First and foremost, I have to say…better late than never. Second, I have no good reason for my recent absence. I’ve just been busy. So here it is…a little late since the Olympics ended last weekend. But I still want to share some of my thoughts with you.
As I mentioned before, I am obsessed with the Olympics. That means I DVR pretty much all the coverage. Bonus to no longer working out of the home…I can watch Olympic events LIVE! No spoilers! Yay!
I did the majority of my viewing on NBC Sports. A good number of the events were live. Of course, with Sochi being 9 hours ahead of my time zone, it was nighttime there while I was watching early in the morning. I found that the coverage on NBC in prime time was, for the most part, a condensed version of what I watched earlier in the day on NBC Sports. There were some events they don’t show during the day that they added to the nighttime coverage, but not much.
What I also discovered is that they use different commentators/analysts in some of the sports. I’m not quite sure why. For example: Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir and Terry Gannon did the job on NBC Sports live during the day while Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic and Tracy Wilson were on NBC during prime time. I have to say, I far preferred Tara & Johnny (I watched so much we’re now on a first name basis!) They were fun, insightful and not afraid to tell it how it is. They were in the sport much more recently than the NBC folks. Also, unless there was a mistake or something of actual interest to add or the skater(s) were boring, they didn’t inundate the viewer with mindless talk. I know their job is to give us a play-by-play, so to speak; but this isn’t hockey folks. Most importantly, when it was a wonderful performance (ie. Davis & White or Virtue & Moir during their free skate), they shut their yappers and let the audience feel the emotions the skater(s) were expressing.
I can’t talk about Tara and Johnny without talking about the clothes. I love their relationship, you can totally tell they’re really friends. In one interview, they spoke about how they have adjoining hotel rooms and they get ready together. How cute is that!?! It cracks me up that, almost every day, Johnny Weir wears something I can say my late grandmother, who was very proper, would have worn. Somehow, on him, it takes on a whole different air…and I love it!
Another bonus to watching live is that I get to see the real Olympic moments that are cut from the prime time coverage for timing reasons. For the most glaring example of this, I refer you to my post on my favorite Olympic moment. When they played this race in prime time, they didn’t show this at all. They mentioned that the Russian skier had gone down, but that was all. It was no longer live therefore they no longer had to show us every minute of coverage. Unfortunately, NBC missed out on a great moment. I believe it was a day or two later when they did a small snippet of a story on what had transpired. Still, they didn’t show the whole 2 – 3 minutes of struggle that made the moment so inspiring.
One of the Olympic moments you were able to see prime time was during the men’s figure skating short program. American Jeremy Abbott took a nasty fall and looked like he was going to stay down on the ice. The crowd started chanting and cheering for him giving him the motivation and adrenaline to overcome the pain, pick himself up off the ice, and skate one of the best programs I saw that day. He finished strong enough to get a high enough score to qualify him to compete in the free program the following day. Truly a great example of perseverance.
I’m sure everyone has seen parts of the USA vs Russia hockey game from Saturday morning. Too bad most people didn’t realize they could have watched it live. It was an exciting game from start to finish, but all we’ve really seen on prime time is a couple of the overtime shots. The game as a whole will likely go down as a defining game in these Olympics. There was a Russian goal that was retracted. As well it should have according to Olympic hockey rules. Just confusing to most since it is different than NHL rules. USA’s win over Russia was the beginning of a downward spin that Russia took, ending in them being eliminated in the quarterfinals when they lost to Finland! There was also a momentum shift for the US women’s hockey team in their game against Canada in the prelims, the dark cloud returning for their second match up of the games in the gold medal round. The faces on those girls as they got their silver medals broke my heart. I’m a true hockey fan, by which I mean I’m extremely superstitious. The commentators kept talking about how many times in a row the US has beat Canada and I felt the jinx happening. Ugh! But back to the men…their good fortune in their game against Russia did not stick with them and I don’t want to talk about it. That is all.
Very recently I was listening to a Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast about women in sports reporting called Stuck on the Sidelines. I couldn’t believe it when, days later, one of the commentators for the women’s mogul made a comment about them all making sure they had their makeup on! What?!? I was so disappointed in that comment 😦
Does anyone else find snowboard cross totally nail biting. You never know what is going to happen! Especially with the crappy (read: non-winter-like) weather conditions they experienced in Sochi making the snow conditions less than ideal.
Speaking of snowboarding, are the snowboarders the friendliest group of athletes or what? No matter the country, it seems they all are truly happy for each other. The friendship and camaraderie they show for each other is heartwarming.
Early on in the games, I believe I was watching Canada in curling, I realized that somehow everyone in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games is good looking. It’s actually kind of creepy. I’m not saying they could all be models, but I have yet to see an athlete who I would put in the “not good looking” column. And some of them are actually model good looking. The twins from Norway in speed skating, the Canadian curling team, pretty much every single female snowboarder. Josh had a hypothesis that it has something to do with so many Nordic countries being heavily involved in the games. Whatever it is, my eyeballs aren’t complaining 😉
Talk about cute, how cute is luger Kate Hansen and her dancing to warm up? She brought a smile to my face 🙂
I was pretty disappointed with the hating on Lolo Jones that went on during the bobsledding. Many of the bobsledders are former (or current) track athletes. So why pick on her? I was actually impressed with her support of her teammates when all of the news outlet seemed to only want to ask her about herself.
Going back to the primetime coverage of the Olympics, I have to say I was quite disappointed that Bob Costas had to take some time off because of his eye issues. It meant Meredith Vieira got more airtime. I mentioned before that I never had an issue with her until the Opening Ceremonies. After hearing her say “bronzes”, as in the US has 3 bronzes, I have lost all respect for her. Good thing there are plenty of wonderful women in the broadcast news game I can look up to instead of her.
Of course, there are so many other things I can talk about here. The Olympics always has great stories. But I have to draw the line somewhere. So I’ll end this with my thoughts on the Closing Ceremonies.
Once again, the floor coming to life had me in awe. And that the Russians have a sense of humor was an unexpected surprise. In the Opening Ceremonies, one of the Olympic rings failed to light up as planned. For the closing ceremonies, the rings were made out of choreographed dancers. When they got in position, the same ring failed to form, instead the dancers grouped together in the middle of where the ring would be. Suddenly, they all split apart and formed their ring. Truly a great testament showing the Russians can, in fact, poke fun at themselves.
As sad as I am that the Olympics are over, they sure ate up a lot of my time. It’s probably a good thing they only come every couple of years. Now to catch up on my reading!
What was your favorite sport to watch in the 2014 Winter Olympics?