Men’s final this morning. I do love the time difference for the Roland Garros and Wimbledon finals.
Before we get started, I just need to mention that it is so wrong that the men’s event is known as the men’s event, while the women’s is known as the ladies’, considering that there is a female equivalent to men’s. I mean, if you’re going to be all old-fashioned about it, be consistent about it for both sexes (e.g., Wimbledon, which refers to the players as ladies and gentlemen).
So unto the short program…
Bob Costas is back! His eyes look so much better, and he even thanked the audience for their concern. You’re welcome, Bob! My friend N had a theory that Bob was actually dead, so it was nice to see him in the flesh (sort of). Hope he’s feeling 100% better.
Happy Presidents Day! I was thrilled to sleep in, nurse a cup of coffee at home, and catch some daytime coverage for once…
Yesterday, Viktor Ahn earned a gold medal at the 1,000-meter short-track event, which he won at the Olympics in Turin for his former country, South Korea, eight years ago. His teammate Vladimir Grigorev won silver, and at the end of that night, Russia was actually at the top of the medal count for the first time these Olympics.
It wasn’t just Viktor but also Vladimir who prompted Russia to invest more in their short-track program…
What the heck happened last night? Was it the men’s free skate, or was gravity just extra gravitational with everyone?
Still, it was an interesting night for figure skating (and the evening in general was notable, with Meredith Vieira becoming the first woman to ever anchor the primetime coverage solo)…
Boo. I was really looking forward to the men’s short and long programs, ever since finding out the incredulous news that Evgeni Plushenko would be competing in his fourth Olympic Games. Earlier this week, he seemed to be his usual kick-ass self on his way to help Russia win gold in the team figure-skating event.
Alas, today was different…
This is a little delayed, but I definitely wanted to comment on yesterday’s pairs event.
Okay, so let’s be real: The U.S. was never going to medal in pairs figure skating this year. So I felt really happy for Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, who won the gold medal for Russia on home ice with an audience full of adoring cheers.
Pretty much as soon as the routine was over, it was like these two just crumpled with relief that they managed to skate a fairly clean program (Tatiana once touched down on the ice). Maxim said, “We were at home. We have no right to make a mistake. It was our obligation to bring gold back to Russia. The whole country was expecting that.”
Yikes. I would not have wanted to be in that position.
Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, also of Russia, won silver, and once it was confirmed that the Germans had secured the bronze again (a gift, frankly), Tatiana ran up to Ksenia and their coach, and they all embraced joyfully. It was actually really heartwarming. They seemed like another team to be seriously thrilled about winning silver.
And congratulations to Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who fulfilled their goal of finishing in the top 10.
But they’re a little boring, so I’m posting a photo of Simon’s dad, Boris, instead.
Sigh. I’m tired. So much to do with Olympics primetime viewing each night, and that’s like a fraction of what is possible to watch. Almost easier in the dark days when there were no live feeds of anything.
And come back, Bob! We miss you.
Tonight, we were treated to Matt Lauer in primetime, which is always kind of strange. Bob Costas discussed his increasing discomfort with the Times, which also noted the this absence ends his anchoring streak of 157 consecutive Olympic primetime broadcasts for NBC, going back to the Summer Games in Barcelona in 1992. Wow.
So I know the big story was Shaun White, I wanted to touch upon something weird that I noticed:
Before we get to anything, can we raise a glass to Bob Costas? One of his eyes was visibly irritated when the Olympics kicked off, but I actually gasped out loud last night when I saw his face. It’s getting worse, and poor guy looks so miserable but is soldiering on. This cannot be comfortable, but what’s he supposed to do? Bob Costas is our nation’s Olympics Guy. America doesn’t want to see Bruce Beck in a suit!
Bob Costas, you is a damn good professional who works tirelessly to tell us about these stories…