different press tribunes. So those people who wanted to have a closer seat, get it. I’m kinda up in the, the upper part of the press tribune, nosebleeds.
Mark McMorris, a Canadian snowboard slope stylist. He’s done something that has made people here go nuts. His snowboard has a panda on it. And when people saw the snowboard, they started ordering, trying to get orders of it like crazy. Because they just wanted to because it’s going to be a panda, it’s cute. Now people want to snowboard.
Alison: Well, that was the point of having the, that was the Chinese attempt with this Olympics was to get people excited about winter sports. And if all it took was a Panda snowboard, they could have saved us all. A lot of trouble.
Jill: Our producer, Brian sent us some information on the ski jumping team controversy.
This was, teams weren’t happy because they kept getting disqualified or members of the team would get disqualified. It was Germany, Japan, Austria, and Norway. They were hit with suit violations. So this is apparently a big deal in ski jumping because you want to be as light as possible. The suit has to have very specific measurements.
So if it doesn’t I’m sure it’s one of those. If it’s not clingy enough, you can get a bit of lift off of the baggy bits.
[00:14:13] Alison: like the flying nun,
[00:14:21] Jill: I don’t even know what to say to that. What did your mother watch?
[00:14:29] Alison: I think that was another Grandma Virginia favorite.
[00:14:35] Jill: All right. Each of those teams got hit with suit violations, which meant they lost one competitor each round, basically. And that’s what led the other teams to win. So, one of the teams said that in The Guardian newspaper that here, they used a different method to test their suits and measure them than they’ve ever seen before.
I’m sure nothing’s going to happen because the medals have been awarded and everything’s been signed off on, but people were not happy about how that competition was held.
Also another major judging error happened in snowboard slopestyle. This was in the South China Morning Post that the gold went to Canadian Max Parrot, but during one of his jumps, he grabbed his knee instead of his boaard, and still got scored as if he grabbed his board instead, which is much more difficult to do.
So he got over scored and that ended up pushing him to get the gold and not China’s Su Yiming.
[00:15:39] Alison: I will be interested to see if this is reported as this same story in a, not China outlet.
[00:15:48] Jill: Put that on the follow-up file list for tomorrow,
[00:15:51] Alison: because I have a question as to is the South China paper making a bigger deal of something that’s actually a minor discrepancy.
[00:16:01] Jill: If I understand correctly, the South China Morning Post is not, is more of a, a balanced paper.
I had posted an article in, I posted an article in the Facebook group about this announcer who is here in China. Who’s announcing for short track speed skating. And I got it from the daily coverage that they’re doing for China Daily, which is if you read the paper, everything is positive and everything is wonderful here in China. And I think when in the stories I’ve read from South China Morning Post, and that’s not always the case, right?
How are, How are we doing on the fantasy league?
[00:16:41] Alison: Okay. Big shakeup on the podium standings right now. So PSGola is in the lead with 103. We have broken the 100 point barrier. Well, somebody has broken the 100 point barrier. It’s not me.
That’s okay. Neither did Yuzu Hanyu. So you’re in good hands.
[00:17:00] Jill: Oh, how much?
[00:17:02] Alison: RafQ and Monkeycat are both tied at 102. I have slipped slightly to 18th. Jill, yes, you’re in 42nd.
[00:17:12] Jill: What is it? Is that any, I mean, I know it’s not good, but did I go up? Did I go down?
[00:17:19] Alison: I don’t know. I think you went up a little bit. I think yesterday you were 44th.
[00:17:22] Jill: Okay. Well, I also remembered to lock in my stuff today.
I just spent time doing it. So we’ll see. I got Nathan Chen. I think I have Chloe Kim on my team too. I’m hoping.
[00:17:35] Alison: you know who I could not put on? Oh, forget it. No, sorry.
[00:17:38] Jill: Okay. Let’s move on to today’s action. Starting with Alpine skiing. It was the women’s slalom competition who won the women or the mountain?
[00:17:48] Alison: The mountain.
[00:17:49] Jill: Oh my goodness.
This was so many did not finish. And Book Club Claire had said on Twitter that it reminded her of the marathon in Tokyo where marathoners had just dropped out and that tends to happen in a marathon because it’s a long race. And if an elite marathoner does not feel well or something’s not right, they’re not going to push their body and they’re not going to get injured.
I’m not so sure, I could be wrong, but I don’t think that really applies to Alpine unless they’re in the middle of the course and they see they’re going to go haywire and they just go off
[00:18:27] Alison: and that’s not what’s happened during slalom. The mountain, just, one, the course is difficult. It’s steep. And the most devastating loss to the race was Mikaela Shiffrin,
[00:18:42] Jill: Right at the top too. It was really quick.
[00:18:47] Alison: Yeah. I was between the fourth and fifth gates. She just caught an edge bounced off and again, because there’s no spectators that they have the course, you heard her scream. Oh no. Because she knew what had happened and they showed her later on. Apparently she just sat kind of in a corner by herself for about a half an hour. And NBC kept showing her.
[00:19:15] Jill: Oh, so is that what’s going on? I saw a lot of uproar on Twitter about NBC and its coverage of her in this race.
[00:19:24] Alison: So one, they kept showing her. Kind of sitting by herself clearly crying, clearly devastated. And then afterwards, one of the reporters spoke to her and she could barely talk.
She couldn’t even put words together because I don’t think her brain was processing what was happening. I think she was physically in shock about to cry with every word that came out of her mouth and it was devastating to watch and not enlightening in terms of what was happening with her.
[00:19:57] Jill: Ah, what a shame. I mean, this is something that she’s not used to happening.
She doesn’t go off course. She doesn’t crash like this. I mean, she’s crashed, but this has been very quick. And of course, very sudden, and I can imagine her confidence has just taken a hit because if she feels she doesn’t, can’t get a read on this mountain. How good is she? Isn’t she supposed to be one of the best in the world?
Shouldn’t she be able to count conquer any mountain? And I had, well, I didn’t have it on the feed turned on here in the media center and showed it. And ended in, I started up in the light, the latter half of the first run, and we were getting to the countries that you usually don’t see at an Olympics, but they were here in this race and you could just see how slow everyone was.
One was going just to get down,
[00:20:56] Alison: right. Especially in run one. You want to get to that second run. You want to have both your runs in the slalom
[00:21:01] Jill: and for Mikaela, it is attack the course and get the time advantage and do what you can to get the lead and this mountain just does not seem to want people to take risks like that.
So it’s really devastating. I hope she’s going to keep competing. She’s going to be in the team event, I believe
[00:21:24] Alison: Yes. She’s also going to be in the what have we not done yet?
[00:21:28] Jill: They still have the downhill. They still have the team event for sure. They might have the combined also for the woman.
[00:21:34] Alison: That’s it.
[00:21:35] Jill: So here’s to hoping that she’s able to talk with somebody and regroup mentally and figure them out now. But we did get some medalists in the slalom race. Gold went to Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova which is the first Alpine medal for Slovakia, which is great for them.
[00:21:58] Alison: She was so excited and this was the one time where hearing the screaming was a good thing, jumping up and down, screaming, hugging everybody.
It was a really joyful celebration at the bottom of the hill, which was great.
[00:22:11] Jill: Silver went to Katharina Liensberger from Austria and bronze went to Wendy Holdener from Switzerland
[00:22:20] Alison: who only last year broke both her wrists.
[00:22:24] Jill: Oh my goodness. Ouch. Ouch. Moving over to curling, we had the start of the men’s round robin.
So we had four games tonight that was Denmark, Canada beat Denmark, 10 to five. USA beat ROC six to five with an extra end. Oh my goodness. When I came into the media center tonight, after I got back from my event, curling was on still and like, Ooh, who’s still on for curling. And this was the 10th end of this game. And it was centimeters over who got that point for that and ROC got the point, which forced it to the extra end. That was amazing.
[00:23:05] Alison: Did you see the extra end and that last shot?
[00:23:08] Jill: No, I got robot dumplings.
[00:23:10] Alison: Okay. So if you have not seen the USA versus ROC, you don’t need to watch the whole match. Just watch the extra end and the very last point. And you will understand why John’s Schuster is the Michael Jordan of curling. Wow. And why Matt Hamilton is the Scottie Pippin. Great teamwork. Great shot, super exciting. And seriously people. Are you not watching curling? What is wrong with you?
[00:23:45] Jill: Norway beat Switzerland, seven to four, unfortunately Norway, the new team for Norway, it’s not wearing the fancy pants; they’re wearing black pants
[00:23:58] Alison: disappointing, but they need to have their own shtick.
[00:24:03] Jill: Very true. Very true. But I will miss the pants. It was a great story. It was a great chapter in Olympic history, but I understand why new team, new style. And then finally Sweden beat China, six to four.
In freestyle skiing, it was the free ski big air finals today. And I understand T Bach was there or was he there at the big air for women? I know people in the group keep asking for a T Bach watch. And I got to tell you, I can’t, I’ve seen him like once on the screen and once at the opening ceremony.
[00:24:35] Alison: I think he was at luge today. I think they mentioned that on the broadcast. They’re not pointing out when he’s at events, either on the feed or on NBC. So we would love to do a where’s T Bach, but we’re not finding him so listeners, if you are, please post it in the Facebook group and we will share it.
[00:24:56] Jill: Exactly. So, men’s big air gold went to Birk Ruud from Norway. And silver went to Colby Stevenson from USA and bronze went to Henrik Harlaut from Sweden.
In ice hockey, the men started their tournament. We had two games today. They are ROC defeated Switzerland, one to nothing and Denmark defeated Czech Republic, two to one. And more controversy on the women’s side because ROC had a bunch of people test positive for COVID and it seemed like they still played. Or maybe they didn’t, but the rest of the team played when they had all been close contacts.
[00:25:31] Alison: Correct. And there’s continued issues with getting the results from the ROC tests to the other team and to officials in a timely manner and in the proper format. So yesterday in the game between Finland and ROC, the Finns wore masks on the ice.
[00:25:52] Jill: Yeah. I mean, because it’s not worth losing your whole team to, if you suddenly become close contacts and heaven forbid one of your players test positive.
In luge, we had the doubles competition today. Gold went to a Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt from Germany. Silver went to Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken from Germany and bronze went to Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller from Austria.
So what happened here? I didn’t get to see it.
[00:26:24] Alison: It was just a great race. Not a lot of crashing, non a lot of craziness, but there is a section of the sliding track called the dragon’s tail. And the OBS announcer loves to say, will he beat the dragon’s tail? Will he conquer the dragon’s tail? Because that’s the spot where people make a lot of mistakes.
So, you know, the Germans, the entire German luge team have clearly defeated the dragon. They are just killing it on the luge track. So congratulations to Norbert Loch, coach of the German team, who knows what the heck he’s doing clearly.
[00:27:03] Jill: Let’s take a little break to talk about our red envelope campaign.
This show does cost money to produce, and while you’ve all been extremely generous in supporting us through the Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing, a lot of you are Patreon patrons, but 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 to help us get through to Paris 2024.
We’re asking for eight, because that is a lucky number in China, symbolizing, good fortune. So, that’s we’re leveraging that thinking as well to give us good fortune to get through to Paris. So go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.
[00:27:46] Alison: And special, thanks to all the people who have donated. It’s really been, I love when I get those email messages now, it’s really exciting.
[00:27:54] Jill: It’s exciting. And it, it takes a load off because we understand that our podcasts can be cyclical. Yes. We find a lot of people who want to listen all the time, but we also find people who just they’ll listen when the Olympics are on. So going through the ebbs and flows of the Olympic cycle, Is a challenge for us financially.
So we really appreciate those of you who step up and help us get to where we need to go on the path.
[00:28:21] Alison: And may you have all good fortune in year of the tiger
[00:28:24] Jill: Rawr!
Moving on to Nordic Combined. We had the individual normal hill ski jumping round and the individual cross-country 10 kilometer round that goes with that. Nordic Combined gold went to a Vinzenz Geiger from Germany. Silver went to a Joergen Graabak from Norway and bronze went to Lucas Greiderer from Austria.
We had the snowboard, it was half-pipe day and snowboard cross day for the women. So both the men and the women had half-pipe. Chloe Kim qualified in first. I did get to see some of this on the feed and she was funny. She did not do well on her first run, but she was all smiles.
[00:29:09] Alison: No, it was her second run.
[00:29:11] Jill: Okay. I’m sorry. She did not do well in her second run, but she was all smiles and I was really worried because I thought for a minute, I thought it was a combination of the first run and second run scores. And I didn’t realize it was the best of because then I thought, oh no, she wiped out a little bit on her second run and didn’t really finish it.
So she got a low score and I thought, oh, we’re in trouble here, but no.
[00:29:35] Alison: What she said in the interview afterwards was she got a very good score on the first run. So in the second run, she decided to try some tricks she doesn’t normally do in competition to see how it would go, almost using it, like an extra training run.
[00:29:50] Jill: Oh, okay.
[00:29:52] Alison: And if they worked great, how they scored. Unfortunately, she wiped out. Thank goodness she wasn’t hurt. And she was laughing and joking about it, like, oh yeah, I’m fine. And the announcers had said that it was really important for her to qualify first and yet when she was talking about it, she said, I qualified, I don’t care if I qualify in the first spot or not.
So I thought that was interesting where the announcers and the athlete have a very different attitude. Toward the competition itself, but she looked great. She sounded in really good spirits. Sounds like things are feeling good and looking good for tomorrow.
[00:30:29] Jill: Excellent. Also had the men’s halfpipe.
I had the feed on no, I didn’t. The feed was on here, so I watched the men’s halfpipe and big news I’m sure stateside is Shaun White qualified. It wasn’t looking good. His first one was not great. And then he pulled out a doozy of a second run to qualify probably in the middle of the pack. I would say he’s not at the top, but it was almost–
[00:30:55] Alison: He qualified and that’s what counts.
[00:30:58] Jill: So it’s almost like, oh, what a relief that he qualified because otherwise his coverage would be how Shaun White didn’t qualify for the half-pipe and the US hasn’t been doing well this Olympics; we’ve gotten some medals, but we finally got our first gold today. And so that’s been kind of a story as well with why isn’t the US performing better.
[00:31:21] Alison: They did an extensive interview with him on NBC. And the most fun for me was seeing the old footage from Vancouver and how young and the long hair. And how much he’s changed and matured and grown and what a gift he is to winter sports. You know, he was kind of a cocky flying tomato and brash. And now he’s just the elder statesman, you know, all of 30 something, the elder statesman of winter sports in the United States, and he’s really taken that mantle on and takes it very seriously. Right.
[00:31:59] Jill: And he has said that this is his last competition. He will not compete after the Olympics. So hopefully his competition goes well. I mean, and today was just when he pulled out that second run, boy, he still got it.
He still got all that big air and I will say the, the field that the top, there’s some Japanese snowboarders at the top and an Australian who are just phenomenal comparatively on the other end was a competitor who I watched that. And I went, huh? Reminds me of Elizabeth Swaney your favorite Hungarian, who last Olympics figured out how she could get enough points to qualify, became a citizen of a country that would allow her to compete for them. And then when she got to the Olympics, barely went down the pipe, barely went over the lip because she just wanted to be an Olympian.
[00:32:58] Alison: And right. She really didn’t know how to do the sport.
It was sort of like she could barely get down the bunny slope. Yeah, she was an Olympian. And we talked a lot about this during the Pyeongchang coverage. Right. And I think we’re going to have to talk a lot about it going forward the country shopping, the Olympic tourism athletes who sort of pick up countries to just get there and the entitlement of that.
And what does that do to the Olympic movement?
[00:33:27] Jill: Yes. So we had a competitor today who I looked and went hey, get over the lip there and is only doing like the most basic of moves that he repeated over and over again, turned out it was a Gao Hungbo from China, the host country. So however, he, they must have had enough quota positions.
I don’t know how he got in there. He did not start his second run. So that just, that was a little frustrating to see compared to all this wonderful company. Because and because I also wondered like, oh, you know, China had seven years to develop snowboarders. They couldn’t, but there were other Chinese competitors who were not too bad and could do own world laying down some pretty tough looking tricks.
[00:34:13] Alison: And did that quota spot take from an American, a Canadian, a European who couldn’t get in the competition because those spots are limited. And yet actually had a really good.
[00:34:26] Jill: Right.
[00:34:27] Alison: And go back to that conversation we started yesterday of this is a country-based system the right way to go.
[00:34:33] Jill: Good point. Moving over to snowboard cross, big day for America, big day for Lindsey Jacobellis who won gold. She is the oldest female member of Team USA. This is her fifth Olympics. She got silver in Torino. This is an infamous story.
And if you listen to our regular show, that’s got the theme music and with the clips over it, the whoa, but it is when Jacobellis goes down in Torino because she was near the end, clearly in first place. They had to go over one last jump and she showboated it a little bit fell on the jump, lost the gold medal.
And since then she has been chasing the medals for the,
[00:35:22] Alison: and has really struggled. She made the Olympic team each time and then fifth, then seventh, just couldn’t put it together and was kind of, I don’t know how personally haunted she was by what happened in Torino, but certainly it’s the only story the press covered of her, right?
That she was this cocky kid in Torino, who showboated, made a scene and lost the gold medal. Never mind that she still had a silver, let’s not forget that, but today it was so joyous and so wonderful. And I got to watch the medal ceremony, which we’ll get to talk about because I want to talk about medal ceremony, and what a mature, joyful woman she is now and all these years, I mean, she’s been competing at the top of her game for nearly 20 years. Let’s talk about that.
[00:36:18] Jill: I was going to say, she’s got this huge list of accomplishments in her sport that hasn’t waned at all, even though she hasn’t done well at the Olympics very often. So it was nice to see her when she dominated every run that she had.
So it just well-deserved, very well earned. Now I hope the story can be laid to rest. Agreed. Silver here went to Chloe Trespeuch from France who was also got silver in 2014 and was fifth in 2018. And then bronze went to Maryeta Odine from Canada who did not compete in 2018 because she had a concussion.
So this is a good comeback for her.
[00:37:06] Alison: This was just a feel good podium on so many levels.
[00:37:10] Jill: You know, what was amazing? I didn’t realize that this competition was so tight. That course seemed really long to me. I don’t know why, but it did seem like a really long course and they just did run after run really quickly back to back.
[00:37:26] Alison: They do four runs to get to the final. And it’s just, you finish one, you go back up at the top and you start the next.
[00:37:35] Jill: I love it. I do love snowboard cross.
And then finally this time we had some short track speed skating. This is the event that I did get to see today. Craziness. As you always have with short track. We had men’s 1500 meters. Quarter-final, semi-finals, and then the two finals. Gold went to Daeheon Hwang from Korea. Silver went to Steven Dubois from Canada and bronze went to Semen Elistratov from ROC. And then we also had heats for the women’s 1000 meters. And of interest to many of our listeners in the US is Maame Biney has moved forward in that.
And then, we also had the semi-finals for the women’s 3000 meter relay, which was just so chaotic because there were so many people on the ice.
[00:38:23] Alison: Speaking of so many people on the ice, that 1500 meter final for the men had 10 skaters in the final. It was so many skaters because during the semifinals, there were issues with one skater falling and impeding another.
So when that happens, they advance the skater who was impeded. Yes. So we had ten because they advanced so many skaters. You had to. They could barely fit across the starting line.
[00:38:53] Jill: And there were some behind too. It’s like they had two rows of racers. I don’t think anybody crashed in that one. I really thought that there were going to be people flying all over the track because it was so many skaters.
What I did learn that I did not know before was the extensive track maintenance that goes on for short track. And also they have what I started calling the cone kids, you know, much like tennis has a ball boy or ball girl to fetch the ball. There are people whose job it is to replace those cones mid race.
So how, yes. Yes. So if when you watch short track, the turns all have cones on the inside. So it looks like from what I can tell on the straightaways, you can kind of pass on the inside and kind of dip into the track, but you have to go around those cones. And oftentimes they get knocked around because people are jostling for position.
Well, what they have is two groups of three people and they are stationed in turns one and in turn three, and whenever those cones get all messed up out of alignment, after the pack goes, they’d run in there. They skate in there, pop a new cone down and pick up the old one. Yes. And then they’re back out in time. I’ve never seen this on TV, but you will see every once in a while somebody gets stuck in the middle because the skaters are coming around too fast or they’re, they’re too spread out.
So you’ll see somebody in the middle who’s not a judge because the judges are wearing blazers. You know, they’re all dressed up in, in nice business clothes with their skates on, but uh, you’ll see somebody in like a track suit a little bit. And that’s one of these, a track maintenance people.
I don’t even know what to make of that.
[00:40:45] Alison: How do they move that fast? Are they all sort of junior racers, like in figure skating? The flower collection kids are usually like the junior skaters from the club that’s hosting the competition.
[00:40:57] Jill: I don’t think so because the other element of their job is track maintenance.
And so between every race they come out. This is a process, man. They come out with watering cans of water, they water the entire curve by the cones, and then they squeegee it. And if they have to fill in a hole, they fill in the hole and the spot, you know, tamp it down and wipe it. So it’s clean and straight.
And then they come in with, I bet it’s like liquid nightmare. It’s not a fire extinguisher, but it’s in a fire extinguisher thing. That’s blue. And then they freeze that little ice section.
[00:41:32] Alison: That we have seen on the feed. If you leave the feed on during, in between races, you’ll see the person with the fire extinguisher, which isn’t a fire extinguisher running around the track. That looks like a fun job, but that’s a professional.
[00:41:47] Jill: Yeah. They’re also the track kids. They’re the cone kids. Wow. It’s heavy-duty work, man. I was just blown away at when I saw them come out for the first time. And one time they missed, like they didn’t get the, they didn’t get the cone picked up in time. They got the new cone draft, but they couldn’t get to the other cone fast enough.
And the skaters came around and one of them ran over the cone. It’s like, Ooh, I hope that doesn’t trip you up. But it did.
[00:42:15] Alison: Before we finish up. I want to talk a little bit about the medal ceremonies. Okay. Have you been to the medal plaza?
[00:42:23] Jill: Yeah, I have not. I have taken the bus by it and I’ve also walked in the vicinity of the medals plaza in Zhangjikou, because I’ve seen that the tail end of some medal ceremonies, some ceremonies from biathlon.
[00:42:40] Alison: Okay. So this is specifically the medal ceremonies that are happening in Beijing, where they have the beautiful plaza. It’s very formal. There’s a lot of people packed into that plaza, which makes me a little nervous, but so there was some discussion on our Facebook group about the different way some of these ceremonies are handled and I watched, and I think it’s true.
So when they lift the flags during the national anthem, there is a military honor guard who is presenting the flag. One person is pulling the string. The other person is holding the flag itself. So first of all, the flick that the honor guard does as the flag is about to start being pulled up, it is like a ballroom dancing skirt.
They flick that with flair and precision, it is like a girl doing a paso doble with her skirt. It is fabulous and all in sync, just gorgeous. But here’s the controversy. When a Chinese flag is up there, they have a fan going. When a Chinese flag is not up there, there is no flag and the flags hang limp.
[00:44:04] Jill: Interesting.
So even, so say something like China wins a silver, their flag will be flying and the gold and the bronze will not, I mean, there’ll be on the pole, but they’ll just.
[00:44:18] Alison: No great, they all blow or they are all flat, when the fan goes. But if there is no Chinese flag going up on one of those poles, there is nothing.
So I watched, there was one that had a Chinese flag and then Lindsey Jacobellis medal presentation. No Chinese flag, no fan. And the flags just hung like wet dish rags.
[00:44:43] Jill: So. Lindsey Jacobellis would be, her plaza would be in Zhangjiakou. I wonder if it’s a venue thing, because you have one Plaza here in Beijing and you have one plaza up in Zhangjiakou and then everybody in the, at Yanqing just has their ceremony right there.
[00:45:04] Alison: Okay. I’ll do a little bit more poking around on some of these medal ceremonies. But if you go to the feed, if you go to NBC, if you’re here in the United States, they do have a feed just of the medal ceremonies. So I will sit down this afternoon when we’ve got no live action and watch a bunch of them and see if this is in fact, a point of controversy or just kind of a weird quirk of different sites.
[00:45:33] Jill: Interesting. All right. Who else are you going to watch? And that would be our people from TKFLASTAN.
[00:45:40] Alison: Yes. So Chloe Kim is going to be in the finals, a snowboard half-pipe finals. If you’re in the United States, that is actually going to air Wednesday night. And John Shuster and Team Shuster will be playing round robin curling against Sweden.
[00:45:59] Jill: Alrighty. We would like to thank our Kickstarter researchers for today is ZachGilfix and Ginny W and also producer Brian for sending us a ton of information.
[00:46:10] Alison: Happy birthday producer Brian. Oh, happy birthday. It’s a big one. I won’t say the number. I’ll just say join the club, Brian.
And also on a happy note to celebrate year of the tiger, we have our mascot. Our beautiful cat Luna, lots of pictures going up. I’ve got a new one coming out today of a, another favorite sleeping place for Luna.
[00:46:38] Jill: Thanks. I’m glad our mascots know how to sleep well. That always makes me comfortable. You know, it’s very comfortable.
[00:46:44] Alison: We are not.
[00:46:46] Jill: They can show us how so I think on that note, it’s time for me to try to go to bed and tune in again tomorrow for more coverage from Beijing.
[00:46:56] Alison: And keep celebrating the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group. It’s a place to hang out with us and all our listeners, Jill is also on Twitter and I am also on Insta. Those handles are @flamealivepod. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.
[00:47:21] Jill: We will catch you right back here. Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.
[00:47:29] Clare: You can go ahead.
[00:47:32] Jill: So what is the course?
[00:47:33] Clare: No, actually like, um, the course is really, uh, really nice. Um, it has a really nice flow to it. Um, meaning you have some nice uphills, nice downhills. Um, I enjoy skiing here. I think I would enjoy skiing here just for fun. Uh, not only in races, like it’s a very nice ski club.
Yeah, I, and I don’t know what happened. I’ll have to ask my, uh, shooting coach. Um, it’s very unusual for me to miss like that in prone, so, must’ve done something wrong with the wind. Um, I know that there was a little bit less wind when I zeroed, so I thought like maybe I should have adjusted the sights, but it looks, it looked like it was about the same, so I don’t know what happened, but once you miss four in prone, you’re just kind of out of it. But I, I just tried to, um, ski as fast as I could, because if I can stay in the top 40, I can score some points and maybe that if I have a good sprint in pursuit, I can still make the mass start or something.
So I just tried to keep skiing fast and I, my legs were cramping. I did ski well, so that’s positive from the day. And, uh, but of course Deedre’s the side of the day. That’s really exciting, huge, personal best for her and American, uh, American best for the Olympics. So I’ll let you all, let her take over.
[00:49:06] Sarah (w/ USOPC): That’s a beautiful play. If you don’t mind I’m with all the colleges and universities in New Hampshire, you got a lot of fans there, anything you want to say to that?
[00:49:15] Clare: Just thanks for your support. Um, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t had my, um, you know, my time at UNH, especially for skiing, but also the support from Wellesley is something I’m really grateful for.
And I’m really, really proud of the, um, ongoing success of the Wellesley ski team. So go Wellesley, go UNH. Thank you.
[00:49:37] Reporter 1: Getting super emotional? Which part of it made you?
[00:49:46] Deedra: Which part? I mean, the finish, the, the hearing what place I was in, I mean, I mean, I I’ve been emotional since I put on this bib today. Um, It’s a dream come true just to be here. Um, so yeah, even when I put on the bib today, it was hard to kind of keep the tears back and, uh, you know, just showing up to the start line. Um, big smile on my face. I mean, this place is just beautiful and I like the course and everything. Crossing the finish line, knowing I shot 19 for 20, that made me cry before I even looked at the thing.
And so it place I was in. Um, and then I saw the place I was in. It’s hard not to be emotional. Um, you know, just thinking about my family and thinking about everybody out there, who’s watching me and supporting me. And, uh, who’ve just been giving me so many encouraging words this week. Uh, this is all for them.
Um, I’m just so happy. That I was able to perform and, uh, yeah, I I’m be crying all week. Just catch me anywhere. I’ll be, I’ll be crying. Um, I think, uh, my coaches and I, and my teammates just, uh, put together a really good plan and. Like even before the Olympics, I mean, just making the Olympics was a huge goal for me.
So thinking before that, I said anything after that is just icing on the cake just a little bit extra. And, uh, I just really tried not to put a lot of pressure on myself and I think that just helped me stay calm out there. Um, you stick to my point. Um, I got a few really good rides from amazing athletes.
Um, my skis were just so incredible. Our team did such an amazing job. I don’t think I’ve ever even skied on these skis before. I know it was a new grind and everything. So, um, everything just kinda was able to come together between that shooting and the skiing. I mean, yeah, it was. Um, I’m just so happy.
You know, I think, uh, choosing the right path. I mean, my path is kind of just. Been thrown at me and I’ve kind of just like rolled with the punches, whatever I could do. And I think as long as I’m happy and that’s the path I want to be on. And so baffling has just made me incredibly happy and, um, being, you know, with my teammates and stuff like that, just sharing all these moments with them.
Um, all the ups and downs, uh, it’s been still. Yeah. Um, as long as I’m enjoying it, I’m still going to be out here going through the Sufferfest that is these races. Um, Yeah, it’s just, uh, I’m still young in this sport. I’m still learning one of these days. I’ll, I’ll learn how to clean a race close today, but I’ll take it.
Um, but yeah, I’ve learned so much from my teammates from Susan and Clare and Joanne and everybody else along the way. And so I’m just, again, honored to represent the team and represent the U S today and somehow pull together. Like you guys said. My best race that, you know, such a big event.
I mean, I’ve kind of like put together some mantras ever since last year, my shooting wasn’t going so well. And, and, uh, you know, being able to kind of have like these trigger words and stuff in my head, come into the range. And so, you know, coming down that hill, I set them all. I got into it. Uh, I saw that huge group of girls that was shooting with and just tell myself, just do your thing, focus on yourself.
Um, and all the shots kind of just lined up that one. I missed. I pretty sure I know where it was. Able to get through those last two and hit those last two, it felt so good. Um, and so I just, I know that my focus is in the right spot right now, and I’m hoping I can keep that up for the rest of the reasons.
No, I nothing about it anymore. 19 for 20 it’s the best shooting I’ve ever had in a four stage race. I am I’m, I’m living on cloud nine right now, athlete in college.
[00:54:16] Sarah (w/ USOPC): How did your college experience kind of help you layer up and find a path to the Olympic?
[00:54:21] Deedra: Um, Yeah. I mean, this kept me, kept me busy, kept me focused.
I learned a lot. I’m very competitive. I like to compete. And so, uh, I loved running. I still love running, but I’m glad that skiing came along. And, uh, you know, between the teammates and coaches, I think that’s been just a very, a common theme throughout my career, as an athlete, just being surrounded by all the right people in the right place at the right time.
And Michigan Tech was one of the perfect places for me. And, um, the community is still so. And so amazing and, uh, had so many people reaching out and giving me such amazing encouragement going into this. So I’m happy to also represent, you know, my college town and all the people who are there. So.