Figure skating

USA Gold medalist Evan Lysacek (middle) with silver medalist

So. They come right out of the blocks with a scoring scandal. Awesome. All the judging hijinks (love that word) have sufficiently made all the American male skaters weep like babies and the ever Slavic Soviets sneer in disdain. The Russian after party set a record for vodka consumed and some were caught out on the biathlon course shooting Kalashnikovs at targets with American skaters’ heads on the targets while Americans sipped triple caramel frappucinos and discussed Ralph Lauren designs for all the Olympic teams.

The loser, Plushenko, coach Alexei Mishin and even a few Russian politicians were furious with the results of the men’s scoring because Plush (as his friends call him) finished second after being the only top contender to land a clean quadruple jump.

“Quad is quad. If the Olympic champion doesn’t know how to jump the quad, I don’t know,” Plushenko said afterward. “Now it’s not men’s figure skating, it’s dancing. That’s my point.” (point to Plush).

From this scoring “scandal” the Russian skater believes he’s the platinum medal winner (cause he didn’t win the gold). His medal reads, “Silver of Salt Lake, Gold of Torino, Platinum of Vancouver.” What’s impressive here is that not only has Plushenko’s website team fabricated an Olympic medal, it designed a platinum medal, too. Bravo. That’s commitment. Oh. Unfortunately it isn’t real but it makes for a great story. (“It’s absolutely a mistake. Evgeni has absolutely no idea about this. Absolutely no idea,” his coach said, “Nobody from our team is awarding a platinum medal.”). Nuts.

Anyway. Here is where American skating finally gets a real gold medal (at least from the Enlightened Conflict judge).

The Olympics’ hottest couple is not one of the figure skating or ice dancing pairs. No, it’s this crying figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek and the darling of the Beijing Olympics, Nastia Liukin, who has a gold medal of her own in all-around gymnastics. Awesome. X-rated visuals inserted here.

evan lysacek and nastia liukin

Oh. Last. How awesome would it be if we kind of had a figure skating biathlon? I am not sure we would be allowed to shoot at each other (although it may make them move a little faster on the ice) but maybe at the conclusion of their performance they take up a rifle and see how many judges they can knock down, kind of like the shooting gallery at the circus. Just a thought if TV ratings are down.

The Biathlon (just because I am hooked)

Neuner (the biathlon beauty as she is known in her country which up until her had steroid swimmers and international arm wrestling champions to line up as ‘beauties’) won a second gold. I just wanted to start this section with Nooner…oops…Neuner.

Next. The Russians, Germans and French medaled in the women’s Biathlon relay (nice combination of friendly countries that have certainly never shot at each other in the past, ignoring WWI & 2 & numerous other medieval conflicts of course).

France got a 22 second lead at the first exchange, but then Russia and Germany caught up to on the second leg, and the three teams stayed together until the Russians pulled away. At the prone shooting station, the Russian quickly made all five shots to open up an 11.6 second lead over Germany, while poor shooting cost France a chance at the gold.

The French woman missed five of her eight shots and had to ski two penalty laps putting France more than a minute behind. Ok. As you will see this point later in this post, how the fuck do she train 4 years for an event that only happens once every 4 years and MISS 67% of the shots she took?

Anyway. As background (because I assume this is my last shooting/skiing post), as you might expect from a sport that involves a rifle, the biathlon has military roots. Norwegian soldiers have been running combined skiing and shooting races since at least the mid 1700’s and the Norwegian military sponsored the first modern race of this kind in 1921. It wasn’t quite like the biathlon we know but rather it was an event called “military patrol” that involved a four-man patrol going through the event in heavy backpacks. (And bigger guns than they have today)
Military patrol was actually a medal event at the 1924 Winter Olympics but was only a demonstration sport at the 1928, 1936 and 1948 Games. The idea of individuals racing on skis with guns gained popularity in Europe throughout the 1950s (I believe this is also the time that Heineken became quite popular in Europe) and by 1960, the races were back on the Olympic program as the individual biathlon event. Personally, I would prefer this event be called the Military Patrol pursuit and let them shoot at each other.

Downhill skiing

Ok. I know those gate thingies have a lot of give but if you are going 100 mph in negative 5 degree weather and are getting smacked every time you go by one my guess is it hurts like shit. And when they wipeout, hey, it ain’t a half assed wipeout. But I have a better idea. I personally believe they should have stone monuments instead of the gates. Kind of like the Stonehenge of downhill skiing. Now that would make it exciting. Team events could be called the “chip off the old block” downhill super – P (p for pain).


I keep wondering if someone at MSNBC pissed someone off. While you can watch Olympics coverage almost 24/7 on MSNBC, it is always curling. USA versus Switzerland. USA versus Sweden. USA versus China. USA curling practice (they do curls in the gym). USA against everyone and losing (I think they are maybe 2 and 6 as I write this, but because I am unclear how they score this stupid thing I cannot really tell who won until everyone starts jumping up and down and sliding all over the ice in some whimsical ice dance celebration…an aboriginal interpretive dance I believe). I mean who the hell at MSNBC screwed up? They don’t even get one event with someone in tights. It is only the most unathletic looking Olympic athletes in the history of Olympics. Wow. Someone better be updating their resume.

Written by Bruce