Drama in the hockey arena! Drama on the ice! Drama in the Main Media Center during the Magical Hour of Vacuuming! It’s been a wild day at Beijing 2022, and we’ve got all the details.
Sports on today’s competition schedule:
- Alpine Skiing – Women’s Combined
- Curling – End of the Round Robin tournaments; men’s semifinals
- Figure Skating – Women’s free program
- Freestyle Skiing – Women’s and men’s ski halfpipe; women’s ski cross
- Ice Hockey – Women’s gold medal match
- Nordic Combined – Team Large Hill/4x5K XCS
- Speed Skating – Long Track – Women’s 1000m
TKFLASTANI halfpipe skier Devin Logan celebrated her birthday by competing in the ski halfpipe qualification rounds. Unfortunately, the icing on her cake was not a trip to the finals, as she missed out of getting into the finals by a half-point.
Canada and the United States faced off in the gold medal round of the women’s hockey tournament (again). Canada was all over the ice and skated away with the victory, leaving the defending gold medalists (including TKFLASTANI Brianna Decker) holding the silver medal.
The true drama of the evening proved to be on the ice skating rink at the women’s figure skating free program. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that should Kamila Valieva get a spot on the podium, there would be no panda ceremony, no medal ceremony and her name would be asterisked in the results.
Instead, Valieva crumbled under the pressure and her coach Eteri Tutberidze was less than sympathetic. Valieva’s ROC teammates took the top two positions, with Anna Shcherbakova winning gold, and a raging Aleksandra Trusova angry about earning silver. The only happy one on the podium seemed to be Kaori Sakamoto, who took home the bronze for Japan.
The drama didn’t end after the skating competition. When Jill got back to the Main Media Center, the Magical Hour of Vacuuming was being put to a halt by another journalist!
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Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
Note: While we make efforts to ensure the accuracy of this transcript, please know that it is machine-generated and likely contains errors. Please use the audio file as the record of note.
Beijing 2022: Olympics – Day 14
[00:00:00] Jill: Today’s episode is brought to you by Winter/Victor.
Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day 14 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, how are you?
[00:00:28] Alison: Ni hao. The past 12 hours have been a lot. And now you’re telling me that there’s drama in the media center.
[00:00:36] Jill: Oh my goodness. It is a magical hour of vacuuming or rather it should be the magical hour of vacuuming. But, um, when I came in here, all was great. The vacuums were going. My, my favorite spot in the media center for recording was open. I created my fort and then a Ukrainian man, who you might hear in the background, I’m not sure. He’s pretty loud. He yelled at the vacuumers, the magical vacuumers. He yelled at them because he is recording something on video. I know it’s not right.
[00:01:15] Alison: How dare he yell at our magical vacuumers.
[00:01:17] Jill: I know it’s incredible. And I hoping on the inside I’m like, they must point at me and go, she never complains.
[00:01:28] Alison: She just builds her blanket fort and manages and carries on.
[00:01:33] Jill: We have a whole world full of magical vacuumer lovers. Speaking of, thank you to listener David for the shout out. We were featured on Nexstar.
It was a CBS feed. So your local CBS station might have gotten this feed of a little piece on us and what we’re doing with show. And Listener David is, works for NBC, one of the stations out on the east. I think, Virginia. Yes. And he got to introduce this piece and mentioned the magical hour vacuuming. So that made me laugh.
[00:02:13] Alison: There was a great discussion on the Facebook group that people were happy the other day to actually hear the vacuum.
[00:02:18] Jill: Now I know, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I muted them the whole time, but they’re, they’re back. I’m sure they, I mean, there’s crumbs all over next to me. I bet they cannot wait to vacuum this place. There’s crumbs in my station too.
[00:02:32] Alison: They’re scared of the Ukrainian man.
[00:02:36] Jill: No, although it looks like he might be done. And if he is, they’re going to start vacuuming. Well, we got to show to do so. Hopefully they’ll get to business while we get the business. Uh, let’s start with what officiating or volunteer job we would like to.
[00:02:52] Alison: I’m going to give you a job today that I do not want to do.
[00:02:55] Jill: Oh, okay. I started writing those down too.
[00:02:59] Alison: I do not want to be the volunteer who had to wrangle Alexandra Trusova for the medal ceremony.
[00:03:06] Jill: Oh, I am dying to hear all about this. I got messages about the drama. And I don’t know because I kind of hightailed it out of there so that I could get dinner before the dining hall closed had, uh, this sounds like something.
[00:03:22] Alison: We got some stories and some of the best part of the stories come because Johnny Weir speaks Russian.
[00:03:30] Jill: Oh, that’s right. Oh, this is going to be even better. Okay. My job is over at hockey. It would be working in the penalty box, which I do have experience only, and the reason why I would take this job only in the COVID era is because if there’s a broken stick, the penalty box person is also the broken stick collector. And then they have to disinfect the stick when it comes to them.
[00:04:01] Alison: Do they do this with wipe or spray?
[00:04:04] Jill: They sprayed, they sprayed and then wiped it down and then sprayed and wiped down their hands. It was, and I was fascinated. I’m like, all right. That’s what happens. I also have a story about what happens to the sticks that fall down or get thrown on the ice. But we can save that for hockey.
[00:04:21] Alison: All right, I’m ready.
[00:04:22] Jill: Okay. Fantasy league. I know I’m off the, I’m just, I don’t know if I’ll get there tomorrow.
[00:04:28] Alison: So RAF Q is at 299, ready to break that 300 mark. FF Chelsea IC and Schollestan are tied at 296. Monkeycat is at 291. I have slipped the 23rd and it’s going to get worse because I missed a day.
[00:04:48] Jill: Oh, I’m so sorry. Welcome to the club.
[00:04:52] Alison: Yeah, Jill, you slipped to 51st. So.
[00:04:56] Jill: Well, I, I will just say they getting the one o’clock bus trumps putting in my fantasy league. That’s all I have. So I’m hanging in there. Maybe I’ll get one in for tomorrow. Maybe it’ll be, maybe I’ll remember tomorrow to do the day after, but it’s still fun. Still having fun.
[00:05:14] Alison: It’s still excited when I see that I actually got points. The day before yesterday, every single one of my picks got points and I still didn’t move up.
[00:05:23] Jill: Wow. Well, everybody else must pick the same people.
[00:05:27] Alison: I picked low percentage people too. And man, just not cutting it.
[00:05:32] Jill: Points for everybody. We’d like to give a thank you to our sponsor.
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And you know, Winter/Victor designed our pins. I cannot tell you how surprised I was at hockey today when I was mobbed by a whole group of volunteers who wanted the Keep the Flame Alive pin.
[00:06:16] Alison: Oh, fantastic.
[00:06:17] Jill: That was great. And they kept, one woman kept bringing me stuff like she didn’t have her many pins, so she traded a pin and then she traded a little stuffed animal. She said it was her favorite. And then I asked its name and she said, Bobby. It’s a little rabbit head.
Yeah, maybe I’ll, I’ll take a picture of it and put it in the Facebook group, put it on Twitter. Uh, then she brought me some Beijing 2022 N95 masks to trade for pins. She was not joking.
[00:06:56] Alison: And before we finish with Winter/Victor, we have a new banner on our Facebook group and page, and that is also a Winter/Victor design. And it is really beautiful.
[00:07:09] Jill: Yes, I love it. So check out wintervictor.com if you have sport graphic design needs.
All right. Follow up file. I have a little clarification from Producer Brian. This is about Sven Kramer. He has, Brian said that, he missed his 10th Olympic medal and his chance to be the only the second Olympian to win bronze in the same sport event and discipline four times, the bit we forgot is that it was while medaling in successive Olympics. So there are other athletes who have medaled, gotten bronze four times, but not in a row. And that would have been Sven Kramer, had he done well.
[00:07:55] Alison: Sven Kramer has disappointed us.
[00:07:59] Jill: Yeah. I’m, I’m really surprised because you would think you’d have, I don’t want to put this on him.
I don’t want to put it on any athlete going well, you should just keep going and going like the Energizer bunny, but, you know, bodies don’t last that long in elite sport. So I’m not surprised that after 16 years of Olympics, he’s not doing so well, but it would have been nice.
[00:08:24] Alison: And also in the Hunger Games that is the Dutch speed skating team.
[00:08:29] Jill: Right.
Another bit of followup news, the IOC athletes commission had its elections. We had two TKFLASANIS in the running Shiva Keshivan and AJ Edelman. Neither of them were elected, but, Martin Fourcade, the biathlete from France and Frida Hansdotter from Sweden were. So that makes me happy because Martin really wanted to be on the athletes commission. I’m not saying that Shiva and AJ didn’t because I think they had so many candidates this time. They were really thrilled that athletes want to get involved, but, I think these two will be very good choices for the athletes.
Alison: The whole slate of candidates was just one good candidate after another, you know, athletes that have really been very outspoken and fought for athletes rights. So it was an election that you couldn’t lose, which was fantastic.
Jill: Okay. Let’s move on to today’s action. We will start with Alpine skiing. The Ukrainian is at it again. I want my vacuumers. I should just go, “Excuse me. Can you finish? Because I need my vacuumers so I can do my podcast.” Can Google translate that into Ukrainian for me?
Although he yelled at them in English, that he probably knows. Oh, okay. Alpine skiing. Whoa. Another day where the mountain was winning. Women’s Alpine combined slalom gold went to Michelle Gisin from Switzerland. She defends her gold medal and adds to her bronze that she won in the super G. Silver went to Wendy Holdener from Switzerland. She adds to her bronze from the slalom, and bronze went to Federica Brignone from Italy who adds to her silver from giant slalom. Ester Ledecka finished fourth. Mikaela Shiffrin did not finish on the slalom portion of the combined. Again, the mountain got the best of people. There were 10 total DNFs out of 26 competitors.
[00:10:34] Alison: And Mikayla was, I think either fourth or fifth coming out of the downhill portion, which is her weaker half of the combined. She had a pretty emotional news conference after this.
[00:10:48] Jill: How did it go? I’ve read some about this, but tell me about it.
[00:10:53] Alison: She, I believe she used the word that she was embarrassed, that she felt stupid, that she’s just embarrassed that she came in as such a favorite and has not performed.
[00:11:09] Jill: That’s sad. I, I can understand her feeling that way. I started reading about it. I thought like, you know, Mikaela’s one of the best skiers in the world and one of the best skiers of all time in women’s downhill or women’s Alpine skiing. And when you get that mentality, that you’re the best in the world, and it’s not like an ego thing. It’s just that you have that confidence and, you know you can really perform well.
And then you get to a mountain that you don’t know and you can’t. So what does that do to your confidence and your psyche about having failure? Like a big failure repeatedly on the same hill. And you’re not conquering it. It’s conquering you. What does that do to prepare you for the next races that you’re going back to? Will it be good to get on a comfortable mountain? Can you put that behind you or do you want to conquer this mountain?
[00:12:13] Alison: Who are you if you’re not the best skier in the world? For skiers like Mikaela Shiffrin usually they don’t have to face those kinds of questions until the career, their careers are over. And she’s having to face it at a time that she thought would be the pinnacle of her career. Kind of her crowning glory was what she was going to do here in Beijing. And it has become her worst nightmare. Yeah. And she’s handled the press like a pro. She is, but she’s really been very, very gracious with the press. In a way that she doesn’t have to be, and it’s, it’s hard to watch because you, you feel it with her.
[00:12:56] Jill: But yeah, but in a way that is so gracious of her to let us into what she’s thinking and feeling and working through.
And I think that helps us better understand it. And I think it helps us to understand that athletes are human. They’re not always perfection. And maybe give people some slack and, and hopefully she’s not getting trolled on social media too much, but I think it helps us to understand a little bit more how athletes are also fallible. So she’s still got the team event, right?
[00:13:32] Alison: Yes, she does. And again, I’d like to end these things on a happy note. Michelle Gisin’s sister, Dominique also, has some Olympic hardware from Sochi. So Mama Gisin has a lovely display coming in her house for her two baby girls.
[00:13:55] Jill: I love how you say two baby girls. I know they’re always going to be her babies. I know you’re going to say that, but mom, I’m an adult.
[00:14:04] Alison: I’m an Olympic champion. I’m not a baby, but what was really funny was, the announcer of this referred to her as her baby sister. So I’m like, okay, you clearly have daughters.
[00:14:20] Jill: Okay, let’s move on to curling. We had the men’s and women’s last round robin sessions, and then the men had their semi-finals. So, uh, in the round robin USA beat Denmark seven to five. Switzerland beat Sweden ten to eight. Great Britain beat Canada, five to two. Norway beat Italy nine to four. That meant, uh,
[00:14:46] Alison: Well, it was Sweden and Canada for one semi and the US and Great Britain for the second semi.
[00:14:52] Jill: Okay. Then for the women, it was, uh, Switzerland beat Japan, eight to four. Great Britain beat ROC nine to four. Canada beat Denmark, 10 to four, and Sweden beat Korea, eight to four. So qualifying for the women were, qualifying for the semi-finals for the women were Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain and Japan. So this is interesting because Great Britain, Japan and Canada all ended up with a five and four record. So they had a tie thing. So tell me how this worked.
[00:15:27] Alison: Yeah. So this is very confusing. This go round, they have eliminated tie-breaking games because they wanted the tournament to move more quickly. So the first tiebreaker is head to head, you know, who has beaten, who in the round robin? Well, all three teams were one and one. So that didn’t work. So then they went to the second tiebreaker and this is a weird little quirk. So there’s something called the draw shot challenge. And before each match, they throw two stones. And so each team throws a stone and they measure the stones as to who is closest to the button and it’s on an empty sheet. So on the draw shot match, so Canada’s was the furthest away. So they were eliminated from the semifinals.
[00:16:28] Jill: Wow. That’s an interesting way to do it. That’s also tough.
[00:16:33] Alison: And the Canadian skip was saying that the draw shot challenge is a very different skillset than normal end play. It’s more like a shootout in hockey versus an actual game. So because this is relatively new in international competition, a lot of teams have not developed players that have this skill.
[00:16:57] Jill: Interesting. Wow. I’m sure in Canada that is making some ripples and some lively conversation, I would think.
[00:17:09] Alison: So, Japan thought it had been eliminated and then their coach came in and said, oh, guess what? You’re in the semi’s. So Japan will be facing Switzerland. Sweden will be playing against Great Britain. I do want to mention a little thing that listener Kaori mentioned about the Japanese coach. He is Canadian and his nickname in Japanese translates as the handsome coach.He is rather good looking. So we’ll post some pictures of the handsome coach, but I thought that was quite charming. The whole Japanese team has filled the void of the Garlic Girls for me, since they’re not going to be in the semi’s there really have that magical interaction and so much charm and energy.
And then they’ve got this Canadian coach who clearly loves these girls and they love him. And it’s really a fantastic dynamic.
[00:18:08] Jill: Excellent. Well, that will be one to watch I’m sure. Uh, in the men’s semi-finals Sweden beat Canada, five to three and Great Britain defeated Team Shuster, eight to four. Oh, what happened? Because it was really close and I thought, oh, I saw the score in about the fifth end or so six end. And Shuster, you could see that they were playing to keep the hammer for the tenth. But what happened here?
[00:18:34] Alison: So Shuster threw a sacrifice in the ninth end to keep the hammer for the 10th and they just threw some bad rocks in the 10th.
There was just some not great shots, but they were trying to do some pretty difficult things. But the announcers actually made this end the best thing in the world. So one of the British players is named Bobby Lammy. And one of the announcers, when Lammy goes in and just nails a double takeout, he goes, oh, he put the Lammy whammy on them.
The other announcer said, “You promised me you, weren’t going to say that.”
And then, because they’re miced up, you can hear them. And, and the announcer says, oh, John Shuster just gave us a very clear and concise explanation of what he’s going to do. And then the other announcer looks at him and says, “To you.” Because clearly he did not understand the language that Shuster had used because it was technical things. I didn’t understand it either. We needed it translated from curling into English, but they’re a great announcing team and they’ll be back for the medal round. So a lot of fun to listen to.
[00:19:56] Jill: Excellent. So Sweden and Great Britain play for gold on Saturday and USA and Canada play for bronze tomorrow. That’s right. So I will get out to that match to cheer on Team Shuster.
Let’s take a quick break to talk about our red envelope campaign. This show does cost money to produce and while you all have been extremely generous in supporting us through the Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing, and also through Patreon patronage, we’re coming up on another two and a half years until another Olympic. It’s a little downturn in our cycle of listenership. So we’re hoping to build up our reserves ahead of time so that we can keep going through to Paris 2024. And we’re calling it the red envelope campaign because we’re celebrating the lunar new year, the lunar new year here in. Where are we? I almost said Tokyo.
And so to celebrate the lunar new year here in China, we are asking for donations of at least $8 to help us get through to the next summer Olympics. $8 is, symbolizes the.
I’m going to throw a pen at him, man. Oh, the magical vacuumers are sweeping. Aw, this is sad. Anyway, we’re asking for $8 because eight is a, or $8 or multiples of eight to. We’re asking for $8, because eight is a lucky number in China symbolizing good fortune. So if you appreciate what we’ve done and are entertained. If, if we’ve entertain you for the Olympics, please go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate.
All right. Oh, the big event of the night, the women’s oh, it’s not really the big event. There were two big events today. But this was the one with the buzz man. Women’s figure skating.
[00:22:05] Alison: The ladies free skate. And I’m still saying ladies, I know they changed it now. They changed it to women.
[00:22:09] Jill: They changed. It was very hard for me to think about women because I look at some of these girls and I think, well, let’s just call them ladies.
[00:22:19] Alison: So we’ve got the free skate for the female portion of the figure skating. And unlike the short program, the early groups were not good. There was some pretty weak skating going on in there.
[00:22:31] Jill: No, I disagree. I disagree. I got to give a shout out to my girl from Poland, Ekatarina Kurakova, who was in 24th coming in. And what did she finish, like 12th? She finished no lower than 12.
[00:22:44] Alison: For sure. Yes. She actually did a beautiful routine and she had this cute little purple dress with a collar and it was Charlie Chaplin music and she skated clean and she was actually the highlight of those early groups, really, really beautiful. And Eva-Lotta Kiibus also brought another mod dress, this time gold with fringe. Didn’t go with “In the Shallows” from Lady Gaga. had a lot of the usual suspects. We had a Firebird, we had a Scheherazade we had turned a Turnido. And then we had Loena Hendrickx from Belgium.
[00:23:23] Jill: I was so excited when I saw her music, because it was just called the Oriental remix and I thought anything with the name remixing it is going to be good.
[00:23:30] Alison: It was just out there. The choreography was out there. The routine was out there. She had a couple bobbles, but she often has trouble skating clean, and this was nice to see because she actually did quite well.
Americans did pretty well. Mariah Bell was gorgeous.
[00:23:52] Jill: Hands down, program of the night for me, that made me smile so much. It was the only woman who made me feel something the entire night.
[00:24:00] Alison: Her program’s “Hallelujah” with again, a stunning dress. She is different, her maturity and her having to go her own way the past few years really shows.
[00:24:16] Jill: Yeah, her just hands down her artistic impression won the night for me. And it was also fun to watch Adam Rippon behind the boards.
[00:24:28] Alison: So excited, jumping up and down, really thrilled for her. So I’m glad she got that Olympic moment. She waited a long time for it. There was a lot of sad girls and fluffy dresses. So she was different, which was nice.
[00:24:45] Jill: I got to say for my skater enjoyment factor ratings.
So they’ve been doing on Twitter. A lot of people seem to enjoy the music, but they just look so concerned about the jumping elements and maybe they would open up when it came time for the step sequence or their choreography, the choreography sequence that would help. But a lot of them were just going through the motions. And just, it was all focused on the technical stuff. And I, get that, but figure skating has an artistic element to it. Otherwise, why do something to music?
[00:25:18] Alison: Agreed. So we get to the final group. We start with Young Yu who does Les Miserables, not bad. Korean skater, bringing back Korean skating, which was beautiful to see. And then we get to Wake Higuchi, which is my program of the night. She performed to Lion King. She had on this gold dress with a crown. I thought this was to be the crazy. It was not the crazy. It was beautiful. It was so well put together, did a triple axle and I failed to comment she also did a triple axle in the short program. She does such a beautiful job of what you were just talking about. You did not anticipate when the hard jumps were coming. It flowed in her choreography, it was balanced and it had a lot of spirit. And very sad to not see her on the podium, but she is not done. I have a feeling because there’s going to be a huge shakeup with the Russians post Olympics, Higuchi is going to be on the podium at world’s.
[00:26:32] Jill: That would be nice because her, her jumps were so fast when she came out, it just, it took the competition to a different level. I would say. She had a lot of joy in her skating, wowed by her technical skills, loved her step sequence because that brought out the joy within her because the earlier parts were a little flat, but she did have a fall, which was a bummer about her program. But man, it was fun to watch her skate
[00:27:02] Alison: So much joy. Then we get to Alexandra Trusova. I don’t know what she was skating to. She had on this sort of leather outfit, there was some white stripes involved.
[00:27:14] Jill: She was skating to Cruella. Like that’s not a good choice for a Russian.
[00:27:21] Alison: It was awful. It was just awful. It was nothing. Talk about skater enjoyment factor. How about the audience enjoyment factor? That was a nightmare to watch.
[00:27:31] Jill: Except for her jumps. Oh my gosh.
[00:27:34] Alison: Over hundred points just in technical score.
[00:27:38] Jill: Her jumps were so amazing and so high in person. And the sad thing was like, she didn’t look, she looked like she didn’t know how to feel anything. She just did her program and it was not fun to watch her. The jumping was just amazing and it’s a shame. That’s what I mean, that’s, what’s supposed to be amazing about figure skating, but again, just nothing else. Everything was so flat.
[00:28:10] Alison: She saved all her emotion for after the competition and we’ll get to that because that was, that was a moment.
Then comes Kaori Sakamoto with another beautiful program from Japan. Uh, the name of the music was Woman. It had some spoken word parts. We saw it in the team competition, and I didn’t like it as much in the team. This, she seemed to feel it more deeply and it came through and she was so thrilled with her performance and the relationship between Sakamoto and her coach is quite special to look at.
Okay, because her coach always gives her this little pep talk before she goes out and it doesn’t look like a coach-skater pep talk. It looks like what your grandma would tell you before you went out on the ice. Obviously I don’t speak Japanese. I can’t read lips, but the connection between the two of them is very, very special and different.
Soif you rewatch it, or if you haven’t watched it and you’re gonna watch it later, watch that little side comment, or rather that little moment at the boards between them. And I’m thinking to myself, that’s what a coach and a skater should look like. Adam Rippon and Mariah Bell, same thing. They’re their best friends. There should be kindness in those relationships.
[00:29:39] Jill: Exactly. And she, yeah, beautiful program. She brought a lot of passion to it. So much more enjoyable to watch than Trusova’s program. I get that she didn’t have the same kind of height in her jumps, but it was just beautiful. And I’m so, so glad she ended up on the podium.
[00:29:59] Alison: Yes. So then we’ve got Anna Shcherbokova also had over a hundred points on the technical side with a hodgepodge of classical music. Looked like every other Russian skater from the past 10 years. It was beautiful. It was nice. Emoting Russian skater in flowy rags. Bleh.
[00:30:20] Jill: Yeah, I I’m trying to remember her program.
I just remember melodramatic music. It was technically beautiful. Didn’t have any soul to it up in the new, up where I was sitting. So it was just, and it’s just, it was technically great, but totally forgettable.
[00:30:39] Alison: So then the moment everybody was waiting for Kamila Valieva comes out, skates last as she is leader, to Bolero and absolutely falls apart. Falls on several jumps, steps out of several jumps, pops jumps. Just completely loses it. Unsurprisingly, really given where she is. And her technical should have been higher than Trusova and Shcherbokova. She had a higher base value. She was like 30 points behind them. On the technical side, she was well below a hundred. She was behind Sakamoto on the technical score, which you do not expect.
Ended up fourth to everyone’s relief. Really. Because then we got to have the medal ceremony, but here’s where I want to start talking about Tara and Johnny, who, by the way, we have criticized in the past. And I want to give them both a gold star, the way they have handled this incredibly complicated and difficult situation and still continued to do proper commentary has been outstanding.
Johnny Weir trained for a while in Russia, trained with several Russian coaches, speaks Russian, so he could tell us what Eteri Tutberidze was saying to Kamila when she came off the ice. Kamila Valieva, who has gone through it this past week, Eteri was attacking her for how she skated out there and critiquing her performance when she came off the ice. Not saying, you know, it’s going to be all right. Not saying, and needless to say, Kamila Valieva completely falls apart. And I’m thinking, how inhuman are you? But then I remember she isn’t human. She’s a big fat cheater and an abusive coach. So what else is she going to say?
[00:32:56] Jill: Wow. Wow. That is incredible.
[00:32:58] Alison: So she falls apart. We get the scores, we have the podium and Alexandra Trusova completely loses it on the, in the boards. And at first it looked like she was really angry for what happened to Kamila Valieva. That she was angry that Valieva had had this failure on the ice because of all the pressure she was under. And then Johnny Weir comes in and says, no, Trusova is upset because she thinks she should have won the gold. So, and please go back and watch some of it, because this was a temper tantrum like I haven’t seen since my daughter was two. It was screaming, yelling, screaming at the volunteers, screaming at her coach, screaming at the other skaters. Just, I have never seen anything like it. She wasn’t going to go out for the medal ceremony at one point, she was like, they didn’t go when they should’ve gone, because she was still too busy having this temper tantrum and to look at it from the outside, you would have thought it was all about what happened to Valieva.
And then to hear Johnny Weir say, oh no, she’s upset because she thinks she should have won because she beat Shcherbokova in the Russian nationals.
[00:34:26] Jill: Oh geez. That’s in the past Trusova.
[00:34:30] Alison: Exactly. So by the time she gets out to the podium, which yay, hooray. We actually got a podium. Her makeup is all running. The lipstick is all smeared across her face. The mascara is running down. It was a temper tantrum like I have never seen. This was a ladies’ final like I have never experienced. And even if you take the Valieva insanity out of it, some of the scoring and Trusova, it was wild. Thank God for Kaori Sakamoto on the medal stand. So she was thrilled and so happy and so beautiful. And the joy you want from a medalist
[00:35:17] Jill: So how was Shcherbokova on the medal stand?
[00:35:21] Alison: Well, before she got on the meal stand, they have that little area where they sit who’s in the lead.
[00:35:27] Jill: Oh, right, right.
[00:35:28] Alison: She was sitting there by herself. No coach, no teammates, nobody congratulating her. She just looked like the saddest, loneliest little girl. It was awful.
[00:35:42] Jill: Wow. That’s incredible. I want to say one thing about Kamila Valieva’s skate that I noticed in the arena that I don’t know if I’d noticed on TV and she held her arms differently on the jumps where she fell. It’s like she didn’t have the right carriage and didn’t have proper carriage. Her arms just kind of were a little limp and it was really interesting to see. Because it would be like, they’d kind of limp out and you go, that doesn’t look right. And then she’d fall. And you’re like, oh, there’s something about what, she’s her takeoff and preparation to go into the jump that’s not working and it just fell apart.
[00:36:25] Alison: She looked exhausted to me.
[00:36:27] Jill: Well, I, she had also been at that CAS hearing. She had to go to the hearing. So that started at 8:30 at night and went to two something in the morning, and granted that’s at the beginning of the week, but then there’s just all the chaos around everything. And I’m sure that practices have been over-attended by press who, and she’s not talking to anybody, but you see them all there. And the photographers have to be a huge distraction because I’m sure they’re, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s photographers at practice. I don’t know because I haven’t gone to a practice session, but I mean, you hear the nonstop clicking. I think sometimes you hear that on TV too, but it is just intense up in the stands.
[00:37:13] Alison: I am thrilled that these medalists are going to get their podium. They’re going to get their medals. And that issue of the asterisk has been taken away because Valieva wasn’t on the podium. But let’s remember that all three of the skaters from ROC have the same coach and the same team around them. Is Valieva just the one who got caught?
[00:37:41] Jill: Good question and I’m, well, they’re all getting tested because they’ve won. So we will see, or we will maybe see something later or maybe they will disappear from the scene in a year or two, just like all of the rest of the Russians do, because they’re so broken.
Got magical sweeping by me.
[00:38:00] Alison: I saw her.
[00:38:06] Jill: Speaking of the asterisk, did you hear what they’re doing for the team medalists? They are going to give them torches. They’re giving them torches. Let me pull it up. Instead of medals, until they get, until they get the doping situation figured out, they’ve decided to give them torches. So they have something. I know. And I thought, why a torch? And immediately I thought, how do you pack that to get it home? And then I realized, oh, they didn’t have the torch really they thought they’d have. So they’ve got all these torches lying around. What do you do with, you know, like thousands of torches except for, you know, give them out instead of medal.
[00:38:54] Alison: Well, Mikaela Shiffrin brought 60 pairs of skis. So maybe they can put the torches in with her packing crate to ship them back.
[00:39:06] Jill: Okay. So the IOC has said that it’s going to give torches as placeholders until they get the medal thing sorted out.
[00:39:14] Alison: Do you remember that rapper that used to wear the giant clock around his neck? Is that Flavor Flav?
[00:39:21] Jill: Yes. That is Flavor Flav. Okay.
[00:39:25] Alison: So maybe these skaters can just hang the torch around their neck.
[00:39:35] Jill: So it’ll be interesting to see what the torch ceremony looks like. I have not found anything more about this. Just the fact that they will get torches, but I think I’ll, I might be in the media center a little bit more tomorrow. So maybe I’ll be able to go to the daily briefing and hear more about that.
[00:39:51] Alison: Still no Malagueña.
[00:39:55] Jill: No, no, you’ve been shut out so far, but there was plenty of old, like there was one oh, Madeline Schizas from Canada. She did Madame Butterfly. And her music sounded so tired. Like the recording sounded like, oh, I’m really tired of being played. And it was just like, oh please, here’s another one.
Let’s retire this. And she did, she did a lovely job selling that piece, but I don’t think anybody enjoyed it all that much. I mean, I gave her a seven for enjoyment factor cause she did really well with the sale. The sales job was definitely a nine, but I just don’t, I just don’t think we, some of the, and maybe I’m wrong, I just wanted more modern or fresh music in this competition.
Maybe they would have had more, more fun because the technical stuff is so difficult and there’s so much pressure to do so many difficult jumps. Then maybe more fun music that they liked would help them relax into the jumps a little bit more.
[00:41:01] Alison: I would even have gone with some Eastern European folk songs. Anything to, to mix it up a little bit, man, sad girls and flowy dresses.
[00:41:12] Jill: Well, Olga Mikutina from Austria. She did this piece called Primavera by Ludivico Einaudi, there were a few pieces by him in this competition and I really liked this stuff. And then the percussion started and it got a little too Hooked on Classics. Because I was like, oh, this is kind of cool. It’s a little classical. It’s a little modern. And then it got hooked.
[00:41:39] Alison: Well, we got pairs starting tomorrow. We’re ready. We’re ready for some throwing people around.
[00:41:46] Jill: Oh, I do have a followup file on this. So I did put the Google translate app on my phone overnight and looked at the Chinese newspaper that talked about them. And there actually was a sentence in there about Valieva’s drug problem, not her drug problem, but the problem about the doping. It’s just one sentence and just factual. But nothing like an entire story. It was just basically recapping in the, these were the top skaters and they were Russian. And I thought that was very interesting that they actually said it. But, um, I will, I will keep looking at our press and seeing if anything comes through here in China Daily.
Okay. Freestyle skiing. We had the women’s freestyle. We had the women’s free ski half-pipe qualification runs today. Sad day for TKFLASTANI Devin Logan. I will say that.
Alison: It’s her birthday too.
Jill: Oh, geez Louise. Oh, happy birthday, Devin. We’re sorry that you’re ranked 13. Half a point out outside of qualifying. And I saw her first run that looked, yeah, it looked really good because it got to the, I got to the media center just as she was going. I’m like, Devin, that’s our girl, but I’m sorry about the second one then.
[00:43:15] Alison: Good. She got knocked out right at the end. She was hanging onto 12th for quite a while.
[00:43:23] Jill: Bummer man. So the leaders are Eileen Gu from China, Rachael Darker from Canada, Kelly Sildaru from Estonia, Zoe Atkin from Great Britain andKexin Zhang from China. So that will be a good competition going into tomorrow. Will Eileen Gu get a third medal at these games?
The men also had their first two qualification runs for the free ski half-pipe competition. Leading is Aaron Blunck from United States, then is Nico Porteous from New Zealand, Birk Irving from USA, David Wise from USA and Brendan MacKay from Canada.
[00:44:06] Alison: Go Silver Ferns.
[00:44:06] Jill: I know if New Zealand gets another medal, it’ll just be wild to down there.
[00:44:09] Alison: And David Wise, I think is two time defending gold medalist. That would be excellent. Yeah. We like a three-peat.
[00:44:22] Jill: Women also had their ski cross race today. Gold went to Sandra Naeslund from Sweden. Silver went to Marielle Thompson from Canada and bronze went to Daniella Maier from Germany.
In ice hockey, the women had their gold medal match. Oh man.
[00:44:45] Alison: As if the figure skating didn’t kill me enough. Let’s have some ice hockey to take care of that one brain cell that was still hanging on by a thread.
[00:44:56] Jill: So today it was Canada squaring off against USA. USA is defending gold medalist, but Canada took that gold medal back in a 3-2victory for them. It was, I will say this. It seemed like Canada’s game for most of the time.
Jill: Canada seemed to have like six or seven skaters on the ice. Maybe it was because they were in dark jerseys. I don’t know if sometimes that does that to my, my eyes, tricks my eyes. It seemed like they were all over everywhere on the ice.
[00:45:28] Alison: Just seemed like they were moving five miles an hour to 10 miles an hour faster than the American skaters. So just that little extra. But it was a classic Canada – US women’s hockey match up.
[00:45:44] Jill: It was fantastic. I mean, the energy in the building, even though it had between 30 to 50% full, I mean, there seemed to be a lot of the empty seats, but I think it was as full as they were going to let it get, but it was exciting. The crowd was into it. The hockey was great. I found out what happens if you leave a stick on the ice, because somebody just kind of lost their stick and then went to their bench, get a new one. It just it’s faster.
[00:46:12] Alison: It’s faster to get it from the bench. So you just leave it and they go get it later before it gets in the way of play.
[00:46:18] Jill: No, they just left it and people skated around it and somebody kicked it off to the side. They didn’t pick it up again until the whistle stopped the game. It just sat on the rink because instantly I saw that stick and I was like, what’s happening with the stick? And I could not watch the game. I had to watch the stick because I could not lose sight of that, but that’s what happens. It was pretty incredible.
[00:46:45] Alison: This game reminded me very much of the softball gold medal match in Tokyo in that you have two amazing teams who are both incredibly talented and incredibly passionate, and you’re heartbroken for whoever loses and you’re thrilled for whoever wins. And unfortunately, both times the American women lost and that breaks my heart as an American, but as a sports fan, to see these women just achieve such greatness in the sport, you want to see the gold medal match be like this.
[00:47:20] Jill: Exactly. Exactly. And it makes you want to go and support women’s hockey and try. They’ve got a pro league around a little bit here in the US, Canada, support that and help the sport grow because these women deserve to have the same type of careers as men do. You know who else? Oh, sorry, go ahead.
[00:47:44] Alison: This medal ceremony was really hard to watch.
[00:47:48] Jill: Well, it was heartbreaking for me. You know why? I had perfect view of the flag flick and there was no flag flick. It was a flag release.
[00:47:57] Alison: Right because it’s not a pole. Did they do the straight lift with the two hands? Yeah. That’s what they do in the arena.
[00:48:05] Jill: Yeah. I was so bummed because I saw them come in and I’m like, I am in perfect view to see, I had a behind view. Because I was like, I will get the choreography for everyone. They can practice at home. I was so excited and then they just let the flags lift and I’m like, there’s no flag flick. My work here is not done.
[00:48:26] Alison: We might have to wait until the Paralympics so we can double-team it.
[00:48:32] Jill: Yeah. But even so even in the Medals Plaza, maybe if you went to the one in Zhangjiakou, maybe that has better access. Because you just had, don’t have access to the flag. I mean, it’s really far away and for a cell phone camera.
[00:48:53] Alison: Well, the Americans were absolutely heartbroken on the medal stand and they were, they were trying to celebrate the fact that they are still silver medalists. They still won that silver medal. And yet they were clearly so heartbroken and Brianna Decker, our TKFLASTANI, was on the medal stand in her jersey and she had a little cart for her leg and that broke my heart more because you know, she’s hurting physically and that they lost And she’s such a big part of that team. There’s gotta be a part of her that feels like, oh, could we have won if I hadn’t gotten hurt? Which of course it’s not on her. It’s not on any one player. It’s a team sport, but to watch those girls sob just saw broke my heart because they did play so well and they need to celebrate the silver medal, but they won’t because they’re so darn competitive.
But on the flip side, the Canadians were so thrilled and so that joy comes through. So again, it was like that, that softball tournament in Tokyo where my emotions were going all over the place, but TKFLASTAN has another medal
[00:50:08] Jill: and that we will celebrate so, and bronze medalists, Finland get to have cake.
[00:50:18] Alison: I don’t even need to win a medal to get cake.
[00:50:23] Jill: I did notice that there were no window cleaners here in this venue. I don’t know why it was a different venue than the first one that did have window cleaners, but, maybe the women aren’t as sweaty as the men.
[00:50:36] Alison: Maybe the window cleaners were afraid to get on the ice because this is USA – Canada. That is a heated rivalry. And they were saying, we’re not getting close to that. Maybe the Ukrainian man will yell at us.
[00:50:52] Jill: But a great tournament again, for the women’s ice hockey. Men’s tournament continues on tomorrow.
Moving over to Nordic combined. We had the team large hill and for, it was a relay today. So gold went to Norway. Silver went to Germany and bronze went to Japan.
No, no watches. Geez. I got nothing on, I’m sorry. I have nothing Nordic combined. We’ll look in and see if there’s any good stories coming out of that competition.
[00:51:27] Alison: What would be funny is if the ski jumping portion was a relay. I realize the cross country portion is the relay and the ski jumping, they just add the points, but you know, somebody lands now you’d take off.
[00:51:43] Jill: No it’s like luge and they had to hit a pad when they take off. You know, when they, when they jumped the thing, there’s a, there’s a pad they’ve got to hit. So they’ve got to jump high enough to hit the pad.
[00:51:55] Alison: And release the other jumper. I mean, it could be absolute mayhem at the bottom of that hill.
[00:52:00] Jill: Great. That’d be fantastic.
[00:52:04] Alison: And those ski jumpers are so little. They could just pile on top of each other and you’d just be able to find the ones who have the gold helmets.
[00:52:14] Jill: Let’s go to the long track for speed skating. Today, we had the women’s 1000 meters. Gold and went to Miho Takagi from Japan. Silver went to Jutta Leerdam from Netherlands. Bronze went to Brittany Bowe from USA. So this is so exciting that Brittany Bowe got a medal after relinquishing her 500 meter position to Erin Jackson.
And,Takagi didn’t, she medal? She medaled in the 500. Yeah, she got silver. So good for her really coming on, strong in, in this, this Olympics and Netherlands, Netherlands being Netherlands.
[00:52:59] Alison: So this is a different Dutch skater. I have not seen this name before, so, which is good. Because I can’t pronounce that. It’s not Sven Kramer.
[00:53:10] Jill: Ah, well, uh, let’s see, what’s happening with TKFLASTAN tomorrow.
[00:53:16] Alison: So tomorrow we’ve got John Shuster playing for the bronze medal in men’s curling
[00:53:21] Jill: And I will go and check out that match. We would like to thank today’s Kickstarter Location Scouts, Stacy Larkin, and Jennifer Schultz.
[00:53:27] Alison: And we also want to give a special mention to our mascot for this half of the games, which is Millie are Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
I want to know how many hair products Millie has to keep that coat looking as luscious and shiny as it is. There is some serious brushing going on on those ears.
[00:53:48] Jill: I’m sure Christy is a wonderful dog owner, so she takes excellent care of her pup.
[00:53:54] Alison: She’s not an owner. She’s Millie’s mom.
[00:54:00] Jill: All right, that’s going to do it for today’s episode, tune in again tomorrow for another full day of competition. And maybe it will be magical here again in the media center.
[00:54:13] Alison: Celebrate the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Facebook group. It’s the place to hang out with all our listeners. Jill is on Twitter and I am on Insta. Both are @flamealivepod. You can also email us at email@example.com or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.
[00:54:38] Jill: We will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening and until then, keep the flame alive.