World Cups, Snow, and Ice

Everybody's been back to normal for three weeks and I'm now only coming back with a triumphant, "Happy New Year, everybody!"

It's been kind of a crazy few weeks. Christmas happened. Then school started back up again. Then I moved from a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house to a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment. (Thank goodness for church friends!) Only now do I finally feel like I am back to whatever I consider to be normal.

Some of that, of course, involves Olympic sports, many of which are in the middle of World Cup seasons. There's been a lot going on!

You know where I've been for the past month. But where are all the amazing athletes? Let's take a look:

Alpine Skiing

Mikaela Shiffrin is busy doing Mikaela Shiffrin things. She won her third Super-G of the season and padded her World Cup lead by nearly 500 points. She has 11 wins this season alone!

Linsday Vonn came back to competition this weekend as well in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, though she didn't finish the Super-G competition that Shiffrin won. It's good to see her back so that she can finish her career on her own terms.

(And did you know that Cortina is part of the Italian bid to get the 2026 Winter Olympics? And the other country is Sweden, bidding with Stockholm?)

Ski Jumping

The men are in Zakopane, Poland, where yesterday's team competition resulted in a win for the team from Germany. The Austrians came in a close second, but Stefan Kraft won the individual event today. (And Robert Johanssohn of Norway is now sporting a beard to go with his dynamite mustache.)

The women are in Zao, Japan, where Germany's Kathaina Althaus is leading the overall standings, but Norwegians Maren Lundby and Anna Odine Stroem took the top two spots in today's competition.

Cross-Country Skiing

I adore the sprint competition of cross-country skiing, and yesterday Norwegians Maiken Caspersen Falla and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo took the classic sprint crowns. (And I just love looking up special characters for people's names!) Sprints are fantastic because each round is completed in just 3-4 minutes, and competitors usually stay very close to each other on the course, making for very exciting finishes. You know, like a sprint. That photo finish didn't help one of my favorite cross-country ski Olympians from last year, Sweden's Stina Nilsson, who ended up getting hurt as she stretched towards the line.

They still have the normal long courses, too. Iivo Niskanen took the 15km crown (classic style) today, while Therese Johaug won the 10km course in Otepää, Estonia.

Snowboarding

Nothing new here - Chloe Kim and Australia's Scotty James took the World Cup halfpipe titles in Laax, Switzerland yesterday. For Kim, the battle was competing 1080s with her, Spain's Queralt Castellet and Arielle Gold, and Kim all spinning the crazy move in their own signature ways.

Biathlon

Ruhpolding, Germany was the site for the women's biathlon relay yesterday, which was won by the French team with clean shooting, while the Germans struggled with spare rounds before finally coming back to take third.

Today was Mass Start day for the men and women, with Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe (still love that name) winning for the men and Franziska Preuss of Germany got her first career World Cup win!

Skeleton and Bobsled

The groups were in Innsbruck, Austria, confusing my mother with the city's logo; it inserts an apostrophe into the city's name, and then plasters that logo all over the sliding area. As if we already are struggling with the location of apostrophes.

Anyway, Germany took the 4-man bobsled competition, with Latvia finishing in second. In the overall standings, the Germany team is in first, but the Latvians are actually in third.

And if you're sensing a trend, you'd be right; the German women also took first, second, and fourth in the 2-woman bobsled, but Elana Meyers-Taylor's sled squeezed in and took third.

Janine Flock of Austria won the women's skeleton in a tight race that I really enjoyed watching. The opening turn was really tight, and if the athletes could maneuver through that, then they'd be in the clear the rest of the way.

The World Cup finishes the European run in St. Moritz, Switzerland next weekend before going to Lake Placid and Calgary. I'm excited to watch some live sliding in a few weeks!

Figure Skating

Their "World Cup" (AKA ISU Grand Prix) wrapped up in December, and over the next week the US and European Championships are taking place.

You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be talking about the US Figure Skating Championships, considering that I am actually going to be at the ice dancing and men's free skates on Saturday and Sunday! Not sure if it will be a straight-up blog or a blog/vlog, but I'll probably split it up over two weeks in order to talk about my experience. Make sure to watch NBC next weekend!

Curling

Curling has four rounds of World Cup competition. You may have been aware of the second leg that took place in December in Omaha, where Team Shuster beat the Swedes in a rematch of the Olympic Gold Medal match.

The next round takes place in two weeks in Jonkoping, Sweden before wrapping up in Beijing, China in May.


If you're into winter sports, now is the time to watch basically anything you want! Enjoy!


Tokyo 2020 Prep

Over 180,000 people signed up to volunteer at the Tokyo2020 Olympics, and the next round of communication will begin in February. About 1/3 of the applicants were from outside of Japan, so it should be interesting to see what happens!

Applicants were invited to vote for the name of the volunteers after it was narrowed down to four: Field Cast, Games Anchor, Games Force, and Shining Blue. I voted for Games Force, because...you know...Star Wars.

Olympic Channel Video of the Week

You know what? I think this was my last Video of the Week, but that link stopped working, so I'm going to post it again because it's so cool. Anyone like the Super Nintendo? Then you'll love this.


BlurbWatch

Thanks to my crazy amount of packing, I watched a lot of Olympic sports the past few weeks!

  • Track and Field
  • Skeleton
  • Bobsled
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Ski Jumping
  • Handball 

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????

...No.


I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! You can start with my daily recap of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics HERE!


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