The Winter Youth Olympic Games 2024 has come to a close and the digital flame has been turned off. We run through the second week of competition, including feed beefs (or a lack thereof) and results from:
- Alpine Skiing
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Figure Skating
- Freestyle Skiing
- Ice Hockey – including why USA and Canada did not field women’s teams in these Games
- Nordic Combined
- Short Track Speed Skating – the mixed relay was a lot of fun!
- Speed Skating
- Closing Ceremony
The USA topped the medal table in terms of the overall medal count, but Italy went home with the most golds (a precursor to Milan-Cortina 2026?), and South Korea had the best-ever showing for a host nation at a Youth Olympic Games.
It’s been a big news week for the Olympics! First off, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) released its ruling on the Kamila Valieva doping situation from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which only took 721 days.
CAS ruled that Valieva did indeed dope, and she will face a four-year ban effective on the date of the doping, December 25, 2021 (ending in 2025, ahead of the next Winter Games).
That ruling changes the results of the team figure skating competition from Beijing 2022, the reawarding of points and medals falls to the International Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union…..and the ISU decided that USA would get moved up to gold, Japan up to silver….and Russia would drop down to bronze, due to losing the points Valieva contributed to the competition.
We explain how the ISU’s decision is possible–and who’s not happy because of it. More appeals are likely in the offing, but they will not affect the new gold and silver medal winners. Team USA is already celebrating, and their medal ceremony is still to be determined.
Paris 2024 announced that it will have random ticket drops until the Games begin in order to sell out its remaining 1+ million ticket inventory. The first drop will be on February 8, when the medal design is unveiled.
The end of January brought decision-day for whether the Milan-Cortina 2026 Organizing Committee would commit to building a new sliding track (not IOC-recommended), or if they would put the sliding competitions at a track outside of Italy (IOC-recommended). Guess what they chose? Our slidingnovela lives on!!
In our visit to TKFLASTAN, we have news from:
- Curler John Shuster
- Speed skater Erin Jackson
- Race walker Evan Dunfee
- Nordic combined athlete Annika Malacinski
- Artistic swimmer Jacqueline Simoneau
- Listener David
Also, we unravel a mystery connected with our opening theme–if you’re wondering what’s said after, “They’re all completely gassed! They’ve given it everything on the—” it’s from this race at PyeongChang 2018:
Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!
Image courtesy of Gangwon 2024.
Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.
Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 Week 2 (Episode 322)
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’m your host, Jill Jaris, joined as always by my lovely co host, Alison Brown.
Alison, hello. How are you?
Alison: It’s been a week. It’s been a week. Oh my gosh. I hope, listeners, I hope you’re in for a show. Buckle up, man. We’ve got a ton. We got a lot to go through, so let’s get to getting it.
Jill: Yes. So we have huge news this week. The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced its final decision in the doping case of Kamilia Valieva from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
2026 Bobsled Novella has another installment. Perfect for me. We’ll have all of that later on in the show. But first We have a voicemail from listener Graham with a question about our opening theme. So since you just heard the music, I thought it would be appropriate to
talk about that here. Let’s hear from Graham.
Listener Graham: Hello. Long time. First time. Uh, this is Graham from San Francisco. I’m listening to a backlog to get ready for Paris and this has just been bugging me incessantly and I’ve not been able to find answers anywhere. But in the intro, obviously you have all these snippets of Olympics commentary, but when they say, They’re all completely gassed, they’ve given it everything on the and then he says something and I cannot figure out what it is and I can’t figure out the context, and then it’s then infuriating me.
But if there’s any way that you can, uh, provide some context to that, I would love that, and it would make my listening experience all the better. Thanks so much!
Alison: All right, so, so Graham, you should have called us right off the bat. You didn’t have to do any research. That’s why we are here, Graham.
Jill: So here’s the clip, just isolated in its own so you can hear what it is.
Chad Samela: They’re all completely gassed, they’ve given it everything on the klabo Bakken.
Jill: All right, so that is NBC commentator Chad Samela from the PyeongChang 2018 cross country skiing women’s team sprint when, uh, Jesse Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the historic first ever gold medal for the United States in cross country skiing.
What he is saying is they’re all completely gassed, they’ve given it everything on the Klabo Bakken. Now the Klabo Bakken. Is a nickname that the media people gave to one of the hill or some of the hills at the cross country skis course, and they named it after Johannes Clabo, a Norwegian cross country skier who just dominated and, he would just.
Kill those hills. They were like nothing to him. So, there’s a section just before this clip where all of the skiers are going up this one final pretty steep hill. And that is where Chad Selma is saying they’re all completely gassed. They’ve given it everything on these Johannes Klebo hills that are just.
Incredibly difficult, but he just treated them as if they were nothing. So we will, I will put a clip or a link in the show notes for everybody so that they can see that full clip. The audio is not great, so I didn’t pull it from that, but, , it’s fun to listen to. And as always, thank you, Graham, for calling in because I love watching this clip.
It always makes me cry.
Alison: And Somela says is, here comes Diggins. Which has also become a very famous Olympic soundbite that you’ll hear a lot.
Jill: Right. So, , thank you so much, Graham, for calling in. I hope that answers your question.
Youth Olympic Games – Week 2 Recap
Jill: moving on to Youth Olympic Games, because we are in the second week of those.
They just wrapped up this morning. We watched the closing ceremonies. , Feedbeasts, do you have some?
Alison: I actually don’t have any. I got everything squared away. Logging in solves my things aren’t playing problem. Oh! On Gangwon, uh, 2024. The YouTube feeds were coming up much more quickly in the replays. I mean, the only feed beef I have is there’s a lot of sports we didn’t see.
Jill: A lot of sports we didn’t see. , my feed beef would be because I don’t subscribe to YouTube TV, they would put ads in at the most inopportune times because I think they’re putting in ads, , just by time code of what’s going on. So somebody would be in an approach to a jump at. Figure skating and then all of a sudden we’d get an ad and then you’d go right back to what happened next in the program So that’s problem, but that’s just because I’m not subscribed to them.
So not too bad. Yeah, we aren’t seeing everything I still have a hard time finding stuff to see I got way behind because I was in Canada this past weekend at a friend’s curling party. So I did not get to watch all weekend and was just behind But anyway, not too bad. What is it for a Youth Olympic Games?
They did put a lot of coverage out there.
Alison: They did, and it was pretty good quality of coverage and the announcing, except for finger skating, and we’ll get to that, was very good, very knowledgeable, very informative. So I was pleased with that as well.
Jill: volunteer or officiating job you would want? Oh, I got two.
Alison: And I got them both from the montage video of the closing ceremony. So during these games, there was a lot of snow, a lot of bad weather. There was someone who went and wiped off all the outdoor seating. To dry it off and that would be so satisfying. And then the second job I found also from the video was, and we saw these in Beijing, the volunteers who guided people, but they had like airport lights.
Oh, right. I want one of those little lights and just point and where you’re supposed to go. That would make me so happy. So a rag and a light is all I need. Apparently.
Jill: Well, I wouldn’t mind being a Mongchu handler. That’s always fun job. the one that really struck me was the volunteers who got selected to go on stage during the closing ceremonies and who also seem to be the ones who got to turn the flame off.
So that was cool. We’ll get to that too, but that would be a fun, fun job to be picked for. Alright, uh, let’s get right to it because we got a lot of show today. , Shukla Stanis! We’re in Gangwon.
Alison: They were. So Jason Turdaman was the coach for the U. S. Monobob team. He’s got lots of great pictures on his Instagram account.
And Claire Egan was a WADA Athletes Council rep. So she was there as well.
Jill: Excellent. I just, you know, it struck me in the last couple of days. Oh, we haven’t seen Russia or Belarus here. And nobody’s said anything about this.
Alison: Nothing. Not a word from any announcer on any coverage, which I guess is good because if you’re going to ban someone, let’s ban them.
Jill: but not even a statement really from the IOC. They basically kind of basically said under the radar because we got this from, I know it was republished in Yahoo Canada, but a Ukrainian publication noted that no individual neutral athlete was qualified to participate and that was, uh, you know, code for Russia and Belarus.
So that is why we did not see any of them there at this event. Getting into results, starting with alpine skiing, men’s giant slalom, gold went to Nash Haute Marchand from France, uh, silver went to Zach Garrett Smith from Great Britain, the Garrett Smith boys. bronze went to Austrian’s Florian Neumeier.
You’re going to say those names again. All right. And in the men’s slalom, gold went to Zachary Smith from Great Britain. Silver went to Elliott Westland from Sweden and bronze went to Nash Huot Marchand from France. For the women, gold went to Maja Warschitz from Austria, silver went to Charlotte Grandinger from Germany, and bronze went to Giorgia Colombe from Italy.
Alison: Colombe now has a full set, which is lovely. She ended up with three medals and Grandinger fell in all her other races, so it was really great to see her end up on the podium for this.
Jill: Very nice. And in the mixed team parallel, gold went to Austria, silver went to Sweden, and bronze went to Finland.
Alison: Apparently the Zach Karak Smith cannot carry the entire team on his back.
Jill: Biathlon had one remaining event that was a mixed relay. Gold went to Italy, silver went to France, and bronze went to Czechia. In cross country skiing, in the women’s sprint free, gold went to Elsa. Tanglender from Sweden, silver went to Kasia Johansson from Sweden and bronze went to Nellie Latte Karpelin from Finland.
In the seven meter, in the 7. 5 kilometer classic, gold went to Nellie Latte Karpelin from Finland, silver went to Agatha Margariter from France and Annette Coupat from France won bronze.
Alison: Now this was confusing to me because they did both freestyle and classic. But in the class it, you could skate ski. Huh.
It was very confusing in terms of what the rules are and it was one of those sports that you could only get highlights.
Jill: That’s interesting as well. I wonder if there are places where you’re allowed to skate, like at the end or, , in a turn or something like that.
Alison: Right. And the other big strange thing was that for, , the free style, there were only six competitors in the men’s and the women’s event, respectively.
In the classic, there were over 70 in each division. Wow. So, this whole event, and with no coverage. It was very confusing as to why this was done this way.
Jill: Gotcha. That’s reminiscent of, everybody from all of the small countries who try to get into cross country skiing at the Winter Olympics. So that start list is huge for those two races.
And then the rest ones are Are smaller, but I, I wonder if that’s just how it goes. That’s the race that’s easiest to qualify for. If you want to try to get into the winter games, um, for the men’s sprint free gold went to a Federico potsy from Italy. Silver went to Jakob Elias Moch from Germany and bronze went to Tabor Greenberg from USA.
In the 7. 5 kilometer classic, gold went to Jakob Elias Moch from Germany, silver went to Jonas Muller from Germany, and bronze went to Quentin Lespin from France. In the mixed 4×5 kilometer relay, gold went to Germany, silver went to France, and bronze went to Switzerland.
Over to curling, in the mixed team, gold went to Great Britain, who defeated Denmark, the silver medalists, 7 5, and then Switzerland beat China 10 8 to get the bronze.
Alison: The gold medal match was a humdigger. The British needed an extra end to beat Denmark. It was tight all the way through. And like any good British team, it was four Scots.
Can you imagine being Welsh and wanting to curl? It just, you’re never going to make the national team.
Jill: Don’t never say never.
Alison: They’d probably welcome a Welsh, uh, Welshman faster than an Englishman, so maybe. Dream Cardiff kids.
Jill: In the mixed pairs, gold went to Great Britain, who defeated Denmark 7 to 6.
Denmark took the silver and then bronze went to USA who defeated Sweden 7 to 4.
Alison: This was very interesting to me because most of the pairs, or I should say a good half of the pairs, were different than any of the mixed teams. Oh! They were, so for instance, the Brits, they sent six junior curlers. Nice to the competition.
I guess if you had them, the USA did the same thing. So obviously Nigeria only sent four, but when you had a big team, they sent more people to get more experience. But two people who competed in both the mixed team. And the pairs were the Danish pair of Katrine and Jakob Schmidt. Yes, they are brother and sister.
Their coach is their dad, Ulrich Schmidt, who is the former skip of the Danish men’s team. He competed in 2002 and 2010. And their mom is Lisa Richardson, who was also on the Danish Olympic team. For curling in 2002. So did they have a choice?
Jill: I’m sure, I’m sure the, the answer would be yes, they have a choice and they chose curling.
Alison: Well, I mean, they’ve been curling since they were in utero, quite literally. Uh, they show Lisa pregnant with the kids. And some, some short shots, you can get those because of course they were talking about this, but there were a lot of parent coaches in curling interest, which on the one hand is nice because then obviously they’re doing it together as a family, but that can cause.
All kinds of
Jill: things. Mm hmm. It can. That relationship can be tough. It can be good, but it also can be tough. But, uh, nice to see that. We’ll be looking for them at the, I, I, I’m with all of these close matches on the curling, curling in the next couple Winter Olympics is going to be super exciting.
Alison: And for the Brits, , Eva Muirhead retired so that whole team is going to be reconfigured.
So we may see some of these very young girls coming up to the national team, which would be great.
Jill: Moving on to figure skating, we had the pairs competition. Gold went to Annika Benke and Kole Sav from Canada. Silver went to Kayla Smith and Jared McPike from USA. And bronze went to Carolina Sean Campillo and Paolo Vieja from Spain.
Alison: Oh, dear Lord. This figure skating competition.
Jill: I was wondering what you were going to say about it.
Alison: Okay, well, let’s start with It’s supposed to be a junior competition. Mm hmm. That’s questionable, because you had a lot of people who are barely at the junior level. The pairs competition had four pairs.
Jill: That’s not good.
Alison: Right. you’re not even getting, you know, world junior grand prix level of competition. At least in the pairs, dance, women’s, much better, men’s, what you would expect at a junior level. But you are not getting. Um, really high level juniors coming to this. And I don’t know if that will change with the new age requirements that the FIG has put in.
You know, they’re, they’re raising the age for international competition. The problem is that countries like U S and Canada are not raising their age for seniors. So the U S championships, for instance, were also on last week. You still had 14 and 15 year olds competing at the senior level. Interesting. So are they going to send those very young seniors to some of these junior level international competitions?
Jill: My guess would be no. And I, and I wondered who would go to this because U. S. national figure skating championships were also this past weekend.
Alison: Right. And. Worlds are not that far away. Europeans were only about two weeks ago. The Four Continents is coming up. So a lot of the high level juniors are Not going to this and in the pairs.
It really really showed. Oh, well, we’ll get to the announcing when we get to the women
Jill: I will let you know that I was only able to watch the team competition and I will say like When I I watched it in stages I didn’t watch it live and I flipped on and I saw two pairs and like oh I missed the other pairs Not realizing that the whole competition Oh, the whole sport had very little pairs competition.
that was something. I will say that for the men’s singles gold went to Kim from Korea silver went to Adam from Slovakia and bronze went to Lee Yan how from New Zealand. Go Silver Ferns. That’s right. , ice dance, gold went to the French pair. No, I’m not surprised, , France, their tradition, tradition of ice dancing, , Amber Perrier Giancini and Samuel Blanc Klopperman, , Silver went to the U.
S., Olivia Illion and Dylan Kane, Bronze went to Ashley Slatter and Atal Ange Perez from Great Britain.
Alison: This is where you saw the widest variety in skill levels because some of the pairs, Olivia Illin and Dylan Kane were 14 and 15 years old. And poor
Jill: Dylan has not had a growth spurt yet. He looks so much younger than he is.
Alison: And then also the Italians were 14 years old and they looked like children. And then the other pairs are 16 and 17, and they look, especially the French pair, they’re a very high level junior. They look like adults. So there’s that wide gap.
Jill: Right. And I noticed that in the French, or in the team competition with the French team.
This looked like the stepping stone for them to go up to the senior level. And that’s one of the moments where I thought, Oh, the youth Olympic games is a nice place because it is a stepping stone or it is the pinnacle of your juniors competition. But like you said, not consistent for. Many of the
Alison: skaters and lots of fallen twizzles.
Jill: Oh boy In the women’s competition gold went to Shimada Mao from Japan Silver went to Shin Jia from Korea and bronze went to take a yo from Japan
Alison: So first you have a lot of women competing again a very wide variety But then the Korean and the Japanese skaters come on And it’s like we started a new competition.
But the funny thing is with the Japanese skaters, these are like the third and fourth highest ranking junior in Japan. Wow. But they were so far in a way with the development in terms of their, their jumping ability, their artistry, all those things, which makes me so excited because I love the Asian style of women’s skating, lots of speed, really beautiful music.
The only problem was the announcers and the constant discussion of these girls bodies. Oh, no. So I’m, I’m calling them out. It’s Graham Bell and Petra Brindle had way too much to say throughout the whole competition, but it really kind of made me a little uncomfortable talking about these very young girls talking about.
Their bodies talking about how developed they were talking about their size
Jill: size as in thin versus fat or just
Alison: Oh, this girl hasn’t developed yet. She still has a little girl’s body. Yeah, we can see that you don’t
very uncomfortable. And they did it with the men in the pairs competition in the ice dance as well. Men, they’re boys. I mean, I
Jill: well, I mean, I wondered that because Um, they do call it a men’s competition, which is, I mean, well, you know, some of them are adults technically in their countries.
Alison: True. But I would prefer they called it boys and girls just to kind of, you know what?
I think they do use the term junior ladies and junior men. So We’ll let that, uh, let that go. But, oh, these announcers are bad. They did not really understand what they were watching. They were not, I mean, they could recognize a triple Lutz versus a triple flip, but so can I. I should not be announcing.
Figure skating competition. It was disappointing for such an important event. I mean, figure skating is one of the crown jewels of any winter Olympics and to have such poor announcing was very disappointing. Wow,
Jill: because I did not mind them as much during the team competition. I think someone
Alison: had talked to them because it did get quieter and quieter as the week went on.
But I want to throw this out here because Mao Shimada is named after Mao Asada. And she skates like her too, who was the 2010 silver medalist. So she was born to do this and she’s a beautiful, beautiful Japanese style. Skater.
Jill: I’m so excited that more, like you say, that more Asian skaters are coming up through the ranks and it’ll be great to see them on the world level because they do that.
I also love seeing the different styles of skating from around the world and we’ll get to that in the team competition a little bit. Um, team gold went to Korea, silver went to USA, bronze went to Canada. Whoa, this was. An amazing event with just five teams overall, so each performance is given. A point value, in Olympic competition, there are 10 teams, so it’s 1 through 10 on the points.
This is 1 through 5. for pairs, only 2 of the teams competed pairs. And that’s not one of the team, the team who won. Yeah, and that’s not the team who won. And at the end of the competition, because the whole way there, , Petra and, Graham were saying, Oh, the U S is going to win basically because they were one of the two teams that fielded the pairs.
And then at the end Korea won and they were like, huh, how did that happen? And they were adding up the points because the U S took second place in all four events of the competition. So they got four points and that time for 16. And it took them a while to understand and realize that teams were allowed to drop their lowest score, which meant that Korea, who got, first place in both the men’s and the women’s singles, that meant five points, and then they got three points for their dance team, and that gave them 13 to the U.
- ‘s 12th.
Alison: having a team competition here was dumb. Yes. Because not only two of these teams can field full teams. So either you take the pairs out of the team event, so that it is in fact an actual team event, or you just, why are we having a team event when you’re not fielding teams?
Jill: Right. And I, and I looked, and they, even the announcers were saying, what, what, what, it’s a shame that Korea could not field a pairs team because they couldn’t qualify one.
But at the same time, when you suddenly learn at the end that you’re allowed to drop your lowest score, well, then you couldn’t field the team. So of course you’re going to drop that and it doesn’t make it fair. I didn’t think that that was a fair option, to be quite honest. If you can’t field
Yeah. Field a team or don’t field a team. And if you can’t field a team, you get a zero.
Jill: And, and no dropping of scores just because you decide to, and I wonder when that rule got put into play.
Alison: Probably for this time around, because there weren’t enough pairs.
Jill: So it was really, it was a shame. I will say, um, that was the first time I had seen Koreans, uh, Korea’s ice dance team.
Who were lovely. Oh my goodness. They were lovely. They were so beautiful and so light and delicate on the ice. Beautiful to watch them. And that made me happy because it was, I think that was the first of me seeing Korean skating in this competition. Like, Oh, Korean skating is coming back. This is going to be great in a few years.
Um, France did so well in the ice dance. That team is also very lovely to watch. There was some good skating, and some skating that would be appropriate to the level of the competition, I thought, but it was just, like you said, a weird event,
Mixed bag. It, yeah, mixed bag on that. There’s a mixed bag later on, and something, something else I watched.
Alison: So, by the way, I do want to throw this out there, so look, figure skating not following its own rules. We’ll say that again later.
Jill: All right, let’s move over to free ski. We have the mixed team ski cross. Gold went to Sweden team two. That was William Jungshin and Alexander Nilsson. Silver went to USA1, which is Walker Robinson and Morgan Chute. And bronze went to Switzerland two, Valentin Lager and Lorenzo Rosset.
Alison: Walker Robinson took a crash like you would not believe in the semifinals.
He was launched off one of those jumps and it looked like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon. He was just flying Spread Eagle in the air. I mean, it was a horrible, horrible crash. I was surprised he got up and was able to ski again and walked away from it. And so when they were interviewing him, this poor kid, you really realized how young he was, was just sobbing and hugging Morgan shoot and just like, I think he was also in pain, which I, you have to watch this crash and it was so emotional for him and so amazing.
It’s one of those Olympic moments where you’re like, Oh, this kid came back and won a medal.
Jill: How did he get from the semis into the finals then?
Alison: Well, because of, uh, Morgan shoots time and the time, uh, over the other girls. Oh, okay. So there was a. It confused me a little bit as well, but Team Cross, you know, it’s multiple races, so that both times count and how you finish matters.
Jill: Um, in the men’s free ski slope style, Gold went to Hendry Townsend of USA. Silver went to Ollie Nichols from Japan and bronze went to Jakob Koskinen from Finland.
Alison: This was definitely one of those times where I wonder about the quality of the competition. But then I remembered we said the same thing about slopestyle at Beijing.
People fall left and right. And the one thing I don’t like about a lot of these free ski and big air and this sort of newer. Uh, events is it seems like a lot of luck. It seems like who can have one good run.
Jill: Oh, interesting. And
Alison: that there’s the consistency is not the key because they don’t add up points.
You just take the best of, okay, the multiple runs. So This is a problem for me for the whole event.
Jill: Which is interesting. It’s just like, well, we know you’re going to crash a few times, so let’s just take your If you get down once in three times, that’ll do it. I wonder how big the course is. Because, , I remember at Beijing looking at the slope style course and just marveling at how huge these jumps were and how high up the course was.
I wonder if they scale it back for a youth Olympics for a more junior level. It’s a little scaled down, especially when, when you’ve got people who are physically, likely physically smaller and haven’t gotten to their full size yet.
Alison: Well, most of these kids were in the 16, 17 because these were the junior.
World championship people. Okay. So this is definitely one of those sports where they have a junior world cup circuit. So going back to what I was saying was Henry Townsend finished 48th at the world junior championships and then ended up winning here because he had a bad day. Charlie Beattie, who’s the world champion, didn’t even have a clean run in the finals.
Wow. So that just seems odd to me in this sport.
Jill: Okay, well, I think it’s something that we watch. We don’t necessarily pay a ton of attention to slope style, so maybe that’s something to watch for 2026. In the women’s free ski slope style, gold went to Flora Tabinelli from Italy, silver went to Han Lin Shan from China, and bronze went to Muriel Moore from Germany.
Alison: Now, this was something that I originally complained about, but then changed my mind. the snowboarders and the skiers in slope dial went down together. So you’d have a, a snowboarder, then a skier and I think it was to keep the competition moving because the scoring was so slow. Mm-Hmm. . So while a snowboarder was going down, the skiing team was still scoring the skiers and vice versa, which made it.
keep moving. There wasn’t a lot of wait time. So that was great. But because I’m not familiar with these kids, I kept getting confused as to who was in which competition. But I think if the Olympics did this, It would actually be kind of cool because you’d keep so much action going during the event.
Jill: Interesting. In the mixed team dual moguls, gold went to USA1, who was Elizabeth Lemley and Porter Huff. Silver went to Korea1, which is Yoon Shin hee and Lee Jung seung. And bronze went to USA2, Abby McLaren and Jaya Cole, Cohen. Interesting. Interesting. In the women’s dual moguls, gold went to USA’s Elizabeth Lemley, silver went to Australia’s Lottie Lodge, and bronze went to USA’s Abbey McLaren.
Alison: Lottie Lodge, one of my favorite names at the competition.
Jill: In men’s dual moguls, gold went to Korea’s Lee Yun Sung, silver went to USA’s Porter Huff, and bronze went to Japan’s Nakamura Takuto. In the men’s freestyle. In the Men’s Free Ski Big Air, gold went to Charlie Beatty from Canada, silver went to Ollie Nichols from Japan, and bronze went to Luke Harold from New Zealand.
Go silver ferns.
And that, so that’s a double silver for Nichols from Japan.
In the women’s free ski Big Air, gold went to Flora Tabinelli from Italy, silver went to Daisy Thomas from Australia, and bronze went to Muriel Moore from, from Germany.
Alison: Made a big deal out of the double gold for Tabinelli because of obviously Milano Cortina coming up very soon.
Jill: In the women’s free ski Half Pipe, gold went to,
liu Yishan from China, Silver went to Chen Zhihan from China and Bronze went to Catherine Gray from USA. Can we talk about this? Cause this is one of the few things I saw. This was a competition that was six women and Korea got an automatic entry , and I, I won’t mention the athlete’s name because, um, this poor girl, I, I would have thought that there would have been a little more, um, Inspiration from Pyeongchang and getting more skiers onto the half pipe that happened in, one of the other competitions that I saw where, that, that was the case for, some of the, the men who were inspired by, uh, the Olympics being on home soil, but this poor girl could barely get, On the half pipe, she got in and she was reminiscent of your favorite Hungarian from Pyeongchang, who just wanted to be an Olympian and went up and down the sides and did no tricks and the poor commentators were saying, well, this is the qualifications and all six are going through so maybe she’s just saying saving something for the finals and she did the same thing and it really was, , I didn’t know if any of the other Korean commentators Skiers were on tour with, uh, other competitions if they were busy, if they didn’t develop the program for the women’s side as much, but I really felt bad for her and you did notice a difference between the men’s and the women’s.
Abilities. And I did want to put all these high school girls in a weight room and say, Hey, let’s build up some strength. But I will say the, the two Chinese women were phenomenal. You could really see the effort that China had put into winter sports. for Beijing 22 play out here. They were really, really good.
Um, in the men’s free ski halfpipe, gold went to Luke Harold from New Zealand, silver went to Finley Melville Ives from New Zealand, and bronze went to Alain Bournet from Switzerland.
Alison: Oh, come on, go silver ferns
hockey, three on three, men, gold went to Latvia, they defeated Denmark, 10 to 3, so silver went to Denmark, bronze went to Kazakhstan, who defeated Austria, 6 to 5.
Alison: And Latvia was undefeated through the tournament.
Jill: Nice. On the women’s side, gold went to Hungary, they defeated Korea, who got the silver, the score on that game was 10 to 2, and then bronze went to China, who defeated Italy, 8 to 7.
Alison: That was a, that was a match. China won in a shootout. They don’t have overtime in three on three, so it was tied at regulation. They did the shootout. China came away with it. But again, nice to see the Italian women developing for Milan. You’ve got some young girls really coming through with some nice skating.
Jill: Nice. In the hockey six competition, this is under 16 teams. Uh, we found out, we complained last week that team USA did not field women’s hockey. Well, Uh, National Olympic committees were only allowed to send one gender and one team total. So if you sent for the hockey sixes, you couldn’t send for the three on three tournament.
So the highest ranked country could choose, do they want to be in the sixth tournament? Um, and if so, then they chose the, uh, gender that went. So USA topped the rankings. They chose to send their men’s team. So the women did not get to participate. then the process continued until the slots were full.
Then the next rank countries got the three on three. tournament and the same deal, one gender. Korea was the one exception because as host nations, they got an entry into each tournament. So they chose men for the sixth tournament and women for the three on three.
Alison: And this actually made a lot of sense because both the Americans and the Canadians did not send women, which on the one hand is crazy because At the senior level, they’re obviously the two best teams in the world, but on the other hand, if you really want to develop better competition in the women’s game, let the other countries go send their women to the Youth Olympics.
And let me tell you something, the women’s Six tournament was a humdinger. It’s fun to watch. Go back and watch some of those metal games. Really
Jill: good stuff. Well, that makes sense to me to develop the sport on the other hand. You go Olympics. This is supposed to be the pinnacle of youth sport.
Don’t know. I would agree that it would be more imperative to build the sport and, and get more teams and countries involved. But, yeah, it’s a double edged sword there. So in the men’s Under 16, six teams, uh, gold went to USA. They defeated Czechia who got the silver four to zero. And then Finland defeated Canada five, four for the bronze.
Alison: Talk about a humdinger of a match. So Canada scored three goals in 43 seconds in the first period, not the first 43 seconds, but within 43 seconds. And all of a sudden it’s three zero, you’ve barely started the game. And Finland very smartly calls a timeout. They switched their goal tender right after that, within maybe 15 seconds, Finland scores a goal.
And the whole tenor of the match changed, ended up tied at the end of regulation. And we had a shootout. Wow. And also Finland, by doing this, avenged its loss at Lausanne in the bronze medal game to Canada.
Jill: Nice, nice. I would imagine that some of the strength of the, the Czechia team comes from that boost they got at Beijing with the team doing so well there.
So this is exciting to see the next generation come up.
Alison: And if you really want to feel old, I was watching this game and they say, Brian, uh, I gave away, they said, Parker Trottier. Now, anybody who watched. hockey from the New York area. Here’s Trottier and your ears perk up. And I’m like, Oh, he must be his son.
Oh no. He’s the grandson of Islander legend, Brian Trottier.
Jill: On the women’s side, gold went to Sweden who defeated Japan for zero. So silver goes to Japan and bronze went to Germany who defeated Switzerland three, one.
Alison: The Swedish goalie finally got a shutout. She had come so close, but a lot of times there’d be empty net goals at the end or play.
So she finally got her shutout and they were fantastic. Japan was the youngest team in the tournament. Lots of 14 year olds, a few 15 year olds. I think the goalie was 16 and she was like the grandmother of the team. So really amazing, amazing, fast skaters on Japan makes me. Excited for 26 makes me more excited for 2030.
Jill: In Nordic Combined, we have the women’s competition, Normal Hill, and 4km Ski. Gold went to, , Minja Kohonen from Finland, silver went to Teja Povic from Slovenia and bronze went to Tia Malorva from Slovenia. In the men’s normal hill and the six kilometer ski, gold went to Austria’s Andreas Gefrehrer.
Silver went to Italy’s Manuel Sononer and bronze went to Germany’s Jonathan Graebert. In the team competition, which is also on the normal hill, gold went to Finland, silver went to Slovenia, and bronze went to Italy. In Short Track Speed Skating, we had one event remaining, and that was the Mixed Team Relay.
Gold went to China, Silver went to USA, and Bronze went to Japan.
Alison: If you want to see a whole bunch of kids having way too much fun, watch that Mixed Team Relay in Short Track. It was a great race, and they were enjoying themselves thoroughly.
Jill: In snowboard, we had snowboard slope style, uh, women’s, gold went to Hanna Karrer from Austria, silver went to Lucia Giordali from New Zealand, and bronze went to vanessa Vlopechova from Czechia. On the men’s side, gold went to, uh, Lee Chae eun from Korea. Silver went to, Eli Bouchard from Canada. On the men’s side, gold went to Lee Chae eun from Korea. Silver went to Eli Bouchard from Canada. And bronze went to Romaine Alleman from France.
I’m gonna say this because he’s gonna come back as a repeat gold. Lee Chae eun, also an Olympian. He was the other Olympian and this is where I have an issue of Are you allowed to step down? You didn’t do, I know he didn’t do that well at Beijing, but he qualified and got to go to the Olympics. Does he get to come back home?
Down to the Youth Olympics and dominate. I don’t know.
In big air. For the women, uh, gold went to Murase Yura from Japan, silver went to Rebecca Flynn from the USA, and bronze went to Lucia Giorgiali from New Zealand. In the men’s side, gold went to Eli Bouchard from Canada, silver went to Oliver Martin from USA, and bronze went to Campbell Melville Ives from New Zealand.
Alison: You thought you were going to get spared, but no, go silver ferns times three. Because Campbell Melville Ives is the twin of Finley Melville Ives who won the silver medal in frisky halfpipe.
Jill: Oh, nice.
Alison: There were a lot of siblings throughout the competition as a whole, you saw siblings on the hockey teams.
You saw siblings on the ice rink. You saw siblings all over the place, which is
Jill: good and bad. I wonder how many of those are well. Your brother or sister is doing this sport, so you’re going to do it too. A
Alison: lot of the younger siblings were beating their older siblings. Just, just going to throw that out there.
Jill: In the women’s snowboard halfpipe, gold went to Japan’s Kudo Risa, silver went to Japan’s Shimizu Sarah, and bronze went to Laura Wick of Switzerland for the men. Gold went to Lee Chae Young from Korea again, silver went to Alessandro Barbieri from USA, and bronze went to Yamada Ryusei from Japan.
Alison: Japanese were so good in this event.
Jill: In speed skating, we had a couple of events. We had the mixed relay. Gold went to China, silver went to Korea, and bronze went to Netherlands.
Alison: So Finn Sonnekalb, who we talked about last time around and who was the announcer’s favorite name. Of the, of the event did not make the final and the poor announcer was so heartbroken that he didn’t get to keep saying and here comes Finn Sonnenkalb.
But so he kept mentioning him during the final even though he wasn’t racing.
Jill: Awww. But he did get to say it for the mass start because Finn Sonnenkalb from Germany won gold. Silver went to Pan Baoshu from China and bronze went to Eric Andersen from Norway for the Women’s Mass Start. Gold went to Angel Dahlman from Netherlands.
Silver went to Yasmin Wienhuis from Netherlands. And bronze went to Lui Yunqi from China. So that
Alison: is Three goals for Finn Sonnekalp and three goals for Angel Doleman.
Jill: Wow. I wonder if there’s going to be a point where she has to pick and which, uh, discipline she’ll pick between short track and long track.
Well, given these
Alison: results, but on the, on the flip side, we know being a long track skater and the Netherlands is. That’s a rough road to go.
Jill: Mm hmm. We’ll be on the lookout for her closing ceremony. Son of cow
Closing ceremony Wow, I I woke up at 545 for this It was over by 630. It didn’t start till 6 it was over so fast It
Alison: really looked like they just ran out of money
Jill: You know, this
Alison: was so So not up to Scale.
Jill: No. And I wondered if that was a youth Olympic thing that we just make this really low key. It was outside in the snow.
They had a stage. Uh, all the athletes were there in front of the stage. Very fast flag parade for the parade of nations. No announcing of names. They just came out, walked across the stage and down and through the it. Athlete groups. Um, uh, did you notice Teabag was hanging out with the Ukrainians?
Alison: Oh, I didn’t notice.
I noticed he was in the crowd and he had his beanie pulled very low. No, I
Jill: believe he was chilly. Yeah, he was. I believe he was with the Ukrainian delegation for that. they had a little video called hashtag highlights.
Alison: This was so done on the cheap. This closing ceremony was what my mother would call, it was strictly from hunger.
Like you would only eat that if you were starving. Like they had, they spent no money on this. And it was really disappointing because you had this, two video montages that were just like Holds from social media.
Right, right. And then they had a rapper Lee Young Ji and the dance crew won a million with her That was interesting And then I thought like how many of the athletes from other countries are going back big kpop fans If they weren’t already
Alison: Well, not from this closing ceremony because you got one K pop song, but I do want to call out the dancers because they were dancing on a snow covered stage.
They did not, there was no volunteer who was given the assignment to blow off the stage. So I was very concerned, but those kids pulled it out. They did a great job.
Jill: Uh, did the, the volunteer thank you took Maybe almost longer than anything else, they brought out, select volunteers, about six of them, and then six athletes came out and gave them flowers, as representatives of all of the volunteers.
And it was very sweet because the athletes were just. Hugging and saying thank you and it was really nice and I did love the volunteer montage that they showed because it made me miss all of the Beijing volunteers very much.
Alison: And then the announcers did this commentary about how the athletes get attached to their volunteers and it made me think of Leah.
Jill: Our hockey
Alison: venue volunteer and it made me think of all of our kids. So yeah, you do get very attached
Jill: to all of them. Um, Sang the Olympic anthem as the flag got taken down. , this was a youth choir, they were teenagers. So I was impressed again that we are keeping the theme of having people the competitors own age do the main roles here.
Very short speeches from Choi Jung gu, the organizer of the, the Olympic Games, and Tee Bak, who did say, make some noise for our Korean hosts. It’s always fun when he tries to, to be hip. He wants
Alison: to be down with the kids these days.
Jill: Right? Right? And then he’s like, enjoy the party. See you soon at another Olympic event. Basically, like, we don’t know what’s happening next, guys, for you, but good luck. Um, and, and what’s happening next for the Youth Olympic Games? Because Other than
Alison: 2026, we have no host names, we have no dates put out, so could this be the last winter youth?
It’s, it’s possible.
Jill: then they extinguished the digital cauldron that had been out in the the plaza, and did that with the help of Moongcho and volunteers who had snow, quote unquote, snow, that they flung at the digital screen.
Alison: And the fire would not go
Jill: out. Whoever
Alison: was running the screen was not getting it to the point where it was supposed to go out.
I’m sure it was timed. And so it was supposed to go out. But you could hear the announcers being like, well, I’ll guess I’ll just keep talking because the flame is not extinguishing. It was sort of like that time where the One Ring didn’t light up. Oh, right, right. Pyeongchang, where it stayed in its old formation.
So you could just hear everybody. You know there was somebody in a booth somewhere screaming in Korean, you know, turn off that thing. Right. Beep beep beep beep flame
Jill: so it eventually turned off and they did have on the digital screen. They had snow So I got the point that the snow was supposed to come from the hands Into the screen and fall down and the flame eventually at some point died out.
So very quick Very surprisingly quick and understated closing ceremony, but hopefully the kids had fun and I found a new k pop fan There you go final medal table USA if you’re going by total number of medals USA topped it with 21 Germany was second with 20 Italy 18 Along with France and China and then the host nation Korea had 17 total If you looked at the number of gold medals, Italy had 11, to Germany’s 9, France and Korea had 7, China had 6, and the USA got 5.
So this was the best showing for a host nation at the Youth Olympic Games.
Alison: You know Italy was excited about this, because they’re obviously dumping money. into junior sports to get these kids ready for 26.
Jill: a total of five countries won their first ever Winter Youth Olympics medal. That would be Brazil, Denmark, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey.
So it’ll be And Denmark won several. Good. It’ll be interesting, interesting to see how that plays out in future Olympics as well. So that was the Youth Olympic Games coverage.
Alison: Goodbye, Mong Cho.
Koreans know how to do a mascot, man.
Jill: They do, they do. And so on to other news, because there’s a ton of other news that’s going on in the world of the Olympics.
Jill: On Monday, the 29th of January, 721 days after the event, the court of arbitration for sport found skater Camilla Valieva guilty of doping, this affects the Beijing 2022 figure skating competition, , specifically the team. They gave her a four year ban. effective starting December 25, 2021, which was tied to the original incident in which she doped.
And if you remember this, uh, this was at the Russian championships that, that she had a positive test, except for the test sample was not tested and The results were not available until after the team competition at Beijing 2022. So it was a huge, huge uproar of, yes, should she be, uh, continue to skate?
What is the, punishment? All of that stuff. She was allowed to continue to skate because there was like. Very, very hurried court of arbitration for sport decisions that happened right there. She was allowed to skate in the women’s singles. She placed fourth, uh, so that didn’t affect the medals, but Russia had already won the team competition with her participating in that team.
So that is the, the medal that hung in the balance. They had a, Bing Duan Duan ceremony. But they did not give out medals that day. The IOC said, we are not giving out the medals. And everybody got an empty box for the U. S. who had taken second in that competition at that time.
they, all those boxes were put on display at the USOPC Museum, waiting for the medals to be awarded. So, Camilia Valleva was banned for four years. Uh, that will end in 2025. All of her competitive results from that date onward were disqualifications with all of the resulting consequences. So, she would have to forfeit awards, any profits, prizes, and appearance money that she got.
, the entourage is not part of this decision at all. The awarding of the medals, the reallocation of the medals for the team event, not part of this decision. That’s an International Olympic Committee, International Skating Union decision. So, the IOC was like, oh, we’re done. This is, the reallocation’s going on.
So they sent an email to the USOPC, said that we can now award the medals in accordance with the rankings, but the ISU Is in charge of doing the rankings. So hold tight on Tuesday, January 30th. The International Skating Union announces the events that Valieva has been disqualified from, including the two that were at Beijing 2022.
So her individual results in the points in the short and the free. Skate will be dismissed from the team competition. The rest of the Russian team scores still stand. So instead of the doping result disqualifying the full team, they just took Valieva’s results out.
The U. S. moves up to gold. Japan moves up to silver. Canada stays at fourth. And Russia goes down to the bronze.
Alison: Okay, so let’s explain this a little bit.
In a team event, you don’t get your score as your points. You get a ranking score. So, if you are the top scoring man, you get 10 points. If you’re the second scoring man, you get nine points. So they’re, they’re ranked. So it doesn’t matter if you end up with 78 or 65, it’s all in your rankings. Great. The problem with this decision is that you invalidated and disqualified Valieva.
She had received the first place scores for both women’s sections. So her team received 10 points. You took those 10 points away or took those 20 points away. But in that category, they didn’t re rank the other skaters. So everybody who skated in the women’s program should have gotten One, if they only skated the short program, or two, more points, so that the person who finished second should have been moved up to first.
Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. The ISU didn’t do that. So because Canada didn’t get those two extra points that they should have, they’re still in fourth place.
Jill: And the rule that ISU uses for this is their rule 11. 2. 3 on consequences to teams. So if one skater on a team has been found guilty of doping during event, but none of the other members on the team had anything to do with it, just the guilty skaters result is dismissed and the rest of the team scores stand.
So a one bad apple doesn’t spoil a whole bunch of thing. That’s why the rest of them got to keep their scores. And that to me seems
Alison: The way to do it, because why should the entire team be disqualified?
Jill: Right. They just, the ISU just decided not to reallocate points and said, Oh, well, Vallejeva didn’t compete.
We only have nine skaters. They’re going to get one through nine.
So this whole episode is not quite over yet. I think. Canada, of course, is not happy. They’re doing this whole very victim thing where this is all politics. Everyone is blaming us for nothing. That’s why. Why was Valley Avis December 21? doping test held up so long. Hey, Russia, how about you answer that? That’s the, you might’ve been in charge of that. Um, they plan to appeal the metal reallocation decision to Cass.
They will also likely appeal the Camillia, Camilla Valieva doping situation to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. And that would be the very final say, if The, the Supreme Court takes it up, but it is quite unlikely that anything’s going to happen that would take away the US’s gold medal. They’re the champions.
Alison: I think the US and Japan are set. I think we know where they’re going to end up falling. However, because now we still have this bronze controversy. We’re still not going to get a medal ceremony.
that’s going to be a little different because you don’t have to have a medal ceremony together. The USOPC had a conference call that I sat on and, this call was with USOPC CEO Sarah Hirschland and also, , Madison Chalk and Evan Bates. The ice dance team was also on the call and they’re the only members of the team that are still competing.
for listening. As on the international circuit right now, they don’t know when they’ll get the medals. They don’t have to have a ceremony of all the teams together. It can be independent, of the other teams. Chock and Bait said, of course, they would love to have a ceremony at Paris 2024, so they could have more of an Olympic moment.
They’d love to have the full on podium there, which would also be very nice. Chalk and Bates also alluded to missing out on that Olympic moment, but they also said that Beijing was really weird because of, uh, the COVID element and they were just happy to be able to compete. Um, but they, it sounded a little bit like they missed out on the attention that comes with winning the gold.
And I also, I wondered if there were financial opportunities that were lost in that. I did not get into the. Far enough into the question queue to be, uh, called on, but the US OPC later told me that the team had already gotten their silver medal financial bonus of 2020, 22, 500. They will now get the additional 15, 000 to bump them up to the 37, 000, mark that the, , gold medal winners get.
That allocation is also in process right now.
Alison: Last thing I want to mention. On this, if you noticed her, uh, Valieva’s ban ends December 25th, 2025. You know what that means.
Jill: Will she be in for
Will any Russian skaters be in for 2026, but You know, who knows what’s, we’re still in that mode. So we thought we would be done with this mess. But no, somehow the ISU managed to make it worse. You didn’t, you didn’t think it could get worse. And somehow.
I am so pleased for both the American and the Japanese team that at least we’re getting some movement forward on this.
Paris 2024 News
Jill: Oh, let’s move on to happier news. Uh, Paris 2024 announced that there are more tickets coming. There will be several ticket drops leading up to the games. They’re going to be kind of semi surprise drops. They’ll be announced just a few days ahead of time. So if you are looking for tickets, there will be opportunities.
First drop will be on February 8th, the same day. The medal design is announced. This will be exciting. Uh, they will have tickets to all sports and all of the ceremonies, though they do, they said that at some point sports are really limited. So I mean, there really is only some, so much space you can put at some of these venues.
Uh, 45 percent of the tickets will be under 100 euros, uh, out of the 10 million Olympic tickets available, just under 8 million have sold. So do the math. There’s still opportunities out there.
Milan-Cortina 2026 News
Jill: Oh, oh, Italy. I cannot believe you actually did this. The, uh, associated Press reported that the Milan Corina board approves a proposal. To rebuild the Cortina bobsled track, but they will also have a plan B in mind.
Plan B will be in case the venue’s not ready by March, 2025, you know. less than a year before you have to have it. So, uh, their plans kind of hinge on signing a contract with Impreza Pizzarotti and company, which has offered the, the construction company that’s going to, uh, hopefully rebuild the Cortina track.
It’s going to cost 81. 6 million euros. That’s 89 million. And, Milan Cortina organizing committee has said, Oh, this would revive Cortina’s long tradition in the sports and help future generations. Uh, the IOC still thinks that you should do it in another country because you don’t have a venue and we’ve run out of time.
The Italian government does not want to finance any of the, uh, renovations that would need to be done to one of the existing venue options. So I, I feel like this is an ego thing pasta.
Alison: We are building the track.
Jill: we’ll see what happens. This is how the, uh, AP story ends the Milan Cortina committee added. It realizes that under no circumstances. Can the new track be certified after March? 2025? I think that is a warning sign to all of us.
Alison: I, I believe they know a guy. They’re going to make this work.
Jill: I, I do not think this novella is over.
Alison: Oh, no, no, no, no. No, Phinney..
Alison: Welcome to Shookfustan.
Jill: Now’s the time of the show where we check in with our team, keep the flame alive. These are past guests and listeners of the show, uh, who’ve got big news going on. First up team Schuster is competing in the U S curling nationals and they are currently four and Oh, in pool play
Alison: speed skater, Erin Jackson crushed the competition in the 500 meters at the Salt Lake City world cup.
Jill: race walker Evan Dunphy broke his own Canadian record and the North American record for the 10k walk at the Australian Capital Territory State Championships.
Alison: Jacqueline Simineau is back in action at the World Aquatic World Champs this weekend. She will be competing in solo and duet competition with the hopes of qualifying for Paris in the duet.
And a note we I did have a conversation with Jacqueline. We’ll have that with you in a couple of weeks.
Jill: Nordic combined athlete Anika Malicinski is competing in the Nordic combined world cup in Seyfeld, Austria. And also congratulations to listener David, who has, uh, he’s a sportscaster and has moved over to the NBC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.
Alison: I do also want to mention Josh Williamson is off the tour right now. He broke a rib, got hurt. He’s back in the U. S., but texted him a little bit and he’s doing okay.
Jill: Good to hear. Hope you make a speedy recovery, Josh. And that is going to do it for this episode. Let us know what you thought of the Youth Olympic Games and whether we should continue to cover them.
Alison: You can connect with us on Xthreads and Instagram at flamealivepod. Email us at Flame Alive email@example.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.
Sign up for firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jill: We are going to stay in Winter Olympics mode next week because next week is two years to go until Milan Cortina 2026, or as we like to say, plenty of time to build a bobsled and skeleton and luge track. So to celebrate that event, we talk with Australian bobsledder, Bree Walker, and she tells us all about monobob.
So be sure to tune in for that. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.