It’s Day 9 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and Alison is excited because the Ice Dancing competition has begun! Jill went to it — is she as thrilled about the competition?

Today’s sports schedule includes:

  • Biathlon – Men’s 10K Sprint
  • Cross-Country Skiing – Women’s 4x5K Relay
  • Curling – Men’s and Women’s Tournament
  • Figure Skating – Ice Dancing Rhythm Dance
  • Ice Hockey – Men’s Prelims and Women’s Quarterfinals
  • Skeleton – Women’s
  • Ski Jumping – Men’s Large Hill
  • Snowboard Cross – Mixed Team
  • Speed Skating – Women’s Team Pursuit Quarterfinals, Men’s 500m

Plus, we have more information in the continuing saga of Kamila Valieva, the figure skater who had tested positive for doping but has competed here already.

Tiger celebrating Lunar New Year and Keep the Flame Alive Podcast logo. Text says, "Support the show with a RED ENVELOPE, flamealivepod.com/support

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 to Beijing and also through Patreon patronage, we’re coming up on 2 ½ years until another Olympics, so to celebrate the Lunar New Year, we’re asking for donations of at least $8 — in China the number 8 is a lucky number symbolizing good fortune —  to help us get through to Paris 2024. Go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.

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


TRANSCRIPT

Please note that transcripts are machine-generated and may contain errors. Use the audio file as the official record of note.

Beijing 2022: Olympics – Day 9

[00:00:08] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day nine 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. Hello Alison, ni hao. How are you?

[00:00:23] Alison: Ni hao. I hear it as the magical hour of vacuuming again.

[00:00:27] Jill: It is the magical hour vacuuming.

And, you know, I picked the spot. I found pillars. I don’t know why I found pillars the other day, but it’s massive pillars in the middle of the room. Why did I not see these? I’m like, well, that will block some sound. But I came in here and they were vacuuming and like, well, if I sit by this pillar, they’ll get by me pretty quickly, but they are being really thorough today.

So I apologize for the sound. We got to do what we got to do,

[00:00:53] Alison: You know, Mike Tirico, doesn’t have to put up with these humiliations.

[00:00:56] Jill: No but, NBC also has money to, get their own studios

[00:01:01] Alison: and vacuum on the off hours.

[00:01:04] Jill: Yet we do with what we can get the free spot and the media center worker.

[00:01:12] Alison: But I got to tell you, I love having you there. I mean, I miss you terribly, but I love you being there.

[00:01:18] Jill: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I miss you terribly too. It’s very weird. Like I could have used you today at ice dancing. I will say that.

[00:01:25] Alison: Well, we will get to it.

[00:01:27] Jill: All right. Let’s get into our follow-up file.

[00:01:32] Alison: So excited about this because our favorite IOC member, Dick Pound has gone rogue on the Kamila Valieva doping scandal.

[00:01:47] Jill: All right. We’ve got some follow-up on the Kamila Valieva scandal. This is something you saw. This is exciting news. This is exciting for us.

[00:01:58] Alison: Our favorite IOC member, who is also the rep of IOC on the WADA board, Dick Pound has gone rogue. Oh, yes. This whole scandal. And I want to read the whole quote that was reported by Reuters.

So here we go, quote, “At a certain point, if they are absolutely incorrigible, you end up with the position of take a country time out. We could say, we can help you. You got a problem. We can concentrate on it, take a timeout of one or two or three Olympic games until you get this under control. The Russians don’t help themselves because they have been absolutely unrepentant. They won’t admit anything. They appeal every single decision. I think the approach probably has been too lenient to allow them to compete as a Russian Olympic committee” end quote.

[00:02:59] Jill: Wow. Wow.

[00:03:02] Alison: And I mean, this is no junior member of the IOC. He’s about as senior as you get.

[00:03:07] Jill: You bet he is, he’s the doyen. This is it. This is his last year too.

[00:03:13] Alison: And he is not pulling any punches and I am thrilled to hear him say this.

[00:03:21] Jill: But is it too little too late?

[00:03:23] Alison: You know what? It’s never too late because the IOC still can take a stronger stand and they need to take a stronger stand and I hope Dick Pound can push them in the right direction because they can correct the mistake that they’ve made.

And they have been too lenient. We’ve been saying this since Sochi. Yeah.

[00:03:47] Jill: So this will be interesting. Now we’ve gotten more word on when the hearing is on the Kamila Valieva case. On top of this, the International Skating Union has also filed the petition against RUSDAD too, and their handling of the, I’ve lost my word, but the, form of your appeal Kamila.

So, the hearings will be on Sunday evening here in Beijing; that’s tomorrow. And then we will have a decision by Monday afternoon. And then the women’s program starts on Tuesday. So this will be wrapped up pretty quickly. We’ll have a decision.

[00:04:29] Alison: Yeah. And the petitions are flying. So RUSADA has launched an investigation against Eteri Tuberidze, who is the coach of Kamila Valieva. She’s got a reputation for producing these little Russian jumping machines. Also has a reputation for, shall we say, harsh training methods. She’s kind of become the Bela and Marta Karoli of women’s figure skating, lots of injuries out of her rink. Lots of very short careers. So there have been rumors, some people throw around the word abusive, that’s all alledged and you know, kind of what rumors are.

So that investigation was launched. As you said, ISU has filed a petition against her. The Court of Arbitrary for Sport is who’s going to make this final decision on Monday. And we just know nobody’s going to be happy with whatever this decision is.

[00:05:31] Jill: Oh no. If it’s against, the Russian side will be very upset.

And for Kamila Valieva, will probably be distraught because she won’t get to skate. And who knows if she knew what she was taking or not, but it hurts a young woman’s career and puts a whole black mark on her.

[00:05:53] Alison: And puts a whole black mark on the Russian program, which, gee shocking, you know, I’m shocked. I can’t believe the Russians are cheating.

How did that happen? But Reuters and the UK press have really taken the lead in going after this story. And you noted that in the press conference today, Mark Adams, the IOC spokesperson mentioned that a lot of the members of the press are now getting death threats. Yes.

[00:06:22] Jill: This is happening in the UK pretty specifically.

And Mark Adams actually said, and you’ve got to have an understanding of Mark Adams, I think is British, he’s got a very British sounding accent. So he actually said, quote, we all just need to take a chill pill, unquote. And for Mark Adams, I mean, you know who I’m talking about because he is IOC spokesman. So he is very good at deflecting questions and disseminating what information he can. He tries to be friendly with the press up to a point. And for him to just say chill pill, this is very uncharacteristic.

[00:06:57] Alison: Yeah. He uses very diplomatic language, very proper language. He’s very posh in many ways, but he does do a good job of giving information when he can.

And he’s getting it from all sides. This is a tough situation for everybody involved, except I don’t, I mean, I feel bad for Mark Adams because he doesn’t have the power to control this. I don’t feel bad for the ROC and I don’t feel bad for the IOC because they got themselves into this mess. The ROC for constantly cheating and the IOC for not taking a stand.

[00:07:37] Jill: And for thinking that they are taking a stand by giving them the slap on the wrist of, oh, you can’t compete for Russia, but Russian Olympic committee is not that far off. You don’t get the Anthem. You have something else. If you win medals and oh, look your uniform has stuff that looks pretty close to your flag, but that’s going to be okay too. So they’ve let a lot slide and you wonder what the pull, the politicking is, that’s going on in the background, or why? And I know that the IOC just wants it to go. They’re living in the dream that we all get along and we’re all going to play by the rules.

And when somebody’s not playing by the rules in this fantasy world that they want to live in, they just don’t know what to do with it, or how to handle it.

[00:08:26] Alison: Right. And we’re going to have another story later in the, in the show about, oh, gee, we’re just going to let this slide. I mean, they’re really getting it from all sides this time.

And I think, we might, finally see the IOC grow a spine.

[00:08:41] Jill: I’m not holding my breath. That’s all I’ll say. I will believe it when I see it. Alright, let’s move on to what officiating or volunteer job we would want to do today.

[00:08:52] Alison: So as promised, I watched ski jumping today, there’s an elevator operator to take the guys up on the ramp.

[00:09:01] Jill: Yeah. Because there’s a little like funicular type elevator that goes up and yeah, they need somebody to go up.

[00:09:09] Alison: See again, I want to be one of the last people that the competitors see before they compete so I can give them a little pep talk and I wouldn’t be invasive. I would just be, you know, Simon, you can do this.

[00:09:21] Jill: I would like to go to the biathlon range and be one of the rifle, not a tester. I can’t think of what the name would be, a checker? There’s people who check the rifles to make sure that the trigger pull maintains a certain weight. If it’s too, you know, it can’t be too light, you can’t be heavy. So it has to be within a certain range.

And so they test the rifles before every match. If you get on the feeds early enough, sometimes you can see athletes going through rifle check. And so that’s what I would like to do.

[00:09:50] Alison: Inspector. Do you think that might be it?

[00:09:56] Jill: That might be it. I bet they have clipboards. I have to say, I’m sure there’s a clipboard with people’s numbers because I check the bibs and make sure they’re wearing the right bib.

I would love to do that. I have experience in that checking them. So I would be right for this.

[00:10:13] Alison: Go Inspector Gadget.

[00:10:14] Jill: That’s right. Fantasy league update. I will, let’s preface this by, I forgot to fill out the form last night, but I did it today. I, when I was editing the episode and I saw the bit about the fantasy league, I stopped and I had to do my fantasy league.

So maybe I’ll get some points.

[00:10:32] Alison: Well, we’re starting to see some spreading out at the top. RAF Q is at 185. Monkey cat is at 175. Einarsen is at 172. I have moved up a little bit to 14th. You’re at 45th.

[00:10:48] Jill: Not at the bottom. You can still, there’s still time to beat me. I can tell you that there’s still time.

[00:10:54] Alison: You are middle of the pack. So don’t worry about it.

[00:10:56] Jill: All right, let’s go into today’s action. We will start with biathlon. The men had their 10 kilometer sprint today. It was a nice, good results. Good results because the Boe brother got on the podium together. Gold went to Johannes Thingnes Boe from Norway.

Silver went to Quentin Fillon Maillet from France and bronze went to Tarjei Boe from Norway. And this is Tarjei’s first individual medal, which is pretty awesome.

[00:11:29] Alison: You know, who I had in my fantasy league?

[00:11:32] Jill: JT?

[00:11:33] Alison: Both.

[00:11:36] Jill: We’ll have a good day tomorrow.

[00:11:39] Alison: For both brothers.

[00:11:40] Jill: That’s nice. That’s very nice. This is sadly, I did not get to see this race. So I need to, I’m hopeful that it will come up back on a replay, but I would like to see what’s up because there are some, big names who usually do well in the sprint that weren’t near the top. And I’d like to see what happened to them.

[00:11:58] Alison: It’s nice to see Norway number one, doing so well in biathlon because it is the focus for their sports program and knowing how hard that team was hit with COVID. That they’re finding their footing there; they’re in their groove and to see them doing as well as they should be doing.

[00:12:18] Jill: Yes. So that’s really exciting. I’m also excited that QFM has got another medal. He’s just been having a great year so far.

So that’s really good. It’s nice to see that the French team was not decimated when Martin Fourcade retired. And he was the star of the French team was a big star in 2018, but it’s nice that the team has been really solid and they’ve got more people who stepped up. They’re really talented.

Moving over to cross country skiing. We had the women’s four by five kilometer relate today. Gold went to ROC, silver went to Germany and bronze went to Swede,. Somebody, I saw this on Twitter. Somebody said, oh, if you’re looking for the Chinese torchbearer, who was a cross country skier she was pulled from the relay and replaced and they noted that, oh, she had been chosen for the torchbearer because of her achievements.

[00:13:17] Alison: I can’t wait until you’re home and we can talk about this some more.

[00:13:20] Jill: I know I can’t either. There’s plenty I’m looking forward to talking about when we go, when we get home. She did compete though. She has competed in other races. So, so then something, but the really, I guess she was slated. I could not verify this myself, but that is what I saw.

Let’s take a quick break to tell you about our red envelope campaign. The show costs money to produce. Sometimes it’s a lot of money. And while our listeners, you all have been, you all have been extremely generous and supporting us through our Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing, through Patreon patronage, but we’re coming up on the lean part of our cycle in terms of listenership and because we get more listeners when there’s an Olympics on, and then it kind of ebbs and flows from there. So we’ve got two and a half years until Paris. And we’re asking you to send donations of at least $8 to help us get to Paris 2024, that $8 as significant as it’s been the Lunar New Year here in China. And eight is a lucky number symbolizing good fortune. So if you appreciate what we bring to you every day, please go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.

All right. We had a lot of curling action today. Both men and women had a session or two. In the women’s Sweden beat Canada, seven to six. Korea beat  ROC nine to five.

I did see some of that on the TVs here. When I was here in the morning, oh they looked good. The girls, but Garlic Girls looked so good.

[00:14:52] Alison: As did I, and it was great to see them again. And I had forgotten that they’re all named, that all their last names are Kim.

[00:15:00] Jill: Right.

[00:15:01] Alison: So the announcer was like, oh, Kim did this.

And then he kept correcting himself. And I said, we’re all confused. We just love them all. And they’re all really just beautiful classic curlers.

[00:15:17] Jill: Yes. And he should just go by their nicknames because they all have a nickname that’s super cute. I’ll have to dig those up, but glad to see they had a really good game today.

I’ve got to make that a priority to get out there to see them when they play. Japan beat Denmark, eight to seven. Then ROC beat Japan, 10 to five. Denmark beat Switzerland, eight to five. Great Britain beat the US 10 to five. China beat Sweden, nine to six.

Okay. In the standings, that means Switzerland is the only team left undefeated for the women. USA, Japan are both 3-2. Korea is 2-1. Sweden and Great Britain are two and two. Canada, Sweden, Denmark and China are one and three, and ROC is one four.

On the men’s side, they had one session today. China beat Italy, 12 to nine. Sweden beat Canada, seven to four. Switzerland beat Denmark, eight to six and Norway beat USA, seven to six. I was there for that. I was sitting behind our Team Shuster. And that was rough. They were, they started out really strong, got behind a little bit.

And the last rock just didn’t curl enough. Like they needed two, and knocked too many stones out of the way. So they got one point and they were going for three and then they got one. So that was really sad. But I will say, this is what you talked about the other day about how their teamwork and you just see it in-person.

That’s kind of magnified how much they love the game, how much they love each other. It’s really phenomenal to see and just so calm and cool and having a good time. They just looked, even though they lost, they look really relaxed. So round robin, so hopefully they get the standings up and get, just get through to the next round and then sweep the floor with them. That’s what we can hope.

That means in the standings Sweden is undefeated at four and 0. Switzerland is three and one. Great Britain is two and one. And then sitting at two and two are USA, Norway, China, and Canada. Italy is O and three and Denmark is O and two.

All right.

[00:17:36] Alison: What we’ve been waiting for.

[00:17:38] Jill: What you’ve been waiting for. Figure skating, ice, dance, rhythm dance. So the rhythm dance is their version of the short program, but is it a set dance that it changes every season, what they have to do.

So this is the street dance rhythm season and the each routine must incorporate two different rhythms from street dance, which they talk of as being such as hip hop, disco, swing, krump, popping, funk, jazz, reggae, or reggaeton and blues stuff along that line,

[00:18:18] Alison: which basically translated into American pop music because apparently America’s the only place that has streets.

[00:18:28] Jill: I just kept waiting for the krump and I just wish somebody would have had the guts to krump. There are some popping, there are some hip hop moves, but I really wanted to see something just, there were a couple of things that were just way out there. I appreciated that. Not enough for me. So I might have to go to the free dance just to see some crazy.

Alison: A lot of the free dance, because this year’s rhythm dance is so pop and funky. A lot of the longer program, those long programs this year are very melodic because they try and balance it out to show the judges. They can do both.

Jill: Oh, okay. That makes sense.

Alison: So you may be a little disappointed and not seeing the crazy, but there’s always somebody that brings the crazy to the free dance.

Jill: I can hope so. What do you got here? What are your hot takes?

[00:19:27] Alison: So I’m a little upset about the standings, but not crushed.

[00:19:33] Jill: Okay. So let’s go through those first.

[00:19:36] Alison: So Papadakis in Cizeron are on top, the French pair as they should be, followed by the ROC, which is Sinitsina and Katsalapov.

Then the Americans Hubbell and Donahue and Chalk and Bates follwoed, by the other ROC team, Stepanova and Bukin, and then the Canadians. I would have put Hubbell and Donahue ahead of the ROC and I would have put Gilles and Poirier ahead of the other ROC team. I think both of those teams got a little short changed.

[00:20:12] Jill: Okay. So I wanted to know what happened in it that put them in that score. I saw the routine. I may have been a little too mesmerized by the orange jumpsuits. They did a big Elton John thing. They love it. It looks good. I don’t know when I saw the final standings I’m like, why are they so low? Because Chock and Bates had a slip.

[00:20:35] Alison: Yes they had a slip. So one of the things that you have to include in your ice dance is a set pattern. So there’s a series of steps. And this time it’s the midnight blues that all the teams have to do. And basically when they, you’ll notice it, because they go into a traditional looking ballroom dance hold.

So when you see that then comes these set steps and Chock and Bates, she slipped in the midnight blues step sequence. That’s a big mistake. I don’t know what Gilles and Poirier did. There was a, there was some shakiness in the midnight blues pattern, where their edges were not as deep and the knees weren’t as bent in keeping the edges. I think they should have been scored higher.

[00:21:24] Jill: Okay. I would agree with you on that. I was looking at the music. They loved their music. Looking at everybody, I mean, today, I think everybody pretty much loved their music because it was so accessible and stuff. They could pick something they liked. Hopefully. I mean, there were some, I did not like, I did not love that. “You Can Keep Your Head On.” I did not.

[00:21:48] Alison: Slow. That was the ROC, Sinitsina and Katsalapov. I didn’t like it either. I thought it was very slow and that’s why I didn’t think they deserved to be as ranked as as high as they were.

[00:22:01] Jill: I also did not like the Spanish team Smart and Diaz, who did “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner, because I thought she was too young to channel Tina Turner very well.

[00:22:15] Alison: I was slightly concerned about her dress because it was beautiful. It was this red glittery strapped single strap dress. And I thought please Lord do not have a Gabrielle Papadakis from Pyeongchong where a strap broke. Because there was not a lot holding up that dress. But I did realize finally, after all these years why I love Papadakis and Cizeron so much, and that is — so when you watch ice dancing, generally you’re looking at the woman.

However, the man is usually the better technical skater. Well, if you really want to see how good a pair is, watch the man. Papadakis is actually the better ice dancer. I think Gabrielle Papadakis is the best ice dancer in the world right now.

[00:23:09] Jill: Oh yeah. I will say they, they just stood out, the speed. They have the passion they put into their dance. They just, they stood out from the rest.

[00:23:19] Alison: And I did not like this program. I did not think it showcased what they are showing. As well as some other programs, but she’s just such a good technician. Her edges are just beyond anybody else’s. It’s gorgeous. It’s gorgeous.

[00:23:42] Jill: Cizeron’s red shirt also stood out from the crowd. He had this, it was mostly mesh with the few little red, darker red velour or velvet, I don’t know, patches. That was weird. It was weird.

[00:23:59] Alison: But if you noticed, and maybe you weren’t close enough to notice, and you could see this on TV, the chest portion of the shirt clearly was lined. Skin colored fabric because there was, because shall we say there was no poke through?

[00:24:16] Jill: Oh,

[00:24:18] Alison: Nothing was exposed on Cizerone’s shirt area. That’s great.

[00:24:25] Jill: I guess. I mean, I don’t know. I gotta to say I was not drawn in. This did not draw me.

[00:24:33] Alison: It’s not my favorite of their programs.

[00:24:35] Jill: No, the whole evening did not draw me in as an event, it did not. No, it did not draw me in

[00:24:42] Alison: Not even the Chinese pair channeling Elvis?

[00:24:46] Jill: No. Although the Elvis remix, that was funky and of course we had the hometown team, so the hometown crowd is all excited. So that was kind of cool. And there was a, I mean, there was a highly unusual joker number right off the bat.

[00:25:03] Alison: The Germans.

[00:25:04] Jill: Yeah, that was fantastic. What I wanted to see.

[00:25:08] Alison: Go back and watch the video because I don’t know what he says to her right before the program starts, but they both laughed and it was obvious they were going to have a great program and they did very well, it’s not terribly difficult to skate. That’s why their scores were what they were, but in terms of performance quality and execution, they really nailed it. It seemed like the crowd was not too spirited.

[00:25:36] Jill: No, there were pockets of countries who knew what they were doing. So the French were there.

The Italians were there. Follow-up file. I think the Italian jacket that I talked about a few days ago, it’s white, that has Italian red and green that made an appearance. And I frantically texted you to tell you the coach is wearing the jacket, look at the jacket and look at the jacket.

[00:26:01] Alison: I said, it looked like an advertisement for a modern pizzeria,

[00:26:06] Jill: I think because I’m so tired of Italy in blue. Doesn’t belong in blue. And they’ve been in blue for years now and it’s been driving us nuts. We just have not liked it at home. And Italy needs to be in red, white and green. I’m sorry. That’s your choices.

[00:26:21] Alison: You didn’t like the ponchos. They were red, white, and green.

[00:26:26] Jill: They were weird looking, but everything else has been blue and I can never find Italy because they are not red, white and green.

I don’t like looking for a blue uniform when I think of Italy. I will happily get a pizza from that man in the jacket, and then say here’s a medal for you as well.

[00:26:48] Alison: Well, I need, Tanith White to tell me a few things. Because I was like you, slightly confused about what the Canadian scores were about, and  for why Chock and Bates didn’t get a big chunk taken out for that slip. So I’ll be rewatching it. If I get some more details, I’ll throw it in the newsletter. And in the meantime, we will get ready for free dance.

[00:27:16] Jill: Let’s hope that’s good.

Moving over to ice hockey. We had more men’s preliminary round action and group A,  USA beat Canada four to two, I believe I should look this up, but this was the US’s first Olympic win over Canada since the preliminary round of the 2010 Vancouver games in men’s hockey, in men’s hockey.

Totally different story than women’s. It is a totally different story. So that was a stunning upset and probably gives the U S team a lot of confidence in this. I did not really see this. I just heard it had happened. So I’m curious to know what Canada’s team is like. We’ll have to do a little bit of research into what all the different teams are like without the NHL players.

Also in men’s prelim action, Germany beat China, three to two, and Czech Republic beat ROC six to five. And Denmark. Denmark beat Switzerland five to three. So the standings are in group A: USA is undefeated 2-0. Canada and Germany or one-and-one. China is O and two. In group B, we have ROC and Denmark and Czech Republic all at two and one and Switzerland is O and three. In group C, Finland and Sweden are two and O, and Latvia and Slovakia 1 and 1.

We have the quarter finals for the women’s playoffs, Switzerland  beat ROC four to two and Finland beat Japan, seven to one.

[00:28:52] Alison: I was surprised at both of these results.

[00:28:57] Jill: I was.

[00:28:59] Alison: Japan has been playing really well. I mean, Finland’s no slouch. I’m not surprised that Finland made it into the semi’s. And I didn’t realize Finland and Japan were going to be a quarterfinal because I have would, I would have put them both in the semi’s.

[00:29:11] Jill: Interesting.

[00:29:12] Alison: But that was not even close. It’s Switzerland beating ROC that’s exciting.

[00:29:18] Jill: That’s huge. I think. So that means the women’s semi-finals will be on Monday. Canada will face Switzerland and USA will face Finland.

[00:29:27] Alison: And the USA better not take it for granted that they can beat the Finns. They are gunning to get in that gold medal man.

[00:29:35] Jill: Oh, yeah. I don’t think the USA, I would hope the USA is not taking anything for granted considering what’s been happening with their team over the course of losing Brianna Decker is a big deal. So I’m sure they’re kind of stepping up and stay focused.

Moving over to skeleton. We had the end of the women’s skeleton competition. Gold went to Hannah Neise from Germany. Silver went to Jaclyn Narracott from Australia and bronze went to Kimberly Bos from Netherlands. This is an exciting podium.

Alison: It is. So from no skeleton medals to lots of skeleton medals, Germany has all of a sudden decided where we can go feet first and head first down the sliding track.

Jill: And then Jaclyn Narracott, another medal for Australia. Which is fantastic. They are doing so well. And this Olympics one of our Facebook group members, Listener Claire from Australia was so thrilled about this because this is Australia’s first sliding medal ever, and they have no sliding tracks in Australia.

So they’ve had to constantly go and travel elsewhere to make this happen. And they’ve got their fourth medal of these games and this is their best games ever. So congratulations to Australia. It’s so exciting to see the hard work the athletes in the country have been doing to create a winter sports tradition is really starting to come to fruition

[00:31:06] Alison: and Jaclyn Narracott lives and trains, in Britain, on their sliding tracks.

[00:31:12] Jill: Oh, wow. Okay.

[00:31:13] Alison: So she spends a lot of time away from home to make this happen. So what a joy for her and what a joy for the Aussies. So, you know what we have to say – Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.

[00:31:22] Jill: Oi, oi, oi.

A little follow-up file from skeleton yesterday in the men’s competition, Ukrainian slider Vladyslav Heraskevych flashed a sign at the camera when he was done with his third run and the sign said, no war in Ukraine. And one would think that might be a rule 50 violation because it’s a kind of a protest thing. But the IOC has declared it was not a violation of rule 50 because according to Mark Adams, this was a general call for peace.

[00:31:56] Alison: And the sign was also a Ukrainian flag behind the words. Clearly, it was a political message. I think Mark Adams and the IOC said, the kid is calling for peace. Let’s not make a scene of it. We have enough on our plate. He did not disrupt the field of play. He didn’t disrupt a medal ceremony. He very quickly kind of pulled it out of his pocket, flashed it at the camera and then moved on to the fourth run, there was no message.

[00:32:30] Jill: Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah he had this moment and like you said, it was kind of his time because he was done with his run, camera focuses on him and they’re waiting for, you know, going through the results phase and then he put it away and that was it.

IOC declared this one done and they are taking no action to go against that.

[00:32:52] Alison: They have enough Russian problems on their hands.

They don’t want, they don’t want that one to start getting into the Russia/ Ukraine issue. No. Yeah.

[00:33:05] Jill: Moving over to ski jump. It was the men’s large hill, individual finals today.

Gold went to Marius Lindvik from Norway. Silver went to Ryoyu Kobayashi \ from Japan. Bronze went to Karl Geiger from Germany. So you saw this?

[00:33:23] Alison: I did. And it came down to the last jump. Marius Lindvik had gone down, thrown down the gauntlet in the final round. Kobayashi was right behind him and was just so close.

It was really close. And what was interesting was he was very far behind in the qualifications. He was in a, I think it was ninth place, but clearly he had been holding back. It was like in the swimming races where they save for the finals, like just make the finals and then I’ll throw down. And it was great.

It was a really great competition, no big crashes. Nothing scary. Just some absolute beautiful flying. It’s a great competition to go back and watch. And the, the final jumpers, just each one tops the one before and they get more and more excited.

One thing I did notice about this were how thin these jumpers are like very thin.

[00:34:26] Jill: Oh yeah. Yeah. They just are so tiny and they look tiny in person. Such an issue with eating disorders in the men’s ski jump, because they have to be so light and you see some of them and go, oh, that does not look healthy.

[00:34:46] Alison: Yeah. I guess I had never watched a whole competition so intensely and they just kept getting smaller and smaller as the top athletes came in.

And it’s kind of like looking at jockeys, like they should not be that thin. So I know we’ve read an article about eating disorders in the women’s discipline, but clearly the men have to face this issue as well.

Jill: Do you want to talk about the other notes you have?

Alison: Yeah. So you had asked how Kamil Stoch, who is the famous Polish jumper did. He ended up in fourth. So he pulls up also in the finals.

[00:35:22] Jill: Good for him, because I think he’s been injured. He’d been something, it wasn’t totally top-notch going into the Olympic year.

[00:35:31] Alison: and Simon Ammann, who has the double gold ended up in 25th. He was very pleased with his results. I think that’s as good as he can jump right now at 40.

So he was pleased. It’s just that the other jumpers have surpassed him for years gone by, but man, he just keeps coming back. He’s going to be 96 and still flying off that hill.

[00:35:55] Jill: Yeah, he really is. I mean, for him to be 25th in a field of 50, that’s not bad, and this is number seven, Olympics number seven. That’s amazing I think.

[00:36:05] Alison: And one of my favorites back from Pyeongchang was Robert Johansson with that beautiful handlebar mustache he had and still has, but apparently the stash does not help him anymore. He ended up in 32nd. I think he was hurt because he didn’t look like himself and he’s still one of the top level.

So I think there may have been an injury hampering his flight. But one thing I did notice on the ramp and I don’t know how long with this has been true. It’s not snow covered. No snow on the ramp.

[00:36:37] Jill: Yeah. It’s just these tracks and they’re metal. And so they can see they’re probably slick and they just go. I am curious with when that came in history in the sport it’s not that long ago that this has happened, but I wonder if it’s a, this is just easier to maintain kind of thing.

Alison: And I think in past events they’ve painted it white so that I didn’t notice it right away. They didn’t even bother; this was just concrete. And you could see the plastic-ness or metal-ness of the tracks.

Jill: Yeah, it does take, it takes away something visually when we think of it as a winter sport.

Moving over to snowboard. We had the mixed team snowboard cross competition today. Gold went to Nick Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis from USA. Silver went to Omar Visintin and Michela Moioli from Italy and bronze went to Elliot Grondin and Meryeta Odine from Canada. So this looked, I only saw this in bits and pieces and it looked so exciting.

[00:37:44] Alison: Conditions were tough. For the first time we’ve seen snow, it was snowing. It was windy and it was variable. So each round, sometimes it was snowy and windy. Sometimes the sun sort of peeked through. So they kept having to make adjustments each time around. And as we mentioned before, these snowboard cross races, are round after round very quickly.

So the pairs, they kept comparing notes. Who went down first and then they talked and adjusted because they changed the format from this, from the world cup. Last year, previous format was first racer goes down and as they cross the finish, the gate on the top opens, okay. Now they changed it to first racer goes down then there’s a set start time at the top for the next racer. And then they stagger those openings based on your first racer’s time. I’m not sure I’m explaining this correctly, but you know, when the, for the second racer, you know, when the gate is going to open, which is prior, they did not know. And they couldn’t prepare.

[00:38:54] Jill: I wonder if that is like, or if you had an injury or somebody was down on the thing, having the next round of skiers slide down that would probably not be a good thing. So that makes sense to me that they stay. They do a round and then they do a staggered start based on the time differentials.

[00:39:15] Alison: Yes. And I think they also did it because they were finding when you didn’t know when the gate was going to open, you had more crashes at the start and more chance for injury.

This was not only safer for if there was a fall on the course. It was safer for whoever went second. So this was, this result was joyful on so many levels. So Lindsey Jacobellis, who we talked about in the individual event, now is a double gold medalist.

[00:39:41] Jill: What a great games

[00:39:43] Alison: And Nick Baumgartner at 40 has his first medal.

[00:39:48] Jill: Oh, and this is his fourth Olympics. So he’s really been working hard to be here and stay at this level. Yeah, I saw how joyful that was. And that was really nice. And you know that I love it when the older athletes win.

[00:40:05] Alison: Yes, their combined age was the oldest of any team and they are the oldest man and the oldest women on Team USA.

[00:40:16] Jill: So, excellent job. Hopefully that will be on the replay.

[00:40:20] Alison: Yea old people.

[00:40:23] Jill: And then we ended up the day in the long track for speed skating. We had the women’s team pursuit had it’s quarter finals, and then the men had their 500 meter competition. Gold went to Gao Tingyo from China who set an Olympic record. Silver went to Cha Min Kyu from Korea and bronze went to Morishige Wataru from Japan.

[00:40:48] Alison: I wonder if this is the first time we’ve had an all Asian podium on the long track.

[00:40:54] Jill: I don’t know, but that was an interesting element to this race. And also being from three different Asian countries. It is shows just the strength in these programs, which is really exciting.

Hometown victory. People here are very excited about that as well. Okay. What is going on with TKFLASTAN?

[00:41:17] Alison: Okay, well, depending on where you are, you may get to see John Shuster twice on Saturday, into Sunday, into Monday night. So I wasn’t quite sure about time. So I want to tell you about them both. So Team Shuster and the men’s curling team will first face Canada, and then the Chinese.

So, depending on which they’re in, you can get more John Shuster than you ever knew you wanted in 24 hours. But then I think the race we’re most excited for of the whole Olympics, Erin Jackson, on the long track in the 500 meters, we are cheering so loud for Speedy J.

 

[00:42:00] Jill: I am definitely going to that. And I’m so excited for her. I hope she has just a great race. And a word about TKFLASTAN; so that if you’re not familiar with what TKFLASTAN is that is our Team Keep the Flame Alive. They’ve all been guests on our show. And then as the country, they represent us TKFLASTAN. So, before we leave, we’d like to thank our location scouts today. That would be Rosie Wawrzyniak and Jaclyn Held.

[00:42:25] Alison: Rosie is probably so excited that you just said her name correctly. Because I know you can say a name with that kind of consonants correctly.

[00:42:31] Jill: Yeah. I don’t know if I said it correctly though.

[00:42:35] Alison: We’ll get a better shot at it than I did that’s for sure.

[00:42:38] Jill: Well, you know, when we practice on, when I have practice saying all of these names it helps. For Rosie, you’ll have to tell us how I’m doing on your pronunciation.

[00:42:49] Alison: And very exciting news today. We’ve got a new mascot for the rest of the Olympics, and you can check out our social media and see a picture of Millie. Millie is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy. She is gorgeous and she lives with listener Christie. I will have some details for you about her coming up in the week.

[00:43:12] Jill: Millie is adorable. I’ve met her in peron.

[00:43:15] Alison: We’re going to save those stories. Okay. For your personal impressions of this little girl. She’s gorgeous. Well, my goodness, I’m going to squeeze her.

[00:43:25] Jill: Well, we better shut down the episode before you do. So that’ll do it for today. Tune in again tomorrow for more competition

[00:43:32] Alison: and celebrate the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group. It’s a place to hang out with us and all our other listeners. Jill is on Twitter. I am on Insta and 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.

[00:43:58] Jill: Be sure to get in that Facebook group. You know, it’s really fun because I always know when everybody is starting to wake up because it’s just the Facebook group explode.

And it’s like, oh, everybody’s waking up now. Okay. This is great. Then I go to bed and then I wake up and I catch up on everything and then I have a day and then everybody pops up. I’m online again. It’s a lot of fun. So thank you all for those of you in the group and participating, it’s been great.

It’s been great to celebrate the games with you and all the things that you’ve all been noticing and watching. So we will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening and until then, keep the flame alive.

Comments are closed.