I’m a nut for the Olympics. Whenever they’re on, Winter or Summer, I spend almost all my leisure time glued to the TV, and what I don’t watch, I try to tape. So with that in mind, here’s some reflections and thoughts on the Winter Olympics so far.
I watched women’s downhill final last night; that never ceases to be amazing. Those crazy skiers are moving at somewhere around 60-70 miles an hour, and actively trying to go faster. The US certainly cleaned up in that one (gold and silver), but I was surprised that Maria Riesch did so poorly. I was figuring her a shoe in for the bronze or silver, and maybe the gold since Vonn was injured, but I guess the little mistakes add up.
And speaking of Vonn, that was one impressive run by her. It looked like she was going to wipe out on the final jump, like three of the women before her did, but she pulled it off and brought home gold. Seeing how she was injured already, that’s a heck of an accomplishment.
I also watched the men’s halfpipe semifinal. I like snowboarding. I prefer downhill snowboarding, but the halfpipe is always pretty darn cool. I didn’t get to see Shaun White, but Logo pulled off an impressive first run, and Kazu, the Japanese boarder, was downright amazing. Too bad about his fall at the end, though. Also, the Finns showed their usual excellence in this event, but who can blame them? Their whole friggin’ country is covered in snow and ice; they have tons of time to practice.
Men’s speed skating also was good. I watched the 5,000 meter relay semifinal and 1,500 meter semifinal, and I thought the US performed quite well in both events. Ohno is just an animal at the shorter track (the 1,500 was a GREAT race) but he’s got what it takes to pull off the longer stuff too, apparently. At any rate, the US is advancing to the finals in the 5,000 meter relay and the 1,500, thanks to Ohno and Celski.
And I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised to see the US in first place with 12 medals. That’s not normal (people from perpetually frozen countries usually dominate), but it’s still an awesome turn of events. If we can keep performing at this rate, we might finish up with the most. I guess we’ll just have to see, though.
All in all, the Games have been great so far. Can’t wait to see more.