It’s Day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and TKFLASTAN has made the podium again! TKFLASTANI Erin Jackson competed in the Women’s 500m long track speed skating event and won some hardware. What color is it, and (maybe more importantly) did she make Jill cry?

It’s a winter wonderland at Beijing 2022, as all three competition sites got snow – which for some competitions, made for a very challenging day indeed. Did the mountain win again? Did the cold and the wind get to the competitors?

Today’s sports schedule includes:

  • Alpine Skiing – Men’s Giant Slalom
  • Biathlon – Men’s and Women’s Pursuit
  • Bobsleigh – Women’s Monobob
  • Cross-Country Skiing – Men’s 4x10K Relay
  • Curling – Men’s and Women’s Round Robin
  • Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Aerials
  • Ice Hockey – Men’s Preliminaries
  • Speed Skating – Men’s Team Pursuit and Women’s 500m
  • Speed Skating – Short Track – Men’s 500m, Women’s 3000m Relay

At the end of the show, we feature tape from the mixed zone interviews with Erin Jackson’s coach Ryan Shimbakuro and with Erin herself.

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 10

[00:00:10] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to Day 10 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?

[00:00:25] Alison: Ni Hao. So we are in the middle weekend. You made it this far? I have come up with a workable sleep schedule.

[00:00:34] Jill: Excellent. Excellent.

[00:00:36] Alison: In involves napping after we record during your sleep time during sleeping in China time, my family does not see me much.

[00:00:45] Jill: Well, it’s almost over. That’s the thing.

[00:00:49] Alison: I know we’ve only got another week to go, but so much still happening all over the place.

Most impressively it snowing.

[00:00:58] Jill: It is snowing here. It’s snowed about two inches or so today, two to three inches in Beijing, and it’s snowed all over the mountains. So, it delayed some sports notably the freestyle things got delayed. I, you know, I was in the press briefing and they said that for  slopestyle, they had like shaved or scraped the mountain twice. And with all the new snow, they had to shovel it off. And I sent a question to the US press person for freestyle skiing and have not heard back because I wondered what is it about the course that it needs to be shaved or scraped. Is it, can they, is landing in soft powder snow not good for slope style?

[00:01:49] Alison: I would think it would make it less grippy

[00:01:54] Jill: That’s possible.

[00:01:55] Alison: But I think it’s so funny that one of the things we were so concerned about coming into this Olympics was all the artificial snow. Everything is going to be artificial snow. And now the real problem we’re having is all this natural snow is causing problems. On the upside, it is also snowing where I am, so I feel very connected.

[00:02:16] Jill: Very nice. It snowed inside the buses.

Some more than others. When I got on the bus today, some of the seats had snow all on them. So you just avoided it and kept moving. And it was fun. I do want to mention it is the hour of magical vacuuming. So you may hear it bleed on. I do have my little fort set up, but we’re trying to. But I just can’t escape it.

[00:02:44] Alison: The media center is neat and tidy.

[00:02:47] Jill: You know, they are keeping it very clean here. I will say that it is, the desks are always wiped down. They do come by and do a thorough vacuuming every day. And the cleanliness really has not been a problem here. Everything has been very clean.

So let’s get into it. What officiating or volunteer job would you want to do today?

[00:03:09] Alison: I found one that we can share. Oh, so during the snowstorm in the combined over on the mountain, they have to, as the snow is falling, they constantly need to repaint the edge of the course. There’s a blue line that goes on the edge of the course.

So there’s a man with a tank on his back. And a sprayer gun sort of like you would use to water a garden or maybe spray herbicide or something like that. And he’s got the blue paint, but then there’s another person; they’re both on skis. There’s another person who pushes him and guides him down the hill.

He can’t direct himself because he’s got two hands to work in the paint sprayer. Right. And so then he has a driver and they work together to make beautiful blue lines.

Jill: Which role would each of us do? Have you thought that far ahead?

Alison: Oh yeah, I’m the painter. You’re the pusher.

[00:04:03] Jill: Okay. You know, that’s kind of what I thought.

I would like to do a job that I did not know existed. This is in speed skating way ahead of time. They have something called the forerunners. So it is other athletes who are not competing, but they go out and they skate a lap so that they can test the starting in the timing system and make sure everything works.

[00:04:27] Alison: There were a lot of false starts, so that timing system was sharp today.

[00:04:35] Jill: How is our fantasy league?

[00:04:38] Alison: Okay, so some shake up on the top here. RAF Q is at 210. We’ve broken the 200 barrier. A new appearance, FC Chelsea IC is at 204. Monkey Cat is at 202 and knocking on the door is Schollestan at 201. I am at 17. You were at 46, but we are very excited about our picks for tomorrow.

We both locked them in before we started recording. So we are ready.

[00:05:04] Jill: Yes. And I had a good day. So that’s good. Except for I’m just so far behind. I’m not catching up anytime soon. I am impressed that people are over 200 points, so that makes me very happy. I’m also very impressed with your score and your ranking right now.

I think you just undersold yourself.

[00:05:23] Alison: I’m really hanging in. I mean, clearly to nobody’s surprise, I do much better in winter than summer. I mean, this is no shock that the fantasy league would do better for me in the winter than in the summer. I am an ice and snow kind of girl.

[00:05:38] Jill: All right. Speaking of ice and snow, let’s look at today’s action.

First up Alpine skiing. So much snow.

[00:05:48] Alison: So much. Now I was really surprised they ran this race, given that earlier in the week, they were postponing things for wind. These conditions were tough. So, it was giant slalom today for the men. There are two runs and in the second run, the leaders go down last. And the conditions were just deteriorating.

So the fact that Marco Odermatt ended up with the gold and he was one of the last down the hill is amazing.

[00:06:18] Jill: Yeah. It really was something to see. I did see it on the feed, this a lot of the second run. And when I pulled up the my info system and saw the number of DNFs. Unreal and watching these men try to navigate and there were, oh, did you see Henrik Kristofferson from Norway?

I thought the mountain was going to get him. And somehow he, like his hip went down and he got himself back up and said, no, I’m getting down this mountain. And he did it.

[00:06:46] Alison: He skied a few feet of it on his side, he was not on his skis. He was totally sideways and somehow popped himself up like a weeble wobble and got down the hill.

And that was, yeah, that was definitely man defeating the mountain on that one. But yes, there were 41 DNFs in this race, which that’s a lot. And again, there was no crashes in terms of, I mean, people got hurt in the sense of there’s going to be a lot of bruising and icing going on, but it was just slipping off edges.

I don’t even know how they could see where the track was.

[00:07:28] Jill: I know it was really snowy and really poor visibility. It’s a challenging mountain course to begin with, but this was a big challenge today. So people who got down. Really happy to get down, especially the, so they went through and did the top tier and then the favorites ended.

And then they did the bottom chunk of athletes who went down were from these small countries that don’t have much of a winter sports tradition. And they were not going to play in the mix. And you can see some of them were just a very slow, but boywhen they got down, they were so thrilled with them.

[00:08:07] Alison: That they were still alive.

[00:08:09] Jill: Right? So gold went to Marco Odermatt from Switzerland. Silver went to Zan Kranjec from Slovenia and bronze went to Mathieu Faivre from France.

[00:08:22] Alison: I want to mention there was an Andorran skier who had the best outfit.

[00:08:31] Jill: Oh. Because he did really well on time.

[00:08:34] Alison: Yes. He was in the top tier. He was impressive, but more importantly, he had this pink graffiti ski suit.

And I said, what country is that? You could definitely see him through the blizzard.

[00:08:50] Jill: And you need that on a day like today. So they did have the medal ceremony right there. I’m not sure if they are trucking them down to medals Plaza in Beijing. Because there’s a medal farther in Zhangjiakou.

There’s two medal plazas.

[00:09:07] Alison: I think they stopped trucking them down because they can’t make it down and back because of the weather.

[00:09:12] Jill: Oh, that could be.

[00:09:13] Alison: It was funny during the ceremony because after they get their medals and Marco Odermatt was thrilled and his reaction was wonderful and the whole Swiss team went nuts.

But when they were all finished getting their medals they had to hike through the snow to get back to the chalet, so to speak and who I really felt bad for was the medal girl. Because as beautiful as those knee-high white leather boots are, not so practical when it is knee-high snow.

[00:09:46] Jill: Mm, no, no, not at all. I know of what you speak. Because I saw her starting to lead the men. I went, oh boy, you don’t look like you’re having fun doing this job.

[00:09:57] Alison: She may have been more stylish, but she was definitely wet

[00:10:02] Jill: Moving over to biathlon. We had the two pursuit races today, both men’s and women’s. The women’s started first. Gold went to Marte Olsbu Roiseland from Norway. Silver went to Elvira Oeberg from Sweden and bronze went to Tiril Eckhoff from Norway. Our TKFLASTANI Clare Egan finished 38th. That’s good because she started at 46th place. So she really moved up in the rankings. She shot clean on her prone, but her standing bout, she missed two on each one.

She did not qualify for the mass start, but she still has the women’s relay coming up. Following up Deedra Irwin, who was the other American who did phenomenal. She finished 47th, but she has qualified for the mass start because as Clare mentioned on the show, qualifying for the mass start is a lot of math and how you finished and other results.

So, this was a tough race. There was one athlete in the entire race who shot cleanly and that was Suvi Minkkinen from Finland and she finished 40. It was something, it was snowy. It was must’ve been windy. It was cold. Because everybody had the moleskin on their faces. But Marte is just incredible.

And she’s another one who I was watching in this race actually, when we started to tape and you came on, I was rewatching some of it, she was shooting so quickly. And skiing incredibly fast, but not only was she doing well shooting just boom, getting the shots off and off she went.

Right. And one of the nice little touches was only Ole Einar Bjorndalen, the great Norwegian biathlete who is now coaching China, gave her a little high-five on her last lap, because she was so far ahead, nobody was catching her. The silver was not close.

[00:11:53] Alison: Not a race to the finish for any of them.

[00:11:56] Jill: Yeah. So the silver was a real surprise from me because Elvira started off in second place.

She really fell back on her shooting. Dorothea Weirer had popped up and Doro also shoots just blazingly fast. She’s probably the fastest shooter on the circuit and she just messed up on that last one and fell down to fourth or fifth and Elvira shot cleanly. And she is so fast on the skis that she just popped right up into second place. Who was third leaving the final shooting was Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold from Norway. And when the bronze medal position came over and I thought it was Tandrevold and the screen said Tiril Eckhoff, I’m like, what do you mean? And then you saw Tandrevold coming in. And she crossed the line. She barely made it over the line and then she collapsed and could not get up, like collapsed in a bad way.

[00:13:04] Alison: Right. Beause a lot of the biathletes and the cross-country skiers do collapse at the end of the race, we were actually talking about this in the Facebook group. This was a different level of collapse. She was struggling in that last stretch and on the feed again, the announcers had the same reaction that you did.

They said, oh, it’s Eckhoff, where did Tandrevold go? And skiers kept coming in and no Tandrevold. And then they saw her just crawling, barely pushing to get across and immediately Marte and Tiril knew this was not good. And they kind of surrounded her, pulled her skis off, got the Norwegian team doctor there.

And she’s right over the finish line with an entire team around her and skiers are trying to cross the line past her. And it was scary. I mean, it really looked like we were going to have a very upsetting story at the end of that, but you had heard things are okay.

[00:14:01] Jill: Yeah. I found out that things are she’s okay. The Norwegian team doctor said she was not unconscious. She stressed herself. She was awake and alert and was eating and drinking. They thought it could be the cold and the altitude. Apparently she also collapsed at the end of the sprint. And didn’t remember, like half of that race So, I don’t know what it was. What was really concerning to me and to a lot of people on social media was the fact that last year Tandrevold collapsed mid race in a world cup race, and they found they could attribute that to an atrial fibrillation because she has an irregular heartbeat. So a lot of people were really worried that this was coming back into play again, but that doesn’t seem to be the issue. Really good, but it was really scary.

[00:14:50] Alison: So best wishes to her. We hope we hear only good news from her recovery on this.

[00:14:57] Jill: Yes. Yes. Definitely. One thing I did not realize because I’ve never heard this before. They had a bell lap on biathlon because they ring the bell.

[00:15:06] Alison: Probably because people couldn’t see,

[00:15:09] Jill: Could be. Over in the men’s pursuit. Another just bonkers race, nobody shot. Oh wait. Only two people shot cleanly. And one of them happened to be the gold medal winner that was Quentin Maillet Fillon from France. He and Lukas Hofer, who I believe finished fourth shot cleanly, which was good. Lukas Hofer has not been in the mix lately.

So I’m really glad to see him up there. Silver went to Tarjei Boe of Norway and bronze went to Eduard Latypov from ROC. JT, Johannes Thingnes Boe was bib number one, he just melted down. It’s seven misses on the range. That I did not see. And that was unbelievable to me.

[00:15:52] Alison: I did see some of it and it kept getting worse. Like his shooting just kept getting worse and the announcers were of course making the joke because Johannes Thingnes Boe who has been much more successful than Tarjei Boe at the Olympics. And they were making a joke that Tarjei had messed with JT’s gun.

Who did have a problem with his gun was Quentin Fillon Mailler, the first prone

[00:16:26] Jill: Just call him QFM.

[00:16:27] Alison: Oh, good. Because that’s a hard name. He had trouble in the first prone section, his gun jammed. He’s banging on that thing. And then he shot clean.

[00:16:41] Jill: Wow. I got to go back and watch this. I got to hope it comes back on feeds.

That’s impressive. Impressive work. That’s a tough race when you’ve got the conditions that are so tough to deal with, but that’s sport too, you get what you’re given, but good work on that race.

This was a nice little story. I saw the International Biathlon Union also did this afternoon, a mass start of the reserves.

So the best ranked teams can bring five or six athletes, but there’s a quota of just four athletes per country per race. So the reserves might get one chance to compete. They might not also get the chance, they might also not get to compete at all. So, what they did was have an unofficial 12.5 K mass start rates for the nine male reserves and Germany’s Eric Lesser won that. He had a bad individual race so he wasn’t competing in the sprint and the pursuit and the team. For his win he got a little golden pin. So that’s fun. I love it when the federations can have fun and biathlon, the, they have a lot of fun in that Federation.

[00:17:50] Alison: Well, they have guns, so they have to keep everybody happy.

[00:17:54] Jill: That’s true. They also have money. So that helps.

Moving over to bobsleigh. We had the first two heats of the women’s monobob. The current standings are: leading is Kaillie Humphreys from the USA. Christine DeBruin from Canada is in second. Laura Nolte from Germany is in third and Elana Meyers Taylor from the USA is in fourth.

[00:18:15] Alison: The announcers had a lot to say about the driving skills during this race. Obviously this is the debut of monobob. Its first couple seasons have not been great. It seems like in terms of quality and they were very critical of how these ladies were driving.

[00:18:37] Jill: Interesting. What kind of things were they saying?

[00:18:40] Alison: Just there was a lot of, oh, she doesn’t have a lot of experience. Oh, it’s her only her second year. Ooh. She made a mistake. Just, it felt like they were being apologist that this race wasn’t as good as it should be at the Olympic level.

[00:18:56] Jill: If they didn’t say anything, would you have been able to tell?

[00:18:59] Alison: A little. You know, certainly you could see if a sled goes way off, way up high, bumps around. I don’t know if I would have absorbed how many mistakes were happening, but yet it was a rough course. And it’ll be interesting to see say when the four man comes around and you’ve got the most experienced drivers. Is that the track or is it the lack of experience for the monobob drivers? Because you’ve got people like Kaillie Humphreys and Elana Meyers Taylor or even Christine DeBruin.

These are very experienced, two women drivers, but monobob is very different apparently in, in how you race.

[00:19:37] Jill: That is interesting. And I can’t remember when it got added to the program because yeah, all of the two women drivers also added monobob. And so you have to hope that there’s room on the circuit and what kind of training time do you get?

So, yeah, you’re not going to be quite as skilled and then it’s really designed for people who are in countries that don’t have big federations or don’t have a ton of money so that they can have more of an equal playing field. You can, we can talk at great length about what kind of equality there still is in bobsled, because you’ll hear, oh, there’s equal number of medal events, but there’s not an equal number of people.

However, I mean, when you look at the top of the standing. It’s not the small countries who are supposed to be getting the benefit of this event. It’s still the people who have the experience racing two woman.

[00:20:33] Alison: I mean, who’s going to be at the top of the standings of the two women — USA, Canada, Germany, and who’s at the top of the stands for the monobob — USA, Canada, Germany.

And again, probably even the exact same people. Right. So I’m not quite sure this is doing the inclusivity that it purports to offer.

[00:20:55] Jill: Yeah. I, I tend to agree with that statement and I’m curious to see the results. I didn’t get the chance to watch much of it. I would rather watch it with a feed on just because it it’s for the first time.

So this is one I’m going to go back and watch later and see, because I would, and I would love to hear what people think of the monobob.

All right. Let’s take a break to talk about our red envelope campaign. The show does cost money to produce. And while you all have been super generous in supporting us through our Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing and also through Patreon patronage, we’re coming up on a little bit of a lean cycle for us because it’s two and a half years until another Olympics.

And we tend to get more listeners in an Olympic season. So, to celebrate our Lunar New Year here, we’re asking for donations of at least $8 to help us get through to Paris 2024. $8 is symbolic here in China because it is a lucky number, symbolizing, good fortune. And we appreciate all the good fortune that you have given to us. So if you appreciate what we do for you and how you’re enjoying the Olympics a little bit better please go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.

Moving over to cross country skiing. We had the men’s four by 10 kilometer relay. Gold went to ROC. Silver went to Norway and bronze went to France. I was surprised Finland was not higher up.

Oh, but ROC was so far ahead. This was on several feeds. Like it was on some of the TVs here. So I was watching like three events at once and trying to work, but watching three events at once. It’s not screens in front of me. It’s like me looking like a bird dog. What’s on this one. What’s on that screen.What’s over here. It was on and it was just like, ROC was just crushing the competition. That was an interesting race.

Moving over to curling. We had more in the men’s and women’s round robins. So for the men Sweden defeated Norway six to four. Great Britain beat China, seven to six. Canada beat the USA, 10 to five. ROC beat Italy, ten to six.

And then in the second session, because we’ll have repeat people here. Great Britain beat Denmark eight to two. Italy beat Switzerland eight to four, and USA pulled out a win over China, eight to six. So go Team Shuster. You need, they needed that win. And I guess there was a really good end where Shuster got three points.

So again, wanting to go back and watch that at least that throw I’m sure for the winner. We had a Great Britain defeat Denmark seven to two. Sweden beat USA, 10 to four, China beat Korea, six to five. I was going to go over to this game and it was like, when I finally realized it was on and I’m like, well, I could go, I could not go.

And I looked and it was in halfway through the game there on the fifth end and I’m like, oh, by the time I get the bus and get there, it’s going to be over. And then they went into extra.

[00:24:04] Alison: They did. It was impressive. The crowd again was very knowledgeable and obviously it’s a hometown crowd, but there were some just gorgeous throws.

And what was interesting on the last two throws, Korea puts a stone right on the button, but it was a few inches too far to the throwers left to be behind the guard. Oh, right. China just came in, knocked it out and got the point. It was some beautiful curling to watch.

[00:24:40] Jill: Yeah. I definitely getting over there to see the Koreans curl.

And then finally Switzerland beat Canada, eight to four. Wow. Canada is not doing well. Now the standings for the men. Sweden is still undefeated at five and zero. Great Britain is four and one. Switzerland, ROC, and Canada are three and two. USA is three and one. Norway is two and three. China is two and four. Italy is one and four and Denmark is O and five.

For the women, Switzerland is undefeated at five and O. Japan is at three and one. USA, Sweden, Great Britain are all at three and two. Korea is two and two. China is two and three. Canada is one and three. Denmark is one and four and ROC is O and four.

[00:25:29] Alison: Lot of unexpected results, but we’re only about a third of the way through the round robin for the men and women.

So this is all gonna flip around pretty quickly.

[00:25:40] Jill: All right. Good. Freestyle skiing, as we said, was postponed for today. Slopestyle should be tomorrow. The last time I checked aerials was still be to be determined when they would get that in.

[00:25:53] Alison: Yeah, because if you can’t see the ground, it is a problem if you are flipping in the air

[00:25:59] Jill: And as high as they flip, that would be a problem.

Moving over to ice hockey, we had more men’s preliminary round action. Slovakia beat Latvia, five to two. Finland beat Sweden, four to three. Canada, beat China, five to zero, and the U S beat Germany three to two. That means the standings in group A are US is undefeated at three and O. Canada is two in one. Germany is one and two, and China is O and three. For group B, ROC, Denmark and Czech Republic are all two in one. And Switzerland is O and three. And for group C, Finland is three and O. Sweden is two and one. Slovakia is one and two and Latvia is O and three,

[00:26:45] Alison: Can we have Finland in the final for both the men and the women? I think we can. That would be cool.

[00:26:53] Jill: That would be cool. You really don’t want Canada to be in there?

[00:26:57] Alison: I do, but I don’t know. I just want Finland to do well. Because they get cake. When a Finnish athlete gets a medal, they get a cake, their special Finnish cake.

[00:27:12] Jill: I forgot about that. I don’t know. I mean, I have a vision of a different kind of a hockey game or different teams come out for different periods, but that would just be chaos.

[00:27:23] Alison: It would be like the short track speed skating.

[00:27:28] Jill: Very true. Very true. Speaking of speed skating, let’s move to the long track. Oh my gosh. Well, first we have men’s team pursuit, quarterfinals. So the quarterfinals, the semi-finals will be Norway versus Netherlands and USA versus ROC. And then Canada and Korea will be in the semifinal and Italy and China will be in the B final.

And that was a lot of fun to watch. I really like the pursuit because I just like to see if they can pick up and catch up. And who was it? I think it might’ve been ROC and China. Might’ve been paired together and ROC was really catching up.

[00:28:07] Alison: Jill, we don’t care about the pursuit. Let’s talk about Erin Jackson.

[00:28:11] Jill: Oh my gosh. This was amazing. So women’s 500. TKFLASTANI on the podium. Gold medal. This was so exciting. I cried again as she was skating by me. It was, I can’t tell you how fast she was. I mean, you could just see her go around the curve and go. That is fast. It was really amazing.

[00:28:35] Alison: You could tell on the TV, the announcer talked about how well she took that curve, but you could tell she kicked it into another gear on that curve to push through.

And even without seeing the time I knew she had won, I knew she had gone faster than everybody else. There was just something in, I don’t know if it’s that she turns over each pace much more quickly. It was gorgeous and what was fun for me and having watched her skate now for the past few years. She smiled right after she finished her race.

And usually she keeps her game face on a little bit longer, but she couldn’t.

[00:29:18] Jill: And the great thing is she kept saying, she knew that she had at least gotten a bronze because she was the 14th pair out of 15. So there were still two to go. So she knew she had at least gotten the job done. She didn’t know how well she had gotten the job done.

And it was impressive because silver medalist Takagi Miho from Japan, she was in the fourth pair and that time held up all for 10 more pairs. It was incredible how fast she went.

[00:29:53] Alison: And the pairs are supposedly getting faster and faster. They’re seeded so that the fastest pair goes last. So for someone in the fourth pair to turn out and get the silver medal had quite a race and Miyagi is not a new skater.

She was in 2010. And 2014. So she’s been around a while, which is kind of fun because Erin Jackson just sort of stumbled into speed skating to a certain degree five years ago. So to have them on the podium together is amazing and beautiful. And Erin just didn’t quite know what to do with herself.

Her smile was a thousand watts. They gave her the flag. She just kept doing the cool-down loop and you could see it slowly dawning on her. And the different waves of emotion was all on her face and it was beautiful and nobody celebrated more than Brittany Bowe, her teammate. There was a lot of jumping up and down going on the infield.

[00:30:52] Jill: Right. And Brittany, as many of you may know, actually won the 500 meter trial at the US Olympic Trials. And the US at the time had two quota spots and Erin had tripped up and she had placed third. So she wasn’t supposed to be here in Beijing. Brittany gave her spot in the 500 meter to Erin because she knew Erin, Erin was the best in the world and the best in the world should be at the Olympics.

Turns out that more spots opened up. Countries didn’t send skaters and Brittany was able to race. And that was pretty incredible. She did not have do all that. Great. This is not her specialty, but it was really nice that the sacrifice she gave in giving up another event spot to another teammate just got rewarded because she was able to skate.

[00:31:44] Alison: And we talked about the men’s figure skating and what’s in the water in Japan. What’s in the water in Ocala, Florida that creates skaters. Because we’ve got Erin Jackson, Brittany Bowe, and Joey Mantia all from Ocala, Florida.

[00:31:57] Jill: So that was, it was just incredible. And it was a little nerve wracking as the pairs kept going and the key time kept going.

I was very worried that Erin wasn’t going to be able to do it, but when she started and it was such a fast start and such a fast first turn, I thought she’s got this in the bag. And that made me so happy. So Erin Jackson has gold from the USA. Miho Takagi from Japan won silver and Angelina Golikova from ROC won the bronze.

So she’s got the Panda. She’ll get the medal tomorrow. I will go see that.

[00:32:37] Alison: And then the flowers,

[00:32:39] Jill: She will get the knit flowers. That will be so nice. I did get into the mixed zone for this and I do have, I went to the press conference. So I think I have some audio. I don’t know how good it is. I’ll be listening to it tomorrow.

And we’ll put it on the end here so stay. It would be audio; I might have some from Brittany Bowe. I might have some from her coach, which was very interesting because she, and both Erin kind of alluded the fact that this wasn’t a perfect race either. She still has a lot of growing to do in the sport.

And to me, when you think about that and where she is now, where could she be in another four years? This isn’t even, I mean, she’s just an incredible athlete.

[00:33:26] Alison: World record is where she’s going to be in four years.

[00:33:29] Jill: That would be great. So congratulations to our TKFLASTANI. Erin Jackson. I will say I had my ice outfit on, which is my big puffy snugly poncho thing. And I really felt like a weird, crazy old lady today wearing that. And I have my red hat on and just, I’m nice and comfy warm, but I know I look huge and lumpy. I don’t know for Erin, I asked her a couple of questions and I realized like, I’m must look weird.

[00:34:03] Alison: Well, you know what? Bing Dwen Dwen looks big and lumpy and all of China loves him.

[00:34:08] Jill: All right. Okay. Maybe I can get all of China to love me as well.

Moving over to the short track, we had finished up the men’s 500 meters and we also finished the women’s 3000 meter relay. Okay so on the track let’s do the relay first. This will give a little tear to your eye. Gold went to Netherlands. Silver went to Korea and bronze went to China. Netherlands dedicated their race to one of their teammates who had passed away not that long ago. Do you know the story?

[00:34:41] Alison: So Lara van Ruijven died two years ago suddenly from a auto-immune disorder that I believe was undiagnosed. So this was really a shock to the whole team and they dedicated their win to her.

This is the first gold medal for a short track team from the Netherlands. So they said Lara was pushing them along in spirit. So, again, we saw Suzanne Schulting. So now she’s a double gold medalist. There was a lot of tears from the Dutch skaters but it’s beautiful to see the Dutch do well in short track as well.

And to make it so personal, like that was a little rough. And Korea once again was crying. So much crying in short track.

[00:35:28] Jill: It’s a tough sport because everything could be won or lost in a heartbeat. Moving over to the men’s 500 meters we had gold went to Shaoang Liu from Hungary. Silver went to Konstantin Ivliev from ROC and bronze went to Steven Dubois from Canada. So he is a two-time medalist here.

[00:35:51] Alison: Yes, he is. And nobody was more excited about a medal then Konstantin Ivliev. He just was on the screen, screaming, jumping up and down. I think he’s very young. So this was a bit of a surprise to do as well as he did. He’s got great hair too.

[00:36:13] Jill: Well, hopefully I can see that on a replay because short track is super fun to watch. Again, concurrent schedules running here, could not get to see that. So that does it for today. What is going on with our TKFLASTANIS who make up our past guests who make up our team?

[00:36:32] Alison: So TKFLASTAN is now on the country medal table.

We have two gold medals from Erin Jackson and Chloe Kim. John Schuster, as we mentioned, split the matches today. And we talked about Clare Egan.

It is quiet tomorrow. Josh Williamson, our bobsledder is in Beijing, but he will not be competing in the two man.

[00:36:51] Jill: We would like to thank our location Scouts for today, that would be John and Hallie Aragon. Thank you so much for supporting our Kickstarter.

[00:37:00] Alison: We’ve got our mascot this week and it is the beautiful Millie, the King Charles cavalier puppy, who you have met.

[00:37:08] Jill: I have met her. Just once, but I mean, she is adorable and loves people, and that is a super exciting thing. She just cannot wait to make you happy.

[00:37:20] Alison: And there’s nothing like a dog who wants to make you happy. So we will have pictures of her in our newsletter and on our social media. And we want to thank Listener Christy for supporting our Kickstarter campaign.

[00:37:32] Jill: That we’ll do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow for more competition from Beijing.

[00:37:37] Alison: And celebrate the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group. It’s the place to hang out with other listeners. Jill is on Twitter and I am on Insta. Both are @flamealivepod. You can email us at flamealivepod@gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:38:01] Jill: We will catch you back here tomorrow. Stick around for hopefully some word from everybody at the long track speed skating for what they went through on the mixed zone and for the press conference.

Thank you so much for listening and until tomorrow, keep the flame alive.

[00:38:18] Reporter: I did live up to that.

[00:38:23] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: Oh, obviously, you know, I mean, when it comes to the 500, it’s a matter of hundreds, sometimes thousands of a second. So obviously, you know, she was a clutch performance today. That’s for sure.

[00:38:35] Reporter: And going into it, did you see, you know, just her usual coolness and the days leading up to this, but she got to wait around a while.

[00:38:43] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: Yeah, absolutely. You know, the, the other day when she did her time trial, it was really fast. It was a, you know, a PB time for her, even at Sila or faster than she’s ever skated in Salt Lake or Calgary. So I knew she had the speed. It was going to come down to the opener. And when I saw she opened in ten three, which was., it is pretty much the fastest she’s ever done. I knew, I know we had a chance for the gold, so, and she skated a very, very strong, strong lap. So

[00:39:10] Reporter: I’ve been around this program for years. Since 2010 and individual battle for us, what is the significance of this?

[00:39:21] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: Well, it’s huge, you know, it’s a, it’s a momentum changer, you know, and, you know, I I’m proud of the staff and the skaters because they deserve it just as much as the athletes that may be work behind the scenes.

And a lot of times they don’t, you know, you don’t get the spotlight, they don’t get the credit they deserve. So this wind was for them as well. So I’m just happy that, you know, for USB skating, you know, we’ve taken on. You know, a lot of punches on the chin, the last couple of Olympics. So it’s great that, you know, we could celebrate tonight.

[00:39:51] Reporter: And obviously this is historical with Erin being the first black woman to win Olympic gold and in speed skating, where we don’t see a lot of diversity. What do you think this might be able to do to increase that?

[00:40:04] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: You know, I just think that she proves, you know, there’s no, there’s no barriers when it comes to.

Uh, diversity late. It’s just a matter of putting your passion in your heart, where, you know, following your passion in your heart, you know, where it takes you. And, uh, obviously, you know, she’s had a great, great role model in Shawnee Davis as well, who, who led the way in 2006 and 2010. And, uh, he’s been a great role model that way.

And I think she’s going to inspire a lot of, a lot of the African-American community as well.

[00:40:35] Reporter: He says, it’s not about her, but if Brittany hadn’t done what she did.

[00:40:40] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: Oh, absolutely. And it just goes to show the character of Brittany and the comradery of the team. And, you know, it’s a team in every sense of the word, you know?

I mean, they’re very selfless. They could see the big picture, you know, obviously Brittany wanted to raise, but she knew that Aaron was the front runner for, for a metal in the 5g. And so, uh, I’m not surprised that Brittany did that. You know, if anything, I expected that out of her as the leader of the team.

So obviously it’s huge, you know, and, and, you know, Brittany knows what, what it meant as well. She, she was just as ecstatic for, for EJS, you know, Egypt.

[00:41:18] Reporter: So a lot of us aren’t familiar with making, find a technical points of what is it that makes Erin so much better than

[00:41:26] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: well, you know, she, she knows how to glide, you know, that was something that we worked on from day one.

She knows how to move. She grew up on skates. She may not have grown up on ice. And even though wheels are different from blades, uh, she’s, she’s very methodical. She, she, she’s very harsh. She knows how to move on skates pretty well. And even though in the beginning, you know, it took a while for her to unlearn the technique on wheels.

She immersed herself in an, in anything and everything that it took. Apply her skating knowledge to ice. And even to this day, we’re still working on the finer points of the skating speed, skating technique on ice. Um, and she never took that for granted. She, she never came in with an ego that, oh, I’ve already been at the top of this.

I got it. No, she was very humble. She, she was willing to start off at square one and that’s what most of the successful Inlanders, if they can take a step back and see, okay, it might be. You know, I’ve been at the top now I going to start at the bottom again and work my way back up, you know, but I seen every person that’s been able to do that.

Be successful at the highest level? Not yet. I mean, obviously my phone’s just going off and I’ll get back to everybody, but yeah. Yeah. I’ll definitely reach out to Renee as well.

Well, you know, she graduated the first grade. You know, or maybe she skipped the elementary school and jumped to college. Um, this is obviously a big, big step for her. You know, it’s something that we’ve been working really hard on and she never took it for granted, even though she was one of the favorites going in, she knows how tight the field is.

She knows that anything in the 500, especially go wrong. And, but she never let that got to her. She just focused on what she needed to do. She focused on the process. Didn’t worry about the results. And I’m proud of her for that because it’s not an easy thing to do.

Well, you know, I, I think for her, you know, she kind of worried about what other people are doing. She just has to, you know, focus on what she’s doing and, uh, She’s she’s obviously again, taking a big jump, but we just continue to work on the finer points. She’s obviously a much different skater, you know, today than she was four years ago.

Um, but there is room for growth that’s for sure.

Oh, it could be really huge in our guys started off the night having a big, big performance in the team pursuit, qualifying. Um, they showed their right there. For the podium as well. So, you know, that was a great momentum breaker for our team today. So, um, we got a few more metal chances coming up this weekend.

Obviously we’re looking to capitalize on that.

Oh, you know, w when I was, I said, exactly the same thing I said to joy cheek in 2006 year Olympic champion, I just kept it simple year. The Olympic trials. Um, and it would Brit, you know, when we hug and embrace, I just said, you know, this was for all of us, you know, we really needed this. And she said, yeah, we did, you know, Again, the emotions were just flooding at that time.

So there’s not a whole lot. You can save those kinds of moments. So, um, yeah, it, it, it, it was a big thing for our team. Absolutely.

[00:45:04] Reporter: The significance of block.

What could that mean

for her to do this

[00:45:18] Coach Ryan Shimbakuro: Again, it just sends the message that you, you know, if you follow your heart and your passion, you know, it can take you anywhere. You can do anything you want, you know, you don’t have to be bound by any kind of barriers. And I think this will, you know, motivate and inspire a lot of the African-American community.

Um, just like it did with Shani Davis stood in 2006 and 10. So, you know, but to be honest with you, I don’t think EGA looks at herself as you know, she does this to be a role model. You know, she’s just a very, she loves to skate fast, you know, whether it’s on wheels or on ice or roller Derby, you know, and if her performances inspire others, then I think that’s just the cherry on the top.

[00:46:05] Press Attache: Thank you guys. .

[00:46:08] Reporter: Congratulations where your emotional.

[00:46:15] Erin: When you realize that? Um, I think I cried immediately just like a, a big release of emotion, you know? Um, a lot of shock, a lot of relief and a lot of happiness. Yeah.

Yeah, that was also a big relief. I was like, okay. I’ve I’ve at least got a bronze metal at worst, you know? So that was a big relief, but I was like, I came here to win. So let’s just try to get through this last pair and see what happens. Um, well there’s nothing I could do. So I was just, I’m a pretty calm person anyway.

So I was just waiting and watching.

[00:47:00] Jill: What does being a part of that do for you?

[00:47:06] Erin: Um, yeah, it’s amazing. The Derby community is awesome. Um, I haven’t left. I’m still a part of the Derby community. Uh, as soon as I’m done with, uh, all this ice skating, but for the season, definitely getting back into Derby. Um, they’re a really awesome community and they’ve been super supportive and it’s nice to see, uh, you know, all the people out there cheering me on want to be good in touch with you.

Um, I spoke to him, uh, through the NBC feed. He’s a really quiet guy, so I could tell he, he didn’t quite know what to say, but yeah.

Um, yeah, she hugged me and we cried and she said, she’s really proud of me. And I said a lot of bankers.

Um, well luckily we did end up getting a third spot. Um, so all three of us did compete in this race. Um, I would have been on the team eventually, but it would have been a lot more stressful, you know? Um, it would’ve been a really stressful week until we found out that we did get that third spot. But you know, at the time when she gave up her spot, she didn’t know we would be getting.

So she made a really big sacrifice for me. And I’ll be grateful to her forever.

[00:48:08] Reporter: You’ve been waiting for basically a week to, to compete in this event, probably manage your emotions.

[00:48:14] Erin: Um, I feel like I’m normally a pretty like calm and level-headed for, for racing. Um, sometimes a little too calm. Um, sometimes my issue is that I can’t get hyped up enough for an event.

Um, so yeah, I’ve just been taking it day by day, uh, doing all the training and just getting ready. Um, I was about three days ago and then it kind of wore off. And then today I was just really really ready, yeah. Historic moment, obviously, for speed skating. How did you handle pressure pressured to do you have to handle it?

[00:48:47] Reporter: And how, what, how do you feel about holding your name and then in that spot?

[00:48:52] Erin: Um, yeah, I mean, hopefully, um, hopefully it has an effect, you know, hopefully we can see, you know, more minorities, especially in the USA getting out and trying some of these, uh, winter sports. And I just always hoped to be a good example, like, especially with, uh, helping kids see that they don’t have to just choose one between like, uh, school and sports, you know?

So yeah, between, you know, like maybe being a good example for minorities, but also for kids. We want to do we want to have more priorities in life, you know, school and skating or not just skating sports, mostly skating?

Um, not yet. I haven’t been able to look at my phone yet, but I’m sure I’ve got some messages from him

[00:49:35] Reporter: fast as you were going around. Did you know this is going to be the gold medal?

[00:49:39] Erin: Um, I didn’t know. Um, normally I can hear and like kind of hear it. My opener was, and I couldn’t really hear it. Um, so I was just kind of flying blind, I guess.

Um, I had a little bit of a misstep on the back stretch, but I just, you know, try to, uh, I mean, I wouldn’t say recover cause it wasn’t anything big, but just trying to continue skating and being the, a short distance athlete that I am, I did get a little tired coming, uh, in the last, like a one 50 other race, but yeah, it felt, felt strong.

It felt like a good effort. Um, it just happens sometimes. Yeah. It wasn’t like anything, like what happened at Olympic trials, because sometimes a step, it doesn’t connect quite the way you want it to it’s really common. So, yeah, it wasn’t anything big at all. Uh, the opener being inconsistent and how that was frustrating.

You, have you been able to get more consistency or was this just a, um, I think I’ve been getting some more consistency lately. I’ve been working on. Um, you know, like now that I’m at this point and there’s nothing more I can do in terms of like my fitness, uh, it was a good opportunity to really focus on the opener and I had a good one today.

[00:50:44] Reporter: Can you hear it?

Um, I don’t know. There’s just a lot of noise in there, right? Yeah.

Is it sets out to win gold, but at what point when your transition from in mines to ice did a gold medal

[00:50:57] Erin: With a realistic, um, I would say, uh, around November, just whenever we had those first couple of world cups. Uh, after the first one, I was like, okay, that’s strange.

Let’s see where it goes. And then I want another one. And then I was like, okay, maybe I can do this.

[00:51:12] Reporter: What was that like to go from dominating the world cup circuit, and then coming to trials, having difficult trials in that. And now you’re here. What’s it been like to navigate that?

[00:51:21] Erin: Um, yeah, it’s been like a big rollercoaster, you know?

Um, it was like happiness and then stress and then happiness again. And now it’s just, it’s all come together and yeah, it’s been a wild ride, but I think that makes it even sweeter.

[00:51:32] Jill: I know we’re like 20 minutes ago, but you’ve had a lot of time to imagine what this would be like. How is it different from what you thought?

Um, that’s a hard question. I feel like I haven’t fully processed everything quite yet. Um, but yeah, right now it just feels amazing. And I don’t know if it’s fully, uh, set in yet.

[00:51:54] Reporter: Almost an effort watch sport excepted. When eight years ago, Julia, you were at the game shoe to knit and you figure it out, people now back home in the states and tune in just for you.

[00:52:04] Erin: Um, I think so. Yeah, as I was mentioning with the Derby community earlier, um, yeah, I’m not sure if they watch a lot of other sports, but yeah. I hope they were tuning in for me today. Yeah. Awesome.

[00:52:20] Reporter: Well back about six years ago when you were in Thrones and Bianca Roosevelt took you for your first?

[00:52:29] Erin: Um, yeah, actually I think I read a little article today where, uh, Bianca was talking and I was like, yeah, it’s just really awesome to, to think back to that time and just, you know, grateful to Bianca for getting my first steps out there. When you were standing on the podium, what else was running through your mind?

Uh, I think. It’s still a bit blank at that point. Just like holy crap. And wow. And this is awesome. Very simple thoughts. Very simple thoughts. Yeah.

[00:53:00] Press Attache: Anything else?

 

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