Olympics, Days 4-7: Canada's Medalists, CTV's crappy coverage, and VANOC
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Friday, 19 February 2010 13:46|
Building off the momentum from the first few days of competition, Canadian athletes have earned another 4 medals in competition in the past four days. The second Canadian athlete to win Gold at these games (and the first woman to do so on home soil) is Maelle Ricker, and she did it in a convincing fashion- getting out early and holding a substantial lead for all of her snowboarding cross race. Snowboarding cross is where 4 or 5 athletes line up at a start gate and then race to the finish line at the same time (the proximity of the athletes to each other makes for dramatic falls and unpredictable outcomes).
Another medal for Canada came from the men’s snowboard cross on Monday, when Mike Roberstson earned a silver medal, finishing just behind Seth Westcott of the U.S. who edged him out in the last 150 meters of the race. With those two snowboard cross medals and the two freestyle skiing medals earned by Jenn Heil and Alexandre Bilodeau, it seems that Canada is excelling at the more “extreme” side of the snow sports.
The sixth medal for Canada was another silver; this one from short-track speed skater Marianne St. Gelais who finished behind China’s Wang Meng in the 500 meters (who has dominated the distance and the sport all year). The joy on St. Gelais face as she realized what she had accomplished made great headlines for Thursday’s newspapers.
Thursday, Canada’s Christine Nesbitt brought home the first gold in long track speed skating (1000 meters). Nesbitt trailed the leader, Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands throughout the race and then fought through the last 600 meters to beat her by .02 seconds. Nesbitt’s time would hold up through the last two skaters, which included bronze medalist Kristina Groves (Groves came in fourth in the end).
CTV’s coverage of the games continues to underwhelm me. It is partially the fault of not being familiar with the faces and people who are running the shows (Brian Williams being the notable exception—he just defected from CBC so that he could cover the games). The two people who head up the daytime version of the programming are James Duthie of TSN and Lisa LaFlemme of CTV News. I had to look up their names right now, an indication of how little I know about them. They aren’t doing a bad job, but they have very little chemistry together and sometimes it just feels like they are doing two separate shows. I am sure things will start clicking for the pair just as this 17-day event comes to a close.
I am even less impressed with some of the other correspondents. “Guy with silver streak in hair” (Michael Landsberg, I have just learned) who is on TSN’s “Hockey show where people yell over each other” (Off the Record) has been doing some “reporting” at Whistler and he is as abrasive as a reporter as he is as a member of “panel of hockey people who yell over each other”. He interviewed the analysts from the freestyle skiing competition and it was painful to watch. He kept the pace of the interview so fast that the analysts had no time to answer questions and the audience had no time to understand what was being said.
There has been a lot of press around the various screw-ups that the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) has been responsible for. The Globe and Mail talks about some of those issues here. But the highlights (or lowlights, as they may be) include the putting up of a chain link fence around the outdoor cauldron, the major screw up at the Opening Ceremonies where 25% of the indoor cauldron didn’t come up from beneath the stage, the tragic death of luger Nodar
|Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2010 08:24|