It’s Day 7 of the Beijing 2022 Paralympics, and well, Jill and Alison lose it over a transportation story. What could have possibly gone wrong this time?

Sports on today’s schedule:

  • Para Alpine Skiing – Giant Slalom
  • Wheelchair Curling – End of the round robin tournament

Today would have been the Para Ice Hockey game to decide 7th and 8th place in the tournament, but since RPC was removed from the Paralympics, this game got taken off of the schedule. This means that Slovakia ends up in 7th place and gets to play one less game than they thought they would, which is kind of a shame because sometimes getting game experience can be just as important as placement.

Warm weather caused a competition shuffle at the Alpine skiing venue in Yanqing, and today’s races were moved up to an 8:30 start for the first giant slalom run, and a 12:30 start for the second run.

Getting to Yanqing is already a time-intensive process, so it was a Beijing day for Jill and Alison. Alison spent a lot of the day at wheelchair curling, while Jill had an adventure in the store line and got to the Ice Cube for the last session of curling. Although the semifinals had been set by then, there were still some exciting games on the ice!


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!

Photo: OIS/Thomas Lovelock. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC.


TRANSCRIPT

Note: While we make efforts to ensure the accuracy of this transcript, it is machine-generated and may contain errors. Please use the audio recording as the record of note.

Beijing 2022: Paralympics – Day 7

[00:00:00] Jill: Ni Hao fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to day seven 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, I see through the plexiglass, my lovely co-host Alison Brown. Alison, ni hao. How are you?

[00:00:25] Alison: Ni hao. I think we need to renegotiate my contract.

[00:00:29] Jill: How come?

[00:00:30] Alison: While I was in the workroom today at the curling venue and this lovely volunteer came and wanted to trade pins, and she had one of the pins, I assume, that you had given her earlier. And I said, oh, that’s us. And she said, that’s you? So apparently she has been listening to the show. She is a huge fan. She has been getting her friends to listen to the show. So I was mobbed in the workroom. They wanted to take pictures with me. They wanted pins. One girl wanted to hug me.

[00:01:05] Jill: You are a celebrity. This may account, I wondered why we had literally 400 some downloads on McKenna Geer’s episode today.

[00:01:15] Alison: It’s because they all met me.

[00:01:18] Jill: That is awesome.

[00:01:19] Alison: The hug is what did me in when she was like “Can I hug you?” I’m thinking, am I a Spice Girl? Which Spice Girl would I be?

[00:01:27] Jill: Ni Hao Chinese fans. That makes up for the lack of the magical vacuuming. Again, foiled. I wish we could taped maybe at like seven o’clock, but we can’t because it’s like things aren’t over yet.

Right? Well, that is very cool. That makes me very happy. We did get mobbed later in curling because like, honestly it really is the pins come out and word gets around like wildfire that there is a pin out there on the loose that they don’t have. They will find stuff if they don’t have pins to trade. This one poor guy at curling, he, I tried to give them pins.

Like I don’t have anything. He runs away and comes back with stamped envelopes with Beijing 2022 stamps which are very cool and like, oh, this is nice. I don’t think this for a pin.

[00:02:16] Alison: I did forget to tell you, they asked for you.

[00:02:18] Jill: Oh, they did.

[00:02:19] Alison: They did. They wanted to know where the other person was. They wanted to know which one I was. And if I was the one who got lost at Yangqing. I said yes, that was me. So they seriously have listened to the show. It’s fantastic. I am famous in China as the girl who got lost in Yangqing.

[00:02:40] Jill: Oh man, I will be famous as the girl who did not go back to Yangqing because it was so scary to get back. But anyway. Oh, that is awesome. I’m excited to go see more curling tomorrow night. I will go early to the workroom and just kind of hang out and maybe I can sign it, put a little pins and autographs sign.

[00:02:58] Alison: So I did actually get asked for an autograph.

[00:03:05] Jill: Oh this is the best! And so, you know, we could be the Shuey Rhon Rhon Bing Dwen Dwen yeah!.

[00:03:09] Alison: And we could get to do our picture.

[00:03:13] Jill: This is awesome. Okay.

Follow-up. Oh, okay. So we did not talk yesterday about our adventures in shopping. So we got to say, there’s like almost no sports on the ticket today, but we have a chock full show because we forgot to tell you stuff. And part of it, because yesterday, were we tired yesterday? Okay. We were tired yesterday. But we had adventures in shopping because I noticed coming in, there were way more shopping bags around than usual.

[00:03:44] Alison: So you need to start and I, not sure we’ve said much about about that we can’t go shopping.

[00:03:50] Jill: No, we have one access to a store and that would be the store here in the main media center.

[00:03:56] Alison: Very small.

[00:03:57] Jill: Not a lot of options. But they usually have a mascot, at least some in for the day. And when they’re gone, they’re gone, but I noticed more shopping bags. And I said, I wonder if some Bing Dwen Dwen stuff is not coming back because I started to see more Bing hanging around.

I’m like, what is going on? So I go upstairs like a doofus without my wallet. And because it’s a trip, you know, you got to go up the two story escalator to get up to the main floor. And then another two story escalator to go up to the top floor. And we found out that you really aren’t supposed to walk up the escalators, New Yorker.

So I go up there and I look in the window and I see Bing Dwen Dwen pillows. And these are adorable. They’re like a throw pillow, but it’s Bing Dwen Dwen’s head. And I hustled my butt back downstairs and I said, Alison c’mon there’s Bing Dwen Dwen. So we go up and we get in the line and we’re waiting in line.

And an announcement is made, and the man in front of us, turns around and says they’re out of Bing Dwen Dwen now. And then he also says, you know, there’s a store in the Intercontinental Hotel. Because that is where the Paralympic family is staying and they have their own store there. I am not allowed because I am Chinese, but maybe you two are. So we said, oh, okay. And we got out of line. So we will try this and you know how to get to the Intercontinental Hotel.

[00:05:33] Alison: Because that is where my lovely Parisian friends dropped me off. And then I, you know, met all of World’s Para Hockey and they took me to curling. So I said, I know how to get there. I know what shuttle we need to take.

[00:05:47] Jill: So we get on the bus. And of course the Intercontinental Hotel is literally around the corner from the Main Media Center. You are supposed to be able to walk here. Well, actually it’s not, it’s down a block because there’s another building attached to this convention center, but it’s down the block around the corner and you can get there, but you have to take the shuttle.

And this was a putt putt shuttle, because you never know when you get on a bus, you never know what you’re going to get. You’re either going to get the driver who is done with driving for the time being, and he’s just gunning through, or you’re going to get the one that goes like 37 on the highway.

[00:06:20] Alison: Or occasionally you get The Fast and Furious 2022 version. We’re getting a lot of those.

[00:06:30] Jill: I love those; they’re my favorite, but, but we got a putt putt 12 who is doing, and literally they are doing like–

[00:06:36] Alison: 12 is the shuttle number.

[00:06:38] Jill: Yes. 12 is the shuttle number and it is going maybe five kilometers an hour. Maybe, maybe. That might be a stretch. This means the bus route takes extra long to get to.

And while we were on the bus, I noticed a group of people in the Paralympic Committee uniforms in the next block.

[00:07:00] Alison: Walking.

[00:07:02] Jill: Yes. I’m like, oh, that’s interesting. But their Paralympic family, maybe they get special privileges. We get to the Intercontinental Hotel. We try to go in. Denied because you have to have a special credential to get in. It’s only Paralympic family. We are not part of the family. And now we have to get the bus out of there. And of course the bus doesn’t come for another 20 minutes or so, but, you know, because of your friends, another route went there.

[00:07:28] Alison: So there were two routes from the Intercontinental. One that is the Main Media Center loop and then one that would get us directly to curling, which is where we were going to go after we went shopping.

[00:07:40] Jill: Yes. And when we are waiting for the bus to show up, I looked to my right and there comes the Paralympic family group. And I also see,

[00:07:50] Alison: that we saw walking.

[00:07:51] Jill: Yes. And I see a hole in the closed loop that is the size of a sidewalk. And that Paralympic family comes walking and rolling through that hole. And I look at you and I just, I had to stop and I’m wearing my big fuzzy poncho. We have to put this in perspective that I already looked like a lunatic.

Although the poncho people know me. They do know me. Big poncho and it’s not a you know, it’s just grey. I think it’s a good journalist color because it’s not the red, white and green of Italian ponchos. It’s not the French tri-color thing. It is blends in. So they come strolling down the sidewalk and I’m like, wait a second. How did you guys get through there to walk? Can we walk back? And that was the first thing out of my mouth. Can we walk back?

[00:08:43] Alison: So we stopped them and we said, “We’re not insane, but they allowed you to walk. Can we walk back?” And they said, no, they are only allowed to walk in one direction.

[00:09:00] Jill: Which is like everything in this loop here, you can only go one way.

[00:09:05] Alison: So they’re allowed to walk back from the Main Media Center to the hotel. You cannot walk from the hotel to the Main Media Center.

[00:09:14] Jill: And honestly that hole did not close up and I so wanted to run through it. And then I thought we have like a week left to not get kicked out or be put into quarantine or something. We just got to suck it up.

[00:09:27] Alison: So then we get on the bus that is going to take us to curling. This is also a putt putt. It putt putts around the block because it doesn’t go right to curling, which we can see from the Intercontinental. It goes in the other direction.

[00:09:42] Jill: Because you’re telling me, it’s like, oh, that’s going to make this loop in that loop. And they can’t make a right turn. I can’t make a right turn into the curling venue because you can’t turn right from that street.

[00:09:53] Alison: No, instead of making a direct right turn and going the half block, to curling, it goes around. It goes around two blocks in the opposite direction. So it starts going the two blocks in the opposite direction and it makes a first stop. Because it makes a stop at the National Indoor Stadium before it goes to curling. And then it just stops and sits there. And we don’t know how long it’s going to sit there and you look across the street and say, wait, there’s the other shuttle that can get me to curling. It should be here in two or three minutes. Let’s see who gets there first.

So you jumped off the 12, waited for the 10. I pulled away. You were still standing at the bus stop and my shuttle proceeds to putt putt in the opposite direction for another two blocks. So then you wait for the shuttle, the number 10. So I’m on the 12. You wait for the 10 for three minutes, get on the 10.

[00:11:01] Jill: Oh. And it’s a gunner too.

[00:11:04] Alison: and I’m still putt putting around the other side of the block. I get a text that says, “I’m at the venue” and I text you back, “I don’t even see the venue yet.”

[00:11:18] Jill: And I think that’s what I made my, I did, I made the whole video that we posted on the Facebook group. I know it’s only a couple of minutes long, but I, I did that whole thing. And you still weren’t there.

Alison: This shuttle. A golf cart drives faster than this shuttle. It didn’t stop. There was no lights. And I said, oh, look, I haven’t seen this block before. I saw the volunteer dining hall. It looked like an airplane hangar. It was huge. I saw the other side of National Indoor Stadium with, with a really cool entrance where all the workers go in. So they have to go through security separately.And then finally I arrived at the curling venue 47 minutes later.

Jill: It’s just about right just and that is life in the closed loop, adventures in shopping.

So today, I did go today. It was like, we got to the venue. We only had curling today because we couldn’t get to the Alpine venue. They’ve moved up all the races it’s, as we know, it’s impossible to get back. It’s impossible to get there on time. So today was a curling day.

For me, it was, if they had pillows yesterday, they might have pillows today. So I hustle up and get in line and the store is not even open yet. And I’m in a line. It’s not super long, but it’s, you know, it’s going to take me, probably took me a good half an hour or more to get in the store. And this guy is standing in a little group of people. They all know each other’s talking to me and, and I’m standing there and looking around and this guy turns around and goes, you know, basically does the international, “I’m going to go check something out. I’ll be right back, hold my place.” And I’m like, okay, I get ya. I get what you’re saying.

So he goes and checks something out and comes back. Then he goes across to the Chinese medicine exhibit and comes back and then he comes back with a little box and a little pouch of stuff, and he’s showing it to his buddies. And I look at him and he goes, oh, go get a mystery box. I’ll hold your place. No problem. And so I go and get a mystery box and at this medicine exhibit, they have a big digital screen. And you can do a Tai-Chi game along with the screen. So you can do a whole Tai-Chi routine. Apparently you get something else, if you do the routine. And so a group of people started doing the routine and he’s like, Hey, get over there, do the thing. You can get the pouch. And this is all like miming, everything like, oh, okay. He’s like, go get the pouch. So I go, and I do the Tai Chi routine and I go with every once it’s over, we all swarmed to the other side of the exhibit and they start handing out boxes that might have a pin in them or something.

These people were not happy. They wanted the pouches. And so they, the women working there reluctantly opened the pouch drawer and started handing out pouches. So I got it. It’s a whole disinfection kit. So there’s a spray. There’s masks; there’s wipes. And then there’s these beads, that it looks like you smash into your mask to like freshen up a little bit.

I don’t quite know. We’re getting the Google translate on it. We’ll figure it out.

Alison: It seemed to be an essential oil bead that you press into the folds. Like if you have one of those masks that has a little pocket so that it smells fresh. Because let me tell you, we have learned about smelling our own breath.

Jill: Oh, it’s bad.

So then we keep moving. We start moving, the store is open, we’re moving. And I noticed that my friend has a police jacket on just as black jacket. It says police on the cuff. I’m like, oh, cops are cops everywhere. He had to go and check stuff out in this place. And they had to go check stuff out in that place. And he’s just the guy that goes and checks everything out and reports back. And he knows everything and everybody, he was a good guy to know.

No Bing Dwen Dwen in the store today. So foiled. But, oh, well, I had a good time.

[00:15:11] Alison: And you got a pouch.

[00:15:12] Jill: I did get a pouch. I also was able to be here for most of the press conference today with the International Paralympic Committee and the organizing committee.

And they talked a little bit about the hockey venue. Somebody had asked a question about hockey. The ice here is five centimeters thick; it’s thicker than standup hockey because the sleds add weight. So they need more ice for more stability. Ding ding ding on the synthetic ice. That was a big thing they talked about.

They said during the Olympics, all the teams decorated their dressing rooms, they would decorate the walls and the ceiling and the floor. They did everything, took it all down for the Para.

This is the only sport with laundry services. They do laundry for all the teams. They wash all the hockey gear. They washed all the ref’s gear and they have to do it every day. And it’s got to be, you can wash the shirts, the jerseys, but you have to hang dry them. So they are doing laundry like 24/7 here. The stuff has to be ready to go three hours before competition because it got to gear up and you know, warm up and all that stuff. So, they are really going at it. They’ve washed over 10,000 pieces during the entire run of the games so far. It’s incredible.

The other cool thing that they do in hockey is they celebrate birthdays. So we’ve heard the birthday song.

[00:16:30] Alison: Yes.

[00:16:31] Jill: And we didn’t know what it was, but when a player has a birthday and then they also get cake and a gift.

[00:16:37] Alison: I saw a cake going into the venue yesterday.

[00:16:40] Jill: Yeah, it was somebody’s birthday.

[00:16:42] Alison: It was beautiful. It had pink roses on top.

[00:16:45] Jill: Yeah, they they’ve really been taken care of that. Like every team has like a handler, a local handler that helps wrangle things for them. And they, they said that like teams will build really good relationships with these handlers. And it’s just nice. It’s a very good cultural exchange.

We said yesterday out in cross-country conditions were bad and we see the story where they said, oh, it’s slushy. It feels like your skis are, it’s feels like you’re skiing in glue. And Aaron Pike in the USA said, you know, it slows everyone down.

Everyone’s probably frustrated with their times. And if you have less function in your body, you’re not using your abs or your back or your legs, and you’re not being able to pull your full body into the pull strokes, like an able-bodied skier. You’re just using your arms. So if you’re just using your arms to ski through glue, it is hard.

[00:17:41] Alison: And we said yesterday, the wax techs must be going absolutely nuts.

[00:17:46] Jill: Right? Well and the organizing committee said, “I can tell you that the snow sports competition at the Winter Paralympic games has been very smooth. Athletes, delegations, and technical officials are very satisfied.” Not sure that quite lines up, but very, very interesting.

An Olympic follow-up file. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation signed a deal to have World Cup events at Yangqing for the next five years. And this is not something that happened at Pyeongchang, because you would have thought that that would have had had a deal. But I will give, I would imagine the organizer’s, credit for going out and making sure they seal this deal, which is good because they need to have World Cup events here. This is something I’ve read in Inside the Games at which basically said, you know, we need to stop having so many events in Germany because Germany tops all the boards and because they know all the tracks, they’re all close to home. It’s a home field advantage for them every year.

We got feed beefs.

[00:18:46] Alison: How can we have feed beefs when, well, we do have a feed, so we do have feed beefs with our own feed.

[00:18:52] Jill: It’s, oh my goodness, Patrick from Chicagoland talked about Alpine skiing, having a delay or no, not a delay. They shortened the races and,

[00:19:02] Alison: basically a missing ssection of every race.

[00:19:05] Jill: Yes. And we saw this when we, when we were watching Alpine today and you said they didn’t even bother to hide it.

[00:19:15] Alison: So they show the start gate and then they do this fade and all of a sudden the skiers are halfway down the track.

[00:19:24] Jill: Yeah. And it takes 30 seconds all the time. Because I timed it and it was frustrating because what happens if something happens at the top of the track and you totally have lost that skier?

[00:19:36] Alison: And you don’t see it and you don’t know why.

[00:19:39] Jill: It was infuriating. I’m sorry. I don’t.

[00:19:40] Alison: I think it’s just a lack of camera angles. They’ve just eliminated a whole position of a camera and said, oh, we don’t need to see half the race. Because it’s not conditions. It’s not that it’s freezing cold or so uncomfortable or windy; they just cut out a position and there are OBS people walking all over the place with nothing to do. I don’t get it, go out to Yangqing and film the top of the mountain.

[00:20:09] Jill: They probably can’t find it.

[00:20:11] Alison: They’ll never get home. Maybe they’re all riding on that gondola that I was on to nowhere.

[00:20:18] Jill: In other news, the Ukrainian delegation had a moment of solidarity for Ukraine in the Athletes Village at Zhangjiakou where that’s, their entire delegation is out there. So they thanked people for support and noted how difficult it was going to be for them right now. You found out where they may go.

[00:20:34] Alison: Yes. So the word is that they have been invited to go to Poland after the Games and stay there. They don’t know how that’s all going to actually work yet, and it is not official, but at least they have been extended that invitation in terms of visas and travel opportunities.

[00:20:52] Jill: That is good. It, you know, I think this COVID liaison officer’s job is kind of complicated. I can’t imagine what they’re going through with, how do we get home? How do we get to wherever we need to go? And how do people get home? Because I’m sure so many people are worried about family at this. Obviously.

[00:21:10] Alison: And more than one of his team has lost their homes.

[00:21:14] Jill: At this press conference I went to earlier, it was Craig Spence or Mr. Craig, as one of the organizers called him, I know. And a few of the organizers and one of the things that organizers said, we recruited disabled volunteers for the Paralympics and Mr. Craig said I hope to see disabled volunteers at the Olympics too, came right back with that. That was aawesome. Because they really are pushing for inclusivity everywhere and in everyday life. And it’s nice to have it here for this one event, but really we’re trying to get more visibility everywhere. So good for him. That’s, I love it when they stick to a message in a way that’s just so real.

And the other thing is that one of the journalists was asking about the 10 para sports that the IPC governs. They’re administrators for several of the para sports and what their stance on the Russian and Belarusian athletes would be in terms of inclusion or exclusion at future events. And Craig Spence said, they’re going to make a decision regarding that after the Games. Too much going on right now.

All right. Time for what officiating or volunteer job would we want to do? What would you like?

[00:22:27] Alison: So we were hanging out at curling with the official timekeepers, Omega.

[00:22:32] Jill: My gosh, we have friends. Oh my gosh. This was just the best day.

[00:22:35] Alison: So listeners may not realize that, yes, you see all those signs on the clock that say, you know, “Omega official timekeeper of the Olympics and Paralympics”, but they actually have a crew at every single event that are monitoring the equipment, that are checking things that are making sure that all that timekeeping equipment is working as it should.

That is obviously not a volunteer job, but everywhere there’s an Omega team, there is a volunteer handler.

[00:23:07] Jill: That is true. And I would imagine that, I mean, some of the Omega team seemed local here, so they probably recruit locally for these official positions.

[00:23:16] Alison: But yes, so the handler brings them water. Okay. It brings them information sheets on who’s what, and where, takes care of them.

[00:23:25] Jill: I think I would like to be a transportation volunteer because maybe I’d actually figured out how this, the system works.

[00:23:32] Alison: So at every bus stop, every main bus stop, there usually is a volunteer to say when the next bus is coming and make sure you get on the right bus. Sometimes, Yangqing, there are no volunteers. And when there are no volunteers, you really miss them.

[00:23:49] Jill: Yes you do. I will say that, but they must know they know how this works. Maybe I can learn. And it’s, the transportation is so much simpler now with so many fewer venues, but it still feels a little out of my understanding grasp.

[00:24:07] Alison: I’m going to Zhangjiakou tomorrow.

[00:24:10] Jill: Godspeed.

We’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsor Winter/Viktor Studio. Did I mention at the top of the sponsor of the show is sponsored by Winter/Victor Studio?

Winter/Victor believes that sport and beautiful design go hand in hand and that a designer’s versatility is just as important as an athlete’s dexterity. Winter/Victor provides distinctive graphic design to clients in sport, from logos to digital communications. Winter/Victor brings the same passion to design that our clients bring to the field of play. Add a responsive and versatile designer to your team at wintervictor.com. And to our new Chinese listeners, Winter/Victor designed your pins and they are beautiful. We are thrilled to have people comment on these pins a lot.

[00:24:56] Alison: They do. They’re very excited about seeing the pins.

[00:25:00] Jill: Yes, they very much, very much like them. We are, they are very popular. So we are very grateful to Winter/Victor for helping us out with these designs.

All right, action. Today we start with Para Alpine skiing. It was giant slalom for the men, that’s all they got done. Yes. Oh boy. We’re on day seven of the Paralympics. This is, I always worry about this with winter.

[00:25:28] Alison: The mountain is winning.

[00:25:29] Jill: Oh, the mountain is winning. So we had men’s giant slalom today. Standing gold went to Santeri Kiveri from Finland. Silver went to Thomas Walsh from USA. This is USA’s first Alpine skiing medal of these Games. So they were quite happy about that. And bronze went to Arthur Bauchet from France.

In the sitting division, gold went to Jesper Pedersen from Norway. Silver went to Rene de Silvestro from Italy, and bronze went to Liang Zilu from China. And then in the vision impaired, gold went to Johannes Aigner from Austria with guide Matteo Fleischmann. Silver went to Giacomo Bertagnolli with guide Andrea Ravelli; they’re from Italy, and bronze went to a Miroslav Hauraus from Slovakia with guide Maros Hudik.

I feel like we should have a game: match the guide to the athlete.

[00:26:29] Alison: Well, I think this would pretty easily work because I don’t think anyone would not match Giacomo Bertagnolli with Andrea Ravelli.

[00:26:39] Jill: So they’ve made more changes to the Alpine skiing schedule because of the slalom is here and they need good snow conditions. They have a lot of men in this competition. This is, this is always the one that’s got the most competitors, even in the Olympics. So there are 100 male athletes for this competition. They need good conditions or decent conditions. So the men will be moved to Sunday. The women will have 50 competitors. They will go on Saturday because this sport for they have to, or this event, they have two runs. So that means double the runs and they need to have the snow hold up.

[00:27:20] Alison: Because if there’s no snow, you’re skiing on dirt.

[00:27:23] Jill: That would not be good. That would really not be good. So they believe the snow conditions will be better on Sunday. There’s talk of rain. Yes.

[00:27:33] Alison: Tomorrow, yes.

[00:27:34] Jill: Well, knock on wood people. Let’s, let’s hope that we can have some snow for these athletes.

And we will take a quick break to talk about our Red Envelope campaign, because this show does cost some money to produce. And while you all have been very generous along the years in supporting us through our Kickstarter campaign that got us here to Beijing, patrons we have Patreon patronage that is ongoing donations and it’s been very good about stepping up and helping with that. But we are coming up on a lull in our listenership because it’s another two years, two and a half years until another Olympics. So we’re having a little campaign to help our operating budget stay strong through those, through to Paris 2024.

And it’s Red Envelope because we are celebrating the Lunar New Year. And we are also asking that you donate in increments of $8. Because eight is a lucky number here in China, symbolizing good fortune fortune. So please go to flamealivepod.com/support. If you feel that we’ve done a good job, Alison’s looking at me like we, we are not doing a good job with this ad right now.

[00:28:39] Alison: What I was thinking was we’re talking about getting us to Paris 2024. I think everybody needs to channel those lovely two French people who saved me. And help support the show as those two people did by rescuing me from the mountain. You can too rescue us from the mountain with a red envelope.

[00:29:04] Jill: And we would appreciate it. That’s flamealivepod.com/support.

All right, big day in wheelchair curling today, the end of round robin play. You were there all day?

[00:29:13] Alison: I was there all day. So I do want to mention, because we mentioned David Melrose, the British curler who hurt his shoulder the other day, falling from his wheelchair. Good news is, he was released the same day from the hospital. He is back at the athlete’s village. He has not been sent home.

[00:29:30] Jill: Excellent.

[00:29:30] Alison: So he is doing well, all signs point to it’s an injury, but he’s going to be okay. And it’s certainly not serious or life-threatening.

[00:29:39] Jill: Excellent. So in our first session of round robin play Canada beat Norway, seven to six, got three points in that final end and one on the last rock. Ooh, that’s a thriller.

China beat Great Britain six to three in seven ends, and Slovakia beat Switzerland eight to six.

[00:29:57] Alison: I want to mention the Swiss curler Hans Burgener who we have not mentioned the whole tournament. This man is like a cartoon Swiss watchmaker. He wears a pompom hat. He’s got this handlebar mustache and this constant scowl on his face and he’s in his wheelchair and he rolls and he just glares at everybody. And every once in a while he’ll say something and he kind of grumbles when he talks to the rest of his team. He’s a very good curler. And if you get a chance to go back and just find him on a feed. It’s a lot of fun to watch. Hans will grumble at you in his pompom hat.

[00:30:40] Jill: And then in the last sheet, Sweden beat USA ten to seven in seven ends because Sweden got five points in that seventh end. Oh, that’s crushing.

[00:30:50] Alison: They had the skip throw a rock that just completely missed.

[00:30:55] Jill: Oh.

[00:30:56] Alison: And that was the, that was the game.

[00:30:58] Jill: That is tough. That is tough. In the second session of round robin play, Estonia beat Switzerland eight to six. Korea beat US seven to six, and Great Britain beat Latvia eight to four.

Oh, that’s tough. Another two losses today for the US.

[00:31:15] Alison: They are out of the tournament, but in that game against Korea, Steve was, Steve Emt who is our TKFLASTANI, was so enthusiastic. Trying to cheer and buck up the team because they knew they were out at that point, but they wanted to have a good showing and it was actually a good, a really good match to watch. So that was enjoyable. So they, even though they lost the two matches today, they played really well and kept fighting right through until the last rock.

[00:31:48] Jill: And that’s what you want to see. And sometimes just the rocks don’t go your way. And that’s, that’s the tough part about curling, but good job. I would say, you know, they did, I think they finished better this Paralympics then in Pyeongchang, they were really not happy about that. So hopefully they can go away with this feeling proud of themselves and knowing that they did well. And hopefully we can catch up with Steve.

[00:32:11] Alison: Right. Steve Emt did not come through the mixed zone. Okay. And I was busy being mobbed by my fan club. I didn’t have security with me today. I’ll have to change that for tomorrow.

[00:32:23] Jill: And in the last session of round robin play, oh my goodness. China beat Latvia nine to two in six ends. They’re just like we just want to finish this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could get one done in five ends. It’s kind of like name the curling game. I can, I can end this game in four ends. Wacth me.

[00:32:46] Alison: It’s a lot of points quickly..

[00:32:49] Jill: I would not be surprised if they could do more than 10. We’ll see.

Anyway Korea beat Sweden ten to four in seven ends and Slovakia beat Estonia seven to six. Oh, that was a nail biter because Slovakia was behind and Estonia had the hammer on the last end and missed on their last stone. Slovakia had two scoring rocks and that did it. Oh boy, that was, that was tough.

[00:33:21] Alison: But it was a great match.

[00:33:22] Jill: It was. They kept putting up all these guards and Slovakia got around one. Oh, it was so cool. And then we talked timing with our new friend from Omega.

[00:33:34] Alison: He’s Canadian, so he’s nice.

[00:33:36] Jill: And so the final standings for the round robin tournament: China atop the leader board eight wins two losses. Sweden was, Sweden, Canada and Slovakia were all seven and three. USA and Korea were five and five. Latvia, Great Britain, and Norway were four and six. Estonia was three and seven and Switzerland was one and nine.

So that means the semi-final matches will be Slovakia versus Sweden and China versus Canada. Whoa, that’s going to be, I mean, they’re all, it’s amazing. Because everybody had the same record, but that’s going to be a tough match, going to be fun to watch.

[00:34:16] Alison: I believe the Canadian drum will be in the house.

Jill: Yeah. Well, will it be drowned out by the cheering of China because it is cross sheet. That’s the amazing thing.

Alison: So briefly today at the USA match because China was playing as well. The China team started, or the China fans started cheering. And then the few Team USA people that were in the stands started a Team USA chant, and they got a little booed because it seemed like they were, I think the Chinese fans thought that the Team USA fans were trying to drown them out.

[00:35:00] Jill: I see you have another note here that has caught my eye.

[00:35:07] Alison: So you got in trouble the other day at the curling venue for eating at your desk. There was a man sitting next to me eating at his desk and the volunteer, with the “COVID protocol please do not eat at your desk” sign did nothing.

[00:35:23] Jill: But we did get to lounge. We, you and I hung out in the media lounge and the media lounge is a part of the workroom. I will just say that.

[00:35:34] Alison: So the lounge is basically a table with some half height dividers between in. I mean a table of food and then surrounded by half height dividers, and then a few little tables that you could eat at like a cocktail party.

[00:35:48] Jill: Yeah, yeah. And a couch. We were on the couch.

[00:35:50] Alison: We were on the couch. I’ve never gotten to sit on the couch and most lounges do not have couches. It’s just a table of food. So this is fancy at curling.

[00:35:59] Jill: And sometimes, like in figure skating, it was a separate room. So they did have the little table cocktail tables set up, but you also get free water at curling.

[00:36:08] Alison: At curling, they have cold bottles of water. Cold water is a precious commodity here.

[00:36:14] Jill: Very true. All right. Curling ended for our Team USA TKFLASTANI so our TKFLASTANI Watch is at an end. Tough go, but hey, good job, Steve. We are proud of you in TKFLASTAN.

We would like to thank our Kickstarter collectors for today, Sietske Brown and Tamara Smith.

[00:36:33] Alison: And we are back with our new mascot, Theo. Theo’s world could have been turned upside down when Super Fan Sarah and her husband had a baby two years ago. Instead, they are now partners in crime and Theo and company share snacks, share adventures, and share walks around the block looking for flags.

[00:37:00] Jill: Oh, nothing like having a partner in crime like Theo.

So that is going to do it for this episode. Tune in again tomorrow. We’re getting close to the end, but we still have a lot of competitions to go.

[00:37:14] Alison: And you can keep celebrating the games with us on our Keep the Flame Alive Facebook group. It’s the place to hang out with other listeners and with us. And Jill is on Twitter. I am on Instagram. Both are @flamealivepod. You can email us at flamealivepod@gmail.com and call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s (208) FLAME-IT.

[00:37:41] Jill: We will catch you back here tomorrow. Thank you so much for listening and until then, keep the flame alive.

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