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Author Topic: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
Lyrhawn
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Only about a week away.

This year's new event will be the Ski Cross. Some of you may remember last year's new event, Boarder Cross, which was the same event for snowboarders. Basically, four skiers at a time launch and head down the hill, whoever finishes first (if any finish at all), wins the round, and advances.

I've read a lot of complaining that Ski X gets to be its own Olympic sport when female Ski Jumpers have been clamoring for a women's medal event for years. The IOC said that there aren't enough female jumpers, and the male jumpers tend to be a little snooty by saying the women would get injured. Female jumpers are quick to point out that there are more jumpers in some individual countries than there are Ski X participants in the entire world. The reasoning isn't hard to discern though. X Games sports are exciting and boost coverage. It's why the halfpipe, Boarder X and Ski X are even events, despite the fact that they tend to be dominated by the same three or four nations (and most of those medals go to Americans).

The US skiing team is considered particularly strong this year. And there are a few medal contenders for figuring skating, which will be a tough competition as always. Chinese skaters are expected to burst onto the scene this year in a way they haven't in the past, possibly wrenching away control of the medals from a small group of nations that tends to frequent the podium more often than not.

More news as I find it. 8 days until the opening ceremony.

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Mucus
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Huh. Only 8 days?
There has been remarkably little news here (Kitchener, ON and media as in Toronto Star/Globe/National Post) for an Olympics. The medal rally is especially lacklustre IMHO.

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The White Whale
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So what are you all going to follow?

I'll be following hockey because my team's goalie is the first string US Olympic goalie. And hockey is just plain old awesome. [Big Grin]

And curling, when I can. I still can't believe it's an Olympic sport, so I watch it with a sort of befuddled awe.

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Mucus
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I usually make an effort to watch the opening and closing ceremonies [Wink]
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Lyrhawn
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I usually watch pretty much everything except cross country skiing and the ski jump. Aerials I really like though.
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Carrie
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I'm a bit of an Olympics junkie, so I'll watch whatever I can find.

Except ice dancing. I can't get behind that. Anything else, though - I'm totally there. [Smile]

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Teshi
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Skating!
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Lyrhawn
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NPR Vancouver preview - On Point
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Kwea
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Should be fun, Jenni is a skating junkie because she use to skate.
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Lyrhawn
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No real chance of a US female skater this year winning anything. At least, it's unlikely. Taiwan, Japan, Canada ,and China all have medal contenders. The US has a good chance for two medals in ice dancing, maybe one in pairs, and maybe one in men's singles. Apparently Evgeni Plushenko came out of retirement, so that should be interesting. He always had fun footwork. Either way, it looks to be a fun year if you just like the sport and don't care who wins.
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Xavier
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This will be the first year that it's on and we have a DVR. Before I'd watch pretty much anything that was on and I happened to be watching TV. Now I'll get to pick and choose. I wonder if I'll lose some of the fun of watching when I am overloaded with options.

I'll for sure watch a lot of hockey this year. Especially when Canada, US, Russia (and to a lesser extend Sweden, Finland, and Czech Republic) are playing each-other. Other than that I'll probably record a whole bunch, and fast forward through events if they bore me.

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Belle
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I'm an Olympics junkie so I'll watch a lot of it, I'm sure. I prefer the Summer games - more of my favorite sports, but if I have a choice between most of television and Olympic competition I'll almost always choose the Olympics. Heck, I even watched curling once. [Smile]
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Mucus
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Opening Ceremony today! (Hopefully CBC/CTV(?) will have live feeds)
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Lyrhawn
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For any American ski fans: Lindsey Vonn may not participate in the Olympics due to a fall she took earlier in the week in practice. This mirrors exactly what happened to her before Torino.
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Fitz
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Bad start to the Olympics: Georgian luger killed in training.

I won't link to any video of the crash, but it's pretty awful.

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Lisa
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They keep calling it "Vancouver, Canada" on the TV news. Which sort of sounds like, "Chicago, United States" to me. Shouldn't it be "Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada"?
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Mucus
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Results 1 - 10 of about 525,000 for "Chicago, United States". (0.13 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 531,000 for "Chicago, Illinois, United States". (0.15 seconds)

Results 1 - 10 of about 4,450,000 for "Vancouver, Canada". (0.63 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 1,940,000 for "Vancouver, BC, Canada". (0.28 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 1,240,000 for "Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada". (0.34 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 10,800,000 for "Toronto, Canada". (0.17 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 2,910,000 for "Toronto, Ontario, Canada". (0.23 seconds)

Results 1 - 10 of about 5,730,000 for "Los Angeles, United States". (0.26 seconds)
Results 1 - 10 of about 11,500,000 for "Los Angeles, California, United States". (0.28 seconds)

I dunno, it is only four cities but it seems like you guys like the state/province name more?

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theresa51282
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Looking forward to the opening ceremonies in just a bit. Sorry the Olympics had to start off with such sad news about the Georgian luger. I was surprised they didn't pad the steel with something for cases like this.
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Ron Lambert
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News reports said the luger came off his sled, and his helmet came off his head and went rolling on down the run, so it was his unprotected body that hit the steel pole at 80 mph. Even padding the pole probably would not have helped.

There have been many complaints from atheletes that this luge run is the most dangerous one in the world. Designers are trying to get more and more speed for the luges. If they are going to keep doing that, they should at least raise the walls higher. Maybe completely roof them over, with tiny CCD video cameras recessed inside the roof.

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Ace of Spades
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
They keep calling it "Vancouver, Canada" on the TV news. Which sort of sounds like, "Chicago, United States" to me. Shouldn't it be "Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada"?

They should just call it "Canada". Nobody in America really knows the difference between Vancouver and Toronto and Alaska.
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Lyrhawn
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Americans aren't stupid...though, I did have to tell my best friend the other day where Vancouver is...::sigh::.

Mucus -

How do Canadians generally view their provincial identity? I'm thinking that might be the biggest factor.

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Sean Monahan
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That was an excellent performance of "O Canada".
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Lyrhawn
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I love "O Canada." I get chills whenever I hear it.

And I also love how Canadians always sing along with it in such numbers, and with such vigor. It's a song that makes me happy.

Must be in my French-Canadian DNA somewhere. Some sort of triggered genetic patriotic response.

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Launchywiggin
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I like "O Canada", too--but the arrangement was SO SLOW. After 30 seconds it just began to drag and plod along. With such a slow tempo, the ends of each phrase lose energy and disrupt the flow of the song. I can stand a rubato interpretation (like the way we usually hear The Star Spangled Banner these days), but they turned it into a dirge!

Despite that, the singing was very good.

Most annoying: The Olympic Anthem sung by Mrs. Mile-Wide Vibrato. It sounded like a parody. It boggles my mind that the style is considered high art.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Most annoying: The Olympic Anthem sung by Mrs. Mile-Wide Vibrato. It sounded like a parody. It boggles my mind that the style is considered high art.
Agreed.
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Kwea
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I thought k.d. lang nailed it, as did the girl who sung O Canada. Sarah McLachlan was awesome too.

Too bad about the mechanical malfunction with the beacon though.
Here is a link to the kd lang song, sung by her in `995. I am sure the Olympic's video will be up, as the is the #1 google search in the past 2 hours. [Big Grin]

[ February 13, 2010, 05:31 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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Teshi
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"Vancouver, Canada" sounds perfectly normal to me and I am a Canadian, so I guess it's not out of the ordinary. Everyone knows where Vancouver is. "Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada" sounds highly redundant and long.

I watched the Opening Ceremonies on CTV's online feed, which was great, since I don't have a television.

I have very mixed feelings about the Opening Ceremony. First, I was glad it wasn't embarassingly horrible. Canadian events of this kind can be very uninspired. I thought it pulled it off: the tree and fiddling (and the Orcas!) sequences were good (although who knew punk fiddling was so much a part of our culture?)

Secondly, though, I thought it was a little uninspired. A whole five minutes of the boy flying through the field was tiresome (and named after an extremely boring book). The endless singer/songwriters was also tiresome, and more like a concert than an opening ceremonies. I appreciate they need music, but our country has choirs, instrumentalists (other than fiddlers) and orchestras. I felt that after a while the "list of Canadian singers" became (extremely) tiresome.

I felt that the show could have been more purposeful. It was slow and it lost its way as it went.

Canada still has a ways to go when it comes to creating a large scale show, but from what I've heard it was considerably better than Calgary Olympics, so perhaps we're improving.

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theresa51282
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I thought the ceremony probably fell somewhere along the C, C- scale if I was giving it a letter grade. There were parts that were interesting and beautiful. Singers I thought did a terrific job. But it didn't really have much of a wow factor for me. There wasn't much that I think I will be talking about or thinking about by teh next Olympics. Certainly nothing that rose to the level of extraordinary as the Beijing Olympics did for me.
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Tarrsk
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The whales and the fiddle dancers were great. The kid flying over amber blocks of grain became boring after the first 30 seconds or so. The other stuff was good but not particularly memorable

Overall, a solid B-, I thought. I appreciated that they didn't even try to compete with the Chinese culture show - no way is a country of 33 million going to outdo the ludicrous display of manpower that a nation of 1.3 billion can manage.

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Lyrhawn
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Most of the commentators talking about the opening ceremonies noted that while it might not have been as big or outwardly impressive as China's was two years ago, it was impressive, not for its scale, but for its diversity, its welcoming, its comfort, and its sense of community. In other words, it wasn't big and flashy, because Canadians aren't big and flashy.

I missed a lot of it. I SAW a lot of it, because we had it on the big screen at the restaurant, but the sound didn't really bleed into the kitchen. I heard kd lang, and wasn't impressed at first, but I thought she did okay by the end. Still not my favorite version of that song, but it was good. I'll have to catch some of these others when the whole thing makes it online.

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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
They keep calling it "Vancouver, Canada" on the TV news. Which sort of sounds like, "Chicago, United States" to me. Shouldn't it be "Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada"?
quote:
Tevye: Where are you going?
Lazar Wolf: Chicago. In America.
Tevye: Chicago, America? We are going to New York, America. We'll be neighbors.


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Lyrhawn
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A look into the design of Vancouver's medals

I really like the design this year. It looks very organic, like the person in the video says, they look like ripples on the water. I thought China's two years ago with the jade inlaid were beautiful, and were also representative of the country, since we relate jade to China. In that sense, I think the natural looking design really helps bring out Canada as well.

They're unconventional, but I like them.

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The White Whale
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
I thought k.d. lang nailed it, as did the girl who sung O Canada. Sarah McLachlan was awesome too.

Too bad about the mechanical malfunction with the beacon though.
Here is a link to the kd lang song, sung by her in `995. I am sure the Olympic's video will be up, as the is the #1 google search in the past 2 hours. [Big Grin]

Here's the official K.D. Lang Olympic version. It is really quite awesome. [Big Grin] For some reason, you need to install Silverlight in the browser. But it's worth it.

ETA: The link! : KD Lang Hallelujah

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BlackBlade
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Just watched Apollo win silver in the short track, man! what a thrilling race, not to mention an incredible finish. I felt terrible for the two Koreans.

I also watched the American skiers squelch Canada's attempts to shake the curse, at least tonight.

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Ron Lambert
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The luge track has had its wall raised significantly higher where the luger went over it. The starting point for the luge course was moved down about 600 feet, so the lugers will not develop quite such great speeds as before. Had these measures been taken earlier, the luger from the Republic of Georgia might have survived. I wonder if there will be lawsuits.

Some of the single men's lugers are still developing speeds up to 90 mph. So it is still a fast course.

I don't think it should be said that the Canadians are suffering from a curse just because one of their skiers came in with the silver medal in women's moguls. We should all be so "cursed"! But Yay for Hanna Kearney! USA!

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Ace of Spades
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The luge track has had its wall raised significantly higher where the luger went over it. The starting point for the luge course was moved down about 600 feet, so the lugers will not develop quite such great speeds as before. Had these measures been taken earlier, the luger from the Republic of Georgia might have survived. I wonder if there will be lawsuits.

Some of the single men's lugers are still developing speeds up to 90 mph. So it is still a fast course.

I don't think it should be said that the Canadians are suffering from a curse just because one of their skiers came in with the silver medal in women's moguls. We should all be so "cursed"! But Yay for Hanna Kearney! USA!

She sacrificed a large portion of her life training for a race, only to lose. She might as well have stayed home.
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Kwea
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I didn't feel bad for those 2 Korean's at all. The only reason we didn't take the Gold is that they were bumping and pushing Apollo on the last 2 turns, and then tried to team skate and form a wall we couldn't pass. They should have been DQ'd as it was, but team skating is hard to prove.
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Lyrhawn
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The curse isn't no medals, it's that they're the only nation in Winter games history to not win a gold when hosting. And they've done it twice.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Ace of Spades:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The luge track has had its wall raised significantly higher where the luger went over it. The starting point for the luge course was moved down about 600 feet, so the lugers will not develop quite such great speeds as before. Had these measures been taken earlier, the luger from the Republic of Georgia might have survived. I wonder if there will be lawsuits.

Some of the single men's lugers are still developing speeds up to 90 mph. So it is still a fast course.

I don't think it should be said that the Canadians are suffering from a curse just because one of their skiers came in with the silver medal in women's moguls. We should all be so "cursed"! But Yay for Hanna Kearney! USA!

She sacrificed a large portion of her life training for a race, only to lose. She might as well have stayed home.
This may be the stupidest post I have read in quite a while. Talk about missing the entire point of competition, not to mention the Olympics in general.
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Ace of Spades
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The point is to win. You can tell who the winner is; she's the one wearing the gold medal.
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Fitz
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Though Ace of Spades is an obvious troll, he is being representative of a pervasive attitude in sports. Jennifer Heil, who's won multiple World Cup moguls events, as well as an Olympic gold medal in the 2006 Olympics, was clearly disappointed with 2nd place. For many athletes, 2nd place is just first loser. It's not my personal view, but it is the philosophy of a lot of training camps.
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Lyrhawn
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I'd say the point is to compete. Winning is something they all try really hard for, and losing can be a disappointment, but just being there, for a lot of them, is a win in itself.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
I didn't feel bad for those 2 Korean's at all. The only reason we didn't take the Gold is that they were bumping and pushing Apollo on the last 2 turns, and then tried to team skate and form a wall we couldn't pass. They should have been DQ'd as it was, but team skating is hard to prove.

Jockeying for position is an intrinsic part of the sport. I don't think they were trying to team skate, especially since it was a Korean who hit the other Korean and thus opened the way for Apollo to move into second on the final turn.
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Fitz
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Alexandre Bilodeau just won gold in men's moguls. The "curse" is over.
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Ron Lambert
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Come on, Ace! It would be a great honor for anyone to win a silver medal in the Olympics!

Talk about training for a large portion of someone's life only to lose--what about Hanna Kearney? She had been favored to win in Torino, and wound up not even qualifying. But she came back four years later, and won the gold in Vancouver. That was a true triumph in every sense. That is the best of championship competition.

Sure, Jennifer Heil had winning the gold as her goal, and she has to be disappointed not to win it. Especially since she had it won with only one more competitor to ski, but that competitor was Hanna Kearney, who took the gold away from her with an even better performance on that very last ski. But I don't think that Heil will be ashamed when she tells her grandkids that she won a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics. And she did win the gold in the Torino Olympics in 2006. She has a lot to be proud of.

The "Vince Lombardi" attitude that winning is "the only thing" is not real sportsmanship, no matter how many coaches in how many training camps may keep alive such a wrong way of thinking. Remember the famous Jamaican bobsled team, immortalized in the movie, Cool Runnings, whose sled broke down before they reached the finish line, but they picked up their sled and carried it over the finish line, to the wild cheers of everyone, who appreciated that demonstration of the true spirit of Olympic competition, which is supposed to be a celebration if what is good in the human spirit? Even winning the gold medal could never top that!

Like Fitz said, a Canadian finally won gold in men's moguls Sunday. So the "drought" is over! Letting down her country is a burden Heil will not have to carry. She still added to her country's total medal count.

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Kwea
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If you go there and do a personal best, it's a win. The vast majority of people who show up for that do not have any realistic chance of winning, yet they are there with smiles on their faces.

Plus, at the top of the game rankings, regardless of what sport it is, there is a point of diminishing return for effort and for skill. I talked about it in my landmark post, and it's even more true at the top of any ranking system. The level of competition is so high that many times the difference between 1st and 5th is highly subjective. Even when it is not subjective, it the people are so close in ability and present skill that one mistake, or one bad turn of weather while you are competing can kill your chance of a medal.

On any given day any of them could win, or beat anyone else out. If it was all about rankings, why even have a competition?

Because all that proves is who is better THAT day, THAT time.


And no one with a clue can say any different.

While IN the event, of COURSE you focus on winning. It's the only way to completely focus. But to say that someone winning anything other than Gold is a loser is the definition of ignorance.

I wish I was the second best pool player in the world, that's for sure. [Big Grin] [Hail]

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BlackBlade
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I could easily settle for 100th best piano player in the world based on technical skill. But unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I will have to work to get there, as there is no other way available.
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Teshi
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So much in these sports is totally out of the Atheletes control. A lot of the time, they're racing against hundredths of seconds. It's not a meaningfully large amount of time.

As far as I'm concerned, a lot of these golds and silvers are basically "on this day, at this hour, taking this particular path down the mountain, I came a tenth or a hundredth of a second slower. We are basically equal."

It's nice to get that gold medal and disappointing to miss it, but winning or getting second, there's a lot of luck. I think that Canada has been awfully negative about Jennifer Heil's medal. She won a silver medal! That's great! CTV has been reasonably good at saying, "no, she didn't lose gold she won silver."

Congratulations to Jennifer Heil and all athletes who make it to the Olympics. You made it to the Olympics, guys! That's incredible!

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The White Whale
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Disclaimer: the following anecdote is not intended to compare my high school grades with Olympic Athlete achievements. [Big Grin]

My senior-year GPA in high school (78 students) was one of around a dozen that were all within 0.05 grade points. And the silly think was that these dozen-or-so students were all my closest friends. So when we got out class rankings, and saw how ridiculous the differentiation was, we all accepted it as absurd. There was no animosity or competition.

I hope the Olympic athletes feel the same way. To get to the Olympics at all puts you in the best-in-the-world category, and the silly hundredths of seconds that determines the color of your medal is really meaningless.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ace of Spades:
The point is to win. You can tell who the winner is; she's the one wearing the gold medal.

Yo Ace of Spades I'm really happy for you and I'm gonna let you finish but Reshpeckobiggle was the greatest Olympics troll of all time
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