Day Two: Oh No They Didn’t
Word is that — yes — the luge competition will go on. Tonight. In prime-time. Notwithstanding the fact that a guy died on the track yesterday. AP / NBC confirms it:
Fast and frightening, yes. Responsible for the death of a luger, no.
Olympic officials decided late Friday night against any major changes in the track or any delays in competition and even doubled up on the schedule in the wake of the horrifying accident that claimed the life of a 21-year-old luger from the republic of Georgia.
They said they would raise the wall where the slider flew off the track and make an unspecified “change in the ice profile” – but only as a preventative measure “to avoid that such an extremely exceptional accident could occur again.” …
The International Luge Federation and Vancouver Olympic officials said their investigation showed that the crash was the result of human error and that “there was no indication that the accident was caused by deficiencies in the track.”
Last night, the local NBC affiliate in Chicago (who sent a reporter to Vancouver for some unknown reason) said that the B.C. coroner’s office and the RCMP were conducting an investigation and would not release the track to training, much less competition, until the investigation was complete. The investigation, it seems, took no longer than an investigation on the Dan Ryan at rush-hour. Positively criminal.
Remainder of the docket, and other thoughts, post-jump.
— Early morning teevee reported that the temperature in Vancouver (on a mountain nearby, anyway) was 45. At 0-dark-30. Not surprising, then, that men’s downhill is a no-go, on account of slush.
— Otherwise: NBC has biathalon (women’s — our shot in this is on the men’s side), ski jumping (U.S. is worth fuck-all here) and the 5000m in long track (Shani Davis considered a longshot) in the afternoon. Short track (Ohno!) and women’s moguls (with, we were told dozens of times yesterday, real gold opportunity for Canada City) at night. Women’s hockey prelims on cable.
— Speaking of which, there is not a little bit of outrage amongst hockey fans that the Canada / U.S. men’s hockey game next Sunday night is not on the Mothership, but on MSNBC. Up in Canada City, this game — even though it’s not for a medal — is stop-traffic, I-don’t-care-if-my-mom’s-called-for-the-ninth-time riveting . Here? Ice dancing, of course, is on that night, and you do not fuck with ice dancers. So: Actual Sport 0:1 Event Where Scoring Is Made Up As You Go Along.
— Day One was actually yesterday (I would have called it Day Zero, but it turns out there was some official ski jumping prelims), and was handled well by our crack commenters here. Contrary to some here, I dug the poetry deal. It contained a zinger in re creeping U.S. American hegemony (with respect to zed and not zee). That, and absence of Celine from the program, more than made up for lower moments (such as, for instance, Sarah McLachlan).