Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 16: So How Did I Do?

It’s time to go back to seventeen days ago and revisit my Bold Predictions Blurb. It’s interesting to see what interesting things I thought would happen that ended up being total duds. I was right on a bunch of things, though! (I am that good.)


Russia will win hockey gold
Nope! They didn’t even make it to the semifinals, losing to eventual bronze medalist Finland.


The tandem from Canada will beat Charlie White and Meryl Davis in ice dancing.
Happily, this was untrue. They did meet expectations!


However, they will win gold.
I said they’d win in the team event, but they did win gold in their own event. I kind of was right.


SJ Shaun White won’t medal.
Right on all counts! He finished fourth in halfpipe and didn’t compete in slopestyle.


Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold will falter.
Well, this is true in the fact that they didn’t medal. Gold finished fourth and Wagner took seventh, even though Wagner skated clean (no falls) and Gold fell in the free skate. But the top three - Adelina Sotnikova, Yuna Kim, and Carolina Kostner - were so stellar that they would have needed way more in their routines to medal.


U.S. Snowboard will wish they took Seth Wescott back to the Olympics and not Lindsay Jacobellis.
Alex Diebold was the only American to medal in snowboard cross, and he got a bronze. Jacobellis wiped out again. Would Wescott have medaled? He definitely has the experience, and I think I think he would have done well had he competed. So I’m going to say I was right!


Jeremy Abbott...will medal?!
Well, kind of. I meant in the individual event, but he did medal in the team event.


Something amazing will happen in the sport of curling.
If the “something amazing” was Norway’s curling outfits, then yes, I was right. Everyone was talking about it.


Lauryn Williams will win bobsled gold.
Soooooo clooooooose!


Cross-country skiing will bore me yet again.
This was less of a definite outcome than I thought. But there are so many events in cross-country skiing and biathlon that it’s hard to see the difference in every one. And the only one with an interesting premise - mixed biathlon relay - was barely covered by NBC.


No U.S. women will win gold in ski jumping.
Correct! I knew overhype when I saw it.


The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Spain will double their previous win totals.
The Netherlands blew away their 2010 total (8) and are at 24. The Czech Republic had 6 in 2010 and are currently at 8. Spain still stuck with zero. If Spain had stepped up for me, I would have won my medals competition! Alas, I didn’t go with my Number One Rule: the home country wins.


NBC will treat Mikaela Shiffrin like Lindsay Vonn...and she’ll hate it.
She definitely looks a bit awkward in the interviews (she’s only 18), but has some snark that will be better over time. The comparisons will only increase if Shiffrin takes on more than slalom events in the next Olympics - like Vonn.


Canada will keep up the medal count from 2010, but Russia will win the overall title.
Canada came roaring back in the second week with medals in hockey (men and women) and curling (men and women) and other sports. They are at 24 (in 2010 they ended up with 27) and men’s hockey still has to decide which medal they’ll get tomorrow.
Russia took on the home mantle with pride and are currently leading the medal count. They’ll probably win. I was right!


I will wake up at least once in the middle of the night to watch some event online.
I did, especially at the beginning. Then I realized most of the events I was watching were going to be on that evening anyway, so I only stuck with the important stuff.


My kiddos will be sick of this whole thing by the end.
I do think a couple of them were glad when I mentioned yesterday was our last Olympics day. But I did get a few addicts out of the bunch!


Mini Blurbs


Today’s roundup: women’s cross-country skiing, women’s snowboard parallel slalom, men’s biathlon, figure skating, men’s ski slalom, men’s bobsled, men’s and women’s speedskating


Today Bob Costas is reporting from… the frozen location of Aang, the last Airbender!


Czech balance: No medals today. There was some contention in the men’s biathlon relay, but not enough to medal.


Didn’t we already do this? I swear that I watched parallel snowboard slalom a couple of days ago (remember when the husband and wife Russians won gold and bronze?), but today they were showing parallel snowboard slalom! I checked - I did watch parallel giant slalom snowboarding on Wednesday!


The difference is that parallel giant slalom has been contested since 2002, and regular parallel slalom is new this year. The differences are like alpine skiing slalom differences. It sure confused me!


Did anyone else cry when Jessica Long met her biological parents? I got tears in my eyes. It was pretty amazing. I couldn’t even imagine that happening to me.


Speedskating fun: I enjoyed speedskating these Olympics. I know lots of people are disappointed in the United States’ performance, but I wasn’t even rooting for the Americans! I was all about the Dutch in speedskating. I kind of knew that the Americans weren’t going to perform, and to my delight the Dutch really performed! I think even without my medals competition I would have been rooting for the Dutch.


Dan Jansen said it right, “It’s time to stop talking about those who didn’t perform here, and start celebrating those who did. The Dutch team performed like no one in history before them, and quite possibly no one again to follow!”


I loved Team Pursuit - you don’t have to watch twenty skaters go to know who won the event: whoever crosses first wins!


By the way, did anyone else notice the high-pitched screeching noise that wasn’t made on the ice? I think it was either an audience noisemaker or some mechanical thing with the camera. I’ve heard it at every speedskating event - it was really annoying!


Hair flair: I find it hilarious that Terry Gannon was given some “Sochi flowers” from Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir and he put them on his lapel. It would have been great if he’d put it in his hair, too. (Oh, and Saturdays they wear flowers? Priceless.)


Lyrical flair: Watching this Skating Gala, which has skaters doing original (and not rule-oriented) routines, it makes me excited to see what kind of routines we’ll be seeing in competition in the next couple of seasons, since they will be allowed to use music with lyrics (like we saw tonight!).


Oh, and the fact that they have a “gymnastics gala” in the Summer Games is silly. They try to make gymnastics like figure skating, and in some ways, it just isn’t. This is one of those things.


Rabid kid skaters: One of the flower girls raced in front of an unsuspecting Yuna Kim as she was going off the ice and totally freaked her out. Watch out for those flower girls - they’re deadly!


Slalom dominators: The women skied last night, and it was pretty graceful - as graceful as slalom can be. Tonight, with the men, they are annihilating the course. They run down like an out of control car in Grand Theft Auto. Run over a fire hydrant? Who cares? Just gotta be the fastest!


Nerd alert: I know I just said that the slalom skiers annihilate the course, but their outfits make them look like an overprotective mom got them ready for their first day of middle school: “Here, honey, put on your leg guards! Oh, and don’t forget your protective ski poles with the plastic knobs to protect your hands! And you know you can’t leave the house without your headgear or your teeth won’t grow in straight!” (Ted Ligety doesn’t wear headgear - he’s too cool for that.)


Adults not showing their age: I love watching Cyndi and Bill Ligety wear hats that say “Shred” on them. It’s very similar to seeing Maddie Bowman’s grandma wear a shirt that said “Badass Grandma” on it. Funky, and a bit weird.


Just proving my point here: While the US hockey ladies made us miserable, the US hockey men just faded into the background, not even trying to win bronze. My post from Thursday is even more valid than before.


ERA, Olympics style: Why is there no 4-woman bobsled? Why is there no women’s Nordic combined? I mean, really.


Let’s give him some credit: This is not his home track, yet Steve Holcomb has driven this track very well in the 2-man and 4-man bobsled events. I’ve seen crappy sliding this year (Elana Meyers?), so I am impressed when I see good sliding going on.


My Olympic sport: I think if I did any Winter event (which I'd never do, so I can dream like this), I’d do bobsled. They just seem like the coolest people (pun not intended), and have great support of everyone in sliding, from luge to skeleton. It’s a big team family! I’d enjoy that.

I see a trip to Salt Lake City in my future: Apparently the Olympic sliding track in Salt Lake City is available for tourists to slide down in a bobsled. Pardon me, I’m going to book my flight right now…


...until I saw Canada's crash. Yeowch! How long do they slide on their side like that?


One more Blurb tomorrow, guys, and then it’s another 893 days till the next one! (Oh, I found this website, and it’s like it was made just for me!)


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