Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 Olympic Blurb Day 5

Read about Day 4 HERE!



Favorites don't always win.

The favorite may have an off day. The weather might be a factor. Some unforseen calamity prohibits the favorite from doing the expected.

The underdogs sometimes prevail.

Ask Sarah Hughes or Tara Lipinski - skaters who had the programs of their lives and beat out higher-ranked favorites in women's figure skating.

At this point in the Olympics, I'm waiting for an American underdog to fall into a similar situation where she or he comes out of nowhere and defeats the favorite through hard work and perseverance.

So far, the closest I got was in men's luge and Chris Mazdzar winning the silver medal. I loved everything about it! Mazdzar was the slightest of underdogs - he has quite the accomplished pedigree as a luger and won a silver in his third Olympics. His accomplishment was also three days ago, and I'm getting antsy again.

"But Claire," you say, "the Americans have won gold medals every day since Sunday!"

You are correct in saying that. But those medals were won by the favorites in the event - even Red Gerard was ranked first in the FIS World Cup last year before securing gold on Sunday.

When we see the faces of our American athletes on Bounty paper towels and Minue Maid orange juice, we expect them to be the best in the world. But then the Olympics start...and we realize there are people in the world who are way, way better.

Day 5 and 6 are the days when Americans start to get a bit downtrodden because those highly-marketed athletes aren't getting the medals that we expected them to get. "We're Americans - we're the best at everything!"

(We're not.)

So now it's time for an unexpected medal. A gold by the American who was third in national qualifying and basically had no chance. A sudden resurgence of energy in the latter half of a race when other racers are slowing down. The face of complete and utter shock and elation when no one thought they could do what they just did.

Who's going to step up first?

Classroom Blurb

I took today to talk a bit about Korea with the kids. My friend Michelle had linked me to a website with lots of information about South Korea and North Korea, so I included bits of it for my kids in their giant Olympic packet. (More on that later.)

The first thing we covered was the 38th parallel, which gave me a chance to reteach latitude and longitude. I had to remind them that the degree sign doesn't mean temperature when dealing with latitude and longitude.

From the 38th parallel the kids were supposed to write down some facts about North Korea and South Korea as I read information from a booklet. I probably should have started with South Korea, because once we started discussing North Korea that's all they wanted to talk about. Even when I tried to divert them back to the topic of South Korea and all its technological advances, they just brought it back to North Korea. They couldn't comprehend that type of governmental structure and the fact that creativity and individualism is stomped out so aggressively. So there was a lot of questions like, "But what about...?" And my answers surprised them.

I hope their parents are prepared for the questions tonight. My bad.

Mini Blurbs

  • Today's watchlist:
    • figure skating
    • alpine skiing 
    • curling
    • skeleton
    • hockey
    • Nordic combined
    • luge
  • Is anything cooler than skeleton? Luge is so old-fashioned. (And doubles luge? Even my kids snickered when they watched it.) The helmets are works of art - South Korea's Yun Sung-Bin had Iron Man painted on his, and it was incredibly realistic! I also saw a bear, several flags, and Ghost Rider. 
  • Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana is a skeleton slider and I got to see both his runs today. He's not the top, but he loves his career and people love him. It was cool to see so many Ghana flags and hats in the skeleton crowd!
  • People think that skeleton is terrifying, but I think that downhill skiing is way more frightening. World cup downhill is basically going down a giant ice slope with no curves holding you in the tube. It's just you vs. the mountain!
  • My man Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway just won the men's downhill, by the way. If Ole Einar Bjørndalen isn't going to be competing in the Olympics this year, then Svindal wins "best name of 2018 Olympics." 
  • In Team USA's curling match with Japan, the final stones were both almost the same distance from the center. They brought out a medal rod that gets screwed into the center of the house, and then it rotates around center and allows the judge to determine which stone was closer. I'd never seen that before! It took a good long while, but Japan ended up with the point in the end by millimeters. 
  • Sometimes my phone forgets that its Chromecasting and I'm able to watch things streaming on the television as well as my phone. That happened this evening as I got on the treadmill, so at one time I had pairs figure skating on my phone, skeleton runs on my television, and women's giant slalom on my computer!
  • Fantasy update: I am down to second place. However I did gain three points yesterday from Germany's Natalie Geisenberger winning gold in luge!
I have tickets to see Black Panther tomorrow evening, so don't expect a long post. I'll do my best to get something up by the end of the day! 

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 6 HERE!



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