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2014 Winter Olympics

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2014 Winter Olympics

Postby kurt_w » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:41 pm

The Winter Olympics are only a couple months away now, and we don't have a thread yet!

Well, I posted once about concerns over whether there would be snow in Sochi. And bdog started a thread about the Olympics but it was all in Russian and I couldn't make sense of what he was saying about a bunch of bears.

So ... will you watch the games? What are you looking forward to?

For me it's the cross-country ski races. If you don't follow this sport, the first thing to understand is that the US has only ever won a single medal in any Olympics -- Bill Koch's silver medal in 1976.

The US team won't be finalized until January but there is so much potential there. The women's side is fantastic -- Kikkan Randall is accurately described as the best US women's cross-country skier ever. Last year she and teammate Jessie Diggins became the first Americans ever to win a world championship race in cross-country skiing. Either of them could potentially wind up on the podium at Sochi.

And there are other super-strong women likely to end up on the US team (Liz Stephen, Holly Brooks, and others).

On the men's side, the US bench is a bit thinner. Andy Newell is the only man to make the US Ski Team's "A Team" -- the rest are all women. Newell is very good, for a US skier ... but "very good" here means "maybe the best US men's skier since Bill Koch". In most sports, there has been huge improvement since the 1970s. The US men's cross country ski community is struggling to get back to the level of the 1970s.

I don't mean to focus exclusively on US skiers -- but the US has historically performed so abysmally in this sport, and now we have some unambiguously great potential.

Oh, yeah, I guess there will probably be some figure skating, too.
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Re: 2014 Winter Olympics

Postby Igor » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:25 pm

I was encouraged to hear that team figure skating was going to be an event. Then I discovered that all the team members would not be on the ice at the same time; in other words, no crack the whip, and no increased chance for crashes. This dampened my interest.

I like that they have found a way to show the more obscure sports effectively. Especially Biathalon and Nordic Combined. I generally find the new X-games type sports pretty boring. I'm sure that most of the prime time NBC coverage will be either figure skating or Shaun White being towed behind a team of Tauntauns and then jumping over Matt Lauer.
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Re: 2014 Winter Olympics

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:04 pm

I wondered about the ethics of watching an Olympics hosted by a repressive country with an appalling human rights record but decided to go ahead and watch the 2008 Beijing games anyway.
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Re: 2014 Winter Olympics

Postby Detritus » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:10 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:I wondered about the ethics of watching an Olympics hosted by a repressive country with an appalling human rights record but decided to go ahead and watch the 2008 Beijing games anyway.

I had the same problem in 2002. I feel your pain.
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Re: 2014 Winter Olympics

Postby pjbogart » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:18 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:I wondered about the ethics of watching an Olympics hosted by a repressive country with an appalling human rights record but decided to go ahead and watch the 2008 Beijing games anyway.


Well, Obama won't be attending the opening ceremony. He's sending a delegation of gay folks to represent America, which is hilarious not just because he's sticking his finger in Putin's eye, but in Republicans' eyes too. Seems like he left out Johnny Weir.

Image
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Re: 2014 Winter Olympics

Postby acmenzel » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:39 pm

Does anyone know which Madison bars will be screening the Sochi Olympics?
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