I’ve been following the Olympics for a while now, something my better half gets a significant amount of joy from watching. Igloo-world is a winter Olympics country and we usually do pretty well. Summer… let’s not talk about summer. It only lasts 2 weeks here anyways.
The “traditional” medal sports here are hockey and curling. Not that other events have not been medal contenders, but those two have for 20+ years been gold/silver conversations.
Hockey this year is a bit different, at least for the men. There’s no NHL players, so North American countries are a much lower caliber. OAR and a few other european countries are in a better spot and taking Canada to town. Women though, nothing much changed. The US (gold) and Canada (silver) have dominated for 20 years. There’s still a long way to go for parity.
Curling was dominated by Canada for nearly 30 years. Just complete washes. Over the years every country has gotten better, helpful for a sport that isn’t physical but mental instead. The Canadian women played horribly, and the men just weren’t at the level needed to deliver. Curling is measured by %shooting, or just rather accuracy. Medal players shoot in the 90%s. There were some odd shot choices, and mistakes that typically do not show up at this level. That, combined with other nations consistently shooting above 80%.
With both of those traditional sports not delivering, it’s opened up eyes to other events. Ice Dancing, moguls, downhill, speed skating, bobsled…lots of fun to watch events events with some interesting twists. The snowboard big-air competition was something else. Watching Esther Ledecka win gold on downhill, and unable to believe it is my go-to story for this run.
It’s really something to see both the combination of athletic development (skill) and the ability to report on it (technology). Some of the replays and art used is quite impressive. We’ve come so far from tape and 10+ minutes of review. Even Ice Dancing has a clear on-screen marker for technical score, updated while the skaters are on the ice. Not to mention I can stream everything from my phone through an official app. The exposure is great.
It’s also a nice thing to see the country being able to produce a record amount of medals (27 as of this morning) without the traditional ones. Even those in 4th or 5th are better than the 7,600,000,000 other people on this planet. Even qualifying is an achievement.
Hope other people are getting as much fun out of watching this as I am.