Bryan’s Olympic Return

Alright, the Olympic Winter Games are over and I have returned home to the great state of Missouri.  It’s not quite as exciting as Whistler, BC, but it’s going to be Spring soon and that’s enough to keep me around.

I tried to keep notes on things that happened around the Games as they happened just for my own amusement later.  I came home with about 30 pages of notes.  I have no idea how to transform those notes in post form; there are just too many of them.  I’ll try to hit up some of the highlights and then if anyone has any questions, you can just leave a comment and I’ll answer the best I can.

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Olympic Games

Hello fearless readers.  I have a little bit of time here so I figured I’d leave a little post here letting you all know that we are not dead, we’re just on a hiatus.  Actually, come to think of it, Weller might be dead.  I’m not sure.

As you know, I’m at the Olympics in Vancouver working hard, but having a lot of fun in the process.

I’m staying in the Whistler Village and I’m scheduled to work the Downhill events whenever they actually get started and then I’ll be moved around to the Sliding Center or wherever they need me.  I’ll try to come up with a way to encompass everything that has happened on try to give you a little taste of what it’s like to work at the Olympic Games but right now it’s just too hard to try and cover everything.

Anyway, assuming Weller isn’t dead, we’ll be back in full force soon.  If he is dead then I’ll be back at the beginning of March.

Some Olympic Hardware

Earlier today, I got curious and looked up what the medals for the upcoming Olympics would look like.  What I found was way more in-depth than I wanted, but I read all the articles and watched all the videos anyway.  Apparently these medals are wrought with symbolism.  Something about some whales and stuff, I don’t really remember.  Anyway, I thought they looked a whole lot better than the medals from Turin four years ago.

After I was satisfied with the medals from Vancouver, I went back on a pictorial walk through past Winter Olympic medals and figured I’d share them with you all.

Enjoy.

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Friday 5 – Reasons to Watch the Winter Olympics

Okay, I’m going to be honest, this isn’t exactly the top five reasons to watch the Winter Olympics. It’s more so of a list for the top five things to look at while watching the Winter Olympics. In short this is a cop-out Friday 5, where I’m listing the five best looking female athletes that will be competing in the Winter Olympics this year.

The Honorable Mention for this one goes to Hilary Knight of the United States Women’s Hockey Team. Here’s a picture of her, and the top five after the jump:

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Congratulations to Bryan!

I just got a text message from Bryan that says “I just got a job working for the Olympics in Vancouver!”

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for him nor how excited he must be about this. I know that he has been hoping to get this opportunity since shortly before Thanksgiving and that I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than he does.

So again, Bryan, congrats!

The US Olympic Hockey Team

Last Saturday the United States announced the roster for the upcoming Olympic Games after the Winter Classic in Boston.  One of the things that is immediately obvious is  the lack of veterans present on the team.  Gone are US team stalwarts like Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Chris Chelios.  Now the team will be led by players like Patrick Kane, Erik Johnson, and Phil Kessel.

Only three players have past Olympic experience, Chris Drury, Brian Rafalski, and Jamie Langenbrunner.  The other 20 are first timers.  I’m hoping that can work as an advantage for the young team.  Maybe they won’t necessarily realize the magnitude of the task at hand.  There shouldn’t be much pressure on them as they US has only won a medal once since 1980’s Miracle on Ice.

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My Favorite Things

The other night Weller and I got to sending YouTube clips back and forth about our favorite sports moments(that we remember).  They covered just about every sport from the time I was seven to this past February.  So I figured I would put them all up in one place for everyone to see and discuss and I’m sure there will be much of that.

We’ll start with the easy one:

I could watch that all day.  This is the only proof that I have that the Rams were at one time good.  At the time my Dad and I shared season tickets with some other folks and we had the privilege of being at this game the week before.  Before that 1999 season the Rams had spent four years in St. Louis and were a combined 22-42.  To see our team go from that bad to that good and then win the Super Bowl like that was just awesome.  This is still the most exciting Super Bowl ever, no matter what anyone says.

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The Miracle on Melted Ice

That’s what I’ve decided to call the men’s semifinal water polo match between the United States and Serbia, a game in which the U.S. doubled up Serbia, winning ten to five. The remarkable part about this is that the United States team came into the Olympics being ranked only ninth in the world and weren’t even supposed to be in contention for a medal, finishing only eleventh and ninth in the past two world championships. After the United States beat the number one ranked team in the world, Croatia, to win their group people have started to believe differently.

There had been speculations that Serbia had thrown one of their own games to end up on the same side of the bracket as the United States, providing the U.S. team bulletin board material to give them to motivation needed to beat the Serbian team that they had failed to score more than 3 goals against in their last meeting, which was in the preliminary rounds of the Olympics. Head Coach, Terry Schroeder, who was the captain of the 1984 and 1988 silver medaling Olympic teams, said that he welcomed the challenge and that they would be ready and they were.

The game was tied at four goals a piece late in the first half, but the U.S. put in their 5th goal to give them a 5-4 lead at half time. After that the United States ran away with it, having a 7-5 lead going into the 4th quarter, and not allowing a single score in that final period, and putting in three of their own. Lead by Tony Azevedo, who had three of the teams ten goals, and in addition to his hat trick had two assists, two steals and two blocks. The other seven U.S. scores came from Ryan Bailey and Layne Beaubien with two each and then Peter Varellas, Jeff Powers and Rick Merlo had a goal a piece. Though despite all of the scoring the player of the game award should probably go to goalie, Merrill Moses who had a staggering 16 saves, which when compared to Serbia’s goalie, Slobodan Soro, one save, puts it in to perspective on how impressive Moses’s 16 is.

This win gives the United States team an opportunity to compete against Hungary for the gold medal. The United States hasn’t had a men’s water polo team in this position since the 1988 Olympics. Hungary has won the gold medal at the last two Olympics and will be looking to defend their title and become the first men’s water polo team since Great Britain in 1920 to win three Olympic gold medals in a row.

Mizzou at the Olympics

As I alluded to a couple days ago, Mizzou has two athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics: Christian Cantwell and Ben Askren.

A few days ago, Cantwell took the silver medal in the shot put, with a throw of 21.09 meters. After a shocking failure to qualify for the games in Athens four years ago, Cantwell vowed to win gold this time around in Beijing. Several news stories from the local paper in Columbia have him quoted as saying he wouldn’t be happy with a silver or bronze. After seeing him take the silver, he went too his coach and grabbed the American flag and had quite a smile pasted on his face. I’d say he was pretty happy with the silver.

It was just reported on the news that The Diner down on Broadway has a 21.09 meter silver ribbon that fans can come and sign. Maybe I’ll go do that tomorrow after work.

Ben Askren was another first time Olympian, but he was no stranger to high level competition. At Mizzou, Askren became the first Tiger Wrestler to be a National Champion and he did it in back to back years. His senior year, Askren went undefeated and won his second straight Dan Hodge Trophy as the best collegiate wrestler. Askren’s Olympics started with a pin against István Veréb of Hungary. In his round of 16 match, Askren was pitted against Cuba’s Ivan Fundora, the bronze medalist from Athens. Fundora’s experience showed as he beat Askren 3-1 and 4-0. Defending gold medalist Buvaisar Saitiev then defeated Fundora, ending Askren’s hopes at a bronze medal.

In the end, it didn’t actually matter to me how they finished. I really just wanted them to represent the USA and the University of Missouri well. Cliche, I know, but after seeing Usain Bolt’s antics while blowing away the field and after reading about Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian’s antics on the medal stand, I didn’t want any sort of similar performance. I was never worried, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Both Ben and Christian made the University of Missouri very proud in their respective events.

The Long Awaited Return Post

Well, it’s been about a month since my last post and a couple weeks since there was any activity on this site. Rest assured, we’re back now. The bad news is that Weller may need wrist surgery, so it may be all up to me for a while (that means a severe cut back on NFL posts.)
Since I left, there were many, many things have happened in the sports world. There was a baseball trading deadline, which included the trades of Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira. The latter went down as I was on a plane from Anaheim to Atlanta after I was in a 5.4 earthquake. I took that as a bad omen.

The Olympics started, which is always fun. I just love everything about the Olympics. Obviously, the story of this year’s games is Michael Phelps and his quest to win more gold than they keep in Fort Knox. So far, he’s well on his way and he swims twice more tonight. Phelps was also involved in what I think is the greatest Olympic moment since the Miracle on Ice when the 4x100m freestyle relay team edged France in an incredible comeback win. Anchor Jason Lezak chased down the loud-mouthed French world-record holder, Alain Bernard, to give the Americans the gold. If you have not seen this video yet, watch it now. If you have seen this video already, watch it again. It’s that good.

There was also some guy named Brett Favre who did some stuff…you may have heard about that. I refuse to talk about it anymore. I got quite annoyed with it. I wanted him to stay retired so that he would be a Packer forever. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to see him in a Jets uniform for a while.

That’s all for now. I’ll probably check back in on some of the Olympic games a little later. Look for fellow Missourians Ben Askren in the wrestling events and Christian Cantwell in the shot put in the upcoming weeks. They’ll represent the Tigers well.

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