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Bode Miller cries during interview; reporter Christin Cooper criticized for questions

Bode-Miller-cries

Bode Miller salvaged what has been a disappointing trip to Sochi on Sunday by winning a bronze medal in the men’s super-G. The 36-year-old became the oldest alpine skier in Olympic history to win a medal. After the race, he was overcome with emotion when NBC’s Christin Cooper asked several questions about his late brother.

Miller’s brother Chelone was found dead last April after suffering an apparent seizure. He was 29. At the start of his interview with Cooper, Miller mentioned the passing of Chelone. You can see the full video of the interview here.

“This was a little different,” he said. “I think my brother passing away … I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sensed it. This was a little different.”

Miller was clearly fighting back tears after bringing up his brother. Cooper asked a follow-up question about the emotion he was showing. When he did not mention Chelone, she asked another question about him.

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US Speedskating didn’t test uniforms because they feared opponents would steal secrets?

Shani Davis parachute

When reports first surfaced last week that US Speedskating coaches were attributing the team’s struggles at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to flaws in their new suits, one of the biggest questions to arise was why the suits were never tested in competition prior to the Winter Games. It sounds like there is an answer to explain things, one that sounds incredibly ironic now.

According to The Associated Press, the reason the “Mach 39″ suits created by Under Armour — billed as the fastest in the world — were never tested is because there were fears the competition would steal the design secrets.

From the AP article:

Sure, the skaters were involved in the development all through the process: trying on the suit, using it in training, offering suggestions and feedback. But secrecy seemed to be the primary concern, the U.S. fretting that other countries would swipe their technology if the suit came out too soon. The final version was completed about six weeks before the opening ceremony, which meant no one had a chance to compete in it before they arrived in Sochi.

The US has gone back to their old suits, but the results have not been any better so far. If that means the suits aren’t the problem, then what would that say about our skaters? Under Armour would have taken a major reputation hit for what could turn out to be just an athlete problem, though at this point, it sure seems like the suits didn’t help matters.

H/T Fourth-Place Medal
Image via @nick_pants

TJ Oshie’s Wikipedia page hacked to call him ‘American Hero’

TJ-Oshie-Wikipedia

TJ Oshie became a household name on Saturday with his heroic performance in Team USA’s preliminary round win over Russia. After he scored the winning shootout goal (one of his four), someone immediately hopped on Wikipedia and hacked Oshie’s page. This was one of those fantastic hacks.

[WATCH: TJ Oshie scores shootout winner against Russia]

Although the page has already been edited, it briefly read “Oshie is a American Hero” below the first two sentences of his biography.

Thanks to international rules, Oshie was able to take all seven of the US’s shots after the opening round of the shootout ended in a tie. He buried four of them. Jonathan Quick came up huge in goal for the Americans to continue giving Oshie opportunities.

Personally, I think the American hero line should have stayed. What’s the harm in it?

Photo via Twitter/Craig Kanalley

TJ Oshie carries US to shootout win over Russia

TJ-Oshie-USAThe US men’s hockey team defeated Russia in their preliminary matchup on Saturday. The game was decided in the eighth round of a shootout after the two teams played to a 2-2 tie through three periods and one five-minute overtime. TJ Oshie played the hero for the United States.

Oshie, who plays for the St. Louis Blues, took six of the eight shootout attempts for the US. International rules allow the same shooter to keep going once the first round of the shootout (three shooters) ends in a tie. Oshie battled Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk and eventually got the best of them. He scored four goals in the shootout.

While there was no medal at stake, it was a phenomenal game that could wind up being a preview of the gold medal game.

GIF via Diehard Sport

US hockey team using secret codes to relay injuries to NHL teams

Team-USA-hockeyNHL owners have always been reluctant to let their players participate in the Olympics. The reason is obvious — teams have millions of dollars invested in these players and they could easily suffer some sort of injury while competing in the international tournament. At the very least, NHL teams want to know if and when their players get hurt.

Doctors from Team USA’s staff could simply place a phone call to America or Canada to relay injury information, but they choose to be more careful than that. Why? Because the Russians could be spying. According to Frank Fitzpatrick of The Philadelphia Inquirer, injury reports are delivered using texts from “clean phones” that might say something like “3 … MCL … Grade I … 7-day hold.”

There are 149 NHL players here. Each of their teams has a list of numbers that, like the ’3′ in this example, correspond to their players.

Using numbers instead of names and specially issued cellphones wiped clear of all data, (physicians) representing the NHL in Sochi can communicate discreetly.”

This is not a joke. Russia badly wants to win a gold medal in front of its home fans in Sochi, and there has apparently been some concern that they could try to gain an advantage by hacking injury information.

“[The owners] said any kind of personal account or anything with a password could be hacked by the Russians in a minute,” Peter DeLuca, the Flyers’ orthopedic surgeon and one of the NHL’s two medical representatives in Sochi, told Fitzpatrick. “So we left everything home, and they issued us these ‘clean phones.’”

DeLuca’s job in Sochi is to protect the NHL’s investments and not allow a player to play through any type of injury that could be dangerous. As a result of Cold War-type suspicions, he has also had to learn a new language. These are the reasons we love Olympic hockey.

H/T Puck Daddy

Is flaw with new suits hurting Olympic speedskaters?

Shani Davis

Some poor results among U.S. speedskaters at the Olympics in Sochi has led the team’s coaches to question what is causing the unexpected problems. According to the Wall Street Journal, the speedskating coaches believe a flaw with the new speedskating suits is hurting the athletes.

Here’s what The Journal wrote in an article published on Thursday:

According to three people familiar with the U.S. team, these suits—which were designed by apparel sponsor Under Armour and billed before the Games as a major advantage—have a design flaw that may be slowing the skaters down. These people said that vents on back of the suit, designed to allow heat to escape, are allowing air to enter the suit and create drag that keeps the skaters from staying in the “low” position they need to achieve maximum speed. One skater said team members felt they were fighting the suit to maintain correct form.

No American has finished better than seventh in any of the six events so far, including Shani Davis, who won gold in the 1,000 meter at the last two Olympics but finished eighth this year.

An Under Armour executive told The Journal that they believe the suits are fast, but since they have not translated to medals, they will do anything to make changes to improve results. Several skaters have even taken their suits to an Under Armour seamstress to have a piece of rubber added to the flap.

Though Under Armour put the suits through extensive testing to make them as good as possible, this is the first the skaters have worn them in competition, which seems like a mistake.

Davis refused to blame the suit for his slower than expected times, but many people believe the suit has a lot to do with it. A Dutch team suit designer even said he had experimented with an opening a few years ago, but he found out that it was slowing the skaters down.

It sure as heck sounds to me like Under Armour needs to make a big change — now. It’s too late to fix past problems, but maybe they can get things figured out for the remaining events.

H/T Fourth-Place Medal

Figure skater Jeremy Abbott takes bad fall, finishes routine anyway (Video)

Jeremy-Abbott-fall

US figure skater Jeremy Abbott took a painful looking fall during his routine on Thursday. He was attempting a quad-toe, triple-toe (which sounds very impressive) when he lost his balance and landed hard on his hip. It initially looked like he would not be able to continue.

Abbott grabbed his hip in pain for about 10-15 seconds before responding to the crowd’s urge to get back up and skate. He was able to continue, and he went on to put together a nifty routine that included this stuff that Deadspin shared with us:

I believe that was the same trick Abbott was attempting when he ate it, so kudos to him for going at it again. Amazingly, he still finished with a score of 72.58 and was able to qualify.