Expect the Unexpected

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Sochi Olympics, high points/low points so far


Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir (pictured with some bored guy on the left) are two of the highlights of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

With snow days up the ying yang, I’ve had the opportunity to watch much more Olympics coverage on TV than I expected. Putting Bob Costas’ pinkeye aside, here are some of the high and low points I’ve seen so far:  

High Points:

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. Lively figure skating commentary, while letting the skaters skate and not interrupting with comments about every edge and rotation. Johnny’s amazing outfits, the cute banter between the two of them, and their tongue in cheek Instagram account, add up to something sorely missed with other commentators — FUN.


Yuzuru Hanzu in Johnny Weir designed outfit.

Yuzuru Hanzu in Johnny Weir designed outfit.

Yuzuru Hanzu. Japanese Gold medal winner made history as the first figure skater to break the 100-point mark with his dazzling short program. While his long program had a few blips, his outfit was stunning. Ahh, it was designed by Johnny Weir. Say no more.

Sage Kotsenburg. The junk-food loving American dude won the Gold in Snowboard Slopestyle performing a trick he had never tried before. That’s guts, that’s crazy, and it worked!

Bode Miller. At age 36, he became the oldest Alpine Skiing medalist in Olympics history, winning the bronze. Guts and glory.

USA vs. Russia hockey thriller. What a game. With an intense rivalry and history between these two teams, this game didn’t disappoint. USA topped Russia 3-2 in a final shoot out. Expect the unexpected… indeed. 

The Jamaican Bobsled Team. After a 12-year absence, the Cool Runnings dudes are back! Whether Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon win or lose, it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy their new theme song, appropriately titled The Bobsled Song.

Low Points:

NBC’s boring Curling coverage. I sat through days of the curling matches so far. Many, many hours of boring play by play. For skiing, NBC uses digital lines, circles, and even superimposes the skiers onto each other. But in curling, nothing, nada. No special effects whatsoever, making Curling, aka “shuffleboard on ice,” even more dull than it sounds. Even the colorful Norwegian men’s pants get dull after a while when it’s the only thing of interest to watch in a three-hour match. I think I understand all the yelling during the matches now, it’s to wake the audience up. NBC – put some technology into the curling and maybe more people could understand the game and watch it!

USA Women’s Curling Team. I’m no Curling expert, so I have no right to criticize their expertise, but the USA women looked like rank amateurs compared to their opponents. They made embarrassingly bad shots time and time again. The commentators couldn’t even gloss over it. And what’s with those bowling outfits? Not just USA, but all the women’s teams.

This kind of curling may be more in line for the USA Women’s Curling Team:

NBC’s Christin Cooper’s interview with Bode Miller after he won the bronze in the Super-G.

Talking about Bode’s late brother: “I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?”

Bode responded and was crying at this point. Was that enough for Christin? No.

She followed with, “When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?” And he collapsed, couldn’t talk anymore. Not a proud moment, NBC.

Evgeny Plushenko’s sudden departure. Withdrawing just before the men’s short program in figure skating, and subsequently announcing his retirement, it was a sad way to see a champion go. Had he been able to stick with it, he just might have medaled.

Lindsey Jacobellis. Lindsay Jacobellis. Lindsey Jacobellis.

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