Sunday, February 12, 2006

Winter Olympics (day 2)

So we're watching the Olympics tonight - it's a stellar night: men's downhill, short-track skating, ski jump, luge, half-pipe, and no figure skating (well, other than Michelle Kwan's decision to not continue).

I'm pretty excited about the coverage now. There haven't been that many commercials, and they've kept from running too many "human interest" stories - it's been pretty much nothing but non-stop action.

I really like the short-track skating. The news of the evening (for the U.S.) was that Apolo Ohno didn't make it to the finals for the 1500m. The racers are traveling so fast, and lead changes happen so quickly, it is very exciting. Plus, they're just leaning over so far in the corners, and skating so close to each other. It's just mind-boggling what they're doing.

The downhill was awesome. The course's first two turns were on such steep terrain - one of them was perpendicular to the fall line. Then they're launched over a jump with a super-steep landing - just incredible. Three of the guys who came over that jump looked completely out of control - I imagine what I look like when I go over the little 2 foot jumps (completely out of control). Luckily, all the guys made it - no wrecks (which was amazing). The guy who won finished over .7 seconds ahead of the next guy, and over a second ahead of everyone else. Just phenomenal skiing.

The half-pipe is fun. The flying tomato is just kicking butt - and it's amazing that he's a two-sport athlete (skate board too). The couple of crashes were pretty impressive - one guy pretty much landed a 20 foot jump by landing on his hip on the top of the pipe - ouch. Oh, and some of the guys are sagging while they are competing.

Ski jump is ok - what I don't understand is why they have a style portion to the score. I figure you should be judged soley on distance, with a disqualification when you don't land it and come to a stop under control. Next to the downhill, I figure standing at the top of a ski jump has to take the biggest cojones.

And who wouldn't want to do the luge. It's just like the sledding you always pretended you were doing as you slid down a hill when you were 8 years old.

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