Incredible Day for U.S. Olympians

I’m no Olympics historian, but I can’t believe the U.S. ever had a better single day at the Olympics than they did on Wednesday. In all, six medals were scored by the country over three events that included one gold-silver finish and two gold-bronze finishes. Not only were the six medals an impressive haul but what seemed more impressive was the three gold medals won by some of the country’s highest profile athletes. We’re so used to seeing athletes get touted in advance of the Olympics only to fall short of the hype and expectations (Bode Miller, anyone?). How often is it that we see the performance in the Winter Games match the pre-Games buzz? Not very.

Despite the Sports Illustrated cover and the talk of the shin injury, Lindsey Vonn still managed to grab gold in the downhill skiing. Despite all the anticipation and expectation that Shaun White would live up to his billing as the best snowboarder in the world, he delivered without fail. In fact, he improved upon his first run score even though he had already secured the gold medal prior to his final run. Shani Davis took home the gold in the 1000m with Chad Hendricks grabbing the bronze. Julia Mancuso made it a gold-silver finish for the U.S. in the downhill while Scotty Lago won the bronze in the halfpipe.

In a day where we’re constantly disappointed by athletes who offer more style than substance and a time where performance frequently fails to match hype, our athletes lived up to their billing and gave us their best. It’s a pleasure to see our Olympians deliver at the Winter Games and it’s nice to recognize their accomplishments. Congratulations to the Olympians who medaled on Wednesday and hopefully they add onto an already impressive performance.

NBC Sports Olympic Boss Button Fail

I can’t quite figure out if it’s a blessing to be at home rather than the office while the Winter Games are taking place. On the one hand I’d love to be watching some of these competitions live but on the other you have NBC tape-delaying most of its coverage until the evening. It pretty much stinks considering we’re in 2010 and anyone with a computer knows the results are a few clicks away. Making matters even more confusing is that NBC allows you to watch events live on their website. I guess they figure tech people will be able to watch at their pace while old school people will be at their tape delay mercy. Here’s another thing I can’t figure out. As Deadspin pointed out, NBC’s “Boss Button” is a complete failure. The whole idea is people can click on a “boss button” to change the screen and make it look like they’re working rather than watching Olympics coverage online. The problems with NBC’s Boss Button are pretty clear:

As you can tell, there’s nothing on the damn spreadsheet so it makes the worker look completely unproductive. Also, and this is more specific, the boss button takes you to a Windows screen which doesn’t exactly make much sense if you’re on a Mac. CBS had problems with their Boss Button last year during March Madness considering the spreadsheet they linked you to was filled with nothing but basketball information. Maybe NBC can readdress these issues since the current system is pretty stupid. Maybe they can also start airing some of their coverage live on real TV. That would be nice.

Olympic Torch Malfunction in Opening Ceremony at Vancouver

The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver was relatively uninspiring, not counting the pants Azerbaijan was rocking. To be fair, no performance could have lived up to Beijing’s opening ceremonies from the ’08 Summer Games, but Vancouver was disappointing by any standards. There were only a few moments that I found myself in awe while the rest of the time I was more or less bored. The 3-D whales swimming across the floor were cool and the lighted constellations were nice but the rest just dragged on. The entire ceremony could be summed up by the malfunction when they attempted to light the torch indoors. As you can tell in the picture on the left, one of the cauldron lights didn’t work and it made for an awkward scene where speedskater Catriona LeMay Doan was left standing around. Steve Nash, Wayne Gretzky, and skiier Nancy Greene saw their torches light successfully. Gretzky later was transported to light the outdoor torch which you can see in the picture on the right. As you can tell, the outdoor cauldron has four posts for support, not three.

Between Friday’s death during luge practice and the torch malfunction, Vancouver isn’t exactly off to the best start around. At least they have two weeks to make it up.

Visit GawkerTV for video of the Olympic torch malfunction.

Japanese Speedskater Miho Takagi’s G-String Sticks Out in Her Outfit

Over the next few weeks we’ll be exposed to athletes who will be the most important people on Earth. Three weeks from now, we’ll forget 99% of them. That doesn’t mean it’s too early to familiarize yourself with some of these athletes you’ll soon forget. One of whom is Japanese speedskater Miho Takagi who wore a see-through outfit to a training session, one that shows her underwear — a G-String. Here are the pictures of the S&M-style outfit, via Slanch Report and Sports by Brooks:

You think it’s just for a competitive advantage like swimmers shaving off their body hair? I bet it makes her more aerodynamic on the ice. Best of luck to Takagi in Vancouver and here’s to her skating fast in the Winter Games!