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Thread: Winter Olympics Torino 2006

  1. #211
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    A friend of mine said that NBC (or another company) had said that unless USA won a medal, they would never air biathlon again. Does anyone know if this is true?
    I certainly hope not! Biathlon is one of my favorite events.

    My condolences to the Swedish team and their fans--that had to be heartbreaking.
    "The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
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  2. #212
    FORT Fan julitta's Avatar
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    i don't know if this is true, but i wouldn't doubt it. our media seems to be tearing apart our athletes if they don't medal. and when they do medal, if it's not gold, the questions all seem to be about why they didn't get the gold. i'm with louis lane. replace those reporters and set a new tone. let's support our athletes. maybe they would do better if their country was behind them win or lose!

  3. #213
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julitta View Post
    i don't know if this is true, but i wouldn't doubt it. our media seems to be tearing apart our athletes if they don't medal. and when they do medal, if it's not gold, the questions all seem to be about why they didn't get the gold. i'm with louis lane. replace those reporters and set a new tone. let's support our athletes. maybe they would do better if their country was behind them win or lose!
    Here here! And just because I'm American, it doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see sports in which other countries dominate! I'm afraid that if speedskating (short track esp.) becomes a sport in which only the Koreans and Chinese win, then they won't show it at all! I really hate how they made the athletes feel like losers if they don't get the gold. I know that gold is the goal for everyone but these are pretty much young kids who've done something incredible.

  4. #214
    CCL
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    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane View Post
    And regarding the cuteness factor, I think Apolo is definitely hot. Joey Cheek is kinda cute. But Hedrick? Ugh! Those eyebrows--his accent. He just is icky (to me in terms of looks and personality). BUT he's a great skater. I hope he does well--but I hope Shani beats him!
    Joey Cheek is very cute. And he seems really nice - he donated both of his winning bonuses to charity, which was very sweet of him.

    As for the whole post-show interview business, I thought this article (regarding Bode Miller) was to the point:

    Afterward, Miller again left the finish area without giving interviews, not even stopping at the NBC position. It was the second race in a row in which Miller left others, primarily (US Ski Head) McNichol, to pick up the postrace pieces.

    "Every time after a race I tell him, 'We have to do this; we have to go there,' " U.S. ski team press aide Marc Habermann said. "He looks at me and says, 'Yeah, but I don't want to.' He just turns around and takes off."

    No one can, or chooses to, make him do otherwise.

    "I've had my conversations with Bode in terms of once the race is over part of the job is go down to the finish (and speak to reporters)," McNichol said. "But again, Bode tends to do what he wants to do and not necessarily what's professional ... or necessary."
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/torino/alpine/2006-02-20-bode-analysis_x.htm

    There's a reason good manners are called good sportsmanship.

    I wouldn't be surprised if NBC (or whatever station) didn't air biathlon because Americans (or whatever countrymen) weren't in the running. Which is stupid. The Olympics are all about seeing sports that you would never normally get a chance to watch.
    Last edited by CCL; 02-21-2006 at 01:24 PM.
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  5. #215
    FORT Fogey
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    I did see an interview of Davis after the podium ceremony and he was very talkative and gracious. Come one people, you dont know what was going through someone's head at that moment. More than likely he didnt want to be there (interviewing) and some people can fake it better than others. Some people love the media. That doesnt make someone a better or worse person.

    I'm glad to see Davis win the silver in the 1500.

  6. #216
    FORT Fogey
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    After reading this, who sounds like the bigger a-hole?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11464797/

  7. #217
    Toby's Slave kimrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by femme fatale View Post
    USA was in the race as well, they placed behind Sweden. A friend of mine said that NBC (or another company) had said that unless USA won a medal, they would never air biathlon again. Does anyone know if this is true?
    I think if that were the case we would never see the ice dancing, wasn't the silver medal the first time we won in over 30 years? It could be that the race gets really low ratings and they are thinking of getting rid of it, because no one is watching?

    Quote Originally Posted by julitta View Post
    i don't know if this is true, but i wouldn't doubt it. our media seems to be tearing apart our athletes if they don't medal. and when they do medal, if it's not gold, the questions all seem to be about why they didn't get the gold. i'm with louis lane. replace those reporters and set a new tone. let's support our athletes. maybe they would do better if their country was behind them win or lose!
    I agree completely. We as spectators/reporters/fellow countrypeople should focus on being proud of the atheletes who are representing us and our country at the Olympics. Not trying to find ways to drag them down.
    Last edited by kimrs; 02-21-2006 at 02:28 PM.

  8. #218
    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
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    So what are the ratings in your country for the Winter Olympics. So far the ice dancing has been the most popular viewing in Britain with nearly 5 million viewers on BBC2.

    http://media.guardian.co.uk/overnigh...714598,00.html
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  9. #219
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetGuy View Post
    After reading this, who sounds like the bigger a-hole?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11464797/
    You already know who my a-hole vote goes to...

    Quote Originally Posted by CCL View Post
    The ratings in the US have not been very good. Part of that is, of course, that there is a big time difference between the US and Italy so that, when you get to prime time, all the events are several hours old. The ratings in Canada have been ok but not spectacular.

    I much prefer Davis to Hedrick, personally.
    Didn't "American Idol" beat the Olympics in ratings here in the U.S.? Sigh...

    Anyhow, here're a couple stories that ran in today's Chicago Sun-Times:


    http://www.suntimes.com/output/jesse...t-jesse21.html
    Skater triumphs over icy reception

    February 21, 2006

    BY JESSE JACKSON

    On Saturday, Shani Davis, born on Chicago's South Side, became the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal in Winter Olympic history, capturing the men's 1,000-meter speedskating race, the sport's premier event.

    Davis won with the mixture of strength, grace, discipline and grit that has earned him admirers across Europe. He won with his hometown skating club in Evanston gathered to cheer their hero to victory. And he won with his Web site plastered with racial epithets, with anonymous haters hoping that the ''n'' would break his leg and slink home without a medal.

    Davis won against the odds. He was raised by a single mother. Her boss suggested that Shani, then 6 and a skilled roller skater, might try the ice. For 17 years, he pursued an impossible dream. He could not have done it without his mother. She drove him and supported him. She moved to Rogers Park to be closer to the skating club. She battled fiercely with the all-white U.S. Skating Association, fighting over endorsements and finances, using her will to remove barriers put in her son's way.

    But he could not have done it without extraordinary discipline, desire and will. He had to master a sport traditionally dominated by Europeans. He had to break into an all-white world, where he was usually the only black person on the ice. He had to stay at it, a lonely pursuit, even when the dream seemed impossibly distant. He got little support from U.S. officialdom. He ended up having to train in Canada and gain European sponsors. He channeled the slights, the rejections, the aggravations to hone his own will. And he made himself the best in the world.

    Breaking down barriers is never easy. For Shani Davis, victory was the culmination of years of struggle. He celebrated by donning his Chicago White Sox hat, picking up his lucky teddy bear and circling the ice. It is remarkable that he could perform so well under such pressure.

    Even before the race, Davis was getting blistered for declining to join the U.S. ''pursuit'' team in a race staged the day before the 1000, his signature event. But ''pursuit'' racing was only added to the Olympics this year. Speed skating is a taxing individual event, not a team event. Davis was focused on his race.

    Criticism of Davis is led by another member of the U.S. team, bitter at losing the chance to win five gold medals (although to do that he would have had to beat Davis in the 1000). And instead of tribute for his accomplishment, Davis is now getting jibes for not acting right. He didn't smile in an NBC interview. He hasn't given his critics in the press enough face time. In fact, Davis has been remarkably measured in his response to the criticism. ''On my Web site there are a lot of derogatory remarks in the comments, wishing me to break my leg and fall down, using the n-word, a lot of ignorance out there. Before all this Olympic stuff, I've never had any problems.''

    Davis' victory demonstrates once more that when the field is even, the rules the same, opportunity open, then champions of all races can emerge. Skating, like golf or tennis, is an expensive sport. African Americans in South Side Chicago fill neighborhood basketball courts, but Davis was virtually unique in trying to step out on the ice. Now his victory insures that that will change.

    The NBA All-Star game on Sunday gave some sense of what is possible. African Americans consider basketball their sport, the city game. LeBron James won the MVP award, highlighting it with an otherworldly dunk off a rebound. But Yao Ming was the starting center on one team; Canadian Steve Nash, last season's most valuable player, was the starting point guard. Germany's Dirk Nowitzki and Spain's Paul Gasol represented the legions of European and South American players that now compete at the highest levels of the game. With the rules clear, the basket the same height, players across the world can aspire and compete to be the best.

    But it always takes pioneers to carve the trail. And for that, let us salute the extraordinary journey of Shani Davis, from Chicago's South Side to Olympic gold in Turin, Italy.

    ______________

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/brown...s-brown21.html

    Let's hope Davis goes gold to settle Olympic cold war

    February 21, 2006

    BY MARK BROWN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

    I'm on Olympic speedskater Shani Davis' side, whether he'd want me there or not, and I'm guessing not, given his preference for going it alone. But after watching this whole showdown develop during the past week between Davis and fellow American Chad Hedrick, I'll be rooting for Chicagoan Davis to kick Hedrick's Texas butt in today's 1,500-meter race.



    If Hedrick hadn't spent so much time running his mouth about Davis' decision not to skate for the United States in the "team pursuit" event, there never would have been any continuing controversy about whether Davis was unpatriotic or a poor teammate.

    Instead, the nation would be saluting Davis for his gold medal in the 1,000-meter race and Hedrick for his medal in the 5,000, and we'd all be looking forward excitedly to the possibility of their going 1-2 today, with no thought other than let-the-best-man-win.

    But Hedrick made it personal, for reasons best known to him. Maybe it was just because he's a fierce competitor and didn't like losing out on the medal that he thought teaming up with Davis was sure to bring him. Maybe it was because it's so easy to say the wrong thing when somebody's always putting a microphone in front of your face.

    But Hedrick stepped over the line for me when, asked if American skaters were happy for Davis, he responded, "I'm happy for Joey," referring to American Joey Cheek who finished second behind Davis.

    At that moment, it became hard to believe that Hedrick is oblivious to the racial aspect of this situation, which is there for all the world to see, with Davis becoming the first African American to win an individual gold medal in the ultra-white Winter Olympics.

    While I might have preferred for Davis to give a more gracious interview on NBC after his victory in the 1,000-meter race, if only for his own sake, you can certainly understand why he might have been miffed after the manner in which the network had stoked the dispute with Hedrick at every opportunity.

    Had to get ready for main event

    NBC even seemed to be taking Hedrick's side at times, which not coincidentally played into their pre-Olympic hype of Hedrick trying to match Eric Heiden's record of five speedskating gold medals in a single Olympics.

    Funny thing, even if they'd won the team event, no sure thing given the fact that they'd never practiced together, Davis' victory in the 1,000-meter race would have killed off Hedrick's historic medal chase just the same.

    Do we need to point out that it made perfect sense for Davis to pass up a race that conflicted with his preparation for his main event, as is common for athletes who compete in individual sports? Or that team pursuit was a new event for the Turin Olympics and that Davis had been saying for weeks that he wasn't sure he wanted to do it and that his coach was saying flat-out that he wouldn't?

    The beauty of it is that Davis doesn't seem to need anybody on his side to accomplish his goal today. It's the nature of his sport, and the nature of what he must have gone through to get where he is.

    Adding fuel to racer's fire?

    Robert Washington understands that.

    Washington, 74, is one of many black Chicagoans who had never heard of Davis before last week but is proud of him now.

    I met Washington when I paid a visit Monday evening to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park, hoping to see how others were viewing the situation.

    "He skated to please himself, and I agree with that," Washington said. "That's what I like about him. He's not trying to please the rest of the world. Here's a kid smart enough to know he got where he is on his own."

    Washington, who came here from Mississippi in 1949 and spent 30 years working for Ford Motor Co., sees something of himself in how Davis has approached his skating career.

    "If he hadn't won the gold medal, who would he have had to blame? Nobody but himself. I live and die by my decisions," Washington said.

    Washington, though, isn't too concerned about the controversy that the dispute with Hedrick has created.

    "If he's as good as I think he is, he's going to feed off that," Washington said.

    And if Davis loses, Washington points out he already has his gold medal.

    "They can't take this away from him," he said.
    Last edited by Lois Lane; 02-21-2006 at 02:54 PM.

  10. #220
    Thinking femme fatale's Avatar
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    At least here in Sweden we get to see a bit of everything. They show everything with Swedes of course (hockey, alpine, cross country skiing, biathlon and curling are the major sports) and for the rest of the time it's a bit of everything, figure skating, speed skating and the other sports I mentioned even if no Swede competes. We couldn't follow the true or untrue rule of not showing anything if Sweden wouldn't take a medal, there wouldn't be much left . Some sports I'm not interested in if Sweden doesn't compete, and not many others, I haven't seen any luge or skeleton for example. I'm pretty happy with the things we get to see, my favs are sprint cross country, cross country, biathlon (as mentioned in my earlier post, but I'm still annoyed about the bronze lost), alpine skiing and curling. But tonight it'll probably be hockey, Sweden- Slovakia.

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