High drama unfolded again today at Whistler Creekside during the women's giant slalom event. The only thing more ominous than the hanging fog that shrouded the course was the air between American teammates Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso after Vonn's crash derailed what looked to be a strong first run for Mancuso.
Thanks to its quads, salchows, and sequined spandex, figure skating has long ruled the Winter Olympics. But recent ratings show that its glittery reign over primetime is crashing down--like so many male skaters in the short program last week.
How much time is enough time to make a good Olympics? Ten years before the opening ceremonies? Four years? How about two years? The slopes for the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia, will first open for World Cup competition in 2012, just two years before the first Olympic athlete will set ski upon them. And that's if everything goes according to plan -- a big if, if recent Olympics are anything to go by.
The heavy favorite in the inaugural women’s ski cross didn’t let her country down. The defending 2009 world champion, Canadian Ashleigh McIvor, took home gold yesterday in front of cheering crowds at Cypress Mountain. Hedda Berntsen of Norway won silver, followed by France’s Marion Josserand with bronze.
First there was the Sports Illustrated's cover shot of Vonn in a staged tuck. Now there's a whole gallery of her in SI's vaunted Swimsuit Issue. Is she demeaning or asserting herself? Here's where the SKI staff lands.
We thought the “controversy” over Lindsey Vonn’s Sports Illustrated cover shot was ridiculous. Sure, she’s wearing makeup instead of a helmet. But “suggestive pose?” Come on. She’s a downhill racer, the “pose” is a legitimate tuck—a tool of her trade. If you find it “suggestive,” that says more about you than her. And as far as we’re concerned, whenever SI wants to put a skier on the cover, we’re all for it.
For the first day in a week, the skies over Whistler's Dave Murray Downhill course were cloudy and cold, so perhaps it's fitting that the GS victory went to Switzerland's Carol Janka, nicknamed The Iceman. Janka, who's been skiing great all season, put down the fastest combined time in the two-run event to secure the gold by a margin of .39 seconds. Behind him, Norway's Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal, whose bronze today is his third of these games. Like Bode Miller, Svindal now has one of each color, and like Miller, he's a five-event skier.
Last week, NBC dominated the ratings, taking the top eight spots. Snowboarder Shaun White’s gold medal run captured 29.4 million viewers, almost double that of the perennial leader, American Idol on FOX. Research from NBC suggests that half of all Americans watched some of the games last week. From February 14–21, NBC averaged 26.3 million viewers a night. That’s a big increase from the games in Torino, which attracted around 20 million viewers a day.
Bronze, silver and now gold: Bode Miller is three for three in these games, earning his first Olympic gold in today's super combined event at Whistler's Creekside venue. With two events to go before the Games close, Miller shows no sign of stopping.
Today, the Austrian coach set the women’s super G course, and today Austrian Andrea Fischbacher walked away with the gold and the country’s first alpine medal of these games. Coincidence? FIS and Olympic rules are such that each course—except the downhill—is set by a randomly selected country’s delegate, usually a coach. Naturally, the delegate sets the courses to favor their athletes’ strengths. But after watching today’s intense and extremely close competition, it would impugn Fischbacher’s performance to write off the win as a coincidence.
Classic, unfettered Bode-style skiing had our hopes up for another American gold in this afternoon's men's Olympic super G, but in the end a Miller win was not to be, as Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal stormed the course 0.28 seconds faster. American Andrew Weibrecht, a rising star of the U.S. Ski Team, held the lead for much of the race, until Bode Miller bested Weibrecht's time by 0.03 seconds. Miller left the gate in full fury, bombing the top of the course, but the trickier bottom half slowed his style, with a few wide turns likely costing him the gold.