Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hidden Hakkinen and other Olympic musings

Hidden Hakkinen:
So we recorded the 20k biathlon yesterday, and were excited to watch Jay Hakkinen get get 10th, which is the highest placing ever in biathlon for an American. He was one minute out of medal contention, which was equivalent to one penalty for missing a target. However, NBC chose to instead show everyone BUT Hakkinen, including people who came in way behind him. It's either because they were not employing their own crews or perhaps because they didn't think he was going to do well. Pretty insane for a US newscast to not get one shot of our US hopeful in an "unprecedented" two hour broadcast of biathlon. Thanks NBC!

US vs. Switzerland:
Did you watch the US women's hockey team take on Switzerland? Because women's hockey is still more of a finesse game (although for sure they do cross check when required), the passing and dexterity of the game is really incredible. I highly suggest watching a game if you get the chance.

"High Hemoglobin Levels"
That Hemoglobin level rule of the Ski Federation is totally bogus. 12 XC skiers were suspended for this, although it's a proven fact that altitude training as well as dehydration can cause these levels. In addition, although it is supposedly done "for the athlete's safety", why is the number for women arbitrarily lower, even though competitive women skiers have been shown to have hemoglobin levels roughly equal to men? Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. Let's use proven detectable methods of finding dopers instead of some silly rules that catch dopers and non-dopers alike.

Dick Button!
What would we do without Dick Button? Well, last winter olympics, we didn't have him. And Scott Hamilton is to platitudinous to really be able to provide the biting criticism Dick Button does. The last few times I have seen ice skating, Dick has been upset about the "flutzing" techniques of jumping that had become prevalent. This year, it appears at least for pairs he has two new problems -- the sit spin and the descent into the death spiral. In the sit spin, they don't sit down far enough, and the girls stick their rears out while descending into a death spiral.

Anyways, the Olympics are very fun, but it is quite stressful to try to keep up with Tivo. If Olympics-watching ever becomes a medal sport, I've got a shot :) More tomorrow!

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