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Thread: The Olympic Games

  1. #401
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    Oprah gets hands on Olympic mitts, warms audience with maple-leaf mitten giveaway


    By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press


    VANCOUVER, B.C. - If they were hand-wringingly hard to get before, now that Oprah Winfrey has gotten her paws on them it'll be next to impossible.

    America's hottest TV show host sported Canada's coolest Olympic swag on her program Friday - a pair of official Olympic retailer HBC's red mittens with a white maple leaf on the palm.

    The accessory was pronounced the "hottest item" at the Olympics by the daytime TV queen. When the lights came up as her show began, it was hard not to notice the scarlet adorning her hands, prompting some pouting from the guest being beamed in over satellite from Vancouver, NBC journalist Matt Lauer.


    "Nobody can get a hold of these red Canadian mittens and we have scoured the entire country to find one pair for you," Lauer, co-host of the Today Show, said on air while holding up a pair of the gloves and shaking them in fake exasperation. "And you open the show wearing the darn things."

    In true fashion, Winfrey then proceeded to give the $10 'it' item of the Vancouver Games away to her entire audience. They cheered and clapped as though she'd given them a car, and then gave mitten-clad high-fives to Winfrey's next guest, American gold medal snowboarder Shaun White.

    Winfrey told her viewers that she noticed some of her audience members sporting the mitts since last week, and decided she wanted some.

    A spokeswoman for HBC said the company sent a batch of more than 300 pairs to Winfrey at her request.

    The retailer stocked store shelves across the country with three million pairs of mittens, and two million of them sold even before the Winter Games began a week ago.

    Comments online were mostly warm and fuzzy over the mitten's guest appearance, but the sentiment was slightly frostier among a few.

    "I don't think anyone in Oprah's audience should get red maple-leaf Olympic mittens unless they can find Canada on a map first," one Twitter user posted.

    But it's still another touchstone moment in the sudden rise of Canadian patriotism, said marketing professor Lindsay Meredith at Simon Fraser University.

    "Finally, it looks like Canadian nationalism has come out of the closet," he said.
    And from the Vancouver 2010 website:
    This winter, keep warm and show your support of Canadian athletes in their quest for gold at the 2010 Winter Games by wearing a pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens.

    Wear your mittens at the rink, schoolyard or along the Olympic Torch Relay route when it comes to your community. At only $10, the Red Mittens are one of the must-have mementos of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

    Net proceeds from every pair sold go toward supporting Canadian athletes in gaining access to top equipment and training.
    Thank you, Oprah for supporting our Canadian athletes!

  2. #402
    Premium Member canuckinchile's Avatar
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    I love those red mittens. My mom gave everyone a pair at Christmas, so the whole family is kitted out. Jon Montgomery won gold in Men's skeleton, and what a great guy. I was laughing when a woman at Whistler village handed him a pitcher of beer as he was walking through the streets, and the cops escorting him just kind of laughed it off. I hope we have a great day today, and lots of great performances by all the athletes

  3. #403
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    I got my mittens back in Sept/Oct, it took weeks of trying to find them. One phone call and Oprah gets 300 of them! Its a great idea, and they have become so popular. It would be nice if London can do that, maybe a "bobbie" baseball cap of some sort for the summer Olympics!

    I also got the childrens mittens for my neice's children for xmas, they are so adorable.

  4. #404
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    I am behind, just catching up on things on the weekend. I have to say that Johnny Weir is still my favorite skater. He's just poetry on ice. He thinks about the placement of every limb, he never even lets a finger get out of sync and not look lyrical. I just love that style of skating. I do think he was underscored, and I don't begrudge the top winners at all, but his style of skating, the John Curry ballet-style skating, is my favorite. I loved his free skate program.

    Evan Lysacek skates near my parents house and I've had the fun of seeing him skate in practice. What I remember most is that he would be working on these big elements and in between, he looked completely dog tired wiped out. Then I realized that if I was there for a public session at 3:00 in the afternoon (they have multiple surfaces, he wasn't on a public session ) then he had probably been there since 5:00 a.m. working all day.
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  5. #405
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    I rewatched skating last night.
    I felt the same about Plushenko's performance as I did when he won the gold. Great at technical - jumps - but very little artistry. I was not a big fan of Elvis Stojko though, either.
    I do feel Evan's gold medal was very well deserved. He had both the technical and the artistry. The fact that he is 6'2" is just simply amazing. Add to that, that he trains harder than just about any other athlete and that he has such a great attitude just makes him tops in my book. And, he challenges himself to incorporate the right mix of technicality and artistry.
    I happen to love Johnny's skating, too, but I have to agree that he does not do moves that challenge / are hard, esp. when compared to others. So, while I do enjoy him, I do also understand why his grades aren't higher.

    The other night, after the skating, I was thinking back to when Oksana won the gold.
    Yes, she made some mistakes, but she challenged herself and delivered a performance that contained true artistry, beauty and a high degree of passion.
    Many wanted Kerrigan to win. She had skated a very clean performance. But, while technically perfect, it came off fairly dull and routine and devoid of passion, IMO. I happen to like Kerrigan a lot and would love to be able to skate that well, but I can't deny that Oksana blew me away at the Olympics, while Nancy sure didn't.
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  6. #406
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    Watched the ice dancing compulsory last night and I still can't get the music out of my head. It's like listening to a cd on repeat!

  7. #407
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    ITA about Evan being gracious in that interview with Bob Costas about Plushenko trash talking him. I'm sure Costas wanted him to say "You know what? Plushenko can suck it 'cause the gold is MINE!" (hell, I'D probably be temped to say that if it was me! ), but he took the high road and remained a class act. Plush could learn a thing or two.

    Speaking of poor sports, does anyone remember a few Olympics ago when one of the men's medalists took his medal off almost as soon as the gold medalist's national anthem was played? I can't remember who it was, but I remember there being a big stink about his poor sportsmanship.

    I have to say, Johnny's program was my favorite to watch in the free skate, but I understand why he wasn't scored as high. I wish they'd amped up his DOD to give him more of a chance at a medal. At the very least, I think he deserved to be in 5th ahead of Chan.

    I'm enjoying the ice dancing, but I'm with you, Missyboxers - that music turns into an ear worm and I can't get it out of my head! I do like seeing each couple skate the same routine though. It's much more obvious which pairs are better when you can compare them like that.
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  8. #408
    FORT Fogey ironcat's Avatar
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    Quote Originally Posted by norealityhere;3834069;
    I rewatched skating last night.
    I felt the same about Plushenko's performance as I did when he won the gold. Great at technical - jumps - but very little artistry. I was not a big fan of Elvis Stojko though, either.
    I do feel Evan's gold medal was very well deserved. He had both the technical and the artistry. The fact that he is 6'2" is just simply amazing. Add to that, that he trains harder than just about any other athlete and that he has such a great attitude just makes him tops in my book. And, he challenges himself to incorporate the right mix of technicality and artistry.
    I happen to love Johnny's skating, too, but I have to agree that he does not do moves that challenge / are hard, esp. when compared to others. So, while I do enjoy him, I do also understand why his grades aren't higher.

    The other night, after the skating, I was thinking back to when Oksana won the gold.
    Yes, she made some mistakes, but she challenged herself and delivered a performance that contained true artistry, beauty and a high degree of passion.
    Many wanted Kerrigan to win. She had skated a very clean performance. But, while technically perfect, it came off fairly dull and routine and devoid of passion, IMO. I happen to like Kerrigan a lot and would love to be able to skate that well, but I can't deny that Oksana blew me away at the Olympics, while Nancy sure didn't.
    Skaters like Stojko, who excelled at technical jumps over artistry, are of course going to side with Plushenko in this debate. What they really should be doing is lobbying the ISU or whatever the governing body is to modify the scoring system to favor athleticism more for future competitions, if they feel so strongly about it. The Russians knew well in advance what was what with the new scoring system (used in 2006 as well, so not that new), and it is ridiculous to gripe about it after the fact, just because their skater, in his arrogance, chose to ignore its implications.

  9. #409
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    Quote Originally Posted by ironcat;3834096;
    Skaters like Stojko, who excelled at technical jumps over artistry, are of course going to side with Plushenko in this debate. What they really should be doing is lobbying the ISU or whatever the governing body is to modify the scoring system to favor athleticism more for future competitions, if they feel so strongly about it. The Russians knew well in advance what was what with the new scoring system (used in 2006 as well, so not that new), and it is ridiculous to gripe about it after the fact, just because their skater, in his arrogance, chose to ignore its implications.
    Exactly! Why should they cry foul and whine now? Evan crafted his program to get the maximum number of points and shouldn't be faulted for that. Plush skated the same type of program he did under the old system, which was obviously pretty foolish. The more he complains, the worse he looks, imo.

    It's like when Bjorn Borg came out of retirement and kept using a wooden racket. Times change - get with it!
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  10. #410
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    Re: The Olympic Games

    My rundown of men's figure skating after really looking at the score sheet:

    Lysacek and Plushenko earned the exact same subjective scores. But when you break it down into the components, Lysacek had harder footwork going into jumps than Plushenko and the judges actually rewarded Plushenko for his artistry. His scores relating to artistry were higher than Lysacek's across the board. A lot of people seem to think that Plushenko lost because of artistry. That isn't the case. The judges liked his artistry more than Lysack's.
    Lysacek and Plushenko had nearly identical base values for their elements (jumping, spinning, etc) but when the grade of execution scores factored in, Lysacek was the clear winner. It was mostly his spins that put him over the top.

    A lot of people are saying that Johnny Weir lost because his routine was not hard enough. That isn't true either. His technical element scores were 4th best (behind Lysacek, Plushenko, and Oda). He actually beat Chan, Lambiel, AND Takahashi in the technical elements. His only technical weakness came from his transitions and he still scored higher than Plushenko. Weir lost because the judges scored him low in his choreography, interpretation, and performance. So basically, whenever they had the opportunity to lower his score because they disliked him, they lowered his score. Weir already said that he thinks politics came into play with his scoring. I have to agree with him. He delivered technically and there was no question about his artistry. Those scores should not have been so low.

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