2-25-18 Goodbye Games The Final Medal Count
It was the beginning of the end, the parade of nations. This time with one flag bearer per country first, then with the athletes themselves. It was time to celebrate the end of the 2018 Olympic journey.
These pictures came from the middle, when the President of the International Olympic Committee called the athletes of the world to come together again, in Beijing, 2022. The Chinese gave us a taste of what they’re planning. The best part, meeting their mascot…a panda. I can’t wait till 2022!
And…the end…putting out the Olympic flame. The Koreans brought in globes of light. They gave off those smaller balls of light, that turned into the snowflakes, and they put the cauldron out. Within seconds, the flame vanished, and the Olympics were officially over. I’m always sad to see the flame die. Goodbye, Olympics. Goodbye Korea. See you in China in 2022.
The Final Medal Count
1st Norway: 39 total 14 gold 14 silver 11 bronze
2nd Germany: 31 total 14 gold 10 silver 7 bronze
3rd Canada : 29 total 11 gold 8 silver 10 bronze
4th United States: 23 total 9 gold 8 silver 6 bronze
And the winner is…Norway! They started the games in 1st place and ended there too. Norway is a country with as many people as the city of Atlanta, Georgia, and they won more medals that the US, 16 more. Wow! They even beat our medal record. In Calgary we won 37. Norway holds the new record, by 2!
How did such a small country do such a great job? Well, they like snow, cross-country skiing and shooting (biathlon). They have free health care so staying healthy is easier. But they have some interesting quirks:
1. Kids don’t keep score till they’re 13. Adults let kids, be kids.
2. Trainers don’t tell athletes what to weigh. They think it’s dangerous.
3. Olympic athletes don’t get prize money from Norway. They think it changes their personality, in a bad way.
4. Norway’s Olympians play cards and charades before competitions. They believe having fun together builds better teams.
5. Every medal meant cake for the Norwegians. That’s 39 cakes they baked and ate in Korea! Yum!
I’ll close by wishing you all the best as you face your competitions. You won’t have to wait till the winter of 2022 to read my Olympic posts again...I’ll see you for the Tokyo 2020 summer games. That’s when the world’s athletes meet in Japan for fun and competition. Till then!
2-24-18 Here’s to the Guys!
United States 8 gold 7 silver 6 bronze 21 Total Still in 4th Place!!!
Today: up 1 gold, 1 silver
This is the gold medal curling team in action, AKA the “Miracurl on Ice!” The middle picture shows Ivanka Trump’s reaction to the best hat ever. Can you spot it? The final picture shows the miracle team (l-r) Joe Polo, John Landsteiner, Matt Hamilton, Tyler George, and John Shuster. You go, guys!
Why “miracurl/miracle?” It’s because of the last shot…The Americans were tied with the Swedes, 5-5. They’d come from near-elimination to a battle for gold. That’s when John hit a “five-ender.” His shot knocked 2 Swedish stones out of scoring position, and left all 5 American rocks in scoring position. His shot was so rare it’s been topped once, in Olympic finals. Way to go, John!
After the medal ceremony, the golden guys realized there was a slight problem with their medals…they were women’s curling medals. By press conference time, the guys had the right medals and sang Journey’s, Don’t Stop Believing, slightly off key, but with style and class! I won’t stop believing in the US men’s curling team, who went from elimination to gold medals! Way to go guys!
This is Kyle Mack. He took silver in snowboard big air, and he did it with a trick he’s never, ever, landed. Imagine, doing something that’s probably going to make you fall, AND, doing it in front of a world-wide audience. Kyle did it for a noble reason…snowboard style. Me, I’d rather get mine at the mall.
Kyle’s big jump has a great name. It’s called a “Bloody Dracula.” I wonder if snowboard jumpers become future writers…hmmm…A bloody Dracula is a frontside double cork 1440 with a double tail grab. I didn’t understand a single word I just wrote!
I’ll try to translate it into English. Frontside means Kyle was rotating counterclockwise in the air so his front went forward for the 1st 90 degrees of his spin. A double cork 1440 means he tilted upside down twice while spinning 1440 degrees in the air. Um, feeling a little dizzy…so glad I’m only writing this. Then for the double tail grab, Kyle grabbed the tail of his snowboard with both hands. The back hand grabbed the board like usual, but the front hand reached behind his back, blindly for that board. DO NOT try this trick at home! YIKES!
I wish that darn Bloody Dracula had gotten Kyle a gold medal, but I’m glad he got silver. Congratulations, Kyle!
2-23-18 Win or Lose, It’s How You Play the Game
This is the competition between the Russians and Norwegians for the bronze medal. The Russians won the contest, but wound up losing the medal. How? Aleksandr Kruselnitcki tested positive for doping/drugs. He was retested and admitted his mistake.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport took the medal from the Russians. They gave it to Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten from Norway. I’m happy for them, but so sad for the Russians, especially Anastasia Bryzgalova. She didn’t test positive, but lost her medal anyway.
These are the finals in the ladies’ free skate. Competition was stiff! The Russians tied in the finals, but Alina was ahead from the short program. It won her the gold medal, by 1.3 points. Wow! One single point! Alina and Evgenia are amazing skaters!
All week I heard there’s everybody, then there’s the Russians. Kaetlyn Osmond from Canada, won bronze. She was 8 points behind, 4th place was 17 points back, and the American (9th) was 37 points behind. I guess it’s true—there’s the Russians…then there’s everyone else. I’m so glad these Russians won with practice, not with doping.
2-22-18 Another Four Medal Day, for the USA
United States 8 gold 7 silver 6 bronze 21 Total Still in 4th Place!!!
Today: up 2 gold, 2 silver
This was yesterday’s HUGE event! The hockey game between the US and Canada. I thought I’d write about it only. I couldn’t. The other medalists deserved coverage too!
I watched part of the game. The US scored 1st. Then Canada scored the next 2 goals. I went to bed hoping for victory, but prepared for defeat. Again. The US women haven’t beaten Canada for 20 years, not since 1998. Canada has won 4 straight gold medals in hockey. They are beasts when it comes to hockey!
Then a pair of twins, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson, appeared. Monique scored the game-tieing goal. Jocelyn scored the winning goal. What a great moment! With twins, it had to be twice as nice!
This is David Wise. He’s the gold medalist in the men’s halfpipe, again. I wonder if someone thought he stole his medal…He crashed on his first 2 runs. Then his last jump was practically perfect. Congratulations to David and his cheering section!
This is Alex Ferreira. He wound up with a silver medal in the halfpipe, behind David.
The best part about Alex’s story is his Olympic inspiration, Bon Jovi, and his dad. Bon Jovi gave him the song Livin’ on a Prayer. Prayer’s always a good thing! His dad said, “Don’t stink your pants. Don’t be like your father. Be classy. Touch the snow. Just execute.” Alex’s dad, Marcelo, played soccer for Argentina. He turned pro at age 17. I think he gave Alex great advice!
Do you recognize Mikaela Shiffrin? She was golden last week, but then nerves got to her. It happens even to Olympians.
Today she’s back! She took silver in the Alpine Combined. What’s that? 2 races, one downhill, and the other in slalom. The fastest total for the 2 runs gets gold. She got silver and set a record…Mikaela’s the 1st American to win a gold and a silver in alpine skiing, in one Olympics. The last time was 1952. That was 7 years before I was born…Wow, Mikaela! Congratulations!
2-21-18 A Four Medal Day for the USA
United States 6 gold 5 silver 6 bronze 17 Total 4th Place!!!
Yesterday the US was in 6th place with 13 medals. What a difference a day makes! Today we’re 4th. 5th Netherlands: 16 6th France: 14 7th Russia: 13
The US picked up 1 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze medal today. Way to go!
These are the golden girls, Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall. They won gold in the women’s team sprint. Jessica crossed the finish line, screamed, and collapsed. Kikkan jumped on top, and their teammates cheered. Why? This is the 1st medal the US has won in cross-country skiing…EVER! You go, girls!
This is the silver girl, Jamie Anderson. She won gold in slopeside and was on her way to win gold again after her 2nd run in big air snowboarding. Austria's Anna Gasser edged her out in the final run. I read that Jamie was robbed, but I disagree. Both ladies made their best jumps, and Ana came out on top, today. Gold, silver, or bronze— what matters is doing your best, and Jamie did!
Meet 2 more silver girls! This is Elana Meyers Taylor. She won silver in Sochi with a different teammate. This time she’s back with Lauren Gibbs. They missed silver by .07 seconds. Wow! 7/100ths of a second! I was surprised to discover Elana felt bad about losing gold in Sochi. This time she’s happy to win silver in PyeongChang. I’m happy for Elana, Lauren, and the US medal count!
Here are the bronze girls, speed-skaters Mia Manganello, Heather Bergsma, and Brittany Bowe. They just won the long-track speed-skating team medal. They’re happy to win, of course, but it’s even better because the US women have not won any speed-skating medals in the Olympics since 2002. Congratulations, ladies!
2-20-18 Where is the US in the Medal Count?
Flag Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total (As of 12PM)
5 France 5 4 4 13
6 United States 5 3 5 13
The good thing about competition is that the medal count changes daily. The bad thing is that it changes daily.
I was so excited Monday night (19th)! The Americans won 2 bronze medals and pulled into 5th place in the medal count. France was 6th, and Russia 7th. Life was good!
Here are the ice dancing bronze medalist, Alex and Maia Shibutani. Maia is 23, Alex 26. They’re a brother and sister team who’ve lived in Massachusetts and Colorado. Now Michigan is home. The Shibutanis were national champions twice, but not this year. That’s OK, they won the bronze medal.
Not only are the Shibutanis great skaters, they also have their own YouTube channel @ShibSibs. Check them out! They have over 90 videos, that have been viewed over 6 million times. They have 90,000 subscribers as of this month. I think they have a future beyond skating, don’t you!
Here is the Freestyle Skiing, Halfpipe bronze medalist, Brita Sigourney. She looks great, right? Not really. Brita felt nervous and nauseous before jumping, so she did some deep breathing. It worked!
Brita wasn’t just worried about a great jump, she was also worried about bumping her friend/teammate Annalisa Drew out of a medal. Would you want to win at a friend’s expense? Yet, you’ve dreamed of that perfect Olympic jump forever. I guess you do your best, and let the chips fall where they may. For Brita that was a winning a bronze medal, and keeping a friend. They’re both great things!
Then Tuesday morning (20th) arrived, France won a gold medal and 5th place. I changed my story and added this section. Bummer!
This is the Gold Medal Biathlon Mixed Relay team. The ladies skied and shot rifles for 6km. The men did 7.5km.
Then tonight (20th) the US won a bronze medal, but we’re still in 6th place. Another change, another new section. Oh goodie!
This is Lindsey Vonn. She won gold in Vancouver in 2010. Since then she’s had her share of injuries and disappointments.
Lindsey fought her way back to earn bronze. She wanted gold for her grandfather who fought in Korea. He wanted to be here but died in November. I think he’d be happy with Lindsey. He’d know you can’t give more than your best. Congratulations, Lindsey!
I’m glad this story is done. Who knows where the US/France will be tomorrow in the medal race! Not me!
2-19-18 A Small Wardrobe Malfunction
Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction? That’s when your clothes do the unexpected, the embarrassing. You’ve probably spilled food, or had clothing rip, but can you imagine having it happen at the Olympics, in front of a world-wide audience?
That’s what happened to French skater Gabriella Papadakis during her short program. Her dress fastener broke so she fought to keep her dress up as she skated. Her partner Guillaume Cizeron tried to help. Gabriella said it was her worst nightmare come true, but she skated and prayed. It worked! They finished the short program in 2nd place, 2 points off the lead.
The same thing happened last week during the team competition to South Koreans Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin. Look at the 1st picture to see where the hook broke. Yura felt her sleeve sliding down her shoulder and fought off panic as she skated. Her strategy: to keep her back straight and the sleeve/dress up. It worked! Yura finished, dress intact. BTW…at the short program Yura had herself sewed into her dress. No wardrobe malfunction this week!
2-18-18 The Race for Medals
I didn’t have a single moment or athlete today…I picked a country, Norway. They’re small in size, but big in medals. They lead the Germans by 8.
9 gold 9 silver 8 bronze 26 Total
9 gold 5 silver 4 bronze 18 Total
# 3 Canada
5 gold 5 silver 6 bronze 16 Total
6 gold 5 silver 2 bronze 13 Total
#6 United States
5 gold 2 silver 3 bronze 10 Total
Can you find the 6 countries? Here’s a little help:
Norway- Europe: yellow Germany: Europe: purple
Canada: N. America: pink Netherlands: Europe: orange
Russia: Europe: green US: N. America: yellow
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Norway’s Top Athletes Name/Medals/Sport #1 Simen Hegstad Krueger won 2 gold/1 bronze in cross-country skiing.
#2 Marit Bjoergen won 2 gold/1 silver in cross-country skiing.
#3 Ragnhild Haga won 2 gold in cross-country skiing. #4 Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won 2 gold in cross-country skiing.
#5 Martin Johnsrud Sundby won1 gold/1 silver in cross-country skiing.
#6 Kjetil Jansrud won 1 silver/1 bronze in alpine skiing.
#7 Oystein Braaten won1 gold in freestyle skiing.
#8 Johannes Thingnes Boe won1 gold in biathlon (skiing and shooting a rifle).
#9 Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen won 1 gold in cross-country skiing.
#10 Ingvild Flugstad Oestlberg won 1 gold in cross-country skiing.
#11 Didrik Toenseth won1 gold in cross-country skiing.
#12 Robert Johansson won 2 bronze in ski jumping.
That’s 21 out of their 26 medals. Can you guess what Norway's favorite sport is? If you guessed skiing I think you’re right!
5 medals are missing. looked them up. If you work hard for 4 years, you deserve to be mentioned.
#22 Gold: Cross-Country Skiing: Men’s 4 x 10km Relay (4 men run 10km in a relay)
#23 Gold: Cross-Country Skiing: Women’s 4 x 5km Relay (4 women run 5km in a relay)
#24 Gold: Aksel Svindal: Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill:
#25 Gold: Maren Lundby: Ski Jumping: Women’s Normal Hill
#26 Silver: Henrik Kristoffersen: Alpine Skiing: Men’s Giant Slalom
2-17-18 Win, Lose, or Draw...Skate Your Way
He did! BIG TIME! He landed 5 of the 6 quads. His score was sky-high, 297.35. Unheard of! It held till the final 6 skaters. He missed bronze by 8 points, gold by 20. Nathan had the performance of a lifetime, the sign of a true champion! And, he’ll be back in 4 years. I wonder what the Quad King will do in 2022!
2-16-18 A Tale of Two Golden Girls
Confession: I didn’t see either event last night. I searched Google and found these 2 incredible skiers. Both golden. Both poised to win again. One earned gold, the other, 4th.
Do you recognize Chloe Kim in that 1st picture? She’s the short one! Chloe stands 5ft 3in tall, but she sails across the sky. Her first 2 runs earned her halfpipe gold. Did she go easy on her 3rd run? No way! She went full out and earned a 98.25, practically perfect! Liu Jiayu, the silver medalist, was almost 9 points behind. Chloe’s amazing!
This is Mikaela Shiffrin. She won gold on Valentine’s Day in the Giant Slalom. She was 39 seconds ahead of the silver medalist. The 1st two pictures show her in the Giant Slalom. She looks great!
In the last picture, Mikaela looks disappointed. She has been #1 in slalom for the past couple years. She was expected to win, but didn’t. She came in 4th. Forty seconds from gold. 0.08 seconds from bronze.
Mikaela got sick before her 1st run. From nerves? Maybe a bug? It doesn’t matter. What does is that she did her best. Mikaela has more Olympic skiing ahead. Win, lose, or medal, she’s a champion. Good luck, Mikaela!
The 1st picture shows you the alpine skiing course. It looks challenging, even for Olympians like Aksel Svindal, from Norway. He’s been skiing them since 2006.
2010 was electrifying for Aksel. He brought home gold, silver, and bronze. His 2014 expectations must have been sky-high, his results, underground He came home empty-handed. 2018 must have been about redemption. It was! He won gold in the Downhill, at age 35. The oldest winner ever, magic!
This is the best perseverance story ever! It’s all about Aliona Savchenko. I couldn’t find/confirm pictures from her first Olympics. She’s been in 5! She started in 2002 with Stanislave Morozov for the Ukraine. They came in 15th. In 2006 she moved up to 6th with a new partner, Robin Szolkowy, and a new country, Germany. Still no gold!
The 1st picture is the two of them with a bronze medal in Vancouver, 2010. The 2nd is another bronze in Souchi, 2014. Still no gold. Robin decide he’d had enough. He retired. Aliona fought on for gold.
2018! Gold at last! Aljona’s new partner, Bruno Massot (French) just got German citizenship. He made one small mistake, and you could tell how badly he felt. It left the Germans 5 points away from gold. Not impossible, but not likely either. Bruno and Aljona skated first, the ultimate…a perfect program! They collapsed on the ice.
Then came the waiting, watching every other team skate. Each skated beautifully, each with one small flaw. When the last pair skated, the Germans beat the Chinese by .43 points, the Canadians by over 5. It was incredible to watch the Germans when those last scores came up. The gold medalists were in tears, and so was I. Happy for Bruno. Ecstatic for Aliana! It was the perfect way to end the night!
This Shaun in 2 different Olympics. He won gold at one, came in 4th at the other. You get nothing for 4th. Can you guess which made him grow the most? It was when he failed to medal. It’s the hard things that test your spirit. They build character.
The 1st picture is 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. It was golden. The 2nd is 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Shaun got 4th, but not a medal. For someone like him, it probably felt like a big fat failure. A lot of people would have been thrilled with 4th.
This is 2018, redemption for Shaun White! But it’s not as easy as it used to be. Shawn’s 31, one of the older, more experienced skiers. The preliminaries were easy, but he needed character for the finals.
In the first run, Shawn was in first place. Then Ayumu Hirano, age 19, from Japan, pulled ahead, by 1 point. It was his best run. Shawn skied last, was guaranteed silver, but he gave it his all. He blasted past Ayumu by 2.5 points. Character matters! Congratulations, Shaun, your best Olympics ever!
This is a halfpipe snowboard course. The one in PyeongChang is longer than most. That means you can do an extra trick or two. It’s still 44 feet from side to side. Then add in another 10 feet of airtime per side. That’s like 66 feet across, one way, each time. Can you imagine zipping back and forth across the halfpipe 5-7 times?
It looks so beautiful when Olympians do it, but not always. This is just one of the crashes There was one that was even worse…she fell face down into the stone. Ouch, falling! Doing it in front of a world-wide audience! Double ouch!
This is American gold medalist Chloe Kim. Imagine winning gold at age 17. Wow! But Chloe’s still down to earth. When she found out her Korean grandma was watching her live for the 1st time, she said, “This one’s for you, grans.” Afterwards, she just wanted to shop with her. That’s my kind of girl!
2-12-18 Today I have 2 moments:
Do you recognize these pictures? Probably not. They’re from the cross-country skiathlon. The best US finisher was #18, Scott Patterson. Simon Kruger is #7. He fell and wound up 38 seconds behind the leaders. He made up the time and won the gold medal. If he hadn’t, he would have come in 10th. In Norway they’re calling it the Miracle in the Snow. I agree!
The rest of the pictures are from the men’s luge. The top pictures are a close-up, and a bird’s eye view. I never guessed the track was so long when I watched the athletes fly through.
This is the start. You sit on your board, lean forward, run yourself back and forth a couple times, then go! As you slide forward, you dig into the ice with the spikes in your gloves. This is your only chance to build up speed. Then you lay down, and enjoy the ride. All you can see is the ice flying past your feet. Do you see those lines on his feet? Those aren’t for show. When he lays down, they’ll lock onto his calves. He’ll press them to steer the board.
This is not the gold medalist. He’s the 1st American to medal in luge. Ever! He won silver. I was so happy for him, but so sad for the leader, Felix Loch from Germany. He was in 1st place, set to win his 3rd gold medal, till he skidded. That small slip sent him down from gold to 4th place. No medal. So sad, one small mistake, but that’s the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.
I woke up Saturday to men’s snowboard slopestyle. I’ve never seen anything like it! The course has multiple places to land and take-off, some snow, some red/yellow boards. The boards look like balance beams. Can you imagine skiing onto them or taking off either? I can’t!
I was also amazed by the spins they made from jumping to landing. I’d be happy to do one! The last picture is the US gold medalist, Red Gerard. My favorite facts:
1- He’s 17 and just won a gold medal.
2- He was born in Rocky River, Ohio. Go Bucks!
3- His family built a training park in their backyard. Can you imagine!
I saw the opening ceremonies last night, and this idea popped into my head. I’ll be picking the photos every night that captured my attention. I’ll write about them the next day. I love the Olympics, and I love writing! This two-fer sounds great to me!
PS- No Q&A’s or My Reads till the Olympics are over. I want to enjoy every minute of the games!
The 1st picture is the Olympic logo. The last one is a map within a map. The enlarged one shows China, North Korea, and South Korea. The smaller one shows Asia. The red box is the Korean peninsula. China surrounds them, to the north and the south. The islands to the east are Japan. The islands to the south are the Philippines. The peninsula to the west holds 3 countries, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar (in order from east to west). China is to the north. It’s a bear of a country!
The middle picture is my favorite. I love clothes! Wouldn’t you love to try on her outfit and march in the Parade of Nations? But, I wouldn’t want to sit down, unless I could sit on a stool. How about you?
This was last night’s favorite moment! The North and South Korean teams marched in together. News watchers know relations have been difficult between the 2 neighbors. The peninsula was divided in 1945, at the end of WWII. This is the first time the 2 countries have appeared together, ever!
Wrong! I googled. They marched under the Korean Unification flag in 2000, 2004 (summer games) and in 2006 (winter). This reminds me of East and West Germany. They were divided for 45 years after WWII, then reunited on Oct. 3, 1990. Maybe…it could happen to Korea too.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!