Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 Olympic Blurb Day 4

Read about Day 3 HERE!

I enjoy the live streams of the Olympic Games way more than the NBC broadcasts - I've made that very clear. And the more streaming there is, the more I like it!

That doesn't mean that it's a perfect medium - it definitely has its issues. But here are some pros and cons about the live streaming aspect:

Pro: More Objective Commentary

It is plain to see that NBC caters to its American demographic, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to watch more than just the Americans, and hear more about other athletes that aren't American, tune into the live stream.

Con: Repetitive Commercials

On the first full day of coverage I may have seen the TV spot for Mamma Mia about eighty times, because it aired at every break that the live stream had. The marketing didn't work, because every time I saw the spot, the less I wanted to see the movie. Fortunately since Saturday I haven't seen it - but it's only a matter of time before it resurfaces again.

Speaking of repetitive, I'm never going to teach "can/can't" to my students ever again.

Pro: The Complete Story

I mentioned on Sunday that Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger crashed at the start of his 30km skiathlon race, yet never gave up and ended up winning gold. If you managed to watch the entire skiathlon, it was riveting to watch Krueger slowly but surely use all the time necessary to inch his way back to the lead.

I would say that the sliding races are also very similar. It takes a really long time to watch all the runs, but when you see Felix Loch at the top of the leaderboard for basically the entire time...until his spectacular fail at the end of his fourth run put him in fifth at the end. Seeing that from start to finish made the ending even more tragic.

Con: Dealing with "Halftime"

Did you realize how many breaks there are between speed skating and figure skating competitions? You know full well that they need to resurface the hockey rink during the two intermissions, but when watching television figure skating coverage they bounce from one skater to the next.

If you're watching the live stream, you have to deal with those 20 minutes of nothing happening but a longshot camera showing the zamboni resurfacing the ice. It happens more that you think it would.

Pro: Hearing the PA Announcers During "Halftime"

Is there a chance you've heard the intermission during long track speedskating? I've heard bits and pieces and I've heard/seen a dance competition, opera singing, piano duets, a kiss cam, and a brass band performance. They definitely know how to keep the audience entertained while nothing is happening!

At the figure skating rink, one lady is speaking all three languages in order to warm up the crowd! But you can only hear it on the stream, and I highly recommend it.

Con: BUFFERING

The first nights of competition I had lots of issues with my screens freezing - whether it was my computer or my Chromecast. It seems to have gotten better, but there are still those times when all competition just stops for no reason. (It made me miss the end of Shaun White's first run, which irritated me because he seemed so pleased with it once my screen unfroze.)

Pro: Replay DVR

I didn't notice this until today, as I was replaying events from when I was sleeping. Usually when there's vertical lines on the playback, it means commercials. Not so on the replay! If you hover over those vertical lines, they actually tell you what happens at that precise moment. When I was watching short track speed skating, I could skip all the official review parts, player introductions, and ice resurfacing and just watch the races because I would just hover to the next vertical line that said "MEN'S 100M SEMIFINAL" and could watch it right away! I could do the same with specific athletes who were racing, too. I am in love!

Pro: Accessibility

I've got to end with two pros to show how much I love this. I enjoy watching the Olympics on multiple platforms at home to showing my kids events at school. Plus, it allows me to see everything live, if I can, and on replay without worrying about when in the broadcast they're going to air the event. It's all there, and I just have to click "play."


Classroom Blurb

We decorated Valentine bags today for tomorrow's party, and about half of my class decided to ignore the social convention of decorating with hearts and instead were going to the encyclopedias and looking up their country's flag!

Watching them enjoy the Games with their country in mind makes it so much more fun. I feel a bit sorry for a few of them who chose lesser-known countries like Belarus or Slovakia because they're waiting to see their athletes because they've seen about seven Germans and eight Canadians!

Bonus: They kept asking to watch Chloe Kim's gold-medal run from last night, so I showed it at the end of the day. One girl proceeded to go home and tell her mother she wanted to do her Social Studies project on Chloe Kim.

This class is so much fun to watch the Olympics with!

Mini Blurbs

  • This day's watchlist:
    • cross-country skiing
    • downhill skiing
    • curling
    • snowboard halfpipe
    • hockey
    • long track speed skating
    • short track speed skating
    • luge
    • pairs figure skating
  • I have an issue with the US snowboard uniforms. Why? They are so bland! I know they're trying for an "astronaut" look, but it ends up just looking boring and way too similar to other countries' uniforms. What happened to the hip, edgy X-Games look? Anyone remember the 
    • flannel print? 
    • faded flag print?
    • pinstripes?
    • DENIM?! My FAVORITE print of all time?! It looked like they were wearing jeans on the course! Bring that back, please!
  • I don't get nervous in snowboard halfpipe very often, but tonight's men's final was incredible. It wasn't determined until Shaun White finished off the third round! When those guys stepped up, they stepped up.
  • After three days of seeing the same ten countries compete in figure skating, it's a bit jarring to suddenly see countries like the Czech Republic and Australia on the ice!
  • I watched the Japanese pairs team of Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara and thought they had lovely music. As I normally do, I put my Shazam app to the test and found they were dancing to music from Yuri On Ice, a Japanese anime about...figure skating! (More figure skaters need to skate to anime soundtracks - it's a treasure trove of great music no one knows about!)
  • Bonus points to pairs skaters for discovering some pretty amazing music for their routines. I've gotten bored with the "Phantom of the Opera" and "Carmen" routines, and they are really stepping it up. (Props to the Figure Skating Federation for finally allowing music with lyrics!)
  • The women's 500m final in short track speed skating was executed to perfection by Italy's Arianna Fontana, who overcame South Korean dominance in the sport the only way she could: get out in front and never let go. It was a masterpiece in execution. As a matter of fact, the Korean, Choi Minjeong, tried to get around her at the end and ended up being disqualified for interference.
  • I'm glad we got to see some alpine skiing before the high winds postponed it again. The combined is my favorite alpine event, I think, because in order to win gold you have to be good at the outrageous downhill portion as well as the technical slalom portion. Only someone like Austria's Marcel Hirscher could have pulled it off. 
  • Before the pairs figure skating and snowboard halfpipe began, I watched an entire half Team USA's curling round robin against South Korea. It's hard to enter a curling match halfway through, but when you see all the strategy in each end, it becomes very interesting!
  • After three trips I finally was able to find Wheaties at the second grocery store I went to. I don't eat Wheaties very often, but it's the Olympics and I want my breakfast of champions!
That's all for today! Do you think we'll finally see Mikaela Shiffrin tomorrow? I sure hope so!

My name is Claire Nat! You can follow me on Twitter @CeePipes for lots of Olympic comments, or follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/blurbmusings. Check out my blog for other articles!

Read about Day 5 HERE!


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