Join 3,495 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Shock! U.S. takes all medals in snowboarding
February 12, 2002 6:39 AM   Subscribe

Shock! U.S. takes all medals in snowboarding Was anyone honestly surprised by this? Or (for that matter) when USA Basketball beats all opponents in the summer Games? We don't tend to win in things like figure skating, luge, bobsled, etc. ... so we add events like this, then trumpet them when we sweep the competition...
posted by krewson (65 comments total)

 
No surprise, although I'd suspect over time, snowboarding might spread enough for there to be real competition.

I would add tho, that its not "we" adding events, unless by "we" you mean the International Olympic Commitee.
posted by malphigian at 6:42 AM on February 12, 2002


The Olympics were all down hill after Lake Placid. I would pay big bucks to get the Canadian or French or Swedish tv feed of the games.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:46 AM on February 12, 2002


Oh good god, the US team won something, make sure no one else's feelings get hurt.

But, seriously. Look at basketball. The competition in Olympic basketball is getting better. Look at the number of non-US born players in the NBA now versus 1980. Its the same with this, the competition and the popularity of snowboarding will drive athletes from all countries to improve their performance.
posted by jbelshaw at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2002


Just wait - we Brits invented Football, Cricket, Rugby, Golf, Ski Racing for the same reason and it wasn't long before you blahdy foreigners starting beating us at our own games.

I do wish the US hadn't nationalised the opening ceremony though.
posted by godidog at 7:09 AM on February 12, 2002


Is cynacism really called for every time the US does anything of note?

[ BTW - I watched them last night - and I think the biggest news is that the Canadian figure skating pair got screwed out of the gold. They skated one of the most beautiful and technically perfect routines I think I've ever seen ... the crowd actually booed to judges when they awarded to gold to Russia. Any Canadians on the MiFi? Your people ROCKED.]
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:11 AM on February 12, 2002


oops ... sorry, didn't scroll down the home page - guess this has already been discussed.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:14 AM on February 12, 2002


Sheesh, krewson, you make it sound like some grand conspiracy. As malphigian pointed out, "we" don't add the events, it's done by a global committee. And by the way, snowboarding is very very popular in many countries, and has been since the early 80s: Australia, Japan, Canada and pretty much all of Scandanavia. Why so cynical?
posted by Karl at 7:18 AM on February 12, 2002


you have to wonder if the missing canadian snowboarders who openly admitted smoking marijuana and were banned from entering the US, would have made any difference in the outcome.
posted by vincentmeanie at 7:19 AM on February 12, 2002


I don't think you can draw a valid comparison between a judged event like halfpipe and a high-scoring officiated sport like basketball. A fairer comparison might be U.S. dominance in basketball versus Austrian dominance in ski racing.

I'm still waiting for the next-gen of kiddie sports where they eschew equipment altogether. Just fire them out of a cannon into the air and see how many parts of their bodies they can grab before they hit the ground.
posted by xiffix at 7:30 AM on February 12, 2002


What's really funny, and almost related to this thread, are the funny images Google is running as logos, anyone else notice them?
Today is a crashed skier.
I know they used to have them all on a single page, but I can't seem to find it.
posted by Blake at 7:35 AM on February 12, 2002


Just wait till cheerleading becomes an Olympic sport, the USA is going to kick everyone's asses. USA all the way!!!!!
posted by panopticon at 7:39 AM on February 12, 2002


vincentmedia - no. First of all, Rebagliati was the only one stopped, and he's a racer, not a freestyler. Second, he's not even competing this year.

Congrats to the Americans who won. I was surprised, however, to see that not many of the names that are familiar to me (michaelchuk, terje) were even in final round. Did they not go, or did they not make the cut?
posted by sauril at 7:42 AM on February 12, 2002


i hadn't heard about those canadian snowboarders before, vincentmeanie. do you have a link to more info?
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:44 AM on February 12, 2002


You've gotta be kidding. I nearly wet myself when I heard 'Halfpipe' was going to be judged. You realize this honestly makes skateboarding a contender for the summer games, right? And what next, surfing? Please. This event was added so the US could keep medal counts up. Yes, eventually other countries (probably the Nordic ones) will start winning medals, but only years down the line... I just think this demeans the sport. Look, I'd cheer if we won downhill skiing, hockey, or anything like that. This particular event just seemed staged, that's all.
posted by krewson at 7:45 AM on February 12, 2002


Halfpipe was in the Olympics in 1998, and the US didn't win. Ross Powers (gold medalist this time) got the bronze. The sport is not exclusively American, and based on the runs I saw yesterday it's still not dominated by Americans. Several European boarders had medal-worthy runs, but scored just below the top 3.

For those who complain about judged sports versus goal-scoring sports, remember that there is a big subjective element to goal-scoring sports: the referees. It's harder to track the decisions of a snowboard or figure skating judge, but referees make subjective decisions all the time when calling fouls.
posted by neuroshred at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2002


"you have to wonder if the missing canadian snowboarders who openly admitted smoking marijuana and were banned from entering the US, would have made any difference in the outcome."

Actually, Rebegliati did make it to the Opening Ceremonies (and got to sit beside the Great One, aka Wayne the wimp). He managed to talk his way through the border on Friday.

And as for Salé and Pelletier getting screwed out of the gold... I must say it's tragic, esp. as Salé (who is cute as two buttons, BTW) and Pelletier come across as two very intelligent and grounded athletes. No diva routines with them. As for them getting screwed out of the gold... well, Canadians have come to expect a certain amount of bad karma/ bad luck/ disapointment at the Olympics. We produce a champion sprinter... he fails the doping test. We expect gold in the mens 500 sprint speed skating... he falls down at the start line. We think we can beat 40 years of no golds in figure skating... the Russian, Chinese and Polish judges combine to screw us over.


posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2002


Sheesh, krewson, you make it sound like some grand conspiracy. As malphigian pointed out, "we" don't add the events, it's done by a global committee. And by the way, snowboarding is very very popular in many countries, and has been since the early 80s: Australia, Japan, Canada and pretty much all of Scandanavia. Why so cynical?

Oh, Karl, didn't you get the memo? Reflexive American self-loathing is the new black! It's become quite the trendy left-wing shibboleth of late.

I will say it here: It was bloody *good* to see three American flags rising during the medals ceremony for the halfpipe, and to hear the crowd in the stadium singing, "gave proof through the night / that our flag was still there." One of the first true moments of healing that I think I've had since 9/11. And for those of you too cynical to appreciate such things, I pity you.
posted by jammer at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2002


"you have to wonder if the missing canadian snowboarders who openly admitted smoking marijuana and were banned from entering the US, would have made any difference in the outcome."

Actually, Rebegliati did make it to the Opening Ceremonies (and got to sit beside the Great One, aka Wayne the wimp). He managed to talk his way through the border on Friday.

And as for Salé and Pelletier getting screwed out of the gold... I must say it's tragic, esp. as Salé (who is cute as two buttons, BTW) and Pelletier come across as two very intelligent and grounded athletes. No diva routines with them. As for them getting screwed out of the gold... well, Canadians have come to expect a certain amount of bad karma/ bad luck/ disapointment/ choking at the Olympics. We produce a champion sprinter... he fails the doping test. We expect gold in the mens 500 sprint speed skating... he falls down at the start line. We think we can beat 40 years of no golds in figure skating... the Russian, Chinese and Polish judges combine to screw us over.


posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:46 AM on February 12, 2002


Nah, U.S. has never been any good at figure skating. Thus Dorothy Hammil, Tara Lipinski, Brian Boitano, etc. What kind of crackpot comment was that?
posted by raysmj at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2002


"you have to wonder if the missing canadian snowboarders who openly admitted smoking marijuana and were banned from entering the US, would have made any difference in the outcome."

Or the snowboarders who chose not to compete.

Snowboarders are required to have International Ski Federation (FIS) "points" in order to compete in the Olympics.

When snowboarding was added to the games, the IOC placed the FIS (until this point a purely a skiing governing body) in charge of the sport, instead of the snowboarding-specific International Snowboard Federation (ISF).

Because of this, Finnish world champion Terje Haakonsen has boycotted both the Nagano and Salt Lake games. He is probably not the only snowboarder to do so.

Don't know about Mike Michaelchuk specifically though.
posted by jon at 7:49 AM on February 12, 2002


Well, the Italian dude was actually fourth, very very close to J.J.Thomas. Not bad for halfpipe, really an American discipline
posted by matteo at 7:53 AM on February 12, 2002


I am Canadian.

First, snowboarding. Kudos to the USA. The story in Canada on that was your guys had the "edge" and kicked ass. Our guys didn't show up. We wuz expecting a better result, so congrats USA.

Skating has been bogus for a long time. Yeah, they got royally screwed. I remember seeing Canadians Bourne & Kraatz skate a flawless, emotional performance and getting bronze. So as I watched with my wife last night and the announcers were giving us the Gold, I was saying "hold on, let's see the scores."

Disappointed but not surprised. Pelletier put it at the feet of the French judge. The Russian choreographer, bitch that she is :-), said that their program was more difficult.

Point is a flawless performance versus a flawed performance. I wouldn't be pissed if Canada lost due to the short program, and just couldn't make it up on the long program. But to actually have a perfect performance scored lower than a flawed performance .. well. Fuck it.
posted by Mondo at 8:00 AM on February 12, 2002


Thousands of people snowboard. That alone gives events like the halfpipe more legitimacy than oddball specialties like curling, and when you consider the athleticism required to do the things required to medal in the halfpipe, I don't question its inclusion into the Olympics at all.
posted by rcade at 8:04 AM on February 12, 2002


I watched this event on every feed available to me (via sattelite) and I only saw one non-American run. Perhaps they weren't great runs, but I really couldn't say. I would've like to have something to compare them (the winners) to. (Please forgive the dangling participle) Did anyone out there see a more complete presentation and if so, what station, etc.?
posted by glennie at 8:04 AM on February 12, 2002


what, they don't snowboard in other countries?

and

I don't think halfpipe snowboarding is really a good sport fo the olympics, at least not yet. I also hate mogul skiing in the olympics, but its not quite as bad. I hate to say this, but the womens' halfpipe comp was pretty weak, that started me on the anti-halfpipe rant. The men's was much better. I don't like flailing arms in a judged sport, maybe thats just me.

If snowboard halfpipe is in, then skateboarding should be too - I think its a little less 'free for all' like (although i can do w/o the plumber's crack pants).
posted by tomplus2 at 8:04 AM on February 12, 2002


I've been lobbying for years, in my own way, for the addition of full-contact downhill inner tubing to the Winter Olympics. I've already got my sponsorship lined up with Louisville Slugger.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2002


PP: "I would pay big bucks to get the Canadian or French or Swedish tv feed of the games"

One of the benefits of living in Detroit is being just across a river from Windsor, Ontario. We get CBC over the air, and all of our local cable companies carry it as well. The pure drama of watching an event live, with the ebb and flow of momentum, is unparalelled. Pre-packaged crap of the sort aired by NBC (show one contestant, air five-minute soft-focus bio of upcoming American contestant, show American contestant, show one more contestant, show medal ceremony) drains any sense of drama from the sport itself.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:13 AM on February 12, 2002


full-contact downhill inner tubing

That's the best idea to hit Olympic sports since television. We could run it on the slalom course, but we'd have to raise the fences up a bit more (maybe add berms?).

We'd also want at least six teams to be going down the hill at once, in order to maximize the mayhem.
posted by aramaic at 8:13 AM on February 12, 2002


Blake-The Google olympic logos can be found here.
posted by neilkod at 8:20 AM on February 12, 2002


I know they used to have them all on a single page, but I can't seem to find it.

Google Logos
posted by jeblis at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2002


This event was added so the US could keep medal counts up.

Krewson, it was mentioned earlier that there *was* a half-pipe competition in 1998. And that there is no US-centric faction that is adding events to "keep the medals" up.

So I guess my question is, again: What the hell are you talking about??
posted by Karl at 8:24 AM on February 12, 2002


Well personally I wouldn't have any subjective 'sports' included in the Olympics i.e anything that needs to be judged. Figure Skating, while great to watch, doesn't really qualify as a sport in my eyes, if you are going to have ice dancing in the Winter Olympics why not ballet in the Summer ? Synchronized swimming, again technically difficult but a sport ? At least with curling you can sit at home and see who the better team is. It would be sad to leave out Snowboarding and bumps'n'jumps but I think that would be a small price to pay to get things back to 'Swifter,Higher,Stronger'.

Also the Canadians were not robbed and it was disgusting to hear the commentators try and belittle the Russians beautiful performance, true there was one flaw (which was marked down accordingly) but the program was technically more difficult and the choreography was so much better that the Canadians looked like rank amateurs in comparission (bring it on :)
posted by zeoslap at 8:27 AM on February 12, 2002


the bbc tv coverage of the half-pipe was one of the funniest things i have heard in a long time. the presenters (for the men's event) had little to no idea about snowboarding terminology.
the commentary generally went something like this:
-This is Ross Powers, he's an american.
silence
-That was a big jump!
-He's spinning around, how many was that?
-He just managed to land that and now he's... WOW!
-They are introducing new moves every-day, it's difficult to keep up...

I didn't see a repeat of Ross's first run, but i'd like to compare it to Heikki's final run, not to mention the other competitors.

(NB all the winter sports are much more expensive to get involved with than just about any 'normal' athletic discipline. the half-pipe is an event that you really can't practice unless you have, erm, a half-pipe (made of snow and ice, about 400m long).)
posted by asok at 8:31 AM on February 12, 2002


I wasn't aware of the '98 halfpipe, so my bad for bringing it up as a new event. Mea culpa. But Karl, all I'm pointing out is that it seems a bit, well, odd to watch the Olympics and then see the 'sport' performed on a Mountain Dew commercial. Yes, snowboarding takes incredible amounts of skill and talent. But it's just kind of silly as an Olympic event... much less one we expect anyone but Americans to win. (I wasn't aware of the '98 halfpipe, so my bad for bringing it up as a new event. Mea culpa.)
posted by krewson at 8:42 AM on February 12, 2002


But it's just kind of silly as an Olympic event...
Table tennis? Synchronized swimming? Methinks snowboarding fits in just fine and is a lot more fun to watch on tv. If only to hear tv commentators well into their 40s+ say "wicked air".
posted by owillis at 8:57 AM on February 12, 2002


Well personally I wouldn't have any subjective 'sports' included in the Olympics i.e anything that needs to be judged.

If you do that, you're going to remove a lot of sports. Some of the more entertaining ones too. You have all the figure skating events... judged; you have moguls, and aerials, and ski jumping... judged; you have half-pipe... judged; hell, you can even consider hockey a judged sport - one bad penalty call can shift the momentum of a game.

I agree with the sentiment of subjective judging, and as I said before, it's why I really like speed skating, alpine, and luge/bobsled/skeleton - only the clock judges the athletes; but even still, I wouldn't want to see those other sports removed on account of being too subjective. The judges do take an oath at the opening ceremonies just like the athletes do. You'll always have bad judges... but you'll also always have cheating athletes. Such is at it is, and you deal with it.
posted by mkn at 9:00 AM on February 12, 2002


It was bloody *good* to see three American flags rising during the medals ceremony for the halfpipe

Jammer-- if you're so proud to be an American, why are you using pretentious Anglo slang?
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 9:01 AM on February 12, 2002


No one watches the Olympics, because a lot of the sports no longer seem relevant. The Olympics need snowboarding more than the sport needs it. That's just the truth. As for skateboarding and surfing - why not? I might tune in for that.
posted by xammerboy at 9:07 AM on February 12, 2002


owillis: Synchronised swimming, I'll give you, but what's the problem with table tennis?

rcade: I'm willing to bet that there are many thousands of curling players in the world.

I don't think there's a problem with snowboard racing, but half-pipe is not a proper sport. If I had my way, I would get rid of figure skating, rhythmic gymnastics, gymnastics, diving, synchronised swimming, the dressage part from equestrianism and every other "sport" which is scored through subjectively judged criteria. On the other hand, I'd like to see Olympic rugby union, using the under-23 rule that association football uses.
posted by salmacis at 9:11 AM on February 12, 2002


I think maybe because snowboarding seems "new" (which it's not), it's somehow threatening to people, which is a pretty conservative attitude. Owillis is right, if snowboarding isn't acceptable, why should we have to watch frigging Olympic ping-pong? We'd have to get rid of lots of sports that people have been watching and enjoying for years.

...much less one we expect anyone but Americans to win.

I swear I'm not trying to bully you, Krewson, but lots of people didn't necessarily expect the US to win. All of the best snowboarders I've met or boarded with have been Canadian or Australian. As a matter of fact, every snowboard instructor I've ever met in this hemisphere at various ski resorts have been Australian.

I don't mean to be harping on this thread so much, but from the original post, we were led to believe some kind of fashionable anti-US theory on how the international Olympics rules have been twisted to help the US win. Sorry, but I think that it's a simplistic and knee-jerk reaction, and pretty naive.
posted by Karl at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2002


I'm sure to be dogpiled on this one, but why on earth ISN'T skateboarding in the olympics? After all, snowboarding was started by a skateboarder in the '60s. (thanks to my hubby for the link)
posted by whatnot at 9:17 AM on February 12, 2002


Karl: While you're at it, how about getting rid of Olympic badminton, handball, water-polo and field hockey? Why should anyone have to watch those pesky furrin sports?
posted by salmacis at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2002


Wow, Salmacis, you managed to totally miss my point. I **don't**agree with dismissing any of the above mentioned sports, as lots of people have been enjoying those sports for years. My whole point was that I'm *glad* new sports like snowboarding are being included. Not sure how you misinterpreted that, or assumed I didn't like "furrin" sports.
posted by Karl at 9:28 AM on February 12, 2002


All you halfpipe haters might reconsider after reading this brilliant quote:
Olympic victories are supposed to put athletes on Wheaties boxes, but maybe not this time. "I'm going to be on the Count Chocula box!", Danny Kass (U.S. Silver Medalist) yelled. "Count Chocula!!!!"

It helps if you know that Danny Kass is this little punk of a 19-year-old from Jersey. He's the only boarder I know that doesn't plan a routine for the Olympics, he just drops in and rips. Shoulda had that gold medal.
posted by lbergstr at 9:31 AM on February 12, 2002


Maybe it's cuz I don't snowboard, but I rolled my eyes when I saw we swept the medals. The competition just seems more like an extension of the X Games. So in four years, what, extreme skiing? By extension, if snowboarding is allowed, then why not skateboarding in summertime? Since that's where the halfpipe came from.
posted by krewson at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2002


Your cynicism is at the point where I find it amusing.

By your logic Hockey shouldn't have been added to the Olympic setlist since Russians and Canadians are better at it, and therefore the sole reason for pushing hockey as an olympic sport is the subversion of less talented countries and the unfair medal-hording of winter-friendly countries.

Last time I checked, a sport didn't have to be 100 years old for it to be a valid athletic competition - or are we not allowed to invent new sports anymore?

I can't stand the outlook that every time the United States lifts a finger, it's for the advancement of evil, capitalism and world domination.
posted by tomorama at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2002


no offense to the medal winners and other snowboarding enthusiasts, but this sport just is not as hard to master as it may appear. i accidentally did a "mctwist" off the side of my bathtub this morning.

coming to athens: underwater freestyle basket weaving, anyone?
posted by jellybuzz at 9:59 AM on February 12, 2002


In the name of all that is holy, multicultural, and broad-based, I demand that all Winter Olympic sports be banned immediately! The Winter Olympics are nothing more than a tool of northern capitalist oppression, dedicated to keeping down the brown folk and their hopeless bobsledding teams!

Anything less than a total ban amounts to cultural genocide.
posted by aramaic at 10:02 AM on February 12, 2002


It was bloody *good* to see three American flags rising during the medals ceremony for the halfpipe

Jammer-- if you're so proud to be an American, why are you using pretentious Anglo slang?


Dear GOD, we're getting snarky on this board.........oh wait. We've ALWAYS been snarky.

Grow up, people.
posted by KoPi_42 at 10:14 AM on February 12, 2002


Here's why snowboarding is in the Olympics and skateboarding isn't: it's easier to add an event to an existing sport than to add an entirely new sport. Snowboarding got in by piggybacking on skiing. As mentioned before, Olympic snowboarding competition is governed by the FIS (the international governing body of skiing).

Beach Volleyball did the same thing. In 1996 they piggybacked on indoor volleyball and got into the Atlanta games. Many top beach volleyball players didn't go to the Olympics because they would have had to compete at the international volleyball events instead of the AVP (Assoc. of Volleyball Professionals) pro events.

Skateboarding has nothing to piggyback on. The Olympics are looking for sports to eliminate from the games, so it's a tough battle to convince them to add something entirely new. It used to be that each host country got to add an event or two, but I think the IOC has ended that.
posted by neuroshred at 10:38 AM on February 12, 2002


It helps if you know that Danny Kass is this little punk of a 19-year-old from Jersey. He's the only boarder I know that doesn't plan a routine for the Olympics, he just drops in and rips.

he also said in an interview last night that he was wearing headphones during his run, and had AC/DC's HELL'S BELLS playing in them.

yeah!
posted by chrisege at 11:18 AM on February 12, 2002


I used to snowboard multiple times a week back in college, and the best snowboarders, worldwide, were all in the Nordic countries. The best, by far, snowboarder alive (easily the Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan of the snow) is Terje Haakonsen (or however you spell it, I'm too lazy to look up the proper number of o's with dots over them). He boycotted the 1998 games because he felt they were a spectacle that wasn't helpful of the sport. Everyone at the 98 olympics knew that Terje would have taken it easily (he had won every world contest he entered that year).

I was a bit surprised to see few recognizable names in the finals, the europeans really dominate the sport now. Did they not allow professional snowboarders in this year? Was there a mass boycott by riders? (I haven't read a snowboard magazine in a year, so I wouldn't know this time around).
posted by mathowie at 11:28 AM on February 12, 2002


I love the Olympics, and I love watching the halfpipe. However, I am extremely disappointed in the half-rate, biased television coverage. They hardly even show any competitors if they aren't American. They will show the American competitors, perhaps some foreigners in between, and leave out the rest! There are only 11 New Zealanders competing this year, and I'm betting I don't see any of them.
posted by animoller at 11:37 AM on February 12, 2002


Here is an article from the nytimes (login required) about snowboarders not entering the olympics, and choosing other competitions instead.
posted by goneill at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2002


rcade: Thousands of people snowboard. That alone gives events like the halfpipe more legitimacy than oddball specialties like curling. . .

In the Canadian city where I grew up, sometimes people would go out curling with their friends.

Y'know, like people down here in the US go out bowling with their friends.

Wait a minute! Why isn't bowling in the Olympics?
posted by iceberg273 at 12:12 PM on February 12, 2002


iceberg273 - We need Olympic bowling. 10-pin, straight-up, league style play. The US could get the Dude and Walter to team up with Jesus and Liam....... they'd be unbeatable.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:38 PM on February 12, 2002


Hehe somebody please post this: the intimid'EHtor
posted by aaronshaf at 12:40 PM on February 12, 2002


and got to sit beside the Great One, aka Wayne the wimp
Hey, he may be a wimp but he'll score on the tough d-man any day of the week! Pretty damn hard to win w/o the wimpy scorors! =)
posted by jmd82 at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2002


We need Olympic bowling.

Bowling is trying to get into the Olympics.
posted by neuroshred at 1:53 PM on February 12, 2002


Curling is big up here in Canada. Every little town has a sheet. As far as participatory sports go in the winter, I know more people who curl than play hockey, bowl or whatever.

I used to curl and enjoyed it. There is a little bit of luck involved, but the same can be said for hockey. A hot goalie ..

Curling actually is harder than it looks. You're standing on ice, for crissakes. And a lot of drinking goes with curling. LOL. Yeah, I saw blood on the ice a few times. Not mine, luckily.
posted by Mondo at 2:02 PM on February 12, 2002


I was away for the early part of this thread - ironically snowboarding (and perhaps snowboarding ironically) - and was about to write a rant about the greatness of Terje, till I came to mathowie's comment. So here's more on the greatest halfpipe snowboarder by far. Snowboarding may be an American sport, but it's not an American preserve. The Arctic Challenge, an event in Norway organized by Terje and others, is the riders' favorite event.
posted by liam at 3:05 PM on February 12, 2002


Ani, you'd think we'd have better coverage on this side of the world, right? Not a chance. In Oz, with local commentators, we still ended up seeing mostly just the American runs. They threw the mohawk'd Fin in there for good measure, but that was it.
posted by cyniczny at 7:08 PM on February 12, 2002


rcade: From the USOC [!] website: "There are an estimated one million curling participants in Canada — maybe three times as many participants as in all other curling countries combined."
posted by Carol Anne at 6:29 AM on February 13, 2002


Here's a thought:

ALL sports should be in the Olympics. Yup, you heard me. All of them. And activities too. Screw drawing lines between sports you personally like and ones you don't. No one here has any reasonable justification for why curling should be an Olympic sport and biathalon shouldn't. Or why ski jumping should be and ice dancing shouldn't. The Olympics are supposed to be about the best non-professional competitors in a given competitive activity getting together and hashing it out in the harsh glare of the world's attention to find out who's best and who's not. To find out who can take the pressure and who crumples like an origami hatstand.

I say, the more the merrier! Let there be so many sports and competitive sport-like activities that the Olympics go on all the time. We need new kinds of Olympics! Not just summer and winter, we need an Indoor Olympics. There are already many sports that would fit better in an "Indoor" category than anything else (like table tennis). Let's have it! Add bowling, and poker, and bocce (is bocce already an Olymic event?) I want a goddamn Olympics Channel on cable, that only broadcasts Olympics, 24/7/365.

Enough with the assumption that the Olympics are for sports that either (A) You personally like, or (B) Have always been Olympic sports, even if that's the only time anyone pays any attention to them. The Olympics are for all competitors with the desire to find out who is really the best.

There. That's my Olympic rant. :-)

--

Oh, and as a clarification of the above: My line for the Olympics is, pros shouldn't be allowed. It's supposed to be for people who don't earn their living playing their sport or competitive activity. If that means that America gets the crap pounded out of it in basketball, so be it. But only so long as our college kids are getting their asses kicked by non-pros from other countries. Same with hockey, too.
posted by rusty at 8:47 AM on February 14, 2002


Thank God for CBC Olympic coverage from Canada! This is the first year I could actually enjoy the opening ceremonies without feeling the need to yell at the TV announcers to shut the fuck up. And of course getting most of the coverage live is so much better than the over-edited, over-produced crap that NBC is dishing out.

Back on topic: halfpipe snowboarding is not a fake sport and deserves to be in the Olympics as much as moguls or ski jumping. My opinion for what it's worth.
posted by cakeman at 2:40 PM on February 14, 2002


« Older Happy Mardi Gras...  |  Compassionate Conservatism?... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments