It’s Day 11 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics! It’s Valentine’s Day, and although love is in the air, not everyone loves the decision on the Kamila Valieva doping situation, which was announced today. There’s still no team medal though, so this story isn’t over.

We did have more drama on the ice with the Ice Dancing Free Dance competition. Plus, what are the medal ceremonies like in person? Jill went to some and reports back!

Today’s sports schedule includes:

  • Bobsleigh – Women’s Monobob, heats 3-4; Men’s Two-Man, heats 1-2
  • Curling – Men’s and Women’s Round Robin
  • Figure Skating – Ice Dance Free Dance
  • Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Freeski Slopestyle Qualifications, Women’s Aerials
  • Ice Hockey – Women’s Semifinals
  • Ski Jumping – Men’s Team
  • Snowboard – Men’s and Women’s Big Air Qualification

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 11

[00:00:08] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to Day 11 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?

[00:00:23] Alison: Ni Hao. I’m very confused.

[00:00:27] Jill: How so?

[00:00:29] Alison: Well, we’ll get to it in our follow-up file, but nobody’s happy. And I am certainly in that category.

[00:00:36] Jill: Gotcha. Well, Happy Valentine’s Day.

[00:00:38] Alison: Yes. Happy Valentine’s Day. You know, I put a pink shirt on and I see you wearing your red sweater. I did not do this on purpose. It’s like the universe did that to me. I t was on the top of the laundry. And I said, oh, I haven’t worn that shirt in a while. And here it was.

[00:00:53] Jill: And, you know, I didn’t plan this either. I was like, oh my heavy sweater. I could use it today. Because I’d be on the ice.

I have wondered, and I don’t know how to ask because everybody’s English is good enough to get you to where you need to go and ask basic questions. But it’s not good enough to answer the question that I had. I’ve been thinking about for weeks, how many love connections are being made among the volunteers? Because they’ve all been in the closed loop together and they’re all like university students. So this is a ripe for matchmaking.

[00:01:29] Alison: And you know, what they could use for their wedding? The knit flowers.

[00:01:34] Jill: Oh, that they could, that would be great.

[00:01:39] Alison: There’s a great video that I think was Listener Nick posted in the Facebook page about who made the flowers, and it’s all these knitting groups across China and it’s, you know, maker moms. And it’s just exactly what you would expect.

It is no different than quilting circles in Wisconsin. And it was wonderful to see that connection that everywhere in the world, a group of women get together to chat and gossip and make beautiful things. And to see those flowers come together is amazing. So we will be reposting that video because it’s worth taking a look at.

[00:02:24] Jill: Alright, what I have to warn you all is that it is not only the magical hour of vacuuming. The vacuum has been on. It has been off, I assume it will come on again. Although maybe they know my fort because on the Facebook group someone was like, I think you are the fort lady to the people there. We also have some Italians in the room that have set up strategically far apart from each other, and yet yelled to each other across the room. Although one is packing up to go home. And I think he’s the ringleader of the talkers. If you hear someone yelling here, that’s what we’re dealing with here.

Let’s, let’s move on to what officiating or volunteer job we would want to do today. What would you like to do?

[00:03:10] Alison: Well, very simple jobs from figure skating that we haven’t given enough love to. So the volunteer who opens and closes the door for the figure skaters as they get on and off the ice. And then the volunteers who help the spectators find their seats. Oh yes.

They are strategically located at the end of the tunnel entrances. And you see them when they pan the crowd and they are just standing there and they’re in the beautiful blue and white coats and boring job, but important job. And I would love that because then you get to talk to everybody.

[00:03:45] Jill: Well, again, the volunteers here are fabulous and especially at the venues. The volunteers are very good. They have it. I would think that’s a very fun job to have to be in the venue because when competition is on, it’s just a hub of activity and everybody’s like running, it’s just buzzing with excitement.

So, the skating venue is a little bit of a labyrinth to get to the seat, to get to the media center. And the volunteers have been excellent at helping you navigate that until you find it on your own. So I appreciate them.

I watched some curling today and I’ve, you know, waiver about being a curling official. Plus a clipboard, we all know, I love good clipboard, but today again, and this is the second time I’ve seen it. What might just push it over the edge is that they’ve got some kind of walkie-talkie or radio in their coat lapel so that when they need to talk to the other officials who are on the other side of the ice, you know, they lift up their collar and talk into it and it looks so cool.

[00:04:53] Alison: Like they’re MI-6 or something.

[00:04:55] Jill: Exactly. I see this, I see feed beefs are back.

[00:04:59] Alison: Feed beefs are back. We were doing really well all of the first 10 days. And then the Super Bowl happened here in the United States. And that seems to have done NBC dirty. So people were getting geo blocked if they were in say Cincinnati or LA for certain things.

I was having a lot of trouble with replays being blocked and a new problem has been I’m watching something slightly delayed. So say something starts at seven at the morning, I turned it on at 7:30.  When it ends live, they don’t just blank it out. They just switched me to something else.

[00:05:40] Jill: Oh, like that, that happened in Tokyo. That was annoying.

[00:05:44] Alison: Right. And it is also happening in full replays. So I was watching the medal ceremony for today for Erin. We’ll get to that. And it was completely over. I was watching the full replay. I’m watching Erin get her medal and all of a sudden, then I’m watching ariels.

[00:06:07] Jill: It’s like they flip the channel for you.

[00:06:10] Alison: They did. It was like old school. Your little kid ran over and turned the dial or, you know, the dog stepped on the remote. I touched nothing because I was making my coffee. And all of a sudden, I said, oh wait, was it over? Did this just switch, or was this the USA network feed? No, they just switched me.

So Peacock seems to be having trouble. And NBC seems to be having trouble. The feed seems to be having trouble. So I don’t know if it’s that they’re embargoing more things now, or they just are tired like we are, and they’re getting sloppy, but listeners do yknow ou are not the only one having issues. It is pervasive again.

[00:06:52] Jill: Well, hopefully with the big game being over now, everybody can get back into Olympics. What’s going on with our fantasy league?

[00:07:02] Alison: Okay. So RAF Q is holding strong at the top with 236 Monkey Cat is 228. Schollestan is right behind at 227. FF Chelsea IC is right behind that at 226. I am at 17th. You are at 46, despite some good choices we made yesterday.

And Olympic Fan Dan, who was our winner in Tokyo, is at 38th.

[00:07:28] Jill: Wow. Well, I’m a little bummed that I, I think I dropped in the standings. I did have a good team. I think I’ve picked a team for tomorrow. I don’t know, but we’ll find out. All right, though. Follow-up file.

[00:07:52] Alison: We got the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and somehow they managed to make absolutely no one even a little bit happy. We knew they were going to make no one happy. I didn’t think they were going to make everyone this unhappy. So this is going back to the Kamila Valieva doping issue, as we’ve talked about relentlessly, and it’s all over the press, she tested positive during the Russian nationals and the positive test just came through last week.

So what the CAS has said is they are upholding RUSADA’s decision and RUSADA is the Russian Anti-doping Agency, to waive her violation. RUSADA said, yeah, we know you’re guilty of something, but it’s fine. You can compete. And CAS said that was a valid decision. So she will be allowed to compete in ladies program which starts tomorrow.

And according to CAS the team medal stands. The IOC, the ISU, the International Skating Union and the USOPC, which has skin in this game because they were the silver medalist in the team event, are basically saying, no-go. The IOC has announced there will not be a medal ceremony for the team event. And if Kamila Valieva ends up on the podium in the ladies event, there will not be a medal ceremony for that either. The ISU has announced that if Kamila Valieva makes it to the frees skate, because not everybody advances, they will advance an extra skater into the free skate. So usually it’s 24 skaters, make it into the free skate. They’re going to advance 25 if Kamila is part of that 24. The USOPC, WADA, and the ISU have all filed appeals to the CAS.

RUSADA and the Russian Olympic Committee are not thrilled about this decision either because they haven’t cleared Kamila Valieva of wrongdoing.

[00:10:19] Jill: Yeah. It’s fascinating to see. I mean, and in a way we talk about the IOC not having much of a spine when it comes to these things and it seemed at the beginning like, oh, well, they’re going to have to make the tough decision and have made a decision. Kind of like the US, kind of like the IOC would make. And then the IOC was angry about it, and they actually did something and they said, no-go.

[00:10:47] Alison: I mean, the saddest part is it feels like this is why we can’t have nice things. So the Americans and the Japanese in the team event are not getting their medal ceremony. And even the clean athletes in the ROC are not getting their medal ceremony. What will be interesting to see because the Russians have a chance to sweep the ladies’ event and how loud are they going to be in the Russian press about not getting that podium and medal ceremony happening?

Thankfully the Americans and the Japanese did have that venue event where they got their pandas. And you know that when those medals are officially awarded, they’ll make a big deal of it, both teams, because they’re very unhappy about this, but they’re not getting their moment in Beijing. Supposedly RUSADA is doing a full investigation.

It’s going to take some time as to where this drug came from, who administered it to her. CAS seems to come down on the fact that we shouldn’t punish Kamila Valieva because she’s 15. And because there was no way she was capable of making the choice to dope or not dope. I get that. However, you can’t have people doping and not punishing it.

It doesn’t matter because the coaches will continue to do that because we know the Russian skaters just keep getting younger and younger. Right. And if they really wanted to do something about it, they would make a rule. They would put an age limit for the, for all competitions, not just figure skating.

[00:12:44] Jill: And I know at the, I read, because I couldn’t go to the press conference today. I’ve read that the IOC said, well, you know that the minors do okay in all sports, just look at the skateboarders and how great they were in Tokyo. And we said constantly that they look too young, that yeah, it’s all sunshine and rainbows now.

But at some point that’s going to turn and something’s going to happen, you know?

Camilla’s 15. 15 year olds do some stupid stuff to get themselves in trouble. So I don’t know where the doping came from, but it’s not like she didn’t go, oh,

[00:13:25] Alison: If they are not old enough to make choices about doping, they are not old enough to be in the Olympics. I don’t see how we are not making a bottom age to say if 16 is what WADA is saying, then 16 is what the IOC needs to say.

And I know they don’t talk to their federations and tell them what to do, but on this, they need to.

[00:13:53] Jill: Exactly. I mean, it’s been happening and it keeps happening. That’s the thing. Another little point is WADA is also angry at RUSADA because they apparently did not flag Kamila Valieva’s sample as priority.

And that’s why it sat in the lab. And then you go, huh? You knew it would sit in the lab because you knew that they’re all busy right now. And you thought you could get away with this.

[00:14:16] Alison: So we know from all the Sochi issues RUSADA was very much involved in covering up the doping. Then why is RUSADA in charge of this investigation? Why is RUSADA still in charge of anything?

[00:14:36] Jill: Well, it’s funny because like you said, RUSADA is investigating Valieva’s personnel, but WADA is investigating them also. They said we will also do our own independent investigation into this.

[00:14:48] Alison: I did want to mention one other thing from the American press. So of course, here on NBC Olympic gold medalist, Tara Lipinski, and Olympian, Johnny Weir, do the commentary for figure skating.

And they had very, very different opinions on this case. And I think it speaks to their own experience. As we know, Tara Lipinski is the youngest gold medalist in women’s figure skating. And she said, Kamila Valieva shouldn’t be punished because she was not able to make this decision. And Johnny Weir came down and said, we’re making a joke of all of sport and especially figure skating if we don’t punish her.

[00:15:32] Jill: And if she didn’t, I mean, if she was given the substance and told to take it, unfortunately that the, I mean, it’s an awful thing for her to go through. And have dreams, dashed and everything, but then that also speaks to maybe the personnel she had shouldn’t be in this sport.

[00:15:59] Alison: Right. Kamila needs to be punished.

Subsequently her people will be punished because they lose out on this medal. This is once again, going back to stuff we’ve talked about in gymnastics and the Bela Karolyi effect, you cannot have these children in these sports where the coach has so much power over them, that they have absolutely no freedom and no body, no bodily autonomy.

It’s wrong, wrong on so many levels. And I am so sad for the American skaters and the Japanese skaters and possibly the Canadian skaters who would end up on the podium for the team event and the women competing in the women’s event who can’t feel secure in how clean their event is.

[00:16:54] Jill: Right. And the other interesting thing is because the women’s team is so strong for ROC they didn’t have to put Kamila on and they could’ve still won the team. But now we have this situation.

[00:17:08] Alison: Though, Kamila’s coach is the coach of the entire women’s Russian team.

[00:17:14] Jill: Oh, okay.

[00:17:17] Alison: And I think the oldest one is all of 17. I think they’re 15, 16, and 17.

[00:17:22] Jill: Wow. It is a bad and sticky situation that just keeps going, even though this was supposed to be the final decision.

All right. Medal ceremony.

[00:17:33] Alison: That did happen and were fantastic.

[00:17:37] Jill: Yes. I went to the medal ceremonies this evening and how it works is that they have about a half an hour’s worth or wait, no. It’s about an hour’s worth of medal ceremonies and they alternate between venues. So they would have one at Beijing and then they’d have one on the screen at Zhangjikou and then they come back to Beijing and I’m sure Zhangjiakou got the feed from us and just would go back and forth.

They have here, it’s a big shell. I think it’s supposed to be some kind of ice shell or something, something very winter wonderland, like, big screens. The Olympic flag is to one side of the shell. The flags for the medalists’ nations are behind the audience. So the medalists can see them, but the audience cannot.

So that made it kind of hard to see the flag flick. A little disappointed, but that’s okay. So I was in the press area, which is down in front it’s was photographers first then press and kind of on one side were, was blocked off for teams and athletes to come and cheer on their country people. And then behind us and next to us were just spectators, local spectators. And we, well, we mixed a little bit, I think, just on the going out, but I mean, everybody was just kind of crammed in there. So it wasn’t really distanced. And it wasn’t, it was full. It was really full because the Chinese short track team won a bronze and everybody was really excited for that.

And then a whole bunch of people left. Some other people came back and they had little clappy hands on a stick, with the head that lit up. So that was kind of fun. Some people had like paper Beijing, 2022 glasses, little cardboard stock stuff. And it was pretty festive, but it was also a little sad because you knew it was supposed to be more festive.

The snow flame is right behind the flags. So the Medals Plaza faces the center of Olympic park and you would be able to go see the snow flame and you’d go see the rings, but you can’t really do that, at least as a press person, that’s all blocked off. So that’s a little disappointing. But otherwise the ceremonies were nice.

They are everything you want. Erin’s was first. Erin Jackson, our speed skater, and she started to tear up a little bit when they started giving the medals out. And she really started tearing up when they gave the silver medal out, because she, you could just see how the magnitude of what was happening and how much it meant. And she just, she lost it a little bit. It was, it was really sweet.

[00:20:39] Alison: I wasn’t sure if you could see that from where you were, because obviously on the television, they zero in on her and come much closer up and it was really sweet how emotional she got. And then at the end of the medal ceremony, I’ve noticed they have the TV screen with the family on the stage, so that as they’re, the athletes are coming off, they can wave at their family.

And there was all the family in Ocala waving furiously at Erin. It was, it was great to see. It was good classic tear jerker, as you would hope and expect.

[00:21:16] Jill: So the screen for that is offstage. So, but they’ll sometimes put it on the big screens in the  Medal Plaza area. So you can sometimes see it because somebody from the US was on. The feed was delayed, so they didn’t realize their person was there. And it was just like, what would he do? Hey, hi mom. So that was funny. The ceremony is quite nice. It’s a basic ceremony, but it’s really kind of sad that it can’t be the festiveness that it should be. And they also piped in cheering. So it sounded louder than it was. But hold on. I think I got on the feed because I saw myself. The camera pans around and zooms in and out and, and pans around the crowd. And I noticed on the short track men’s 500. I saw my pants. I’m just wearing, I’m wearing khakis. So I’m like, oh, that’s me. And I tried to get wavy on the ice dance, on the figure skating ice dance.

So I may be on there. You may be able to see me. I’m not quite sure, but it was funny. They did a couple of different biathlon medals. I think the first one was the sprint for the men. And that’s when the Boe brothers were on the podium. And so Tarjei is busy taking selfies and QFM and Johannes Thingnes, and they throw their flowers into the crowd.

At the end, they actually threw their flowers into the crowd. I’m like, what? Why would you do that? And then I realized, oh, they have some already, they probably don’t want to take home like 20 bouquets.

[00:23:00] Alison: Does that mean that the person who caught the bouquet will be the next biathlete medalist?

[00:23:07] Jill: You gotta wonder there could be something in there. Crocheting.

All right. Well, let’s look into today’s action. We start off with bobsled today and we finished up the women’s monobob competition. Gold went to Kaillie Humphreys from USA. Silver went to Elana Meyers Taylor from USA and bronze went to Christine DeBruin from Canada.

So Elana Myers Taylor like came up from fourth to get this. This is pretty impressive, because that’s really hard to move around.

[00:23:36] Alison: In the last run. And I mean, not just in runs three and four, she was in fourth going into run four and here she comes. And now Kaillie and Elana are by far the most decorated female bobsleders. We’ll see them again in two women.

[00:23:53] Jill: That’s right. The two man competition also started today. Heats one and two got underway. The leaders after the second heat are Francesco Friedrich from Germany, Johannes Lochner from Germany, Rostislav Gaituikevich from ROC, Christoph Hafer from Germany, and Michael Vogt from Switzerland.

[00:24:14] Alison: So the Germans are pretty good at the sliding course.

[00:24:18] Jill: Yes. Now we’re getting really into luge and bobsled. They are really their powerhouses. I saw some at the very end and Hunter Church from the US had a really bad skid. That was really tough.

He’s down at almost the very bottom hanging out with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil.

[00:24:37] Alison: Monaco had another sled this year, too. They really, yes. The brainchild of His Serene Highness, Prince Albert, who competed back in the, was that the eighties and nineties that he competed?

[00:24:52] Jill: I believe he was at Calgary and maybe at Albertville.

So yes, Monaco is continuing it’s sliding tradition, which again, we love these small countries and it makes sense. I mean, Monaco’s in the mountains.

Right. Moving over to curling, we had some men’s and women’s round robin. So on the men’s side, Canada beat Italy seven to three. This, I was at part of this session and they ended after nine ends because when Italy, when Canada was up that high, the far Canada, or Italy said, we can’t come back from that. So let’s just end the game now. Yep. Yeah, that was, that was really rough because Italy tried to throw a takeout and their stone went out and then Canada put another rock in the house for three points. And that’s really what sealed the deal for them.

[00:25:43] Alison: And Italy is at the bottom of the men’s standing. So it’s not like they’re in the race to get out of the round robin.

I don’t think they can at this point, even if they won the rest of their games. So they will be probably easier to concede when you know it doesn’t have a lot of meaning.

[00:25:59] Jill: Exactly. Denmark beat Norway, six to five in 11 ends. That was a good game to watch. Sweden beat ROC seven to five and Great Britain beat Switzerland, six to five.

The women had a couple of sessions of curling action tonight. In the first one Japan beat China 10 to 2. Canada beat ROC 11 to five and USA beat Korea, eight to six. In the second session, Sweden beat Switzerland, six to five, that also went to extra ends. And that was a doozy too because it really came down to a lot of thinking time in the last couple of rocks to so Switzerland could take it. They had come back in the 10th end to make the tie and forced the extra end. So really good play on both of those teams parts Canada beat Great Britain, seven to three. Korea beat Japan, 10 to five, and Denmark beat ROC, 10 to five. So looking at the standings, the only team undefeated in both the men’s and women’s tournaments is Sweden.

They, for the men, they are at six and O. Great Britain is five and one. Canada’s 4 and 2. ROC, Switzerland, and USA are all three and three. China and Norway are two and four, and Denmark and Italy are one and five. On the women’s side that Sweden victory gave Switzerland its first loss. So they are still at the top of the standings at five and one. USA, Japan and Sweden are all at 4 and 2. Korea, Great Britain and Canada are three and three. Denmark and China are two and four and ROC is O and six.

[00:27:38] Alison: Lots of movement happening in the curling. It’s, it’s pretty tight to see who’s going to make the medal round. So this is going to keep changing.

[00:27:44] Jill: I know it really will. And when you look at the standings and see how many teams are bunched up against each other, it’s going to be good curling the next few days.

All right. Figure skating, your beloved ice dance competition ended today.

[00:28:00] Alison: I was disappointed,

[00:28:02] Jill: Really? How come?

[00:28:04] Alison: Well thrilled with the outcome, thrilled to bits with the outcome, but I feel like we have gone back to the bad old days of ice dancing where the standings are predetermined.

[00:28:22] Jill: Oh, did you think that somebody should not have been in the top three or top five?

[00:28:29] Alison: I would have moved some people around. Clearly Papadakis and Cizeron even without my incredible bias and love for them were the gold medalists. They were beautiful. They were perfect. What they did was more difficult than everybody else. It was not as magical as I’ve seen them skate. Certainly not as magical as their 2018 performances.

I think this is hurt the most of all the figure skating disciplines by not having a crowd because you don’t have the big jumps and what makes ice dance so special is you get on the ice and you create a moment. And when the stands aren’t full and you don’t feel that moment, it loses something. And if you go back and you watch their 2018 performance, which like this one was a very quiet internal performance, there was a magic to it.

There was an energy between them that just didn’t feel like it was there tonight. However, they never look not like gold medalists.

[00:29:37] Jill: That is true. And I will say I was there for most of the free dance. I missed a couple of groups, but I got to see the last couple of groups and all of it was subdued, I guess you would say.

And I’m sorry, I’m distracted because it’s not really the magical hour of sweeping here. It’s a magical hour of banging chairs around and wiping the tables off, but that’s okay too.

So everybody was kind of, I don’t want to say boring, but it was just kind of, it was there.

[00:30:11] Alison: There was a lot of sad girls in flowy dresses.

[00:30:15] Jill: Yes. That there was.

[00:30:18] Alison: And I think that came from because the rhythm dance, where those street dance rhythms, they were kind of out there. Very upbeat, very fast. A lot of the teams went with the slow, dramatic, lyrical pieces for their free dance to show their range. Okay. That makes sense, which I think did lead to a lower energy than we’ve seen in some of the past.

I would have swapped silver and bronze. I think the Russians were slower. Not as difficult, not as interesting. We’ve seen this routine from them in several different forms repeatedly, but the standings of the top 10 had one change from the short to the long. Six and seven swapped. That was it.

[00:31:18] Jill: Interesting.

[00:31:20] Alison: Nobody brought the crazy.

[00:31:22] Jill: Nobody did bring a crazy. Chock and Bates from the US were close. They had a space program and I did wonder how much an of acid trip they did to channel the outer space-ness of it. And I did really like the program because it was a little out there and a little different, everybody else was kind of bored.

I don’t want to say that, but everything else just kind of flow together and nothing really stood out. Papadakis and Cicerone were beautiful. The pair from ROC, I, you know, I, I don’t think it matters that they’ve done this program before. Because a lot of people dust old programs off for Olympic years.

[00:31:59] Alison: It’s not an actual old program. I just meant that the style was the same.

[00:32:04] Jill: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It seemed like people went to a comfort zone. And that comfort zone is as flowy. Let me feel deeply for you kind of program. And it just didn’t, nothing, nothing really stood out. So I’m really glad that Papadakis and Cizeron won the gold because they do deserve it. It just wasn’t a stellar year for ice dance.

[00:32:30] Alison: I’m looking for maybe the pairs to bring some crazy, I don’t know. Okay. So gold went to France’s Papadakis and Cizeron. ROC won the silver. That’s Viktoria Sinitsina and Mikita Katsalapov. And the Americans won the bronze, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donahue.

[00:32:55] Jill: All right, moving over to freestyle skiing. We had some of the slopestyle that was rescheduled from yesterday got done today, but not the entire competition. So they did qualifications one and two today. Leaders at this point are Kelly Sildura from Estonia, Johanne Killi from Norway, Eileen Gu from China, Maggie Voisin from USA and Anastasia Tatalina from ROC.

So they will have the finals tomorrow. And then we did have the big air women’s aerials competition today. Gold went to Mengtao Xu from China. Silver went to Hannah Huskova from Belarus and bronze went to Megan Nick from the US.

[00:33:41] Alison: Ashley Caldwell, the American, who was the favorite going into this did not stick her landing. So she finished fourth, actually. The three medalists are the only ones who stuck their landings in that super final of the six.

[00:33:55] Jill: Wow. I’m anticipating that there will be a lot of aerials shown on the CCTV. When I get back to my room, I’m very excited and get to look. I look forward to that.

[00:34:05] Alison: Yeah. Mengtao Xu was not expected to win. I’m not even sure she was expected to medal because she seemed absolutely shocked, but it was gorgeous. It was a gorgeous jump.

[00:34:19] Jill: Moving over to ice hockey. The women had their semi-finals today. Canada beat Switzerland ten to three and USA beat Finland four to one. So it’s a Canada USA matchup once again for the gold medal.

And that will be on Thursday.

[00:34:34] Alison: And then Switzerland and Finland will pay, play for the bronze. But you know, I’ve said it earlier in the week, the women’s hockey rivalry between Canada and the US is better than any other rivalry in sports. The Canadian and the American women are often teammates. They’re teammates in college, they’re teammates in the professional league for women. And yet when they split and put on those country jerseys, all that affection and comradery goes out the window, which is amazing to me. And there’s such great athletes and it’s always really good hockey. I mean, if you love hockey and you want to see good old school hockey, watch the women this time around. I mean, I think I say that every Olympics, if you really love hockey, it’s the women who are playing good technical hockey, and this is going to be a great match, like all the others.

[00:35:32] Jill: Well, yeah, and Pyeongchang that was overtime and a shootout and it was just intense and such a great match. So we expect no less from them this time around, they always deliver something amazing, both teams it’s going to in and you never know who’s going to win really.

[00:35:50] Alison: And you know what’s going to be at this match. No doubt. The drum, the drum, the chef de mission and the drum, which I, you know, that drum will be there and being loud. So it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s everything that an Olympic hockey match should be.

[00:36:09] Jill: Exactly. Moving over to a ski jumping and the men had the large hill team competition today.

Gold went to Austria. Silver went to Slovakia and silver went to Slovenia. And bronze went to Germany.

[00:36:24] Alison: I have not mentioned this earlier, and I am been very remiss. There are some fantastic gold helmets happening in ski jumping, and it is not a team uniform because I have seen them on the ROC, the Swiss, the Slovenians, and the Norwegians.

I don’t know if this is, was a particular manufacturer’s helmet. Helmets do not seem to be colored based on the uniforms. It’s the individual person, like a skis it’s piece of equipment, but when they’re flying, they look like little shiny light bulbs.

[00:37:01] Jill: Okay. Let’s take a break to talk about our Red Envelope campaign. We’ve been having this donation campaign to help our show make it through to Paris 2024. Listeners have been extremely generous in supporting our weekly show, as well as our Kickstarter campaign that got us to Beijing. Now we need to keep the show going to Paris 2024.

So far, we are well on our way to covering our current operating expenses for this two and a half year period. But we’d like to be able to expand what we do for the next Olympics and improve and grow. And that does take a little bit of financial support for that. So, we need your support and help to make things better for you and improve your listening experience.

Go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate. And because it’s our red envelope campaign in honor of the lunar new year, we are asking for donations of at least $8 as eight is a lucky number symbolizing good fortune.

Moving over to snowboard. We had the start of the big air snowboard competition today. Today was qualification runs. Tomorrow is finals. I’m good to go. I’m going to be at big air and I’m going. I gotta go see that venue. So for the women, the leaders are Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from New Zealand.

[00:38:19] Alison: Looking good.

[00:38:21] Jill: I know. And from Japan, Kokomo Murase and Miyabi Onitsuka, Laurie Blouin from Canada, and another Japanese woman Reira Iwabuchi. On the men’s side leaders are Max Parrot from Canada, Takera Otsuka from Japan, Red Gerard from USA, Hiroki Kunitake from Japan and Sue Yiming from China.

[00:38:50] Alison: There has been some follow-up concerning the slopestyle event that Max Parrot won and the judging controversy. So Max Parrot has said, I didn’t grab the board. I hit my knee. We all knew I grabbed my knee and not the board. And as you reported, the judge said it wasn’t just one trick. It was the cumulation, but what gets us into trouble is Max’s teammate, Mark McMorris also from Canada, has said he was unhappy with his scores as well. And saying that he thought he lost out on possibly the gold medal as well. So usually we have judging controversies in figure skating. Now it’s snowboarding getting in on the act.

[00:39:46] Jill: All right. How is TKFLASTAN doing and what are we looking forward to watching?

[00:39:52] Alison: Okay, so it was quiet today, but tomorrow Team Shuster is back against Switzerland in men’s curling.

[00:39:59] Jill: Excellent. We would like to think our Location Scouts for today, Douglas Weir and Terry, thanks for supporting the podcast for our Kickstarter campaign and postcards are going to be sent out soon.

And we have a mascot as well.

[00:40:14] Alison: We have a mascot, the beautiful Millie. I noticed yesterday that Milly reminded me of somebody and I realized it was Lady from Lady and the Tramp. Ah, so I’ve posted some side-by-side photos today on Instagram, and those will be coming up on Facebook as well. You would know if she calls her dad, Jim darling?

[00:40:34] Jill: No, I don’t think so.

[00:40:36] Alison: That’s one of my favorite things from Lady in the Tramp. I think I’ll go have some spaghetti now for Valentine’s day.

[00:40:42] Jill: Okay, well, that will do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow for another great day of Olympic competition

[00:40:50] 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 and Jill and I post there as well. Jill is on Twitter and I am on Insta. Both are @flamealivepod. You can also email us at flamealivepod@gmail.com or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:41:16] Jill: Catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening and until then, keep the flame alive.

 

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