It’s Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Paralympics – Jill’s back in the mountains for para biathlon. Alison interviews Shuey Rhon Rhon and has a field day at para ice hockey with her new Czech friend!

Sports on today’s schedule:

  • Para Biathlon – Women’s and men’s 10K
  • Para Ice Hockey – Group play
  • Wheelchair Curling – Round robin action

RED ENVELOPE CAMPAIGN! 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: While we make efforts to ensure the accuracy of this transcript, it is machine-generated and may contain errors. Please use the audio file as the official record.

Beijing 2022: Paralympics – Day 5

[00:00:00] Jill:  Ni Hao and welcome to day five coverage of the Beijing 2022 Paralympics on Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. I am your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always, through the plexiglass, by my lovely co-host Alison Brown. Alison, ni hao. How are you?

[00:00:24] Alison: I am doing well. I went a lot of places today.

[00:00:29] Jill: Where all the did you go?

[00:00:30] Alison: I’ve been to curling. I’ve been to hockey and I’ve been to an interview with Shuey Rhon Rhon.

[00:00:36] Jill: Oh, yes. That’s it. Let’s just cut to the chase. What was that like? So yeah, this was on the list of cultural events. And you got to interview Shuey Rhon Rhon today?

[00:00:46] Alison: Well, we really didn’t get to interview Shuey Rhon Rhon because they held it on the first main floor of the media center. So all the volunteers kind of converged.

[00:00:59] Jill: So the volunteers got to hang out with Shuey Rhon Rhon and you got to watch.

[00:01:03] Alison: Basically yes. And then the whole thing was conducted in Chinese with one poor English language interpreter whose mic was not working. So I caught maybe half of what she was saying, but the best part of it was I got some great photographs, of Shuey and Shuey dancing, but they did have, via video stream, an interview with the head of the design team.

[00:01:29] Jill: Oh, that’s cool.

[00:01:30] Alison: So that was very interesting. And so I worked my way over to the English language interpreter, so I could hear what she was saying when they were talking to this woman. And this I thought was very interesting because we talked about how Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon really weren’t connected. And in fact, there was two separate design teams working in two separate cities.

[00:01:54] Jill: Oh.

[00:01:55] Alison: So they were developed completely separately and it was up to the organizing committee to decide if they were cohesive enough. And they liked the idea that it was two traditional symbols from Chinese culture. And that was what they saw as the unifying element. Even though colors, style, elements were completely different.

[00:02:20] Jill: That is interesting.

[00:02:22] Alison: And somebody did ask her about the connection to the Paralympics. And of course she was talking about the idea of a lantern and the light and guiding you forward into things that you don’t think you can necessarily do. Oh, that’s cool.

So I liked that. That was part of her thinking. It may have come after because she loved the idea of the lantern. So I think it was more, oh, I love this idea of using the lantern. How can I work that into the Paralympics?

But clearly Shuey is much more mobile and I think for going forward, that needs to be a consideration because how people fall in love with the mascot is not the doll, it’s not the image. It’s seeing it in person.

[00:03:09] Jill: It’s definitely the personality of the mascot.

[00:03:12] Alison: So how does this translate into a costume has got to be consideration and I’m not sure it has been. Certainly wasn’t for poor Bing Dwen Dwen, falling over every two seconds.

[00:03:25] Jill: But for me, the images also worked because they have plastered everywhere around the closed loop are pictures of either Bing Dwen Dwen or Shuey Rhon Rhon or the two of them together in action poses or they’re like, you know, your favorite is the one where Bin Dwen Dwen when it is basically falling asleep.

[00:03:46] Alison: And he’s sitting down and sort of slumped over like, oh, it’s been a rough day. And I’m saying to Bing Dwen Dwen, same dude. I feel your pain.

[00:03:56] Jill: And my favorite is the two of them together, and their eyes are all squished up. And they’re like, yeah!

[00:04:04] Alison: I particularly liked that one in the train station.

[00:04:07] Jill: Oh, the big, it’s a giant poster of the two of them.

[00:04:10] Alison: Giant poster with the squishy eyes, because it’s, you’ve made it back to the train station.

[00:04:17] Jill: I have to say we’re right next to a feed here. There’s no vacuuming going on here in the media center, but we’re right next to a feed. I’m really trying not to get distracted. This is CCTV, channel five and they are showing replays of Alpine, but they have a sign language interpreter on the bottom. Which is really kind of fascinating.

[00:04:36] Alison: That’s the race that I saw yesterday.

[00:04:37] Jill: Oh, that’s cool. Huh? That’s interesting that they’re doing that.

[00:04:42] Alison: The other thing to mention for today, it is International Women’s Day and here in China, there’s a tradition of giving flowers. All right. You may have seen a bunch of people around with flowers. So our volunteer friend, Lea from hockey, gave me a flower that was given to her. So now this is for us.

[00:04:59] Jill: That’s very nice of her. I wonder if she did not want the flower.

[00:05:03] Alison: No, because it’s a big deal. How many flowers did you get? So she gave us this one and then when I said goodnight to her, she had two others as well.

[00:05:11] Jill: Oh, that’s very nice. Okay. So that would make sense why I saw a volunteer, male volunteer at the table at curling when I walked in this evening and he had, I think, like three of them on the table, but one was not offered to me.

[00:05:26] Alison: Don’t take it personally.

[00:05:28] Jill: Okay. I figured the volunteers are just like, whoa, is he going to give me a rose? Should I give her a rose?

[00:05:36] Alison: It is. It’s kind of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Friends Day all wrapped together.

[00:05:42] Jill: Oh, very nice. Very nice. I had an interesting travel day.

[00:05:47] Alison: Well, you got back here.

[00:05:48] Jill: I did get back. That was not a problem.

[00:05:50] Alison: You did get a little sunburn.

[00:05:51] Jill: That was yesterday’s sunburn. Oh, do I have more sunburn? I have a lovely, oh my gosh. If you like, I have mask face because sitting out at the snowboard venue yesterday, I was in the sun directly, like half of my face was in the sun. So I have this patch of red on half my nose and over one eye and I even have, so I have a big mask line on my face. And then there’s a strap line on the side of my face. It’s very attractive. And I tried to take a picture. It doesn’t really show up in pictures. Thank goodness. But this is really good looking. No more sunburn today because the biathlon venue faces the wrong direction for the most part. So it was really hard to, I was really hoping to get some sun today, because it was a little chilly over at biathlon.

No, but I took the same transportation plan as we had yesterday. So it was leave the hotel at 8:20, take the 8:40 bus to the train station. Well, I get off. I’m really tired this morning. It’s my third trip up into the mountains. And we’re getting up earlier than I’d like, but you got to, otherwise you’re not getting to the mountains. So I get off the 8:20 bus here at the MMC. Everything’s going well, there is a bus to the, the right number bus is sitting there, but it is at the wrong platform. So it is going to the athlete’s village, not to the railway station. So I say, okay, I know not to get on that one. It leaves.

I’m standing there like a big lump and there’s a Japanese woman next to me. And she finally realizes, we are not going to make the train and she’s a photographer on assignment. She has to make the train. And so she starts talking to the volunteers and I realized, oh, we’re getting on close to nine o’clock here. And they go, oh yeah, the next bus isn’t coming until like 9:10 or something. And the bus takes at least 35 minutes to get to the railway station.

So they’re like, can you take a cab, to this woman? And I’m still waking up and realizing what is happening. And she says, I can’t get the cab app to work. I have finally managed to get the cab app to work. And I look at her and go, I can get us a cab. So we were able to on-demand cab it to the train station, made it with like two or three minutes to spare and it was not looking good because I kept the thing open and it will tell you like, oh, you will be there in 20 minutes. You’ll be there in 25 minutes. And it just kept getting worse and worse, but we made it.

[00:08:39] Alison: You saved somebody with your cab today.

[00:08:41] Jill: That’s right. What officiating or volunteer job would you like to do?

[00:08:46] Alison: So we’re going to talk more about this when we get to hockey, but I want to be the person who brings the sled hockey players their various ways of getting around after they get off the sled. So at the end of the game, there are these carts that come and collect the sleds and bring the players either their wheelchairs or their prosthetics, or, some of them were using crutches. So whatever implements are brought up and surprisingly, this was a volunteer job. I would have expected this to be a coach or a manager or an equipment person from the team, but it was a, it was a whole group of volunteers.

[00:09:27] Jill: That’s very interesting. And I believe somebody asked about that.

[00:09:31] Alison: Yes. So we’re going to, we’re going to get back to that later.

[00:09:33] Jill: I would like to take on the job of cheerleader at biathlon because although the crowd was very enthusiastic yelling “China,” wave the flag, “China” wave the flag, for whenever Chinese person.

They don’t understand how to cheer for biathlon. And luckily there were a couple of French people who knew. The Canadians did not, although the drum was there, but they did not know how to cheer at biathlon. And you know, only three French people can only do so much. So in biathlon, when you’re at the shooting range, everyone’s kind of, they kind of cheer and then they kind of get silent and every time somebody makes, your athlete makes a shot, everybody goes crazy and it’s just like, wow. Bang. And then if they don’t make a shot, it’s quiet. And then when they’re done everyone, cheers like crazy. If they’ve done really well and that’s how you need to do it. So we need to, I need to be there in the stands. Because there were volunteers in the stands waving the flags to say wave the flags, but we need to be like, Hey, because you know, they’re already yelling. They’re already yelling China. They can yell at the right times shooting. That’s all I have to say.

[00:10:44] Alison: Well, then you need to be like the dancers at hockey with the lights, because they have the light sticks. We have feed beefs?

[00:10:52] Jill: Well, okay. This is a feed beef that I saw on Facebook, just not in our Facebook group, but I saw somebody in the Facebook group, listener Jodie. I saw on her feed that she was watching downhill skiing, and it was hard to tell how the events were split up. Did not help that there was an injury, I did not know Peacock does not have a separate section for Paralympics like they did for the Olympics. So you have to dig around for it under sports and under the category. She can’t figure out how to watch the opening ceremonies and the commercial still break if you rewind a live feed, so did not enjoy the extra clicks to find the sport categories. But, you know, being realistic, she’s like, I don’t really expect equality. I expect equality at this point.

[00:11:43] Alison: I mean, I kind of understand them, not making it quite as complex because there is only a handful of sports. And if you want to put all the Paralympics together for simplicity of your website, fine, but make it easy.

[00:11:59] Jill: But this doesn’t even sound like it’s, it doesn’t have a Paralympic section. Right. So you just have to go to sports and then, and sports is just hard to dig around. I know exactly what she’s talking about because I just went, oh yeah. It’s a pain in the butt to find biathlon. If they don’t list biathlon separately, if they just put her under Olympic sports. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

If you have burning questions, let us know. I got in the mixed zone today and biathlon because biathlon is up first. So I did get in the mixed zone and USA, some of the athletes did not do well in the standing class. Athletes did not have a great day. And for Dani Aravich, she had a really bad day and she came walking around the mixed zone and I’m standing there like, Hey, she looks like she doesn’t want to talk to me. I said, I just have a question about snow. And she’s like, Oh, okay.

And luckily the press guy that was with them, he came back later for the men and they also did not have a great day. And he’s like, do you want to talk to them? Like, yeah, I have more snow questions. Like, it’s going to be easy. I had some other questions too, but we’re not talking about the race. I don’t care.

You know, not that I don’t care about the race, but I know that, you know, you shoot, you have a bad day. You don’t want to talk about it. You don’t have to justify, especially if you’re not used to it and you know that’s what NBC does. We do, you know, we care about snow.

So anyhow, para biathlon. We had a 10 kilometer race today and it was a sitting, standing and a vision impaired.

So first we had the women’s sitting. I came here at the end of this. Of course I just missed it. Gold went to Kendall Gretsch from USA, who was the gold medalist in paratriathlon in Tokyo. Silver went to Oksana Masters from USA and bronze went to Anja Wicker from Germany.

I think I was going to ask snow questions to Oksana. I was going to ask us, oh no. I was going to ask Oksana about her training and, I was up in the press tribune and Channel Four was taping something and I’m standing in the press tribune. I’m looking down. I’m like, is that Oksana Masters in the mixed zone? Should I go and try to talk to her? And then Channel Four just tapped me on the shoulder and like, um, we’re filming here, like, oh yeah, I’m in your shot. It’s just, I had walked right past him and just stood there, like a big like, huh? Who’s that? I think that’s Oksana Masters. So I could not talk to her. She had to go to her medal ceremony and she got tied up with other people, but she will be there later on this week.

In the men’s sitting 10 kilometer category, gold went to Liu Mengtoa from China. Silver went to Martin Fleig from Germany and bronze went to Taras Rad from Ukraine. Ukraine, spoiler alert, Ukraine has another great day on the biathlon course.

For the women’s 10 kilometer standing.

[00:15:00] Alison: This is the Ukrainian sweep.

[00:15:02] Jill: Yes Ukrainian sweep. Gold went to Iryna Bui. Silver went to Oleksandra Kononova and bronze went to Liudmyla Liashenko, who, this is her third medal of the games.

And I believe it was Kononova, oh gosh, yeah. Kononova headed toward the finish, just skied like she was possessed. She just started flying to get that silver. She, and of course everybody, staggered start again. So you don’t quite know, but she knew she was up there and she just wanted it really badly. It was just completely wild to see her go. They, the Ukrainians displaced two really good Chinese athletes in the standings. And yeah, this is just, this is the second sweep by Ukraine in biathlon this Paralympics, that was pretty impressive.

In the men’s 10 kilometer standing class, gold went to Mark Arendz from Canada. Silver went to Grygorii Vovchynsky from Ukraine and bronze went to Aleksandr Gerlits from Kazakhstan.

[00:16:17] Alison: That’s a country we haven’t said yet.

[00:16:19] Jill: No, that is not a country we have said yet. That it was interesting, like Kazakhstan is here.

In the vision impaired class, gold, women’s 10 kilometer gold went to Leonie Maria Walter with guide Pirmin Strecker. Silver went to Oksana Shyshkova with guide Andrei Marchenko and bronze went to Wang Yue, with guide Li Yalin from China.

In the men’s 10 kilometer, gold went to Vitalii Lukinenki  Luca from Ukraine with a guide Borys Babar. Silver went to Anatolii Kovalevskyi from Ukraine with guide Oleksandr Mukshyn and bronze went, another Ukrainian sweep, to Dmytro Suiarko with guide Oleksandr Nikonovych.

So I asked the standing people about snow because Listener Dan had a lot of questions about snow and hopefully I will remember to put some raw tape on the end of this, that talks about it.

The weather was very warm and Dan was worried about it melting. Yes. It’s melting. It’s slushy. It’s hard to get through. Along with Dani, I talked with Ruslan Reiter and Drew Shea, and they said, yeah, you know, it changes your game plan. Because you have to worry, you now have to think about not going out too hard because the snow is slushy and you have to work harder. So you don’t want to bonk at the end and lose everything you gained. Plus the other fact is with the melting, more particulates come up. So it’s grittier, like the dirt’s coming up in the snow more too. So it’s a little tough to deal with. So that was really interesting.

We also talked about in standing. It’s basically arm impairments or lack of arms, and we talked a little bit about balance and things like that. I asked questions about that. So hopefully I will have that on the end, if not today, then tomorrow.

Also had a question from our Kickstarter producer, Brian, about the rifles used in vision impairment. What are these? And we had some talk on the Facebook group about them sounding like a theremin. First off in the stands, you do not hear the audio for the vision impaired rifles, which is kind of a bummer because I know what they’re talking about and it’s cool. But it is an optical rifle and basically it’s a laser. There’s one approved rifle system made by a company in Finland. And I think they also make laser pistols for modern pentathlon. So I was looking at a British resellers website and they were more on the optical, the modern pentathlon stuff, but basically that’s an optical system, which is a laser system and it’s refractive somehow. And the theremin sound that you hear is an audio component that when the rifle is more on target it, the tone is higher. So they know as the sound goes, the, they goes woo, they’re closer to the center of the target.

[00:19:39] Alison: Well, it makes perfect sense.

[00:19:42] Jill: Yeah, so that helps them. The audio thing helps them aim.

[00:19:46] Alison: So is this something that’s in their, they’re connected to the gun, rifle?

[00:19:52] Jill: It is a headphone, I forget how it’s all connected up. But that is a rabbit hole I started to go down and I will happily go back down it. So if you have questions about this, please let us know.

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 so generous in supporting us through our Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing and also through Patreon patronage, we’re getting to another beginning of an Olympic cycle. And that means, we’ve got to do some money finding to do. So tired from going to the mountains. We’ve got to find some money to help our operating budget get through to Paris 2024. So we are asking you to help celebrate the Lunar New Year with us by sending us a red envelope. We’re looking for donations of at least $8 to help get us through. Eight is a symbolic number here in China, which symbolizes good fortune. If you appreciate what we’ve been doing over the Olympics and Paralympics, please go to flamealivepod.com/support to donate and thank you to everyone, really, really thank you so much for everybody who’s donated so far. It’s really meant a lot to us.

Okay. Ah, all you, para ice hockey.

[00:21:11] Alison: Yes. So I went to all three games today. It was a little rough because the pregame light show, music show, videos are the same for every game. It’s a little hard when it’s two in the afternoon and they’re doing like the heavy rock with the lights, and then you see it two more times. So that was exhausting. And what was really funny was twice the ice guys are trying to install the nets when the lights go out and the disco ball and the pulsating lights come on and I’m thinking, how can they work like this? How can they get the net in there when they can’t see it?

And the other thing that was very funny was that they always have the medical team on the side and they’re all suited up in their hazmat suits and their face shields. And they always put them on the jumbotron dance cam and make them do the freeze dance, or make them do the little choreographed dance. And they’d always do it. They’re such good sports about the whole thing. And most of the time, thankfully, they’re just sitting there. I have yet to see the medical team come out on the ice. And I hope I didn’t just jinx it.

But there were three games today. All deciding what’s going to happen in the semi’s. So the first up was Canada and Korea. Canada beat them six to zero.

[00:22:32] Jill: Wow.

Alison: And just absolutely dominated. This was the Canadian team I expected to see in that USA versus Canada match at the beginning. It just seemed like Canada needed a couple of days to get their skates underneath them and get the feel of it. But what was fun was Korea and Canada both had very nice supporters and very loud benches.

Jill: Oh, good.

[00:23:17] Alison: So that was great. Second game was China-Italy, also very loud. China scored three goals in the first four minutes. The game was supposed to start at 2:35 and I got there at 2:36 and I heard the song, and I said, what could possibly have happened? It was like 15 seconds into the game. Maybe 30 seconds into the game was the first goal. So China ended up winning six, nothing. And we’re going to talk a little bit about the goalies, but we’ll go back to that in a second.

The night game was my friends, the Czechs against Slovakia. And what was really funny was I was chatting with my Czech friend, who actually he came down to say hi, so I haven’t scared him. I was grateful for that. And I was saying, oh, this should be an interesting game. And he said, yes, it’s like brothers fighting because obviously the Czech Republic and Slovakia used to be one country. So it’s kind of, they want to beat each other more than anyone, but it’s a very good natured rivalry and man, were they loud. This was the loudest non-China game.

Jill: Oh, cool.

Alison: Lots and lots of both teams supporters there. Lots of flags, lots of chanting. I didn’t know, obviously what any of it was. And then they also sorta did the competing chanting or one group would start and the other would try and yell over them. So that was great fun. This was the closest game of the day. The Czech Republic beat Slovakia 3-0. It was a good tight game, which was fun.

So tomorrow. So the US is the first seed. Canada’s the second seed. Tomorrow Korea will play Italy and the Czech Republic will play China for those other two spots in the semi’s.

[00:25:00] Jill: Okay.

[00:25:02] Alison: So we got a text with lots of questions that I tried to get answers to today. Okay. Didn’t get all the answers, but I’ll tell you what I got. So the text was, do the athletes go to the locker room between periods and how do they slide back there and do they unstrap from their sled? And, I wasn’t sure who the text was from. So it just said, I noticed there’s ice inside the penalty box, but curious, what kind of guards get out on sled blades?

So here’s what I found out there is. So we’ll start with the last question. First, there is ice inside the penalty box and the benches. So they just slide in and out. There doesn’t seem to be guards on the sled blades like there are on skater blades in figure skating blades or hockey blades because when they were packing up the sleds into the shopping carts, they weren’t covering the blades. Okay. So it must just be for transport because there’s no weight on the blade when you’re not sliding in it. It’s not quite the same.

During intermissions, they do slide behind the bench area where there’s this colored plexiglass. So there’s still ice back there and then they slide through it. And then you can’t see them anymore where they go during intermission. So I don’t know where they go

[00:26:27] Jill: But they do go backstage

[00:26:28] Alison: Do go backstage. But I believe they do stay strapped into their sleds. Not entirely sure because we never see them during intermission and we’re not allowed on that side of the arena. So I really can’t get that information. And to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to ask them.

[00:26:47] Jill: Okay. Perfect. That’s good.

[00:26:48] Alison: To get that personal. So they don’t seem to come out of the sleds until the end of the game. Okay. And then what I noticed today was all the sleds are very personalized to the player. They have different lengths, they have different widths. They seem to have different pivot points depending on the disability, you know, single amputee, double amputee, paraplegic, all the different possible combinations.

And then goalies, I also noticed can either be X axis or Y axis goalies. Oh, that’s either legs going forward or I guess if they’re a double amputee, they kind of have the pad going across the front of their bodies and there are both. So the Italian goalie and the Czech goalie are both straight ahead legs, but the Slovak goalie was across.

[00:27:46] Jill: Oh, that’s interesting. And I’m guessing because if you have a leg straight out, you can pivot that and make that a pad where if you were a double amputee, you would not be able to have that leg look. So they put the pads on.

[00:28:01] Alison: So you put the pad in front and it seems almost like that pad in front allows for more side to side mobility ways because you’re facing forward.

[00:28:11] Jill: Oh yeah. Yeah.

[00:28:12] Alison: As opposed to facing to the side.

[00:28:14] Jill: Hmm. Interesting. Alright. I forgot something very important about biathlon and this is all vision impaired, because I’m sure people are like Jill, we have all these questions. Okay. So the vision impaired was really interesting to watch because they have guides or they can have guides.

There are certain levels, when I was digging for the gun thing, I dug into the rules slightly and there are, there are a lot more classes that are just not at the Paralympic level right now. So there are, there is a class where you don’t need to have a guide, but you can have a guide. Don’t know much more about that.

Pretty much everybody had a guide that I could tell. And of course all our winners had guides. So some of them would use microphone systems and some of them did not, The guides, I don’t know. I think it’s personalized how far advanced they can be, but you can’t get too far advanced because your person can’t see you. And there was a point where a Chinese guy, one of them was wearing shorts today. Got really out far, far in front of his person. And it was like, dude, you’re losing your guy. Come on. But the best, and I tried to pay attention to what I could hear. And, I enjoyed it when they did have a microphone system, because you can hear what they were saying.

So, Pirmin Strecker was saying to Leonie Walter, hup, hup, hup. Until the last lap, when it turned into, hup, hup, hup. He really got aggressive with that hup because he knew she could win. It’s just like we gotta go, come on. And then there was a French man in the men’s version and the guide would be like, le, le. And I tried to hear if he got a little aggressive too, when it was the last lap, but the Frenchman wasn’t in the medal hunt. So I think it was not the same, but like there was a whole mess on a hill of different, like three different athletes and guides. And a Chinese one got a little too far ahead and just had to like put his hands up and wait for the skier to catch up a little bit.

It was really interesting and they’re allowed to hold onto their guides poles on downhills for stability. They don’t have to, but like China and their guide people. You’re not holding onto me at all, but a lot of them did.

[00:30:53] Alison: And I think it would probably depend on if it’s a very technical downhill.

[00:30:57] Jill: Yes, probably. Yeah.

[00:30:59] Alison: You know, a twist or something you may want to do that.

[00:31:02] Jill: But it was really interesting. And I got to see a little bit more of the skiing than the shoot. The shooting was really hard to see from our vantage point, but, it was all very, very interesting and I would have liked to see more. Okay.

[00:31:17] Alison: So then we both saw various sessions of wheelchair curling. I saw the first session for the day. And you saw the last session.

[00:31:23] Jill: I saw most of the last session, and sadly was still editing. It was an, it was not a good editing day because there was a lot of transportation and a lot of being outside to catch the sports. So, wheelchair curling was on and I was there. I would tune in every once a while.

So, first session was Switzerland versus Latvia. Latvia won nine to seven. Then Great Britain beat Estonia, ten to five and Korea beat Canada, nine to four. And, Korea took control early and Canada was on its heels the whole time. Canada did not have a good day. I heard a couple of Canadian people on the bus on the way back here, saying that they are not playing up to their potential and they should be doing much better than they are. And they just, they are not, which really surprised me since they started out really strong.

[00:32:16] Alison: Right. That Korean team was fun to watch. They made some real thread the needle shots and curls around guards. The other match that I was watching was Great Britain and Estonia. And within the first two or three ends, it was ten one.

[00:32:38] Jill: Oh.

[00:32:39] Alison: So Estonia came back a little bit, but that was not a good day for them.

[00:32:48] Jill: No. In the second session, Slovakia beat Korea, seven to two in seven ends. Sweden beat Estonia, six to four. Estonia is just not having a good tournament. And Norway beat Latvia eight to six. Norway came from behind with a three-pointer in the eighth end. Woo. That’s a way to win. Ho man. And then in the last session, Sweden beat Great Britain, six to four. So Sweden scored all of their points in the first half and Great Britain started to come back, but they were just getting one point an end and they just ran out of time. And then Slovakia beat Canada nine to eight. And, you know, they had some big scoring ends early on. So Slovakia had four. Canada answered with the four. Slovakia got three and then Canada just had little point ends. Too little too late.

Again, this one was sad. China beat the US, ten to two in six ends. I got there right after China has scored five points. And of course we have a big crowd. Again, they’re excited. China is a super, super intense team. And of course they’re yelling at the stones like crazy. And they just, they were making pretty much everything they wanted to make it seemed like.

[00:34:06] Alison: I mean, they’re the defending world champions. So it seems to work for them.

[00:34:11] Jill: And I bet there’s a lot of expectations for them to also do extremely well here, but they really, really gave it to the US sadly and the US had it. When I was tuning in, I would see they’d set up stuff so beautifully. They really had some beautiful shots and they’d get their rocks behind other guards. And then China would just blow it away. It was an, it was really sad for the US.

So, and then Norway beat Switzerland, 8-5. So our standings: Sweden is at the top with a record of five and one. Slovakia and China are at 4-2. Latvia, Canada and Norway are all 4-3. Great Britain is three and three. USA and Estonia and Korea are two and four and Switzerland is one in six. Wow.

[00:35:02] Alison: It seems like there is some very high scoring matches, much higher than standing curling. I don’t know if it’s just this tournament or overall, so that’s something to go back and look at.

[00:35:14] Jill: All right that sounds good. And, what’s, Steve Emt up to tomorrow and our Team Keep the Flame Alive?

[00:35:20] Alison: Yes, so he’s got an early game and a late game, one against Switzerland and the second against Latvia.

[00:35:26] Jill: Excellent. So we would like to think our Kickstarter collectors, Donald Weyland and Nick Rackers.

[00:35:32] Alison: And we have a mascot for each half of the games. And today is our last day with Riza, but if you love Riza as we do, you can follow her on Instagram. She is @riza_nat. That’s, R I Z A underscore N A T and special thanks to Claire for sharing Riza with us this week and for supporting our Kickstarter campaign.

[00:36:00] Jill: Thank you so much, Riza and Claire, and thank you also to Quinley for tolerating it.

That will do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow for another full day of competition.

[00:36:12] Alison: And keep celebrating the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive podcast Facebook group. It is the place to hang out with us and our other listeners. Jill is on Twitter and I am on Instagram. Both are @flamealivepod. You can email us at flamealivepod@gmail.com, or call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:36:40] Jill: Don’t forget, there may be some extra tape on the end of this episode. I’m writing myself a note, so I should see it, but we will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.

Jill: You’re going to ask guys not a great race, but we are Keep the Flame Alive podcast. Our listeners want to know how the snow is.

[00:37:02] Dani: Yes, it was slow today. Yeah. It’s melting. It’s slushy and a little choppy, so a little slow.

[00:37:09] Jill: So can they do anything?

[00:37:10] Dani: I mean, it’s not what the temps, I think it’s to do with the, the warm weather.

[00:37:16] Jill: So it’s really, waxers, waxers getting really into it.

[00:37:20] Dani: Yeah. I mean, skate skiing for us. It’s like the wax isn’t going to make or break it like yesterday. That was definitely more of a question mark, I guess, with the classic ski race.

[00:37:31] Jill: Okay. Okay. Does it being so like such a thin layer make a big deal or do you want that thin hard stuff?

[00:37:40] Dani: Honestly, I don’t know. This is only my second year skiing. So I’m still learning too. I’m probably not the best person to ask.

[00:37:53] Jill: Thank you very much.

Okay. Great. All right. First off, how is the snow, our listeners want to know how the snow is? Let’s let’s make sure I get the, Ruslan we’ll start with you to get your voice, right.

[00:38:09] Ruslan: Yeah. It was very slow. It was really wet. Uh, it got really choppy on the hill, so you kind of just get bogged down, but you just try to keep a positive attitude and get through mentally.

[00:38:21] Drew: Yeah, I would say the same. I mean, it’s pretty, it’s pretty similar to what we’ve seen in the States for manmade snow. Um, you know, like yesterday and the day before that we kind of started to see the conditions go to a little bit more wetter snow, but at the beginning of the trip, it was nice and solid like we normally see. And you can kind of guess just with the sun that the warmth comes and it starts to heat up.

[00:38:41] Jill: Great. So does that change your game plan with the snow melts?

[00:38:46] Ruslan: Uh, absolutely. Uh, because this, I mean, my skis are pretty slow, so you have to pace it really well. You don’t want to go out too hot because you will flow up.

Um, and you will just, you just want it like, do you want to go out slow and uh, hopefully you’ll get faster and faster, uh, to conserve a little energy in the beginning.

[00:39:04] Jill: How does the thickness of the snow affect it? The other thing we noticed, like it’s really thin, it’s been really this, does it, what does it to, what, what does it do?

[00:39:12] Drew: What is it I noticed yesterday that, uh, you know, sometimes you can see some of the impurities kind of come through the snow and that definitely starts to make it a little bit slower just in general. Uh, you know, those particles tend to stick to your ski and just kind of slow everything down a little bit.

[00:39:26] Jill: So then you’re working harder.

[00:39:28] Drew: Yeah. You’re definitely working harder. It’s kind of like skiing against the wind or anything like that. It definitely makes for a tough race.

[00:39:34] Jill: Okay, want to know, how does like arm length and ability affects how you ski, like your balance, things like that?

[00:39:42] Drew: Sure. You want to start? Yeah.

[00:39:44] Ruslan: Um, I, I guess, uh, it’s a lot easier if you have another, uh, almost a full arm because you can use it for momentum. Um, and for me, yeah, I just swing my right arm, and just, it helps with my balance as well, if I use it and swing it and also for momentum.

[00:40:02] Drew: Yeah, I think for me, it’s just the fact of the matter is, you know, we only get one pole, so you kind of just work with what you got. But like Ruslan said, you know, keeping that momentum going with our, our, my left side and his right side is important for us.

[00:40:14] Jill: Okay. Does left and right, does that affect your technique or do you know? You’re a left and your right. Do you know how that is different in technique?

[00:40:29] Ruslan: I guess it all depends on the person, but, yeah, I mean, I just, I, I guess a little bit, I mean, I can’t, since I only have one pole, I want to, if you want, I can only view one on my left side. So it’s only on one pole. I can’t like switch to my right side. So. I mean, yeah, it can get pretty exhausting, but, uh, I guess, I mean, I’ve been skiing like this for a long time, so I guess you adapt as an athlete to get used to your disability or what, you know you’re. Yeah.

[00:40:56] Drew: Yeah, I think I like to have my pole on my outside when I’m going into turns. That’s the one thing that I’ve noticed. So I guess the, the penalty loop is a little beneficial for me there because I’m on the right side. We try and stay out of the penalty loop, obviously. But yeah, I do like to have my pole on my right side and you know, your poles on the inside, you, you just work with it.

[00:41:14] Jill: Okay. Does that affect like the tendons and things in your legs and stuff? Do you have to work about work on balancing your body? Like, like an off skis training kind of thing.

[00:41:29] Ruslan: Um, yeah, I guess a little bit. Um, yeah, I dunno. It’s just, it’s it’s I kind of just, yeah. Use my arm, uh, like for balance, but also kind of what Drew said, uh, you know, on the turn and see if it does, it does really help you.

[00:41:45] Drew: Yeah. I tend to wear a prosthetic whenever I can, outside of skiing, just to keep my body balanced. I wonder if it pulls you out. Yeah, sure. I mean, uh, you know, when I first had my accident, I definitely noticed some parts of my body being out of whack, but you kind of just get used to it. Human body’s pretty amazing. Kind of adapt to anything.

Jill: Excellent. All right. Thank you so much. Thanks.

 

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