Sunday, March 11, 2018

Olympic Blurb: March 5-11 Wrap-Up

This week's Olympic Blurb takes us to the Paralympics, which started on Friday! NBC is offering more coverage of the Paralympic Winter Games than ever, plus they offer even more on their live stream.

I am enjoying the things that I watch - especially because I did a little bit of research before the Games began. The Paralympic Winter Games has a ton of events, but doesn't branch into speedskating, bobsled, or figure skating. However, most of the events offered are competed in three different categories: standing, sitting, and visually impaired.

They have really been able to use technology to help those with more limited disabilities be able to compete at the same level as those with less limited disabilities. Each athlete is categorized before the Games, and once they have been put into categories they adjust the clock so it counts faster or slower. (It's called "Factored Time" if you're watching some events this week.)

I know that when I watched the Rio Paralympics it seemed like there were different events for every single category (especially when it came to the running events). However, this may just have been because I was a novice at the Paralympic Games and hadn't been properly educated.

Visually impaired athletes compete with a guide in front of them, shouting directions as they go. The broadcast feed has picked up on these conversations during the alpine skiing events, and some exclaim directions while others yell gate numbers. One of the standing skiers who was by herself was almost screaming in pain before she crashed; I hope she's okay!

I sit and watch in amazement as standing athletes compete. Some are dealing with cerebral palsy and others have entire limbs amputated. I have seen two or three athletes who are standing with one ski and one ski pole because their other limbs are completely gone! They are amazing people, because not only are they moving on one leg, they are also skiing down a large mountain!

The Paralympic Winter Games are taking place all next week, so I would encourage you to try to watch a little bit of it. Events are airing on NBCSN and the Olympic Channel and streaming online at nbcolympics.com.

Tokyo 2020 Planning

There are so many amazing tourist opportunities in Japan that I honestly thing that I won't be able to do any of them! Even though I adore Japan, my time there will be devoted to viewing Olympic events and getting around the city.

This probably means that I will have to take another trip to Japan after the Olympics in order to see all the amazing stuff that they have. So in the end, being unable to tour Japan during the Olympics is a good thing!

Mini Blurbs

  • The BlurbWatch:
    • gymnastics
    • speedskating
    • paralympic alpine skiing
    • paralympic biathlon
    • paralympic cross-country skiing
    • paralympic sledge hockey
  • I had a bit of a snafu with my DVR and thought I'd missed the first half hour of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony! Turns out they had a replay of the stream online so I just watched it at school while grading papers!
  • I used the online website Kahoot! to make a game for my kids and parents to play on Parents' Day last Friday. Some of my questions included:
    • Which country won the most medals? 
    • Who is the most decorated winter Olympian? (I put Shaun White on here to throw them off and about half the class guessed him instead of Marit Bjørgen just because they recognized the name!)
    • Ester Ledecka is from what country?
    • What is the name of the 2018 Olympic mascot?
    • What do the 5 Olympic rings represent?
    • And more!
  • Many of the top athletes in figure skating are skipping the World Championships at the end of March. I didn't even know they had World Championships in Olympic years! In some sports don't the Olympics just take the place of World Championships? I guess in Track and Field the World Championships are just in odd years - at this point they would never overlap with the Olympics. 
  • Sledge hockey is insanely fun. If you love hockey, this is twice as much fun. The skaters go around on sleds and use two smaller sticks to shoot the puck and move themselves around. It takes stick handling to a whole new level!
  • One of the women starting the biathlon race on Saturday completely got dislodged from her skis right at the beginning of the race and toppled over! I felt so sorry for her because she'd barely been on the course for five minutes and her race was already done. 
  • Two events are coming to my area in April and May that I am thinking of attending. The first is the figure skating Stars on Ice tour featuring a lot of the U.S. Olympians (including the ShibSibs!) and the second is the TYR Swimming tour with many Olympic athletes from 2016. I posted a poll on Twitter; which one do you think I should see? Vote here!
Get ready for a little more Paralympic fun next week! (Make sure to do your homework!)

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!

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