It’s time for another Lightning Round! This week we showcase our “quickfire” questions with three athletes who were in the mix for going to Beijing 2022: Wheelchair curler Steve Emt, doubles luger Jayson Terdiman and biathlete Clare Egan. Learn about their earliest memories of the Games and their favorite souvenirs.
Visit Steve’s website and follow him on social:
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Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
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 of note.
Jill: [00:00:00] This episode is sponsored by Winter\Victor Studio.
Hello, fans of . TKFLASTAN and welcome to another episode of 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, hello, how are you?
Alison: I’ve had a few too many jelly beans.
Jill: The Easter bunny was good?
Alison: Some people like the chocolate, some people like the Peeps. I am queen of the jellybeans.
Alison: They don’t need to be gourmet. They don’t need to be the fancy flavors. They can just be the Brachs from the Walgreens. And I am so happy. I like when they have cracky shell.
Jill: Nice. Yes, it’s Easter week. I will say I am a fan of the Reese’s peanut butter egg myself, or the Cadbury eggs those little ones with the hard shell and the chocolate in the middle.
Alison: The little sugar bombs.
Jill: That’s right. That’s good. So we are loading up on our sugar this week because it is Easter. And we are bringing you a lightning round with some of the people who were either at Beijing or were trying to get to Beijing 2022. Before we get to our first lightning round participant, we would like to remind you about our show sponsor 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 sports. 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.
All right, lightning round.
First up, we have Paralympian Steve Emt. He is a wheelchair curler, and we got to see him many times, which is very exciting. One thing I will say about his lightning round is includes because we all know the lightning rounds are no longer lightening. And of course, I forgot to ask him about angles when we talked to him about how wheelchair curling works and that’s very, very important to wheelchair curling. So we talk about angles and other things Paralympics and Olympics related. Take a listen.
What is your first memory of the Paralympics and your first memory of the Olympics from when you were a kid?
Steve Emt: Uh, the Paralympics, I probably, when I went and that’s the first time of being named to the team and I never even knew about that word Paralympian or Paralympics before Tony stalked me that day. So that was that.
And as far as the Olympics, probably just watching Olympic basketball team, you know, the, the dream teams back in the early, when the pros first came on, you know, the, those guys. Yeah.
Alison: Who is your hero on that team?
Steve Emt: Larry Bird. Larry Bird, Larry Bird, Boston, baby. Let’s go, right? C’mon!. Celtics. I bleed green.
Bring them back, bring them back.
Alison: What sport, other than curling or basketball would you compete in the Paralympics
Steve Emt: Marathon. Racing.
Jill: I mean, you competed in it, but what was it that didn’t hold you the way curling holds you?
Steve Emt: I don’t know if it didn’t hold me. I just curling came into my life and took it and then it took me over.
So I was done. I mean, it was like, you know, love at first sight done. So I loved, I love racing. I love. You know, I’ve done a couple of marathons, New York City being my biggest, and it was an amazing time. But when curling came into my life, it just took over everything and love at first sight, you know. High school sweethearts. I’m done
Jill: One question I forgot about to ask about curling. How much do you geek out about angles?
Steve Emt: All the time, I’m a big math geek. C’mon. I taught middle school math for 20 years, so I love the geometry of it. I love that. And I grew up on a billiards table growing up, so I’m always two or three shots ahead and I got to hit the stone here and it’s going to go there at all.
That’s one of the many things, the circles, and sometimes I just find myself getting lost and staring at the circles like a zombie. I don’t know, but I’m a big math geek. So I love the angles and the what’s going to hit here and go there. And that’s what life’s about.
Jill: If you miss a shot, how quickly can you recalculate two to three shots ahead with all the angles?
Steve Emt: That’s probably the most [00:05:00] difficult part of the game is thinking two or three shots ahead. And you know, I’m going to call the shot right now, and then they’re going to do this and they’re going to do that. And when it plays out, it’s perfect. But like you said, when there’s a miss, uh oh, now, all right, now I got to wait to see what they’re going to do. Now I’ve got to recalculate two or three shots add off it, but based on what they’re gonna do. It’s a lot of faking and it’s amazing how quickly you get dehydrated on the ice and not feeling well. I’ve been in Gampel Pavilion and the store, you know, campus University of Connecticut, playing basketball with a bunch of future pros for two hours and not drinking water.
And I’ve been on the ice for two hours and not drinking water, and I’m twice as sick when I get off the ice. It’s amazing. The brain just sucks everything. When you’re thinking all that, it just sucks. It all out of you. So got a drink, gotta stay hydrated.
Jill: Wow. That’s interesting. I did not realize that.
Steve Emt: Yeah, it is amazing how quickly it just saps it right out of you.
Jill: What is your favorite training exercise?
Steve Emt: Probably getting on my hand cycle and just going for 30 minutes and do doing some interval work and my heart rate up sweating a little bit. The physical, anything physical, any physical? I don’t, I mean, I love the mental part of the game. When COVID hit, you know, our clubs shut down.
We couldn’t get together. We had a year or so, and I turned to the mental, the meditation and the dry firing and the positive imagery. And it helped my game out immensely. So when I got back on the ice, when everything opened up again, I didn’t miss a beat, actually. I was probably even better, but, uh, I love the physical, I love sweat and then getting my heart rate up and then work it out.
Jill: And, uh, what is your favorite souvenir from the Paralympics?
Steve Emt: Hmm. Probably my credentials, because when we, when we’re at the Paralympics, you, you collect a bunch of pins, you know, curling, you know, sports, athletes. Uh, when you go to the Games, you have a bunch of pins and especially curling, that’s a big deal to swap pins.
So, you know, during meals, you go up to another country that you didn’t even know existed and ask to swap a pin. And, you know, I get a Team USA pin to them. You know, Team Kazakhstan or something. I apologize, but it’s thrown one out there, something like that. So my credentials, with my picture on it, and then a bunch of pins on a lanyard of countries, I think 37 countries were at the Paralympics, something like that and get a pin from every one of them.
That’s gotta be it right there.
Jill: Thank you so much, Steve. Next up we have Jayson Terdiman. Jayson was a double luger who recently retired from competition, and sadly he right at the very end, the very last opportunity to qualify for the Games he and his partner, Chris Madzder did not make it. And so, his career ended, not the way he hoped, but he was great to talk with. And he is hoping to have a nice career in coaching, which very excited about to be quite honest. So, take a listen to a, Jayson.
What is your first memory of the Olympics from when you were a kid?
Jayson Terdiman: Um, my first like core memory from watching the Olympics, it was 2002, watching, Brian Martin and Mark Grimmette across the finish line for a medal for the U S. I was sitting in the cafeteria in Lake Placid Training Center, uh, just my second year in the sport. And this one of the real core memories I have from watching the games.
Jill: Where do you keep your 2018 relay diploma?
Jayson Terdiman: Uh, that is at my parents’ house in a frame on the wall.
Jill: I’m going to make question three, a two parter. What is your favorite training exercise?
Jayson Terdiman: I love pull-ups, uh, they’re very transferrable into the start for luge.
So it’s one of my favorite movements.
Jill: How many can you do?
Jayson Terdiman: It used to be a lot more when I was younger, before I had my shoulder surgery, I was able to really go, we used to do a test to see how many you can do in 15 seconds. And I was able to do 21 in 15 seconds. so that was always a point of pride for me.
I had the, the second most in USA Luge testing history. I was outed by one.
Jill: Wow! Wow. Okay, and then when you think about becoming a coach, what’s the, what’s some of the good coaching advice that you’ve gotten? Or, I don’t want to say like the best piece of coaching advice, but if there’s like one good piece of coaching advice that you’ve gotten, that you want to like put in your, toolkit for the next generation.
Jayson Terdiman: Yeah, it would definitely be– it wasn’t –one of my coaches didn’t tell me this– but the best thing that I’ve learned through the sport is to try and detach yourself from the result. Uh, you know, as athletes, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and take a lot of our own self-worth based off of the results we get while competing.
Um, and I think detaching yourself from the result and understanding that, you know, at the end of the day, no matter how the race went, you’re still a good person. You can’t take your own worth off of what the finish time says.
Jill: And I gotta say, I liked the analogy of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin because Alison and I are ageless.[00:10:00]
How long do you think you’ll be able to use that analogy with the younger generation?
Jayson Terdiman: It’s not long, right? Like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I don’t know, I’ve got to figure it out,,
up to date for the next gen.
Alison: I am always getting into trouble for making references to like Lake Placid, 1980. And people look at me like I have six heads.
Jayson Terdiman: When I started out in luge, I, I would go and do have conversations in classrooms. And I would always use the, uh, who’s heard of luge and no, one’s, you know, it’s, it’s very rare that a young elementary school class has heard of luge.
And so I’d say, all right, well, who’s seen the movie Cool Runnings, and that used to be a big hit on people to get like, kind of just an understanding of what I do. Uh, and then in the last few years I’ve gone into some classes and I’ve said who’s seen Cool Runnings and no one puts their hand up. Now I got to figure out, we have to, we have to get something else out there. That’s something with the sliding sports so we can keep the next generation interested.
Jill: We have to get the luge movie out there.
Jayson Terdiman: So that would be something. I would be in full support of a luge movie.
Jill: Okay. So I’m going to take this to a weird place because we’ve been looking at Atlanta 1996 this year, and I did a little thing on modern pentathlon and Dolph Lundgren and had done a modern pentathlon movie.
I think Dolph Lundgren could be a good choice for a luge movie. Don’t you think, Alison?
Jayson Terdiman: Oh, that would be great.
Alison: I think he’s too tall.
Jill: You can never be too tall.
Jayson Terdiman: There’s no such thing. We can make the sled to any specification we need to.
Jill: Okay back on it. If you could be an Olympian in any other sport, other than a sliding sport, what would it be?
Jayson Terdiman: Uh, I would be a coxswain in rowing.
Jill: Ooh, that’s a good one. How come?
Jayson Terdiman: Uh, mostly because of my stature and because it’s a summer sport, so I can enjoy a little bit more sunshine all year round.
Alison: See, I have to laugh because Jayson, cause you’re saying like, oh, you’re so small. I’m five feet tall. So when someone says they’re like 5’6″, 5’7″, I was like, that would be a giant.
Jayson Terdiman: I don’t, I don’t get that from my teammates.
Jill: All right. And finally, what is your favorite Olympic souvenir?
Jayson Terdiman: My favorite souvenir. Uh, my mother scheduled me a tattoo appointment after the last Olympics and I was able to get the Olympic mascot from 2018 on my left bicep. And I think that’s probably my favorite.
Alison: We love that mascot!
Yeah, Soohorang’s pretty cool I have a luging Soohorang on my left bicep.
Jill: Awesome. Awesome.
Alison: Did your mom pick that out or was that your idea?
Jayson Terdiman: Uh, no, the tattoo was my idea. I did not expect her to set up the appointment and pay for the tattoos though.
Jill: Very nice. Excellent.
Thank you so much. Jayson.
Alison: Jayson, a fan of Cool Runnings, which we have. We disagree on. I am not a fan and you enjoyed it.
Jill: I do enjoy it. It’s not the world’s greatest movie. Let’s say that, but you know, it is–. How many movies about sliding can you get? It’s much like my anticipation that someday we will watch Pentathlon with Dolph Lundgren.
Alison: So I did want to bring up Cool Runnings because a Listener Dan, in the Facebook Group, when you told the story about hitting your head in Beijing, in the hotel room.
And he mentioned that we basically recreated a scene from Cool Runnings ‘ cause the next morning after this incident, I looked over at you and I said, Jill, are you dead? And in the movie, one of the characters is after there’s a crash. They say, Sanka, are you dead? Unfortunately he answered, Yes. Thankfully you answered, No.
Jill: But like in the movie where Sanka had crashed into a shed of sorts and was just covered by stuff, after I hit my head and slid onto the floor, I was covered and tied up in blankets.
Alison: So we, we have lived Cool Runnings, if you think about it, when I was trying to get back up the mountain, I did in fact slide.
So th this movie is now a, a biography of Keep the Flame Alive.
Jill: Might be a little stretch in there. We might actually have to get you into a sled and throw you down the track.
Alison: Should I talk about my Jamaican ancestry that I actually do have?
Jill: You wait, you have Jamaican ancestry? Wait, what? Tell me all about this.
Alison: Okay. So I do have a portion of my family that immigrated from England to Jamaica, stayed in Jamaica [00:15:00] for a few– I think one or two generations and then came to Connecticut. So I am in fact Jamaican.
Jill: Wow. I am blown away by that. That is very cool.
Alison: The things you learn about me after all this time
Jill: Finally we have our biathlete Clare Egan up. Oh, it was amazing because we did not realize we had never done a lightning round with her in the three or four times. We’ve talked. So we finally got one down and here we go. Have a listen.
What is your first memory of the Olympics from when you were a kid?
Clare Egan: I think it was the Nagano Winter Olympics, so 1998. I would have been 11. And I remember watching the Olympics, and also collecting some kind of token that was like maybe in a cereal box or something where you could, you know, get one for each sport Yeah. I remember all of that. And I don’t remember from anything from, from before Nagano, but I’ve definitely remember Nagano
Jill: Where do you keep your participation medal from PyeongChang?
Clare Egan: I don’t know if I have a participation medal from PyeongChang. I’m not sure that’s a thing. I have a ton of paraphernalia, various kinds, I guess there’s like a… Maybe it’s a medal, it’s kind of like a coin, but I don’t, there’s not like, there’s not like one thing that was like, this is your participation medal. Well, you know, I, you know, for me, it’s my ring.
I got an Olympic ring, but that’s, and that’s, uh, that’s a US Olympic Committee thing though. It’s not a PyeongChang, you know, it’s not an IOC thing. The IOC, I feel like there maybe is like a cert–. I probably have like a certificate or something, but I don’t, there’s nothing that’s like super meaningful and I don’t know where it is, but my Olympic ring is pretty meaningful to me.
It’s like definitely something I never thought I would have. And I have one.
Jill: What is your favorite training exercise?
Clare Egan: Cross country skiing.
Jill: Just two drills to do any, any long distance or I’m going a treadmill thing. That’s funky,
Clare Egan: uh, on the treadmill, the rollers, the treadmill, anything involving roller skiing is definitively not my favorite, but I do love cross country skiing.
And that’s why I’m still doing this. So I have to say that is my favorite training activity, but. I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s something like a specific drill. I can’t think of one.
Alison: You do, you do post a lot of swimming, cross training. I haven’t seen, there’s been a lot of, it seemed to post a lot of pictures where all of a sudden winter athlete, Clare is in a, a bikini.
Clare Egan: Oh,
Alison: which is always,
Clare Egan: Really, am I posting bikini pictures? Because we always joke that when people are posting bikini pictures, it must be because training’s going badly.
Alison: No, no no. At appropriate times of year. But it always makes me happy when I’m like, oh good. Clare is getting out of the snow.
Clare Egan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I th I, I think swimming is, I don’t know, really awesome cross training. When I was a competitive runner in high school and college, I used to swim laps a lot as cross training ’cause it’s just such a nice change on the body from the pounding of running. Um, I don’t do it as much anymore, but I do love to get in the water, you know, just to dunk in the lake, you know?
Um, I love doing that. So whenever there’s a nice lake, I try to get in it, which is probably why I like living in my apartment right on Mirror Lake and Lake Placid.
Jill: If you could be an Olympian in any sport other than biathlon or cross country skiing, you can do winter or summer, what would you choose?
Clare Egan: I would do wind surfing, which is an Olympic event that falls under sailing in the summer.
Clare Egan: It’s so awesome. I think it shares, it actually shares a lot with cross country skiing. So they’re both, I think really technical activities, cumbersome equipment. When you first start doing it, you’re like this sucks and my back hurts and you’re moving really slowly and falling a lot. And then once you get good at it, you’re flying, you’re using your own power to sort of harness energy and go fast in nature.
And you know, in the winter you’re doing it on snow and in the summer you’re doing it over waves and on the ocean or lake or whatever. And, um, I’m not a good windsurfer, but I can do it. I’ve done it several times. I try to do it whenever I can. And I think it is just such a cool sport. And I think the way they do it in the Olympics is that it’s like, it’s speed.
It’s not tricks. It’s speed. And it’s [00:20:00] kind of like sailboat racing around buoys I don’t know anything about it, but I think that’s what I would want to do.
Jill: Excellent. And finally, what is your favorite Olympic souvenir ?Other than the ring?
Clare Egan: Yeah. So in Korea, they, in the Olympic village, there was this kind of booth where you could go and try on traditional Korean clothing called hanbok.
And I had learned about that in my studies of Korean language. And I thought it was so cool to go and try on these like really ornate silk, typical Korean gowns. And I went there. My boyfriend and my family came to Korea. And so I have pictures of me and my boyfriend, both in hanbok. And I also have a picture of me and my two brothers in the hanbok.
And I love those pictures. I think it’s the, I hope it’s our Christmas card forever with me and my brothers. It’s just an amazing photo. And I think. I think it’s, it also reminds me of like really, I think my favorite part of, of those Olympics in Korea where, how much I felt like my family and friends and anyone who has ever touched tangentially any part of my life was suddenly there with me in Korea and like so excited and happy and, and supportive. And so that it, it kind of tells, tells that part of the story too.
Alison: I think, I think I remember that picture.
Clare Egan: Probably. I’m sure I posted it.
Alison: And you looked so happy in that picture.
Clare Egan: That’s so fun, fun, little things like that that were really fun about the Olympics.
Jill: Excellent. Well, Clare thank you so much.
Clare Egan: You’re welcome.
Jill: Thank you so much, Clare.
Alison: No big surprise that she picked a summer sport and this is even before the agony of the chill of Beijing, she was already like, you know, I really probably should have picked something where I’m not in the ice and snow all the time. And then she proceeds to go to Beijing and just becomes a human icicle.
Jill: Yes. Oh man. Well, I hope she got some kind of fun Beijing moment, like dressing up in the hanbok that she was able to do in Korea. Because it really, she did, she had a frustrating Games and I, I really do hope that she finds the bright side to them at some point.
Alison: Well, they did do that lap of honor at the very end of the world cup season for all the biathletes that were retiring. And of course at the end of an Olympic cycle, there’s always going to be a big handful. And she and Susan Dunklee, her American teammate, were both retiring. So that I think made it very special.
Jill: Exactly. So we will have ways you can follow all of these athletes on social, on the website. So check it out at flamealivepod.com. They will be in the show notes as well, so check your podcast app for that. And that is going to do it for this week. Let us know if you could be an Olympian or Paralympian in any sport, what would it be?
Alison: You can get in touch with us by email flamealivepod @ gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348.
That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. Our social handle is @flamealivepod, and be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook.
Jill: Yeah, and do text us because the MyPillow people have stopped texting us every day and you know, the phone line’s kind of lonely. So we’d love to hear from you.
Next week, we will have on one of the friends we made in Beijing, photographer, Mark Edward Harris, who talked with us about how he worked at Beijing and did photos, which I got to say, seeing the photographers in action was pretty amazing. And I have so much more respect for photography as a career just by watching them.
So thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.