Flim Buff Fran leads the Keep the Flame Alive Movie Club, in which we watch movies on the Olympics and Parlympics.

Film Buff Fran on “A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story”

Release Date: August 31, 2023

Category: Movie Club

We’re going back to 1994 this week with our latest Movie Club pick: A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story. This made-for-TV biopic had the blessing of Lillehammer 1994 gold medalist of Oksana Baiul and tells the story of her life through her surprise victory amidst the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal (though if you didn’t know that scandal happened, you wouldn’t learn anything about it from this movie). Take a look at the trailer:

We also have a lot of news from TKFLASTAN, including updates from:

And video journalist Sean Colahan stops by post-Paris vacation to tell us about the atmosphere in the city–and what tourist attractions you can skip.

We have a little bit of news about the Kamila Valieva doping case–with word on when the final hearing will take place.

Plus, we have updates from Paris, including one-year-to-go Paralympic celebrations/news and a test event update. Paris 2024 will be hosting its second Paralympic Day on October 8, 2023, featuring sports demonstrations–including one from TKFLASTANI Matt Stutzman.

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

TRANSCRIPT

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Film Buff Fran on “A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story” (Episode 302)

Jill:Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I am your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co-host, Alison Brown.

Alison, hello, how are

[00:00:50] Alison: you? I thought I was gonna have to play the doping sounder on myself again.

[00:00:55] Jill: Oh no,

[00:00:57] Alison: because moved my daughter into college this weekend, like. So many people across the country and helping her unpack, I smacked my ankle against a big Pyrex dish that I had stupidly put on the floor as I was unwrapping it.

Oh, didn’t hurt that much when it happened ’cause you know, the adrenaline of the event. But as I was driving home, of course it’s my right ankle and as I’m driving home I’m thinking this really hurts. And I got home and it was a little swollen and I’m like, oh man I’m gonna need some. Assist from the physio here.

So iced bath it, and it’s just a bruise. No serious injuries. I won’t have to mi miss the finals. I’m okay.

[00:01:42] Jill: I’m glad of that. But if you do ingest some substances, please do check because podcast urine sampling team will be on your doorstep in no time. I know.

[00:01:53] Alison: I was afraid I was gonna get in trouble ’cause I was late coming home, you know.

So the whereabouts, uh, information [00:02:00] was not accurate, but it’s okay. Nobody showed up at my door.

[00:02:03] Jill: Oh shoot. All right. Well, it is Labor Day weekend in the US so have movie club, which I’m very excited about movie club this time.

We also have a visit from, uh, Shuk. Ani coming along. So that is exciting as well. And we have a big announcement in the show. Later on as well. And we have a big announcement for the show. But first Film B Fran is back this time with a promise kept the ax Baul story. This Made for TV movie tells the story of the 1994 figure skating gold medalist.

Take a listen to our conversation

“A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story” Conversation

[00:02:41] Jill: movie club.

Fran, welcome back. We are talking a promise kept the Oksana Baiul story. What

[00:02:49] Film Buff Fran: do you got for us? Well, this movie was released in November of 1994. So pretty immediately after the Olympics in Lila Hamer, that same year. And it depicts the life, the early life of Oksana Baiul. Who was the gold medal winner in ice skating at the 94 Games.

It depicts her, very sad early childhood where we see her as a young child and she’s living with her mom and dad and her grandmother. However, her father right away is shown as kind of like a deadbeat dad and disappears. And so it’s really just the saga of. Her, her mom and her grandmother.

Uh, although in real life with, some digging that I made, she actually did have both grandparents. So I don’t know why they didn’t depict both of them in the movie. But anyway and it shows her early start, in skating and obviously, from what was depicted in the story, she had that kind of spark and that kind of, [00:04:00] Competitor spirit that made people stand up and say, we wanna work with her and we wanna train her.

And she did really well. And unfortunately, Her mother came down with ovarian cancer when she was training. They didn’t really say at what age she passed in the movie. but she had a brief illness and passed away. And then the movie really didn’t, it kind of glossed over that.

Part of the saga. I mean, it made it look like she, leapt into, staying with her coach. Who she had a very warm and good relationship with, but she kind of went from couch to couch. She just kind of was a nomad. And, we see how she trained and who she interacted with up until the Lillehammer games.

All in all, I felt, looking back on it, you know, I was thinking about the title of the movie, A Promise Kept and, and it really kind of felt to me they really centered on the relationship she had with her mother, not so much on her Olympic journey. I. And that was shown by, what they decided to show and what they didn’t decide to show.

I mean, they didn’t do. Any Olympic footage? Fake or real? You know, I don’t know because this was a made for television movie. If it was just done just because of the budget, or did they just not feel like that was the story they were telling? Because there was a lot of vignettes where she is by herself and she’s just talking to her mom, when she was already passed, so, She was kind of keeping her memory alive.

So it was a little disappointing for me because, being an Olympics fan and being an ice skating fan, I wanted to see a lot of skating and, they really didn’t do much. And really the best skating. In the movie was spoiler alert [00:06:00] at the end when the Real Okana actually came on and performed her short program from the Olympics at the end of the story.

How about you guys? What did you think of the movie? I’ll bury the

[00:06:12] Jill: lead Fran made for tv. Oh my gosh.

Made for TV and it was the movie that Oksana gave her blessing to. And she and Victor Petrenko were heavily I’m sure they were heavily involved. They had credits at the end. this was so sanitized it felt like, and. Schmaltzy and low budget. Oh my goodness. Mm-hmm.

Oh, and the acting ranged from Miguel Ferre to of course people you don’t know, but really stilted acting really, really. Poor writing, stilted writing. These poor actors had to deliver these horrible lines, but it was in, in that way. It was fantastic. But I was with you like we did not see much ice skating at all in this movie.

It was unbelievable. And we didn’t really even see much of what. Would pass for the Ukraine. Right. I would say

[00:07:12] Film Buff Fran: it was filmed in, uh, Pittsburgh.

[00:07:16] Jill: I know, which is not far off. ’cause the opening scene, like they’re walking into a brick, like too flat. And I’m like, where are they Jersey? It looked and it was spacious, a ginormous apartment for what eventually became three people living there.

It looked nothing like you would think a Soviet depiction. So, Everything from the get go is so far off. Mm-hmm. What you would really see, and it’s just like, oh, they dressed up a Pittsburgh hockey rink with a picture of Lenin and a couple of Soviet flags, and then to make it the national one, they added gorby to the

[00:07:55] Alison: Yeah.

One of the things I thought they were the sloppiest about was, when was it the [00:08:00] Soviet Union and when was it Ukraine? They totally glossed over the entire collapse of the government. During this time, the entire collapse of the support of the sports system. Mm-hmm. You know, early on in the movie, Miguel Ferrere shows up who is usually a villain in so many things, and here he was quite paternal and not at all like the typical Soviet coach.

Mm-hmm. We’ve seen in so many mm-hmm. Other movies. Mm-hmm. And saying, don’t worry, the state is gonna pay for that. By 94, that system had completely collapsed and a lot of athletes were struggling mm-hmm. To figure out, and ice rinks weren’t being taken care of, but that didn’t exist in this movie. Right, right.

Nothing truly. Unpleasant beyond her personal life existed in this movie. So Ukraine, which is quite lush when it’s not being destroyed by the Russian military. You know, it is the breadbasket of Europe, but this looked particularly green.

[00:09:03] Film Buff Fran: And you

[00:09:03] Alison: don’t think of, Soviet Ukraine as green and blossoming and everybody’s happy and kind of family like, and you think the state is lovely and like you said, the apartment was huge and quite elaborately decorated.

For a, a divorced, a French teacher. French teacher, yeah. Who’s supporting her child and her parents because like you said, her grandfather, ‘s grandfather was alive and died a year prior to her grandmother, but he didn’t exist in this

[00:09:33] Film Buff Fran: movie and it was weird with. The child too Oksana as a child, because I had a hard time trying to follow the chronology because she didn’t appear the right age at some points.

’cause I’m like, okay, I know she got the medal, the gold medal at 16, but she looked older way before that, you know? So I’m like, okay, well when did you know she was on the bus at one point [00:10:00] and her little boyfriend, Yuri was sitting next to her. And I’m just like, She’s kissing him. How old is she? I’m not understand. Like, where are we here? So, right,

[00:10:11] Jill: And with grandma, when Oksana’s a toddler, grandma can barely get up the stairs without huffing and puffing and almost collapsing. But four years later, she grandma’s skating on the ice and her babushka and tote in her

[00:10:22] Film Buff Fran: purse. I thought she was, I thought she was gonna do a double axle for a second, for, for a grandmother who

[00:10:29] Alison: supposedly had never been on skates before.

[00:10:32] Film Buff Fran: She was moving,

[00:10:34] Alison: she was cruising and balancing that enormous handbag.

She was my

[00:10:39] Film Buff Fran: favorite. That,

[00:10:40] Jill: And, the poor actress who played Oksana. Everybody did their best with the material they had to work with, but she looked particularly American to me in a, healthy, robust

[00:10:53] Alison: way.

[00:10:54] Film Buff Fran: You know, I know Oksana was a petite girl, like this girl was so Right. not that she was heavy, but she was more robust figure wise.

I remember Oksana at the Olympics and she was like this little bird. You know? Yes.

[00:11:07] Alison: Oksana at the Olympics looked like she hadn’t gone through puberty. Mm-hmm. And she, and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way, I mean that in a serious way. She

[00:11:16] Film Buff Fran: looked small, small, young, 12 or 13, she

[00:11:19] Alison: had mm-hmm.

Very, very, very thin legs. Mm-hmm. Just tiny. Everything about her was tiny. And that was actually one of the storylines going forward in her life, because within the next couple years, Her body changed tremendously. Mm-hmm. She retired right away from competitive skating and suffered some significant injuries because all of a sudden she was trying to jump with 30 or 40 more pounds on her.

Mm-hmm. And that became more apparent. But of course, at this point in the creation of the movie, that hadn’t

[00:11:54] Film Buff Fran: happened yet. And they also glanced over. I’m glad you mentioned the injuries, because they glanced [00:12:00] over. She had had a more horrific back and neck injury prior to the crash in the Olympics. And you know, I thought, well, if they were gonna show that crash, why wouldn’t they show, another significant episode in her life?

that kind of affected her moving forward. it was too bad. I, I would’ve liked to see. the Postly Oksana as well, because, \ her life changed so dramatically and \ like you said, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Ukraine, really not getting the resources to allow these people to train properly.

You know, a lot of the athletes left. I mean, \ they ended up on Oksana and her coach Galena and \ Victor Petrenko, they all ended up in Simsbury, Connecticut, which is my hometown state. And they were training here, you know, as professionals. and then, you know, unfortunately, she got involved in alcoholism and, who knows?

I mean, having, money, you know, after the Olympics, getting the endorsements and doing all the skating shows, That probably went to her head, and it would’ve been interesting to see and having, and

[00:13:12] Alison: having no one, I mean, that was one thing the movie did portray accurately.

She lost her grandparents, she lost her mother, she left home. She really didn’t have anyone. And to be 16, 17 years old. Mm-hmm. An Olympic gold medalist in figure skating where you are held up as an ice princess and become the face of the sport to have nobody who can say no to you. No wonder she got into trouble though.

Nice story is she’s now happily married with a daughter and, and she turned her life around, but there was a few years there where she was a tabloid headline.

Yeah, but I think this movie kind of left out the makings of that. Not just because of time, but also because like you [00:14:00] said, it was her story.

Mm-hmm. It was what she wanted to present to the world. Right.

[00:14:04] Jill: And probably. After the Olympics sold these movie rights so quickly in order to capitalize, capitalize on the payday. Sure, sure. With having no money, but also probably didn’t have much in the way of financial education, financial literacy.

Mm-hmm. So you’re making these decisions and, and it’s no wonder,

But her not having, getting all this money and all this fame and everybody demanding of your time and trying to cash in, even though I’m sure her coach probably helped her as best she could. There’s only so much you can do with a teenager at that time.

[00:14:39] Film Buff Fran: And now refresh my memory.

I mean, I remember during the Olympics they talked a lot about her and Victor Petrenko being very close. This movie really didn’t show any. Bond really between the two. I mean, it showed them meeting and kind of awkwardly being in the same room at the same time, but they really didn’t show any comradery or any kind of sense of a relationship between the two of them.

So that was kind of disappointing. ’cause I knew and that they had had a relationship together, was it, more brother sisterly or just more. A professional admiration for each other, and they really didn’t go into that in the movie.

[00:15:27] Alison: Well, it was problematic that the actor playing Victor Petrenko looked about 40, I think he’s supposed to be less than, he’s only about seven, I think years older than Oksana.

So she was say 15 and he was in his early twenties when they meet. Mm-hmm. And it. They described it at the time as like a big brother who looks out for her mm-hmm. And takes care of her, and they performed together for years. And worked together in Simsbury and we’re at one point very close.

And Oksana recently has [00:16:00] come out with a lot of anti Viktor Petrenko statements because of his support. The Russian establishment and his continued performing in Moscow. So the fact that she’s come out so strongly against him tells me that they were very close at one point. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But maybe they were concerned about it looking creepy to an

[00:16:21] Film Buff Fran: American audience.

Maybe, I think it would’ve worked if they did it in a certain way. I mean, the coach and her relationship could have been creepier if they did it a certain way. I, I felt like there was a loving bond between the two of ’em and kinda like he was her father figure that she never had, so that was portrayed I thought really well actually, in the movie, Whether that was the true case or not in real life, who knows?

But but I like that relationship dynamic. They didn’t really, I couldn’t really tell from the movie how good or bad or indifferent she felt about Galena and her being her coach. But. It was, yeah, it was just very stilted. The writing just didn’t feel like it really pushed the story along. And, and it was, it was really sad because, you know, you have this amazing athlete and what she accomplished at such a young age is so incredible, and you really didn’t get a sense of the enormity of what she did.

and also at this time, there was the whole controversy with Kerrigan. And Tanya Harding. They didn’t even go into that and that was the biggest controversy in, in skating, right up until the Olympics. So it was just kind of odd that, the skating really took a backseat.

[00:17:42] Alison: One thing that I did notice that Jill will love was Galena. Was never without her stopwatch. I think from that, I honestly have never seen a figure skating coach who was so attached to the stopwatch like, [00:18:00] don’t you use cues in the music? Isn’t the music cut to a certain amount of time? What was she doing with the stopwatch?

[00:18:07] Jill: Must have been like

[00:18:09] Film Buff Fran: timing per

[00:18:09] Jill: thing. Yeah. How long Axo was taking to do it. Where could we cut some time? Where can we add some time? How much is this section? How much is that? I don’t know. They could have taken all of the stopwatch motion footage and taken that out and made a whole scene with Victor Petrenko that would’ve tied it all together.

[00:18:30] Alison: The other thing that they could have cut out of the script was how many times everybody said, SOksana, it was in every other life. Were they worried we were gonna forget

[00:18:42] Film Buff Fran: who the movie was about? Nobody has used my name in

[00:18:46] Alison: my entire life as many times as I heard

[00:18:49] Film Buff Fran: this girl’s name in this movie. Maybe they like saying it.

Although they did pepper the script with enough Russian sounding phrases and Ukrainian, maybe endearments, but yeah, it was disappointing. I mean, they had the tropes, I mean, all over the place and, they had the crash with the blood on the ice though.

That was accurate. That was accurate. Wait, that was a very bloody crash, but how bad was it? Bloody? Was this Yes.

[00:19:24] Alison: It really was that bad. It, I had forgotten about it. And after I saw that section of the movie, I said, how could I have forgotten a bit about this? And went and looked at the foot and it was actually, she needed stitches in her leg.

There was blood on the ice and there was question as to whether she was even going to skate the long program. Mm-hmm. So it was as serious as they do make it out to be.

[00:19:48] Jill: Well, well wait. Okay. So I also went looking for this as well because I couldn’t, and I, and they did say, oh, it sounded like she needed about three stitches.

And I know there was blood on the ice, [00:20:00] but it wasn’t like her whole shin was gassed.

And, you could almost see the blood spurting out in.

[00:20:12] Film Buff Fran: Yeah, I wouldn’t think from her limping as badly as she was the day before. She would be all better with seemingly no treatment. I. In time for her Olympic performance and when they summoned her to the ice for the her Olympic gold medal performance, why was she still in the dressing room?

That doesn’t happen. You’re right next to the ice. Like that’s kind of stuff was like, ah, it’s so lazy. I mean, did anybody who knew. Knows about what goes on. No kissing cry, nothing. No ice skating pur, no crowd clapping, like nothing. No. And little, little skaters picking up the flowers and the, bobs and the Liam, or stuffed animals.

I mean, bummer and figure skaters

[00:21:03] Alison: wearing their skates at all times. There was a lot of walking around the rink in their skates and walking around backstage, and I’m saying to myself, this woman is not at one point when Oksana is first meeting Galena, the wife of the coach brings over a cup of tea to Galena wearing her skates.

[00:21:24] Film Buff Fran: Oh, is that the wife of the coach? The woman with the mushroom hair. Katya. That was his wife. That was, well

[00:21:31] Alison: the woman who worked with him, yes. Was his wife. Oh, okay. I just made the assumption that that’s who that was supposed to be. Oh, okay. The other thing also unrealistic. What was Oksana wearing in practice, like everybody else is in like sweaters and sweatpants and she has full-blown costumes on,

[00:21:51] Film Buff Fran: I thought it was dress rehearsal. But why was

[00:21:54] Alison: everybody else not in that dress rehearsal? Yeah. ’cause they do a dress rehearsal. But, [00:22:00] and also speaking of costumes, Soviet, Ukraine, French teachers had access to some very high quality fabric to make their daughter’s costumes. She did those costumes that the mother was making.

Look like Vera Wang special, and they were very, very expensive, fancy fabrics, and not just on hers, on all of the girls. And I’m thinking, yes, everybody makes their own dresses. That was a nice thing, but the elaborate quality of that was a little

[00:22:33] Film Buff Fran: questionable. Yeah, I needed more Olympics. I needed something, not just a, picture at the front of a snowy village that said Lillehammer.

Oh, the stock

[00:22:46] Jill: footage. The stock footage that drew for. Lillehammer and for Prague, where the worlds were. Oh well I was losing it anyway through the whole movie, but that just got me. But I mean, really they probably could not film anything that looked Olympic ’cause maybe they could not get access to a hockey stadium, like where the penguins would play because it was probably too expensive.

And if you went out into the arena, like when we saw. They actually showed audience for what? the national competition, or was it the one before? it was just like people were in a. A hockey rink. That was where the kids

[00:23:25] Film Buff Fran: would play like a barn. Yeah. Yeah. It was disappointing.

I mean, looking at other movies that we’ve seen, like, the Tonya Harding story, you know, or Eddie Dal or some of the other ones that portrayed them, building up to their Olympic moments, you know, and then you see this movie and you’re like, oh, well, her Olympic movement moment, I.

Was not even shown. So that was kind of a disapp disappointment. She did it though. I did it,

[00:23:57] Alison: mama. But it was a nice way to end it. The way [00:24:00] that they did with it was the real Oksana performing that. That’s one like short program, which is still one of the best short programs ever.

[00:24:10] Film Buff Fran: No, I’m glad they included her in the end because I thought that was a really good way to end it, because it just shows you her artistry and how good she really was.

[00:24:20] Jill: But you know, if you finish last, it does not make a difference.

[00:24:24] Alison: Oksana. Oksana, have fun.

[00:24:29] Film Buff Fran: SOksana And what about Yuri? What happened to Poor Yuri? Poor Yuri,

[00:24:36] Alison: I do not know what happened to Yuri.

[00:24:38] Jill: Yuri also, did miss like a couple of minutes because I was trying to back up to, because I could not believe the words I heard coming out of Yuri’s mouth.

They were so stilted and it was almost as if did you get Ukrainian actors who could magically. Shake their accents and sound American, but they’re speaking what English they would be speaking and because it would be stilted, I mean, poor Yuri, it was almost like, wait, where does he come from? What is he doing?

they cut so much, and then by the end when you’re like, okay, we’re getting to the Olympics and we’re spending like five minutes looking at the moon, you’re just like, oh, oh, you ran outta money. And I said to Ben, I know they usually fill shoot films out of order, but did they shoot this one in chronological order and then get to the big part and realize, oh, we have no money to film this, so let’s shove her in the hotel room, have her look at the moon for a while, rewrite this,

[00:25:39] Alison: but she’s talking to mama.

I get,

[00:25:42] Jill: I get it. I get,

but I did, I enjoyed it in a way. Because it was so bad. It was good. But if you wanna say quality of a movie, not the greatest not.

[00:25:57] Film Buff Fran: Yeah.

[00:25:58] Jill: Poor Oksana. [00:26:00] She needs a good

[00:26:01] Film Buff Fran: telling of her life. Go ahead Jill. Start writing the screenplay. Alright, listen.

[00:26:08] Jill: Well, well, Fran, that was, I mean, that was fun. I, I will say it was a fun way to spend it. Afternoon if you go.

[00:26:17] Film Buff Fran: It was fun. No expectations. I love, I think the grandmother on the ice was my favorite scene. Because she went from barely holding on and gripping that poor kid for dear life to like, almost doing like, jumps on, the ice and, and cajoling the poor little girl to come.

And the kid kept on falling on her, took us. it wasn’t a very graceful start to her ice skating career. That’s the way she started out.

[00:26:44] Alison: Babushka said, come Oksana, come Oksana.

[00:26:49] Jill: Have fun. Well, I will say if you follow us on Twitter, you might be seeing a few screenshots of Coach Galena with Her Dazed looks, her arch eyebrow. I did a lot of screen capping

almost immediately, I wish we could’ve done this. Like D V D commentary style

[00:27:08] Film Buff Fran: and just Oh, like mystery theater 2000. Yeah. Yeah. We would’ve been brutal. I think it would’ve gotten a little ugly.

[00:27:16] Alison: Maybe for the patrons.

We’ll do it again.

[00:27:22] Jill: Alright, Fran, what do we have next?

[00:27:25] Film Buff Fran: So up next we have the movie called Over the Limit, and this is the story of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics team from 2016.

[00:27:35] Jill: I’m looking forward to this because as a documentary, I think it will probably reinforce what we think about the Russian system and not the Americanized version of the Russian system that we saw here.

[00:27:49] Film Buff Fran: I love rhythmic gymnastics as well, so this should be really, hopefully an interesting kind of insider’s look into what it takes, especially from that, [00:28:00] point of view.

And we’ll give it a go and see what we think.

[00:28:03] Jill: Excellent. Well, Fran, thank you so much for being here. Fun time as always.

[00:28:07] Film Buff Fran: Thank you guys.

[00:28:09] Jill: Thank you so much, Fran. As we mentioned, the next selection for movie club is over the limit, the 2017 film about rhythmic gymnast, margarita Mamoon. We will have you that we will have that for you toward the end of the year. I’m excited about that because I think the coaching depiction will be slightly more true to life, especially since it’s a documentary.

[00:28:31] Alison: Well, we’ll find out if anybody gets yelled at or things thrown at them,

[00:28:36] Jill: i, I do not see this coach going, margarita, margarita, like it. Do it for

[00:28:41] Alison: your mother. Feel it in your soul.

[00:28:45] Jill: Yeah. No. but it was fun to see hints of Lillehammer 1994. In this film,

[00:28:51] Alison: I’m posting a bang picture.

I will be posting a picture of myself from 1994, so look for that on our Instagram page. Flame Alive Pod.

[00:29:03] Jill: Speaking of Lillehammer, it is time to vote for our historic Olympics for next year, and is always the listeners choose which games we focus on.

So you will be choosing between Shaman 1924, which is the very first winter Olympics. It will be the 100th anniversary of those games next year, sarajevo 1984, which will be 40 th anniversary. And then a Lila Hummer 1994, which is the 30th anniversary. We did a poll on Twitter already in that closed, but you can go to our Facebook group. Keep the Flame Alive podcast group. And also on the page, correct? Yes, there are polls there. You can cast your vote.

We’re gonna leave voting open until the 10th of September. So get there and cast your vote. How is it going overall? It

[00:29:51] Alison: is very tight. the top two right now are 94 and 24, and they’re only separated by two votes.

So every [00:30:00] vote counts right now,

[00:30:01] Jill: right? Do you want us to go with the OG games, or do you want us to go to one of the most beloved games of all time? Lila Hummer. This is close. It is tight.

[00:30:12] Alison: It’s gonna come down to the finals. Oh.

[00:30:14] Jill: Also another big announcement. We are excited to announce that we will be at a Lim Pins 2023 memorabilia show. This will take place October 13th through the 15th at the hotel M D R in Marina Delrey, California. So if you are in Southern California, please stop on by the show. We would love to meet you and maybe you will be able to get your hands on our 2024 pin.

I’m excited to get

[00:30:40] Alison: my hands on the 2024 pin. I haven’t seen them yet, so this is gonna be cool. I’ve seen the design, but not the final product. We will be there with our fancy table. Mm-hmm. And some toys we got at Beijing. And microphones. And microphones. Yep. We will absolutely be there and we’d love to say hi in person.

TKFLASTAN Update

[00:31:00] Alison: Welcome to Shuk Stan.

[00:31:05] Jill: Now it’s the time of the show where we check in with our Team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show and listeners who make up our citizenship of Shuk, Stan we have a ton of results. I know

[00:31:17] Alison: World Athletic Championships has just been.

the gift that keeps on giving. Deanna Price got third in the hammer throw, and that’s huge for her because she’s been suffering through a lot of illness and injury the past two

[00:31:28] Jill: years. I was so excited to see this. I was so excited that she was excited and that her coach slash husband we’re so excited.

I mean, they are thrilled that the setbacks. We’re just hopefully all in the past and that she looks healthy now. So I know

[00:31:44] Alison: we just want a healthy Olympics for Deanna. Right? ’cause that has not happened

[00:31:48] Jill: yet. Right.

Race Walker. Evan Dunphy got fourth in the 35 kilometer. He also got a season’s best time with that. And he said he was in the mix for the medals, but his [00:32:00] hamstringing flared up with.

Three kilometers to go and he just couldn’t hang in there and try to nab that podium’s place. He was disappointed, but y. He’s had some ups and downs. He’s been very frank on social media about this, and it’s been very interesting to see the wide range of emotions that can happen because he’s happy, but a season’s best.

He’s kind of relieved that he still gets funding, which is huge. That was also on the line if he did not perform well. but I think it’s frustrating too. Want to be on the podium and just not be able to get there quite yet. Yeah. He’s had a lot of

[00:32:36] Alison: fourths in big mm-hmm. Races, and that’s the always a bridesmaid frustration that mm-hmm.

He feels, mm-hmm. but we’re proud of him.

[00:32:45] Jill: We’re proud of him. We’re excited for him. Yes.

[00:32:47] Alison: Katie Moon tied for gold in the pole vault. She and Australia’s Nina Kennedy could have had a jump off, but they decided it was actually not safe for them. They both posted about that they were feeling quite fatigued and concerned about injury.

So they had cleared 4.9 meters, but they failed at. All three attempts at 4.95, so they are co world champions.

[00:33:12] Jill: Also very nice and . Katie Moon, a second year with more controversy on social media of a lot of armchair athletes, wondering why they didn’t have a jump off and she having to explain it sounded like it was very hot and humid in Budapest.

You don’t see how the heat affects you when you’re sitting at home, maybe in your air conditioning. So that was really interesting to see her have to educate people again on this is the situation and this is why we did what we did, because there were a lot of people calling for, no, you should have a jump off in one.

One Champion. We don’t like these tie gold medals just because you decide you don’t want to jump anymore, but. Like she and Nina both said [00:34:00] safety, that was a big deal.

[00:34:01] Alison: they’re not gonna sacrifice their careers for your irritation at a Coke gold medalist. Right. Calm down

[00:34:09] Jill: or life.

[00:34:11] Alison: Yeah. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of those stories that are not cool.

[00:34:14] Jill: Para of Powerlifter, Louise Sugden got sixth in the up to 86 kilometer kilogram class at the para of Power Lifting World Championship. She has achieved her spot in the top eight Paris games rankings. Oh my gosh. She was so thrilled. Yeah, it was so exciting to see this performance from her and it just, it makes me so happy.

’cause she has also gone through a lot.

[00:34:36] Alison: I mean, coming back from some really serious surgery and she had to drop outta Commonwealth last year. And just to see her competing again at all is no joke. I mean, this has not been fun for her, but she did it with such a smile on her face as she always does, and with such joy.

I mean, she’s just so much fun to watch, compete. ’cause she, she loves doing it and it’s clear and that’s why we get excited about this. So, yay Louise.

TKFLASTANI Sean Colahan’s Paris Report

[00:35:01] Alison: And finally this is a little bit of a bonus for everybody today. So, shook Ani, video journalist Sean Callahan, or should I say multi Emmy award-winning.

Sean Callahan just got back from Paris and he stopped by to tell us what the atmosphere is like in the city. He has some great little bits of tips and insights, so take a listen to that.

[00:35:23] Jill: sean Callahan, welcome back. It’s been a while. One of our early shuk Stanis.

You’ve just been on vacation in Paris, bonger Bon. Sure. What, what do you see? What was going on? Tell us all about

[00:35:37] Sean Colahan: it. Well, from an Olympic standpoint, you could see there was doing a a lot of I wanna say construction, but renovations.

There was a lot of stuff and they were posting, saying, Hey, we’re making this nicer because we have the Olympics coming up. You did see that around a lot of the central tourist district. There was a few train lines closed. I don’t know if that was just for normal maintenance or if they were being heavy this [00:36:00] summer, so that next summer they didn’t have any maintenance.

So that, that was tough to tell. But in like the public spaces in some of the parks in the, like the central tourist districts along the San, you did see. Stuff, being renovated and it, they had placards on saying, Olympics is coming, sorry for the inconvenience right now.

I think there was even, yeah, I think even a section near the Eiffel Tower, they were, getting spruced up.

[00:36:23] Jill: and we’re talking mid-August

[00:36:26] Sean Colahan: 2023. This was literally a week, two a weeks ago the only place I really saw the rings, we were actually in a cab coming across town, and I, I spotted them the Paralympic at the Olympic logo.

And I was looking on my maps, like, what is that building? Because, every building in, in downtown Paris looks amazing. And it was actually the city hall, they had big rings and the Paralympic logo in front, people would take the pictures, the selfies.

And then over near the Eiffel Tower, they had a countdown clock. And a flame that, people can take pictures with.

[00:36:56] Alison: Alright. They just, at one year ago, they launched the official countdown

[00:37:00] Sean Colahan: clock.

The Grand Palai was also closed for renovations in preparations for the games. But yeah, you could see there was activity going across the city.

I did find a swag store. I figured it’s the Olympics, they love their merchandise.

I figured there had to be something built up. And so I, I did some searching on their website and found they had two stores, went to one of ’em. You know, your basics. I’m sure they’re going to increase what you can get exponentially. But yeah, there was a constant flow of people in and out of that store, including myself.

how to get myself some pins. what did

[00:37:33] Jill: you walk away

[00:37:33] Sean Colahan: with? I’m a basic person. I go for the pins. they had some there

[00:37:37] Alison: are the fridges better in person?

[00:37:40] Sean Colahan: It’s interesting. They had, they had, they had about every plush size, from key chain to, body size of the mascot. the, all the mascots have had, definitely a, uh, unique look to ’em. So, oh, par for the course.

[00:37:54] Jill: Parlay for the

[00:37:55] Alison: course.

Whereabouts

[00:37:59] Jill: did [00:38:00] you stay?

[00:38:01] Sean Colahan: We were in a a beautiful hotel in like a little residential neighborhood. About 15 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, but it was in a, I said it wasn’t touristy. It was nice and quiet. So it was a, a lovely section to stay in near the metro. We could watch it, we could walk to the Eiffel Tower.

And yeah, it was taking our daughter to France for the first time and she loved it. And the first time she saw the Eiffel Tower was grinning from ear to ear. So giddy.

[00:38:23] Jill: what would you recommend from your travels for those people who are going and want to see other stuff besides the Olympics? what else did you do?

[00:38:33] Sean Colahan: we did some of the museums. It’ll be tough, knowing what the access was. We went to the MUE lingerie, which is where the water lilies of Monet are. That is gonna be right, that’s right next to the pla Concord where I think they’re gonna have Oh, wow. The three on three going to what they should see, thinking about that.

The venues are gonna be amazing. They’re gonna be iconic. Being at the Eiffel Tower and be like, they’re gonna have the beach volleyball in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The visuals are gonna be stunning. TaeKwonDo and the Ground pal. Amazing. I mean, having the break dancing, the three on three basketball, I, there’s one or two Ls others that mean the pasta concord.

Yeah. B M X, this that’s right. The settings are gonna be fantastic, and let alone whatever they decide to do With the opening ceremony, we did a cruise down the river, and all I could think about is this is gonna be epic in terms of the visuals, the uniqueness of it. So I, definitely think, just Paris is beautiful For anyone who hasn’t been to the city, go, go in a non-Olympic year.

Like the Olympics changes the city, just with the venues, the traffic the coordination. It’s not gonna feel the same during the Olympics. It’s gonna be amazing. But the feel of the city is definitely gonna it’s gonna be incredible.

even anyone watching at home I think will. Get a feel for this and [00:40:00] you know what the Parisians are doing in France for the venues is I think gonna be iconic. Anything that

[00:40:06] Jill: people should skip

[00:40:07] Alison: the

[00:40:08] Sean Colahan: Louvre. Really? Yes. I wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for my daughter wanting to see the Mona Lisa.

It is. It’s too crowded. I mean, even with time tickets. you can’t enjoy anything. You can’t, we were trying to get to the Mona Lisa. It’s, it’s packed, but there’s all this amazing artwork in there and you can’t, it’s too crowded to enjoy it.

The only part of the LUV you can get is the, basically the further away from the Mona Lisa you get the less crowded it gets. So we actually were in some sections that just felt like a normal art museum. There were people there, but you could move around. You could stop, but. There are these grand halls you go to through with amazing works of art and you just, it just too, you can’t enjoy it.

And, we were at the Mosse lingerie, there were people there, you know, it was a time ticket. There were people there, but you could be in the rooms with Monets water lilies, you, there was a lot of other people, but you could enjoy ’em. You could stop, you could look at ’em.

You could even sit down on the bench. I just feel like, half of the Louvre. What the, yeah, Mona Lisa is and the Venus de Milo statue. overcrowded unfortunately.

[00:41:09] Alison: How many baguettes and croissants did you have? Well,

[00:41:13] Sean Colahan: I haven’t eaten carbs since 2019 except for the past nine days in

[00:41:18] Alison: France.

I don’t only,

[00:41:22] Sean Colahan: I don’t usually eat bread except when in France, so

Boku. Yeah.

[00:41:28] Alison: It’s good,

but

[00:41:32] Sean Colahan: all the wine, oh, all the French wine we drank was, it was so inexpensive too. It’s like we’re looking at, we’re looking at the menus. We’re like four euros for a glass of, Bordeaux.

[00:41:42] Alison: So from your cameraman’s eye, I know you’re saying a lot of the venues are iconic. What excites you the most and what scares you the most as to what can go wrong?

[00:41:51] Sean Colahan: the opening ceremony is gonna be logistically difficult. It’s a river, but I think they can pull it off. they wouldn’t have done [00:42:00] that if they didn’t have some idea. And I think it’s just gonna be, Nothing we’ve ever seen before. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a trip down the river.

You just, it’s like Notre Dame, the Louvre, the mue Dorse, the grand palette. it’s so visual and the fact that so many more people are gonna get to experience it than normally would get to an experience, an opening ceremony. I think it’s gonna be one that people remember. I think the venue wise, beach volleyball.

How can you have a location more iconic than the Eiffel Tower that is instantly recognizable around the globe? And to have that event taking place in the shadow of it. Like nothing we’ve ever seen before. And I said, I think it, just being so instantly recognizable.

[00:42:44] Jill: What are you excited about watching next year? Presumably

[00:42:49] Sean Colahan: if you have, I’m excited watching YouTube

[00:42:51] Alison: travel around Paris on transportation.

I’m gonna be sitting there with my popcorn. How you gonna do today?

I think that’s kind of how a lot of people felt after a couple of experiences listening to I think

[00:43:12] Sean Colahan: you guys should get air tags. And give the and give the patrons the link to watch

[00:43:19] Alison: a special Kickstarter fee. There you go. There you go. It’s funny you say that because my husband did have an air tag for me.

And a couple of times I did get a text. Are you okay?

It’s like, yeah, I’m fine. I just, somewhere,

[00:43:35] Sean Colahan: my, I think any of the events that are gonna be outside, amongst the city, I mean, gymnastics is always a big thing. Swimming’s always a big thing. Those are gonna be inside arenas.

Yeah. They’ll show the bump shots of the outside of the stadium or the arena, whatever. But I think it’s gonna be like your B M X, your break dancing your beach volleyball. The ones that are amongst the city and outside [00:44:00] where from the camera shots that you can just kind of get a feel who you are.

I think that’s what’s gonna be really cool to watch.

[00:44:08] Jill: When you were doing your boat, Tour down the sun, would you, did you look at the water and think I would swim in that?

[00:44:14] Sean Colahan: I didn’t think that, I mean, I’d just gotten off a, an overnight flight too, so I was a little, I, I mean, there, there was no thought. I never like went, looked at it and like, let me go swimming there or not, and just,

[00:44:25] Jill: What was the weather like for you?

[00:44:28] Sean Colahan: Perfect. Oh,

[00:44:30] Alison: yay.

[00:44:32] Sean Colahan: Yeah, it was like seventies, sunny, like I was wearing slacks and a t-shirt and just not hot. Nice. So yeah, we hit it perfectly in terms of the weather. Nice. Nice. You know, eating at cafes every night, outside.

[00:44:50] Jill: And that’s probably good that they have calmer weather this year.

So that people don’t necessarily talk about it so

[00:44:57] Sean Colahan: much. Yeah. I mean, I think they did have a heat wave, but I think that was more in the south of France and South Southern Europe. But. yeah, we hit amazing weather, so hopefully that, hopefully they have the same weather for the Olympics.

[00:45:09] Jill: Did you go anywhere else in France, Sean?

[00:45:12] Sean Colahan: We went to the beautiful mountain town of Choi. Home of the very first Olympics and I was trying to figure out where they went skiing.

Being the skier myself for the Olympics. So I’ll definitely be interested to see. This is a plug for you guys to cover that.

But no, it was, literally storybook beautiful. I fell in love with the town. I’ve done a lot of skiing and so just being in the mountains. But these were just, Massive mountains that just went up from the valley and it’s like they took a little neighborhood in Paris and just dropped it in.

Wow.

[00:45:43] Jill: Is there anything there that ha still has some kind of Olympic connection to

[00:45:50] Sean Colahan: it? There is a museum in town that looks like it’s under renovation. You could see I was looking for it and I could find a site and it said it’s closed for renovation. I think they would have stuff in [00:46:00] there from what it looked like I could.

The website wasn’t the greatest. But that’s probably where they had some stuff. And I mean, they even have the, signs in town point to where it is, but it was under, it’s been under renovation, so hopefully that can open up again. I mean, they have some ski jumps there but I don’t think those were what they used if they even had ski jumping in 1926.

So it, it’s tough to tell what, what was used. ’cause even, the tram that went up to near the top of Mont Blanc, what they built back in the day when the Olympics were around is a different, totally, even a different alignment than what they have now. I was trying to, find some stuff myself.

I didn’t have that much time, but I was. It’s definitely like looking around for like what the trail maps were, for skiing distance because it’s a totally different style of skiing than what we’re used to in the in, in the US it’s just all very big and broad and you skiing, you ski between ski areas as opposed to just being locked into one.

So it was, just trying to find that information to kind of match it up with what we were seeing in the summertime. But, It would’ve definitely been a, pretty one to, see.

It was interesting that the quickest way to get to Shaman was actually go through Switzerland.

[00:47:07] Jill: Oh, really? Yeah.

[00:47:09] Sean Colahan: we took the TG V to Geneva from Paris, and then we hopped on a bus.

But it’s like an hour away by bus from Geneva. It’s that. It’s pretty close. Wow.

[00:47:18] Jill: Do you think that that valley could hold the Olympics again? ’cause they’ve been talking about bidding for 2030.

[00:47:25] Sean Colahan: I mean, I know there’s a bunch of different towns there. It would have to be like a regional one. I mean, ’cause it was crazy know, you saw the sign for like Albertville as well like you take this exit and you go down this road and you get to Albertville.

They would have to be more of a regional, I think, aspect of it, which is how big I, there’s not enough hotels in Shaman. Like the skiing in that spot. I think maybe up the valley comes all the way down to the valley, but most of the skiing you, you take the gondolas of the, trams up a couple thousand vertical feet and then that’s where the ski areas are on the top of the mountain.

And they might have one trail that comes to the bottom. So I think there was some other mountains [00:48:00] further up the valley ’cause you’d want the skiing to come down to the valley to have you stand. For the racing. And I know they do race so it would, be tough to do a mo modern Olympics.

there’s no definitely no women in shaman for any of the arena Sports. Mm-hmm. I don’t know where the closest sliding center is to that. yeah, it would be, I think it’d be super difficult and, not knowing what’s in the region once you get a little bit outside of Shani I don’t know how you would do that.

I just don’t have enough information.

[00:48:26] Alison: Yeah. I think we may be leaning towards Shaman ’cause then we can take a side trip.

[00:48:31] Sean Colahan: Yeah. I, I think you right.

It’s really easy to get to from Paris.

I think it’d be nice and relaxing.

[00:48:38] Alison: And Lizanne is just a. A hop, skip, and a jump in there.

[00:48:41] Sean Colahan: Yes. Yeah, yeah. Just hop on the trains.

You can just do the Olympic circuit. if you’re really feeling up to it, go to Innsbrook. Just keep, stay on the train toward alp. You could scout Milan, Corina while you’re there.

You got two weeks. The trains are efficient. Shani, Innsworth, Milan, Cotina. Oh, might as well hit Torino while you’re there too. Yeah,

[00:49:03] Alison: just we have our new, I just filled you two

[00:49:05] Jill: weeks out. Right? We have our new Olympic travel agent

[00:49:09] Alison: now

[00:49:09] Jill: games travel with Sean

[00:49:11] Alison: Callahan, tour director Extraordinaire. Yeah.

[00:49:15] Jill: Oh, well thank you. Yes.. You welcome. My pleasure.

All of these shuk stanis are getting ready for Paris 2024. And so are we. The Summer Olympics and Paralympics are less than a year away, and we are hard at work getting ready to bring you the best stories you can’t get anywhere else. I’m sorry, I, I just think are, are. Toilet problems are not. Is that really the best

[00:49:40] Alison: stories?

Well, as Sean said, he’s gonna sit on the couch and listen to what adventures we have in Paris. I mean, this is a whole other level because now in Beijing we didn’t have a lot of people around, and yet, somehow we managed to find trouble. Imagine what I can do on a crowded metro system.[00:50:00]

[00:50:01] Jill: It is gonna be fun. Oh boy. But, It’s only gonna be fun if we can get there and we really need your help to make this trip happen. It’s an expensive endeavor. We will be there for, two months, basically doing a lot of preparation, long days and, it’s a very expensive endeavor. So later this fall we will be launching a Kickstarter.

And the last time you all really came through for us and oh my gosh, we really could not have done in Beijing. Without you, because that was a trip. Thank you. Covid restrictions. But Paris will be expensive in its own way. so we’ll have a Kickstarter fundraiser for that with exciting supporter giveaways.

I’m thrilled with what we’re coming up with, so look forward to that. In the meantime, you can become a Patreon patron and get bonus episodes about Paris 2024 and rules changes that you will notice and how there’s some sports that will have significant changes next year.

So you can learn all about that now and get ready. You can give back to your favorite Olympic and Paralympic podcast@flamealivepod.com slash support.

Doping Update

[00:51:08] Jill: No, just a little update from, A Today’s Christina Brennan, she broke that. The 2022 US Olympic figure skating team sent a letter to the court of arbitration for sport to request an observation seat at the closed hearing of Camilla Eva, which is set for September 26th through 29th.

Oh boy. So at least we have a date for this hearing.

[00:51:40] Alison: Finally, 475 years later. Right?

[00:51:44] Jill: So that’s next step in the process. Have not heard back whether or not Cass will let somebody into this, but obviously the teams are frustrated and would like some closure on this.

Paris 2024 Update

[00:51:57] Jill: [00:52:00] Ula La

[00:52:04] Alison: Bonte,

[00:52:05] Jill: your du lingo is going well.

[00:52:08] Alison: I am working hard because I am gonna be on the metro and goodness knows where I’m gonna end up, so I better be able to ask ey the stadium.

[00:52:23] Jill: what you need to know is Uwe, she. Netherlands because the team NL house has been announced. It will be in Park de la Ette in Northern Paris. And so that’s a huge park.

And it sounds like a lot of hospitality houses will be there. They will be ticketed because Team Netherlands house is a high demand house.

It also has a reputation as being a big party, so I. Could be exciting. Ticket prices have yet to be announced, so if you’re going and Team Netherlands house is on your list, get a ticket in advance so that you can make sure you can get in on the day you want.

If there are still day of tickets available, they will be on sale online, but don’t expect that to happen. They will be open for both the Olympics and Paralympics. Are you planning to go? Yeah, because the

[00:53:17] Alison: Dutch King might be there. I.

[00:53:18] Jill: Oh, that’s right. Ho ho. Oh,

[00:53:24] Alison: you forget how much I love there. That royal

[00:53:27] Jill: family. Well, you know what, we should make a royalty bingo card for you so you can check off like, did I were the royals in attendance from, just name your country. Will they be

[00:53:38] Alison: there? Princess Ann Queen Maxima.

Crown Princess Mary. I have a whole list of people I wanna see Prince. Their security will never let me near anywhere near them. That’s fine, but I’ll see them from a distance and I will be hitting that curtsy. I promise you Royal Families, I know how to curtsy.

[00:53:57] Jill: [00:54:00] We have the official one year to go celebration for the Paralympics. Paris announced the session schedule so that you can start planning for what tickets you want to buy. Tickets go on sale October 9th, as do hospitality packages, so that will be exciting. Day before tickets go on sale.

Paris will celebrate its second Paralympic day this year. It will be a. It will have numerous sport demonstrations, including one from Shuk, Ani Archer, Matt Stutzman. I hope that, I hope they

[00:54:34] Alison: do something like he has to hit the apple.

[00:54:37] Jill: Oh, I’m sure they

[00:54:38] Alison: will. Let’s, let’s play it up. Let’s, go whole hog into this.

[00:54:42] Jill: N B C has released its broadcast plans for the Paralympics, so I am excited. Yet I have a little bit of trepidation with this. They are planning over 140 hours of television coverage. This will be on N B C U S A and C N B C U SS A is gonna be your main network for the Paralympics. They will head the live coverage of the competition day.

N B C coverage, not so much. They’re gonna have just nine hours of coverage on N B C. Six of those will be in primetime. They’re gonna focus on top stories and moments of the games, as well as athlete profiles and interviews. So if you want that kind of stuff, look for N B C. It. I am bummed about this because for people who get over the air television still, or.

And I know a lot of people do streaming, but it really sounds like they’ve cut exposure to the Paralympics for a section of audience, whether or not it’s big. I dunno.

[00:55:50] Alison: Yes. And in general though, N B C has cut sports other than, you know, kind of the [00:56:00] big time American sports. From, its. Main network overall.

So if you wanna see anything but football or, baseball, you gotta go to Peacock or one of their sister channels. It’s just kind of what they’re doing with sports.

[00:56:18] Jill: Speaking of that peacock there will be over 1500 hours of live streaming on Peacock through U NBCUniversal. This is planned to include every sport on the Paralympic program, which that I’m excited about because last time, and we talked about this with Alexis Schafer, that they did not have three sports in Tokyo because they were not broadcast at all for anybody.

And we had a lot of feed beefs then

[00:56:47] Alison: we did. It was a lot of. for Tokyo it was very difficult being able to watch things we knew about and wanted to watch, nevermind just discovering it.

[00:56:57] Jill: Right? So hopefully this means fewer feed beefs for all of you. 1500 hours is a lot. So I’m excited about that.

It balances out the N B C coverage, but I do feel like N B C is downplaying. The Paralympics in a way that they’re missing some exposure to somebody, I, I don’t know is NBC’s audience old and they think, oh, these people don’t wanna watch it. But you know, that’s something you watch with your grandkids.

Maybe I.

[00:57:27] Alison: I don’t know. It just, it feels like everything else with television, we’re getting so segmented. Mm-hmm. And it’s making it more difficult for that discovery. You know what we talk about when we were kids, we both kind of stumbled upon the television coverage, and that’s not how the next generation is discovering the Paralympics.

I think they’re discovering it through social media and then seeking it out so that the athletes themselves are now burdened with. Creating stories that then people [00:58:00] wanna watch them. But on the flip side, you’ve got people like hunter Woodhall and Chuck Aoki, who are becoming social media darlings and getting the exposure.

N B C is also doing a lot of stuff on the Today Show. Yes. So rather than focusing on. Airing the sports themselves. They’re focusing on the athletes and their stories and trying to hook people that way. ’cause Chuck was on the Today Show. Nice. So I’m, I think they’re trying a very, very different approach, which I’m glad to see because the approach the past two times has not been working to get enough new fans to the Paralympics.

So they’re going with, let’s hook it with the people. ’cause that’s what we, we love the sports and the people. And if you can hook it with the people and then get people to watch wheelchair rugby. I’m with you. Let’s try a new approach.

[00:58:56] Jill: Well, we will see how this works. What else is exciting?

Okay, so every event is gonna be closed caption. There’s gonna be audio descriptions of all linear programming, so that’s good. They’re keeping up that accessibility factor that we saw in Tokyo, which was really awesome. But for the first time, they will have onsite hosts. They will also be bringing the largest onsite reporter crew they’ve had yet at a Paralympics outstanding.

So I am very hopeful that we will see Carolyn Mano again. She was great. The fact that they’re gonna be on site this time, Makes a difference.

[00:59:30] Alison: They’re gonna, they’re gonna be sitting in Stanford. Mm-hmm. Stanford is lovely. Don’t get me wrong. We know from our own experience being there, you are able to share something very different with the audience.

[00:59:42] Jill: It’ll also be interesting to see how many Olympics hosts and reporters will be on site this time, because the whole well, We cut back for Tokyo, we cut back for Beijing.

Partially forced, but then partially because, oh, look at this. We [01:00:00] don’t need to have onsite people anymore because we’ve got technology and we’ve talked about how that, that you lose something with that. Right.

[01:00:09] Alison: And Ali told us though, that when he’s covering something, he is watching the monitor.

[01:00:15] Jill: I know, but you still get that.

You still get that energy. Yes, and the crowd reaction, and it’s just different because television flattens things out in a way that it doesn’t happen on in live.

[01:00:28] Alison: And we will be available to give Height perspectives on everything. ’cause I’ll just stand next to people and send a picture because I am five foot flat.

It is very easy to say, is this one, Alison is this one? And a,

so I’ll let you know how tall people are. Excellent. It’s the sh lesi measuring system. We have metric Imperial and sh lesi.

[01:00:53] Jill: Okay. And then eventing had an operational test event at Versailles, and according to a Horse and Hound magazine, it went well. Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so they do have to be careful how with how they manage the event and everything has to be kind of just so, and it has to go back to being the same way it was beforehand.

The cross country course is going to feature two pontoon crossings Oh my gosh. I have just found like five things I wanna learn about when it comes to eventing in the cross country course. The pontoons feature a series of tanks which are filled to with water and sunk to a specified level. The structures anchored to the base of the canal.

The surface of the pontoon has matting and sand footing for the horses. This is intense.

[01:01:45] Alison: I think we’ll be fine as long as they don’t try and decorate the course the way they did in Tokyo with that terrifying sumo

[01:01:54] Jill: wrestler’s bottom. That was show jumping. That was show jumping, not eventing. I’m still saying.[01:02:00]

that seems to work well. The horses were able to go over it with no problems. So that is good to hear that things are going well in the equestrian field.

And that is going to do it for this week. Let us know what you remember from Lillehammer 1994.

[01:02:18] Alison: You can connect with us on Twitter slash x and Instagram at Flame Live Pod. Email us at Flame Alive pod@gmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8. Flame it. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive Podcast group on Facebook.

And don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episode. You can sign up for that@flamealivepod.com.

[01:02:50] Jill: And do not forget to vote in our Facebook poll to choose what our Winter Olympics. History moment will be next year. Next week, we will be talking with author Steven Lane about his new book, Long Run to Glory, the story of the First Olympic Women’s Marathon in 1984. So get excited about that. Thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive.