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Thread: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

  1. #41
    CCL
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    While it may be that Sochi has issues I think a lot of it is the media hyping it up/magnifying items. The media feast on negativity and will cavort in any bad detail. It's a shame. It is rather weird that I don't recall much talk of security issues for the London Olympics- and that is a city with a history of terrorist acts- versus now. And then the rather petty (in my opinion) stories of spartan athlete quarters and the like. I remember before the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver there were a lot of negative stories in the press about preparedness, location choices, weather etc. Four years later and here we are again.

    Anyhow, that's enough from me. I'm looking forward to the competition tomorrow. Go Team Canada. May all athletes from all nations do their best. And may the Games be safe and entertaining for all.

    Oh, one thing. I don't know who the female host was for NBC during the opening ceremony but her flippant comment for the audience to go check google to understand why the Russians were using the Cyrillic alphabet in bringing in the countries was uncalled for. Here was a chance for her to explain a bit about Russia's culture and she was just dismissive in tone and commentary. :/
    If you type "google" into google you can break the internet.

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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AJane View Post
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I think you would be quite surprised to see the extraordinary amount of strength and endurance training that skaters undergo and what it takes to perform this sport. Our CBC television network did a special on Patrick Chan and noted that he jumps higher and has longer "hang time" than a professional basketball player - and he does it on a few millimeters of steel blade. They are athletes in every sense of the word.
    Someone recently sent me an article written from the medical/physical viewpoint of what a free skate takes out of an athlete. It was equated to running at top speed for four minutes (four and a half for men) while simultaneously jumping, spinning, and doing choreography. Figure skaters also have considerable upper body strength, because they have to have it in order to withstand the torque on their cores that occurs from the quick turns in the air during jumps. And in pairs, the men have to have the strength to carry their partners on one arm without losing speed or the choreographic content of the program, while their partners risk the possibility of being dropped face first onto the ice if there's a problem. Or taking a skate blade through the head. Both of those things have happened to top level elite skaters. It may look pretty and effortless, but figure skating is difficult and can be dangerous.

    Skaters, regardless of their size, are no more pixies on ice than jockeys are pixies on horseback.

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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by AJane View Post
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I think you would be quite surprised to see the extraordinary amount of strength and endurance training that skaters undergo and what it takes to perform this sport. Our CBC television network did a special on Patrick Chan and noted that he jumps higher and has longer "hang time" than a professional basketball player - and he does it on a few millimeters of steel blade. They are athletes in every sense of the word.
    I don't recall saying that skaters, lugers, et al aren't athletes, just that I don't care for those sports. I don't like to watch skating. Little Sew&Sew posted "Can't envision myself watching . . . cross country or even the biathlon. " To each their own.
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    There was already an attempted plane hijacking on a flight from Turkey today. Luckily, it was stopped and no one was harmed. I don't think that will be the last attempted attack during the Games.

    I think the lack of preparation is just pointing out the issues in Russia, period. Lots of corruption (hence, the missing millions that were supposed to go to construction), everything takes forever and they generally just have to make do when things aren't perfect. In North America, we'd be horrified to check into a hotel and find that the water was turned off or there wasn't a shower curtain or a DOOR KNOB (all have been reported), but in Russia, I don't think it's terribly unusual.

    There are plenty of half-finished buildings around Sochi that should be completed, but probably never will be. I can't remember that ever happening in another host city.

    All that aside, the biggest problems for me (because I'm not staying there in a hotel with brown water and no shower curtain ) are the safety issues and the stray dogs they've been rounding up and euthanizing.

    During every opening ceremony, I develop a renewed hatred for the commentators. Could they just SHUT UP!? Matt Lauer is such an arrogant a$$. I think he just loves the sound of his own voice. They keep mispronouncing names of athletes and countries. It's embarrassing. I'd love to watch the opening ceremony without ANY talking, at least during the "interpretive" portion of the event.

    I'll bet the Canadians have better coverage. They always do!
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Florimel View Post
    I think the team figure skating event, which I had not known about, is probably designed to be somewhat like gymnastics in that there are both team and individual championships. Since they are allowing only one skater for each team event, I think it will be over soon and the individual events will begin.

    I have mixed feelings about Ashley Wagner's inclusion on the team. She did come in fourth in the U.S. Nationals. While she has had a lot of success in international events over the last few years, she also has a tendency to inconsistency. You just don't know which Ashley will be there for each skate. I think she's the one representing the U.S. in the team event, so we should get some idea within the next few days.

    I'm also concerned about Jeremy Abbot. When he's good, he's great, but he seems to excel in national events but freeze in the international competitions, which he did last night.


    That said, I'm not really jingoistic about the Olympics. I love to watch athletes perform well wherever their from. Like most everyone else old enough to remember, I got very excited about the "Miracle on Ice," but that was largely because this amateur team beat the highly experienced Russian professionals. That's not a popular perspective, I know, but for me it's what sports should be about.
    The team figure skating event was actually designed with the pattern of the gymnastics competition in mind. Since gymnastics tends to be a popular sport with audiences, both those at the event and those watching at home, and figure skating also tends to draw decent crowds and ratings numbers, the feeling was that people would be fine with watching the same programs more than once just as they're okay with watching the same gymnastics routines more than once. In fact, in gymnastics, there's the team competition, the individual events, and the all around, so there's a lot of repetition of routines. In terms of figure skating, for people like me who watch as many competitions as are televised per season, it's perfectly normal to watch the same program multiple times. I guess that would be surprising to the casual fan, but not to anyone who follows the sport closely. Besides, it's never really the same program twice, even with skaters known for their consistency. Anyone can have an off day or suddenly bring the house down, ala Jason Brown at U.S. Nationals.

    As for Ashley Wagner's inconsistencies, if the other option is Mirai Nagasu...well, she's not consistent either, and her overall record has been worse over the last four years. Wagner's international results have definitely been better than Nagasu's over the last few years too. I'm sorry they both didn't get to go, but it's not as if Nagasu's been a rock and Wagner's been a flake. No one ever knows which Mirai is going to show up either. As for Jeremy, I don't know that anyone's really able to explain why he can't seem to translate what he does at Nationals to Worlds or Olympics, but in the past he has done well at the Grand Prix, which is a series of international events. He even won the Grand Prix final in either 2009 or 2010. I know Chan is the heavy favorite in men's, but I'm no longer convinced he can't be beaten, because he has been, and the men's field is quite deep. It's going to come down to who can hold it together for a superlative short and free. I don't think anyone's going to be able to afford multiple mistakes, and if everyone skates well, it may come down to a very minor error in terms of the difference between gold and silver and bronze and fourth.

    I'm not particularly jingoistic about the Olympics either. I've supported skaters that are American, but I've also had favorites who were not. I'm the same way with the other sports. For instance, I still think the most exciting men's downhill I've ever seen was Franz Klammer of Austria. I remember thinking when he started down the mountain that he was either going to win or kill himself trying. I was pleased and relieved that it was the former and not the latter (and if you haven't seen that run, it's available on youtube). Really, as far as I'm concerned, it's more about whether I identify with a particular athlete/team for one reason or another as opposed to what country they represent.

  6. #46
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    There was already an attempted plane hijacking on a flight from Turkey today. Luckily, it was stopped and no one was harmed. I don't think that will be the last attempted attack during the Games.

    I think the lack of preparation is just pointing out the issues in Russia, period. Lots of corruption (hence, the missing millions that were supposed to go to construction), everything takes forever and they generally just have to make do when things aren't perfect. In North America, we'd be horrified to check into a hotel and find that the water was turned off or there wasn't a shower curtain or a DOOR KNOB (all have been reported), but in Russia, I don't think it's terribly unusual.

    There are plenty of half-finished buildings around Sochi that should be completed, but probably never will be. I can't remember that ever happening in another host city.

    All that aside, the biggest problems for me (because I'm not staying there in a hotel with brown water and no shower curtain ) are the safety issues and the stray dogs they've been rounding up and euthanizing.

    During every opening ceremony, I develop a renewed hatred for the commentators. Could they just SHUT UP!? Matt Lauer is such an arrogant a$$. I think he just loves the sound of his own voice. They keep mispronouncing names of athletes and countries. It's embarrassing. I'd love to watch the opening ceremony without ANY talking, at least during the "interpretive" portion of the event.

    I'll bet the Canadians have better coverage. They always do!


    I don't know about the opening ceremonies, but the live feeds of team figure skating that I watched via my NBC Extra app (which is free) on my Ipad were apparently BBC feeds, because the commentators were very British. I think they talked a little less than American commentators do and stuck mostly to talking about specific skating elements without a lot of unnecessary chit chat, though I guess I wouldn't have minded if they'd chatted a bit while the Zamboni was out there between flights, because that wasn't exactly riveting to watch. The male announcer did seem to have a strong attachment to the words "cracking" or "cracker", as in "That was a cracking good lutz" or "That was a cracker of a program." But I'll happily put up with that to see all the skaters and not just the ones NBC decides are important enough to show.

    Anyway, I think you can go back and watch things that have already aired on the app, so if you find the American announcers annoying, you might try that. Really, sometimes I'd just mute the figure skating commentators if there were a way to do that and still hear the music.

    As for Canadian coverage, I have heard complaints from Canadian figure skating fans in the past regarding the CBC's seeming obsession with curling and hockey. I think who has the best coverage depends on what sport you'd most like to see. Or would like to see the most of, since every country tends to focus on the sports that are popular there and/or those in which their athletes are likely to do well.

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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    W had to go to my granddaughter's Senior Night basketball game tonite so I had to DVR the opening ceremonies. But we all went to my son's house after the game for a party for her and I was able to see the athletes parading in and noticed there seemed to be a lot of empty seats in the stadium. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    During every opening ceremony, I develop a renewed hatred for the commentators. Could they just SHUT UP!? Matt Lauer is such an arrogant a$$. I think he just loves the sound of his own voice. They keep mispronouncing names of athletes and countries. It's embarrassing. I'd love to watch the opening ceremony without ANY talking, at least during the "interpretive" portion of the event.

    I'll bet the Canadians have better coverage. They always do!
    OMG, Critical, I am watching now and my GAWD, just please, Lauer and all of them STFU.

    We are at the "Soviet March" now and Lauer just does not shut his mouth.

    I will say this has been a very entertaining opening ceremonies. I give the Russians A+ for the evening.
    KAREN

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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Lol if you want to know anything just google it. I can't be leave she actually said that.smh. Yes there is no excuse for sidewalks still being installed,manholes without covers and showers without curtains. I think if I came all that way I would be really irate about that.

    It was extreme empty looking there too. I think the terrorism angle has turned people off.
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    Re: Winter Olympics - Sochi 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
    W had to go to my granddaughter's Senior Night basketball game tonite so I had to DVR the opening ceremonies. But we all went to my son's house after the game for a party for her and I was able to see the athletes parading in and noticed there seemed to be a lot of empty seats in the stadium. I don't think I've ever seen that before.
    I'm pretty sure the empty seats were for the athletes Once the parade of nations finished, I think all of those seats were full.

    I'm a total Russophile, so I just want them all to shut up so I can enjoy it. OH, and can we talk about the cah-rappy camera work during the War and Peace section. Yes, because we'd all much rather see a long shot of a group of people rather than watch the professional ballet dancers perform. Good grief

    I loved every second of the Russian history stuff. I even knew the lyrics to one of the songs toward the end and sang along like a giant dork.

    The commentators yammer on about nothing, but then don't tell you what you really want to know. For instance, they told us that the people carrying the Olympic flag are well-known to any Russian. Howabout cluing everyone else in?

    SO cool that Maria Sharapova got to carry the torch into the stadium, since she grew up in Sochi.

    I've been searching around but can't seem to find a schedule of the opening ceremony with who's who. I'd love to know who each of the dancers are.

    Alexander Karelin I'm enjoying seeing all of these major Russian athletes carry the torch.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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