The Norwegian curling team of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten flew back to the Olympics in PyeongChang in order to receive their bronze medals in mixed doubles.
Skaslien and Nedregotten originally lost to the Russian team of Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalov, but things changed after Krushelnitsky tested positive for banned substance meldonium. The Russian husband and wife team ended up giving back their bronze medals, which then went to the Norwegian team.
Nedregotten had said during the week that he wanted to have a medal ceremony after being “robbed” of the moment by the cheating Russian team. The IOC made it up to them, flying him and Skaslien in from Norway first class. They received their medals at a ceremony on Saturday night.
It all worked out well in the end.
Not even a gold medal at the Olympics could help the US curling team score an upgrade with the rigid folks at Delta Airlines.
Team USA curling won its first ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics when John Shuster’s team defeated Sweden 10-7 on Saturday in South Korea. Feeling pretty good about their gold medal status and newfound fame, the person running the USA Curling Twitter account decided to shoot their shot with Delta.
The USA Curling account told Delta that they were flying home from the Olympics on Monday and asked for an upgrade.
Delta congratulated them via Twitter, said they were honored to be their ride back home, but shot down the upgrade request.
There shall be no special treatment for anyone! Not even gold medalists!
Perhaps the curling team should have booked their flights through United Airlines, which is the official U.S. sponsor of the Olympics. They might have been more likely to provide the hookup. But as this fellow showed us, it’s never a bad idea to shoot your shot, regardless of how long the odds may seem.
Tom Kelly is proving to be a man of his word at the PyeongChang Games.
Kelly, who is vice president of communications for the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, fulfilled a 12-year promise to skier Kikkan Randall. After Randall won gold in cross-country this week during the women’s team sprint freestyle event, Kelly dyed his hair pink, per Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
The 35-year-old Randall took home the gold along with teammate Jessie Diggins in their event on Thursday. It was the first-ever gold medal for the United States in cross-country. Considering how dramatic their victory was as well, Kelly was probably more than happy to make good on his pilary promise.
The Winter Olympics may have a controversy on their hands.
During the men’s giant slalom semifinals, Slovenian Zan Kosir and South Korean Lee Sang-Ho were pitted against each other for the right to advance. The race was extremely close, with Lee winning the race by .01.
Replays of the finish, however, showed that Kosir certainly looked to have gotten his arm across the finish line before Lee did.
Admittedly, the angle of the camera isn’t directly in line with the finish. However, there were indications that something was off. According to Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo Sports, Kosir raised his arms in celebration upon crossing the line, and he protested when he saw the replay of the finish. It certainly looks like he had plenty of reason to complain.
There have been some wild finishes at these Olympics, but this is just bizarre. Lee went on to lose in the final while Kosir wound up with the bronze, but that might not be much consolation.
Many athletes come to the Olympic Games with very high expectations, both for themselves and from their country. Many of them are world champions in their chosen sport and have been building up for four years just for this moment. One can only imagine, then, the disappointment and heartbreak if things don’t go as planned, be it their own fault or something outside of their control.
Here are 10 big disappointments from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
1) Olympic hockey being determined by shootouts
There is a practical reason why Olympic hockey games — both men’s and women’s — have been settled by so many shootouts. The nature of the tournament — and the small window of time in which the games must be played — makes it impractical to play limitless overtime periods to settle tie games. Still, there’s something somewhat unsatisfying about seeing high-pressure games come down to what is ultimately a skills competition, which is how the American women won their gold medal and how the American men were knocked out of the tournament. It’s hard to suggest an alternative, but it’s just another reason why the Olympic tournaments are vastly inferior to, say, the Stanley Cup Playoffs in terms of quality. At the least, perhaps medal games should not be determined by shootouts.
2) U.S. female figure skaters
The German Foreign Office sent out a humorous tweet on Friday.
In response to Germany’s shocking 4-3 win over Canada in the semifinals of the men’s hockey tournament, they sent out the following tweet advising Germans to treat Canadians kindly and not gloat.
The loss for Canada hurts, but the lack of NHL players being involved probably mitigates the disappointment to a degree. But between this and Canada’s women losing the gold medal game to the US, it’s been a rough few days for the Canadians.
Mikaela Shiffrin had some ups-and-downs to her 2018 Winter Olympics, but looking back on things, she views the Games as a “massive success.”
Shiffrin began the Olympics with a gold medal in the giant slalom on Thursday. The following day she competed in the slalom — her best event — and came in fourth, which was a disappointment.
After that, Shiffrin decided to sit out Saturday’s super-G and the downhill on the following Wednesday so she could focus on the combined on Thursday. She won silver in that event.
Initially expected to compete in five events and do well in several of them, Shiffrin had to cut out two events and medaled in two. She’s proud of what she accomplished even if it’s not quite what she was hoping for before the Olympics began.
“Sitting here with you, I can look back and say this was a massive success. I’m pretty over the moon about it,” Shiffrin told NBC’s Mike Tirico in an interview that aired on Friday night in the US.
Shiffrin also said the weather conditions, which pushed several events back on the schedule and ultimately led her to drop out of two events, was the toughest thing for her to deal with.
“That was the most difficult part of this Games for me. The schedule changes, and then having back-to-back races in my two best events, especially with my strongest event being held second. That was maybe the most difficult thing for me. I don’t think I could have done any better (in the slalom).”
Shiffrin finally realized that much of what happened was out of her control, and she’s learned to accept that and be proud of what she was able to accomplish given the circumstances. She now has two golds and a silver in her Olympic career. The two Olympic gold medals tie her for the most ever by an American alpine skier.
Considering what her initial reaction was to her slalom performance last week, she’s come a long way in changing her feelings about things.
Before their gold-medal match against Sweden on Saturday, the United States men’s curling team got hyped up by Mr. B.A. Baracus himself.
In the hours before the competition, the team posted a video on Twitter of famed actor and media personality Mr. T calling them on the phone to wish good luck and offer them a pep talk.
Curler Tyler George seemed especially thrilled in a tweet of his own as well.
Of course, most of the guys on the team were probably just kids when the now-65-year-old Mr. T was at the height of his fame in the 1980s. But it’s still a cool gesture nevertheless from the veteran actor and pop culture giant, who may now have a new favorite sport beyond just wrestling.
File this one under “life comes at you fast.”
Russian bobsled pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva failed a doping test last week, the country’s federation announced, the second Russian athlete to do so during the Winter Olympics.
Making this all the more awkward? Via Greg Walters of Vice News, Sergeeva appeared in an online video prior to the Olympics wearing a shirt that proudly proclaimed “I Don’t Do Doping.”
Unsurprisingly, the video that featured this apparel has swiftly been taken off Youtube.
Russia had already been troubled by a state-sponsored doping operation that resulted in many athletes — and the federation itself — being officially banned from the Olympics. The first doping allegation of these Games has already created an awkward situation, but there will be no such issue here, as Sergeeva’s Russian bobsled team finished 15th, well out of medal contention.
Olympic fever has inspired Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera so much, he’s taking a curling lesson.
Rivera hit up the Charlotte Curling Club on Friday for a formal lesson in the sport, and, well, it’s safe to say his form is a work in progress.
Look, he’s getting a little better with each video. Nobody becomes a star overnight. Maybe he’d be even better if he got his hands on an awesome pair of pants.
The United States men’s curling team will go for a gold medal early Saturday morning against Sweden. We can only assume Rivera will be staying up late to cheer them on.