It’s Day 7 from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and skiers are starting to conquer the mountain, rather than the other way around!

Plus, Nathan Chen delivered a performance that got Jill and Alison in the feels, and Jill’s come up with a new way to rate figure skating.

Today’s schedule included:

  • Alping Skiing – Men’s Combined
  • Cross-Country Skiing – Women’s 10K Classic
  • Curling – Men’s and Women’s tournament
  • Figure Skating – Men’s Free Program
  • Freestyle Skiing – Team Aerials
  • Ice Hockey – Men’s tournament
  • Luge – Team Relay
  • Skeleton – Men’s heats
  • Snowboard – Women’s Halfpipe and Men’s Snowboard Cross
  • Speed Skating – Women’s 5000m

Plus, what officiating/volunteer job we’d like to do!

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 7

[00:00:00] Jill: Today’s episode is brought to you by Winter Victor.

Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day seven 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 cohost, Alison Brown, Alison Ni Hao . How are you?

[00:00:26] Alison: Me? How today was kind of fun.

[00:00:29] Jill: Oh, how so?

[00:00:30] Alison: just, I felt like a lot more joy in competitions today.

So I’m feeling good. How are you holding up?

[00:00:39] Jill: Well, yesterday I was a little, I was tired yesterday and then short track revived me today. I think I got a little bit of extra sleep, which is to say I got maybe four and a half hours, maybe five hours. And so I was at figure skating and that was just something.

[00:00:55] Alison: Yeah. I can’t wait to get to there, so let’s get to it.

[00:00:58] Jill: Okay. Well, we’ll start off with what officiating, or volunteer job would you want to do what’s up today?

[00:01:04] Alison: Today I am at skiing. I am at Alpine and I’m the guy that resets the little gate at the very top. He’s got a clipboard. I think it’s officiating. But what I liked the most about it is he is the last person to see the skiers before they go down.

I don’t think he says anything to them. But if it were me, I would say, have a good run, good luck. You know, so not only would I reset the little stick, I would give some words of encouragement, which is totally unprofessional. And I don’t care.

[00:01:58] Jill: Well, I would have a job that is really probably a job for you. It’s at the hockey arena and there are stoppages in the game where a crew comes out and they shovel all the ice chunks or shavings off.

So while they’re shoveling, there’s a person with a towel who goes around and wipes off the plexiglass in front of every camera so that they have a better clean window to shoot from.

[00:02:11] Alison: Why do you think I’m obsessed with, with house maintenance?

[00:02:17] Jill: I don’t know, seems to me

[00:02:19] Alison: It’s true. I kind of am,

[00:02:24] Jill: but I thought that’d be cool.

[00:02:26] Alison: That would be a very hard job for me because I’m very short. I could, would not be very high on the plexiglass.

[00:02:35] Jill: Well, you’re on skates. You add a few inches there. So how are we doing with our fantasy league

[00:02:40] Alison: fantasy league. There has been some movement on the top. PSgola, Patrick from Chicago land is on top at 130. Einarsen is back on the podium at 129. We’ve got a tie for third for a RAF Q and monkeycat is at 128. I moved up to 14th. Unfortunately I’m still losing to my sister. So I got to work on that. You have moved up to 41st. So you had a good day.

[00:03:06] Jill: Ooh, I have a good day when I remembered to do that. I’m not sure I’ve done it for tomorrow, so I better lack that stuff in, lock it down.

All right. We have the follow-up file. First up. You put something in here. What’s going on in the mountain.

[00:03:21] Alison: It’s not the mountain. So we had the discussion yesterday about the medalist. They are bringing mountain medalists down to Beijing for the medal ceremony.

[00:03:29] Jill: Now we are talking the Alpine mountain.

[00:03:32] Alison: We are talking the Alpine mountain.

So they are there. So I, I talked yesterday about the fan gate, whether the fan was on for only the China flag and off for all the others. So yesterday I sat down and I watched all the days of medal ceremonies, took lots of notes, figured out up to Day 2 that there was in fact only a fan for when China won a gold medal, but that seems to have stopped after day two. So now nobody gets a fan. Nobody gets nice things now. So all the flags are hanging limply but everybody gets the flick from the military officer at the bottom of the flag pole, as the flag is going up, which, please watch a medal ceremony and see the Paso Doble of all of these flag flicks, they are fantastic.

[00:05:07] Jill: So I have not been to a medal ceremony. There’s Medals Plaza here. And I realized today that the Plaza is in the same complex area, the whole Olympic park complex. So there’s the Birds Nest and the Ice Cube and the Indoor Stadium. Hockey’s at the stadium. Curling’s at the Ice Cube, the Bird’s Nest, the ceremonies, and then the Plaza in the middle. There’s where the medals ceremony is, but there’s also the Olympic rings and the snow flame is there too, but they’re outside the bubble. We can’t get to them up close and personal

Alison: wait, you can’t get to the medal plaza?

Jill: Oh, I could probably, I can get to the medal Plaza because the bus goes there. I can’t get to the snow flame and the rings because they’re outside the bubble.

[00:05:15] Alison: What do we even do with that? How can the, the Elsa cauldronette be outside the bubble?

[00:05:22] Jill: Well, it’s for the fans,

[00:05:24] Alison: but you can’t have a fan.

[00:05:27] Jill: Different fan.

All right, we’ve got a little bit more follow-up from the Max Parrot judging on the slope style situation. Producer Brian found an article for us in Yahoo Australia that talked about the judging controversy. There was also something on Eurosport and an another snowboarding specific website talked with the head judge.

Actually the head judge said that they graded what they saw and the point of view is what they got. So that’s the way they saw it. They had to make a split second decision. They have to get the scores out. So the consensus among the judges was that it was an insane run. It wasn’t just one trick. It was everything in that run that helped get him those scores.

So the controversy is still ongoing, but it’s not only in the press. Now. I think it is raging in the Chinese press and on Chinese social media that he was robbed. So, but Max Parrot was so good. Yeah. It was close and could a different set of judges called it differently? Yeah. But how can you feel bad? You’re 17, you got a silver medal.

[00:06:38] Alison: You beat your idol. Mm we’re good.

[00:06:42] Jill: Golden. All right. Produce Brian also talked to us about country swapping and whether that’s new or more recent trend. This has just been going on since the beginning of Olympic time. Apparently. So he was asked to help out with a research project about a decade ago, and he gave up because, he kind of gave up because he found that a significant percentage of Olympians throughout history were not born or even lived very long in the country that they represented in the Olympics. And it was definitely a big issue among top stars since the 1980s. And I kind of wonder if LA 84 was a little bit of a trigger in this because it was in America.

And we know a lot of Americans end up country shopping and they go to a smaller country. So I wonder if that kind of helped fuel it.

[00:07:32] Alison: I’m not giving up on doing some research on this.

[00:07:35] Jill: Alright [doping music].

Isn’t it fun pushing that button?

[00:07:41] Alison: It is really fun pushing the button. It makes it less awful hearing that sound.

Okay. So. Reported yesterday about the Kamila Valieva story and the question and the team event. So it’s still hanging around AP and Reuters and a bunch of other outlets have identified the drug as trimetadazine. I apologize. And it is a heart medicine that can help blood flow.

So that would allow for greater oxygenation, more blood flow to the heart. Bigger problem we have is the IOC is not going to talk because Valieva is only 15. She’s considered a protected person under the WADA code, which means that they protect more of her privacy because she is so young, they still haven’t awarded the medals in the team event.

It is still floating around. Everybody is talking about her team around her, her coach. The, the Russian figure skating authorities, because the kid is only 15. Would she really make a choice at that age herself?

[00:08:56] Jill: Right. And does she have a condition where she would need to take this?

[00:09:00] Alison: Well, if she had a condition where she needed to take this, you can apply for a waiver.

[00:09:07] Jill: True. But you know how we hear stories and people just don’t know how to do this.

[00:09:14] Alison: I don’t buy that one. I mean, this is the Russian figure skating team, they would know to apply for a waiver if she truly needed this medication. So what I think was interesting is clearly this is not as it was first reported, a recreational drug.

This is a medication, whether it’s in or out of competition, this would still be a banned substance. So the first reports were very off base and  Valieva went to practice. You said you’ve seen in Beijing she did not talk to anyone in the mixed zone, but she did her full practice. So yes, this is still unfolding.

Mark Adams at the IOC is not saying much; the Russians actually are not saying much either.

[00:09:59] Jill: They know they’re in trouble.

[00:10:01] Alison: So we’ll just have to see how this plays out. The women skate in a few days and we’ll see if she’s allowed to.

[00:10:09] Jill: That will be interesting to see. I had heard that she was at practice and looked very tired, probably a lot of stress going on and not knowing what’s going to happen and if she didn’t know that whatever she took was an issue who knows.

And this yeah, it’s a tough situation and it’s, but it’s interesting to see the IOC backed into a corner on this.

[00:10:35] Alison: Right because, you know, we’ve got the ROC and not Russia competing because of a state sponsored doping program. And now you’ve got a 15 year old testing positive for a blood medication, and there’s been all kinds of rumors about the Russian skaters. These little jumping machines are given puberty blockers and weight loss drugs. And so nobody’s surprised. And yet we’re all shocked that it’s Valieva who’s gotten slammed for this.

[00:11:11] Jill: Well, it’s a big topic of conversation around here. Lots of people talking about it, trying to figure out what’s going on.

Speaking of what else is going on. You could hit the button again,

[00:11:23] Alison: I get to hit the button again.

[00:11:28] Jill: So the International Testing Agency has confirmed that Iranian Alpine skier, Hossein Saveh Shemashaki, has been provisionally suspended because he had a positive drug test as well. Shemshaki tested positive for a metabolite of dehydrochloromethyl testosterone. And so they’re prevented from competing, training, coaching, or participating in any activities here.

[00:11:55] Alison: He’s got to get himself thrown out of the closed loop.

[00:11:58] Jill: I don’t understand. I’m not sure much how much of a medal contender he was, but come on.

[00:12:06] Alison: So if any Game of Thrones fans are out there, I imagine people getting thrown out of the closed loop, like getting thrown out of the trap door and the Eyre where they just drop people out of the sky door.

That’s a little more contemporary for my pop culture references today. I’ve got a great one coming for luge. Just wait.

[00:12:26] Jill: Oh. Before that we’d like to thank our sponsor Winter/Victor studio, Winter/Victor believes that sport and beautiful design go hand in hand and that a designer’s versatility is just as important as an athlete’s dexterity. Winter/Victor provides distinctive graphic design to clients in sport, from logos to digital communications.

Winter/Victor brings the same passion to design that our clients bring to the field of play. Add a responsive and versatile designer to your team at Wintervictor.com and Winter/Victor designed our lovely pins that people like here, I will say.

[00:13:01] Alison: Are they becoming a hot commodity because I’m bringing you reinforcements?

[00:13:05] Jill: Well, I’m going to say I haven’t been very good at giving them out. I’m working on it, but I got a lot to do. This is so beautiful today.

[00:13:14] Alison: They are beautiful. And I just, I can’t wait to give them out to people. I hope they let me bring some on the plane with me so I can just give them out.

Jill: I didn’t have a problem with that.

Alison: Okay, good. Good, good, good. Because whoever is on my plane to Beijing is getting.

[00:13:28] Jill: All right. Let’s start with alpine. Let’s start with Alpine skiing today. We had the men’s Alpine combined downhill. Did you watch this?

[00:13:40] Alison: I did. It was a lot cleaner than the straight downhill. We only had three DNFs in the downhill portion of the combined competition.

And there were seven DNFs in the slalom portion, which was later on in the day race. People really hitting the course.

[00:14:00] Jill: Interesting. I wonder if they’re starting to really get to know it a lot better now. That’s how it looks.

[00:14:05] Alison: That is exactly how it looked like. They’re getting more comfortable on the mountain.

The weather has calmed down; it’s cold, but the wind seems to have really calmed down. As you can tell, when you look at the coaches on the mountain with the cow sign, they’re not quite getting blown around as much, and you’re not seeing the snow getting kicked up. So I think conditions have improved as well.

[00:14:27] Jill: Excellent. So gold went to Johannes Strolz from Austria who pulled up from fourth place in the downhill.

[00:14:36] Alison: He was fourth in the downhill and then came back on the slalom and she just nailed the runn. And it wasn’t that the people behind him made mistakes. He just came down that, that slalom course and knew what the heck he was doing.

[00:14:51] Jill: Silver went to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde from Norway and bronze went to Jack Crawford from Canada.

[00:14:57] Alison: Crazy Canuck. Remember the Crazy Canucks? They were the skiers back, I think in the eighties,

[00:15:06] Jill: Moving over to cross country skiing.

We had the women’s 10 kilometer classic. Gold went to Therese Johaug from Norway who is a double gold medalist. Now silver went to Kerttu Niskanen from Finland and bronze went to Krista Parmakoski from Finland. So this was a tough race.

[00:15:28] Alison: This was a lot of fun. So four tenths of a second separated gold and silver, and one 10th of a second separated bronze from the fourth place finisher who is Natalia Nepryaeva, who we saw in earlier race winning a medal.

So it was tight. It was great. It was cold. So when I was first looking at the results, I thought Niskanen was a double medalist, but it turns out no, that was her brother. Iivo who won a bronze medal and he’ll be competing tomorrow. So there’s a big party in the Niskanen house. Excellent.

[00:16:07] Jill: Excellent. Moving over to curling the women’s and men’s team competition is underway.

So, and the women’s side, we had two sessions and Great Britain defeated, Sweden or Switzerland defeated Great Britain, six to five. Denmark beat China, seven to six. USA beat ROC nine to three. And then in the second women’s session, Great Britain defeated Sweden eight to two. USA beat Denmark, seven to five. Switzerland beat China, seven to five and Canada beat Korea, 12 to seven.

The garlic girls from Pyeongchang are back.

[00:16:48] Alison: Do they have their hats? They wearing hats? Last time didn’t they have fancy hats?

[00:16:54] Jill: They might have, I just remember the glasses. Oh yes, but they’re here. And I, it was a toss-up of whether I would go to ice hockey or to curling, but I’ll hit curling up when they play again now.

The men also had another session round robin play. Sweden beat the US seven to four. Canada beat Norway six to five. ROC beat China, seven to four and Great Britain beat Italy, seven to five. I saw a little bit of the end of the USA Sweden game, which was a tough loss.

[00:17:29] Alison: They were trying hard and knock and rocks all over the place, man. That was a good, it was good match. Sweden played very, very well.

[00:17:37] Jill: And they were the silver medalist in Pyeongchang. So, you know, they’re going to, go for the gold this time.

Let’s take a little break to talk about our red envelope campaign. This show does cost money to produce. And while you all have been very generous and supporting us through our Kickstarter campaign that got us to Beijing and also through Patreon patronage, we’re coming up on two and a half years until another Olympics.

Our podcast happens to be cyclical in terms of its listener. So we’re going to go through a little downward trend for a little while. So we’re really looking for help to get us through to Paris and celebrate 2024 with all of you. So to honor the Lunar New Year here, we are asking of donations of at least $8, which is a lucky number in China symbolizing good fortune. Go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.

[00:18:29] Alison: Let’s get to figure skating,

[00:18:31] Jill: figure skating

[00:18:32] Alison: You were there.

[00:18:33] Jill: I was there for this. Well, I was late for this. Okay. I missed most of group one which made me sad because I missed Donovan Carillo from Mexico.

And I got there to the venue just as he was in like the last third of his program. So I watched that on the screen in the media room. But then I hustled my butt upstairs to get a seat in the packed tribute area and the rest of the show was just great,

[00:19:03] Alison: such amazing programs, which now obviously we’re going to talk about Nathan Chen.

Was there anybody else that just really struck you in person?

[00:19:14] Jill: Oh, well, both of the Japanese skaters Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno who, they both placed silver and bronze. And Nathan Chan from the US won the gold. Their jumps are so fast. They rotate so quickly in the air. It’s unbelievable to see in person.

[00:19:33] Alison: You can tell on television, but I can’t imagine what that looks like there. I mean, I feel like you would hear a wooshing sound as they, they spun around in the air. It was, it was fun to watch and, and Shoma Uno. We talked about this earlier in the team competition. His coach Stefan Lambiel had been at stuck home with COVID, but he was back for this. So he got his coach back, which I’m sure was a huge boost.

[00:20:01] Jill: Yeah. Oh, I’m sure, definitely. And Yuzuru Hanyu who was the defending, t he two time defending gold medalist. He ended up finishing fourth. He attempted to quad axle, which has never been landed before in competition. He fell. He is so incredibly light in the air on his skates.

It’s just kind of magical to watch him skate.

[00:20:24] Alison: That’s never even been attempted before in competent. That quad.

[00:20:30] Jill: In the press conference afterwards, Nathan Chen said, what an honor, it’s been to compete alongside of him and learn from him and see him push the boundaries of skating.

Because somebody asked if he thought that somebody would land the quad axle and he goes, someday, it’s going to go. I never thought that we’d get some of these other quadruple jumps and they’re doing them all over the place. So yeah, the quad axle will come, but it’s, it’s going to take somebody to do it.

[00:21:00] Alison: I mean, Nathan Chen is doing a quad Lutz, which is no joke.

[00:21:06] Jill: So I would say that there wasn’t really a great, perfect program. There were a lot of seasons best there and a lot of really great performances, but there were also a lot of little miscues, like, the, both the Japanese skaters made some pretty big flubs.

One of, at least one of them fell and Nathan himself didn’t have a perfect program. He had a singled a planned triple in combination, but he stepped out of another jump. So the second jump on the combination was only a single jump, but you know what? I didn’t notice because I was too busy crying at that point.

I, I don’t know when it was in the program, but he landed this jump and I, tears came to my eyes and I just started crying for the rest of the program. It was beautiful and moving.

[00:21:51] Alison: So in the middle of this program, which he used music from Rocket Man, the movie, which fit him perfectly, you know, we talk about music, not matching the skater, this fit him.

And he seemed to really love this program. In the middle of the program he did a step sequence and he started smiling in the middle of his step sequence and he had lots of jumps still to go. And especially for Nathan Chen, not something you typically see for him. He knew he had the flow of this program.

You know, we talk about when we read Boys in the Boat and the idea of the swing, when you know, everything is, is, is firing all cylinders, everything feels right. He was in the swing and it was beautiful to watch even with those little mistakes. And I’m so glad he made those little mistakes because Nathan, nobody’s harder on Nathan Chen than Nathan Chen and that he wasn’t perfect. and still won I think will help him going forward as a human being. I was crying at home too.

[00:23:02] Jill: Okay. Glad you brought up the music factor because while I was live tweeting, I was kind of figuring out what, to what, what’s my angle here. And I was really struck by how skaters connected with their music, where they didn’t connect with their music.

So I came up with the Skater Enjoyment Factor ranking, it’s called the SEF. And so I rated everybody on how they seem to mesh with their music. And some of them did really well. And then some of them really did not. So if you are on Twitter, I’m going to try to go out to ice dancing and check that out too.

So look for the Skater Enjoyment Factor. There are some, the, I don’t have my list of names, but like the skater from Georgia, he skated to a Sinatra song. And whereas his short worked.

Oh, thank you. It just did not work. He was too a little gangly. He did not have Sinatra’s confident confidence and swagger, and it just seemed like he didn’t quite believe he was playing with the big boys

[00:24:06] Alison: Though he did his Cartwheel. So in this competition, we saw a two handed Cartwheel, a one handed Cartwheel, and a, an Ariel, a no handed Cartwheel. So the Cartwheel is making a comeback in figure skating. Don’t know why, I guess the point system, you know, what else is making a comeback? The broken leg sit spin. So this is a sit spin when you’re outside leg is turned outward instead of tucked in. It is my favorite spin in all of skating it at fallen out of favor recently. So it must be in the new point system, the broken legs it’s must get you bonus points. I love it.

[00:24:53] Jill: All right. Anything else? On figure skating?

[00:24:55] Alison: We have ice dance next. I’m so excited.

[00:25:01] Jill: Well, it was funny because in the press conference afterwards, that took a long time to start because they were, the skaters were all busy going through the mixed zone and they had to talk to broadcast. And there were a lot of Japanese people up, up in the broadcast thing.

And then they had the guy who moderated everything. He’s like, okay, now they’re in the written press mixed zone. And there’s a lot of Japanese press there. It could take awhile. And then we got kicked out at a certain time because they had to do the draw for ice dancing. And it was basically media out of here. Got to go.

[00:25:42] Alison: Done with you. Now we need the fabulous ice dance.

[00:25:46] Jill: Exactly. I did meet Jackie Wong.

[00:25:49] Alison: I saw that. So we had Jackie Wong on before the show and you have actually met him in person. There’s a picture in Facebook in the Facebook group. I’m sure you put the picture up on Twitter. So yeah, when TKFLASTANIs collide.

[00:26:01] Jill: so nice to meet him.

Uh, let’s move on to freestyle skiing. We had the mixed team aerials today. Gold went to USA. Silver went to China and bronze went to Canada. Do you have anything else?

[00:26:15] Alison: So someone in the Facebook group mentioned that their daughter had watched ski jumping and said, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

And I said, please show her some aerials. It was a great competition. If you haven’t seen it, go back because it wasn’t a lot of wipe outs. It wasn’t a lot of blown jumps. It was just really, really beautiful jumping and so much fun because the team events are always fun.

[00:26:43] Jill: Moving on to ice hockey, we had the men in action today in the preliminary rounds.

It was Sweden versus Latvia. Sweden won, three to two. Finland beat Slovakia, six to two. USA, beat China, eight to zero and Canada beat Germany, five to one.

[00:27:00] Alison: You were at USA/China. Please tell me how China looked.

[00:27:05] Jill: They didn’t look too bad in the beginning, but I think they, they really got to it. The poor goalie, he just was getting socked. USA, got goals, right and left. It took a long time to score. I will say that everybody looked a little tentative and I honestly felt like there was some kind of political message or feeling in the building. Maybe it was because we watched Miracle in Movie Club and it was just a swap in China for Russia. And  up to the next century, but it felt a little touch and go.

There were some almost fights that had to get broken up, but yes, scoring didn’t happen for a long time. And then in the second and third period, the USA just laid it on and they had just about double the number of shots on goal that Canada, that China had. So China didn’t play badly. But I’m very curious as to how they’re going to stack up against some of these other teams.

I do anticipate some pretty high scores against some of them, but, but we will see, I think their, their poor goalie just got tired at the end and stuff was just kind of magically going in, but lots of really good passing on the USA side. I really, I thought they did a good job there.

[00:28:29] Alison: It’s funny that you’re saying you’re anticipating a lot of high scoring games.

This was eight-zero. This, this was a hardly close match. So, you know, it sounds like what the hockey federation was concerned about having China in this tournament may come to pass. So we’ll keep an eye on it. Right.

[00:28:50] Jill: Moving on to luge. We had the team relay competition. Gold went to Germany. Silver went to Austria and bronze went to Latvia. Did you see this?

[00:28:59] Alison: I saw this. This was fantastic. So Germany won by eight hundredths of a second. Came down to the last second.

[00:29:09] Jill: Wait one thousands. Is that that’s what that’s what in your notes?

[00:29:13] Alison: No, it says eight one hundredths.

[00:29:15] Jill: Oh, sorry.

[00:29:18] Alison: And actually it was up to the doubles team. Natalie Geisenberger and Johannes Ludwig were behind the Austrian man and woman portions, and then the doubles team Wendell and Aldt just came down and pull it out.

So Germany has now swept all the luge gold medals. Which I doubt has ever happened. I haven’t been able to, you know, I’ve been going back and taking a look and obviously the team is a relatively new event, but doesn’t seem like this has happened before, other than for Germany. Norbert Loch is buying all the beers tonight.

The coach of the German team, just really, really fantastic. The other big story from the lose race was Latvia coming in. Latvia is becoming a real sliding mecca. They do very well in skeleton. Doing very well in luge makes me a little sad that we’re not going to be in Sigulda for 2026.

[00:30:18] Jill: I hear you.

[00:30:19] Alison: But the luge Federation president is from Latvia, so he got to award and he awarded the medals. So he got to award his countrymen the bronze medal, which was really exciting.

[00:30:34] Jill: That’s always nice.

[00:30:36] Alison: And when we talked to Jayson Terdiman about relays and the doubles, he talked about the, the way the timing mechanism works and they have a panel at the finish line that the, the luger has to slap that then is connected to the gate at the top that opens it for the next racer.

That’s a whole other thing. Sitting up, timing it and slapping a correctly. Do people miss? It’s not so much that they missed as that they probably lost a 10th of a second in their technique. You know, did you sit up enough where you could reach forward and slap it? Just a 10th of a second faster. And since we’re talking about hundreds and thousands of seconds that sitting up slapping technique, it’s like passing the baton in running, or the takeoff for swimming relays are a technique beyond just being fast in your leg.

[00:31:39] Jill: Interesting.

[00:31:40] Alison: man. I wish we could party with the Germans tonight after that they were so, so pleased,

[00:31:47] Jill: but I’d be afraid to part of it with the Germans to be quite honest, I’ve, I’ve seen them party before.

menLet’s move on to skeleton. We had the heats for the men today. It was heat one and two. So after those two runs, it’s Germany’s Christian Grotheer on top followed by Axel Jungk, also from Germany and Martin Dukars from Latvia sitting in third. Right now he is, and then a fourth and fifth are both from China.

It’s Wengang Yan and Yung Jen.

[00:32:20] Alison: So speaking of Latvian sliding Martin and his brother Thomas, both in the top 10, both multiple Olympians. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna see them in the finals, which will be exciting. I’d love to see Latvia double medal. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

[00:32:39] Jill: It would be very cool,

[00:32:40] Alison: but the German sliders, the Germans are not fooling around on the track.

[00:32:45] Jill: No, they are just like Kings and Queens of the sliding venues.

[00:32:50] Alison: So I promised you an updated cultural reference when it came to this, there is a Tik Tok sound about cousin Wilhelm on the mountain doing a trick. So the German team killing it. It’s, it’s a tick tock. And it’s how honoring the German team because they are killing it on that track.

[00:33:14] Jill: All right. Let’s move over to snowboard. You have the half-pipe final for the women and Chloe Kim from the USA won gold. Silver went to Queralt Castellet from Spain and bronze went to Sena Tomita from Japan.

[00:33:31] Alison: Oh, Chloe Kim. How gorgeous was that first run? How gorgeous was this competition? How mature and lovely was her reaction to the medal, when, you know, she’s taken a lot of heat in the past four years, she took a lot of heat.

She was a kid when she went in Pyeongchang, she was only 17. And since then, unfortunately, she has been attacked on social media. She’s taken a lot of the Asian American, you know, the avalanche of Asian American hate that has come out in the past couple of years, she went off social media for quite a while, and to see her win so beautifully.

And with such grace, she deserves it. She absolutely deserves it. She’s the best in the world. There is no doubt about that.

[00:34:22] Jill: So it was funny. Did you see the press conference afterwards?

[00:34:26] Alison: No. I only saw an interview with her at the bottom of the hill.

[00:34:29] Jill: Okay. So at the press conference she just threw out there. Does anyone have any snacks? Because I’m really hungry. The journalist just started getting snacks to her at the table and she took a couple of them and was like, thanks. She almost dug into them right there. Then she’s like, I’ll save them for a little bit later. And then was like, do you guys want snacks to her fellow medalists?

[00:34:54] Alison: So she tweeted about how before the qualification, she was really nervous and she ate churros. So if you’re ever nervous eat a churro and in Pyeongchang she had that problem too, because she was so nervous. She couldn’t eat breakfast. And by the time her competition came around, she said she was hangry. So why are we not feeding Chloe Kim appropriately?

[00:35:16] Jill: I don’t know. Where is Chloe Kim getting churros here in China? I think they have KFC in the venue and the athletes.

[00:35:24] Alison: Do they have churros at KFC?

[00:35:26] Jill: I don’t know, but if they have KFC, maybe they have a churro place who knows? Producer Brian had an interesting note about the silver medalist Queralt Castellet.

This is her fifth Olympic. In this sport and she has gotten progressively better with each game she’s been in. She started in Torino and got 26th. Then at 2010 in Vancouver, she plays 12. 2014. She was 11th and Pyeongchang she was seventh. And today she got the silver, so excellent job.

[00:36:00] Alison: She was the oldest competitor in that field. This was just a feel good competition. If you haven’t seen it, go back. Lots of, there were a lot of broken runs because the girls were going for some really big tricks, but all the top competitors had at least one really fantastic run. So everybody did what they came to do because only one run counts and a lot, a lot of fun to watch.

[00:36:26] Jill: Also in snowboard, we had the men’s snowboard cross today. Gold went to Alessandro Haemmerle from Austria and silver went to Elliot Grondin from Canada and bronze went to Omar Visintin from Italy. I understand that this was an amazing final as well, and I hope they replay it here on the feeds

[00:36:49] Alison: Photofinish between gold and silver.

[00:36:53] Jill: That’s incredible.

[00:36:54] Alison: Yes. And Jake Vedder who replaced our Alex Diebold after his injury finished sixth. And he’s very young. This was his first Olympics. So did really, really well. So I know Alex is proud of him for filling that spot quite ably.

[00:37:10] Jill: Speaking of photofinish, I think it was Listener Brittany mentioned that there’s a feature on the Olympics app, where if you’re looking at the results and you see a little camera that is the photo finish, and it will actually show you the photo of the finish line. So that is a really, really cool feature.

And then finally today we had some long track speed skating.

We had the women’s 500 meter bra. Golden went to Irene Schouten from Netherlands. Silver went to Isabelle Weidemann from Canada and bronze went to Martina Sablikova from Czech Republic

[00:37:47] Alison: the Dutch won a speed skating gold medal?

[00:37:54] Jill: not surprising, not surprising, but great job for Irene. All right. What do we have on tap for TKFLASTAN for tomorrow?

[00:38:02] Alison: Well, before I say this, we did get a question in the group about what is TKFLASTAN. And since we’ve got some new listeners for the Olympic shows, I’m going to do a quick explanation.

So this is our Team Keep the Flame Alive. These are guests who have been on the show. So, if you go back to old shows, you will hear our interviews with them. We have a page for them on our website. So, it wasn’t much of an acronym, but Jill and I had a conversation and she said, you know, it sounds like one of those Eastern European republics, if you add stan, so TKFLASTAN was born and that’s why we refer to it that way.

So whenever we talk about it, these are people who have been on our show and it gives us reason to cheer for them. And we have lots of them in Beijing. And right now competing will be John Shuster in curling and he will be facing, and his team will be facing Great Britain and Clare Egan, our biathlete has got another race. She’s got sprint. She’s got starting position 10.

[00:39:09] Jill: About that. Haven’t decided about going up to the mountain to watch the sprint. Because the problem is, when you go out to the mountain is either stuff has been at like 9:30 in the morning, or it’s all at like five and six o’clock in the evening, all like concurrently.

And it’s, that’s a little frustrating because you would think you’d be able to go site to site and you just can’t.

[00:39:34] Alison: We have a lot of scheduling questions because last night, the women’s half pipe and the men’s figure skating happened at the same time. These are two marquee events. Why are they scheduled at the same time?

[00:39:49] Jill: That’s a good question. I am very curious to know how the schedules are built. Part of me, wonder, I don’t know if they think of it as a marquee event, necessarily in every host country. I mean, every host country is going to have different events that are marquee for them. So I’m not surprised that they were happening at the same time, especially with, you know, you have so many sports on a program, stuff is going to happen at the same time.

No matter what you do, you can’t go 24 hours in a day and have 24 different sports and scanning the actual schedule, the session was long, it was 9:30 to one, something or two o’clock. So it was a long, long session and that stuff is just going to go to collide with each other. That’s just the way it’s going to be.

But I’m very curious as to how they think about building a schedule, especially when you have a whole bunch of events in the same venue area that all start and stop around the same time. Is that, is it planned to like have better transportation all at once or is there another reason.

[00:40:53] Alison: It can’t be making the transportation better given your experience. Are you warm today?

[00:41:03] Jill: Yeah, because I’m in Beijing and I’m wearing my big fuzzy poncho, which I do love but it’s bulky. So then I feel bulkier at that.

[00:41:12] Alison: You know what you need? You need our mascot Luna to come and keep you warm.

Jill: I do

Alison: so thank you to Listener Beth for supporting our Kickstarter campaign. So her cat Luna has been our mascot. We’ve only got a couple more days with Luna and then we’re going to have a new mascot for next week, but I’ve been enjoying Luna. She’s great for our year of the tiger mascot.

[00:41:37] Jill: So we’d also like to thank our researchers for today. That would be Angela Melkoo Wardle and Grace Lattyak. And that will do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow for more great competition from Beijing

[00:41:53] Alison: And celebrate the games with us. Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group is the place to hang out with us and with our other listeners, it has been hopping with more discussion about Bolero happening. Jill’s on Twitter. I am on Insta. Both are @flamealivepod.

You can also email us at flamealivepod@gmail.com or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:42:26] Jill: Hold on. We did not have a little discussion about Bolero, which is also classic.

[00:42:36] Alison: Still no Malaguena.

[00:42:39] Jill: Oh, it was so much, it was so many, you know, who did Bolero along with Bo Jin from China also did a Bolero, but Shoma Uno, I didn’t even recognize it the way the arrangement was. So it was quite interesting.

[00:42:54] Alison: We’re talking about it on the Facebook group.

[00:42:57] Jill: Go there. You got a pretty good Skater Enjoyment Factor rating on both of those. So we will catch you back here and, and on that note, we will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening and until then, keep the flame alive.

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