Winter Olympics Preview, part infinity: Final Thoughts

And so the real competition begins: which members of the press corps can get a hotel room with working water, toilets and furniture. Some final thoughts…

Previews - Winter Olympics Day -2I’ll tell you right now, the coolest thing in Sochi will be the helmets on the skeleton riders. Sarah Reid

Remember all the uproar a couple years ago when we found out that the Team USA uniforms were made in China? So how come nobody seems upset that the American bobsleds were designed by BMW? Was Chevy unavailable? Is it just that we like Germany but not China?

A gold medal contains about $565 worth of actual gold. That’s hardly enough to melt down to make some nice grills for your teeth.

If you don’t listen to Slate’s Hang Up & Listen podcast, be sure to seek out the February 3 episode. Near the end there’s a discussion about rampant drug use by Paralympians. Even some curlers — CURLERS! — have been busted for PEDs. Not sure if we should laugh or cry.

Bet the farm medal prediction: Vladimir Putin will find a way to be photographed wearing a gold medal. Bank on it. The wax Stalin statue on display nearby gets the silver.

I admit, I still tear up a bit whenever I see “Cool Running”. Oh, John Candy, you left us too soon.

Speaking of which, how bad is it that the airline transporting the Jamaican bobsledders lost the sled’s runners? Guys, never check baggage. You should’ve carried those 8′ razors onto the plane with you.

Don’t want to hate on Todd Lodwick, the American’s choice to carry the flag on Friday night. But I think that Shani Davis, the first black man to win a wintertime gold medal, would have been a better choice. (Bonus points if you can name the first black woman to win gold. And she did it before Shani did.)

Do want to hate on Lindsey Vonn, who isn’t competing but still manages to make daily appearances on NBC to narrate contrived stories about what it takes to be an Olympian. Hey Lindsey, you’ve had your moment. It’s not all about you anymore.

LaurynThere are still questions about whether Lolo Jones made the bobsled team because of her good looks and media savviness. What nobody is saying is that there’s another track star, Lauryn Williams, who will also push a bobsled. Of course, Lauryn has won a gold medal, in the 4x100meter relay, while Lolo tripped over a hurdle. Lolo is light-skinned. Lauryn is dark-skinned. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the media’s Lolo bias.

Speaking of bias, how much more do we have to hear about skater Gracie Gold? Sprint U.S. Grand Prix - Day 1When do we get coverage of snowboarder Arielle Gold? Oh, that’s right, Gracie is a skater. Olympic coverage opens with skating, and in a couple weeks it ends with skating. In between there will be lots of skating coverage. NBC doesn’t have a skating bias, do they?

Now is a good time to download the NBC Live Extra app to your phone, so that you can watch curling while you’re at work.

In the great Olympic tradition of releasing goofy videos before the competition begins, we give you Team Brown, the American women’s curling team. Women in animal costumes… we’re totally in love.

Is anyone else freaked out by the Sochi Friendship tree, an unholy grafting experiment that produces 45 different kinds of fruit?
Friendship tree

More things we love about Canada: their less-than-subtle (but still polite!) and very funny commercials.

One more final prediction: best fur hats in the Opening Ceremony will not be worn by the Russians. This is the one event that Mongolia dominates every time.

  • Paul Caputo

    Apparently I cannot access the NBC Live Extra app because I am not an important enough TV customer. Probably saves me from watching curling all day, because I also don’t get NBC Sports Network.

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