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Arcane
03-03-2010, 12:00 AM
Normally I wouldn't make any comment about it since I had nothing to do with their accomplishment, but...eleven Saskatchewan athletes won medals. Nine gold medals, one silver and one bronze. Not too shabby for a little province of just over a million people, eh?

DFMiller
03-03-2010, 12:18 AM
Go Canada go

Randy
03-03-2010, 12:53 AM
I spent a few days in Vancouver, got to see six events and had a terrific time! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Congrats to Saskatchewan and all of Canada. And a big thank you to the volunteers. It was the best trip I've taken since going to Mexico for the solar eclipse in '91.

Evan
03-03-2010, 02:39 AM
I'm curious. Where does an athlete in Saskatchewan practice downhill sking?

:D :D

http://ixian.ca/pics7/sask.jpg

Mcgyver
03-03-2010, 08:34 AM
I'm curious. Where does an athlete in Saskatchewan practice downhill sking?


its logical, they become very efficient at making use of every inch of vertical



Normally I wouldn't make any comment about it since I had nothing to do with their accomplishment

that's generally how i feel about it, I can enjoy watching the sport etc but this common "we won such and such" is lame, I often ask incredulously "you were there competing ?!" :)

.

lazlo
03-03-2010, 09:21 AM
I can enjoy watching the sport etc but this common "we won such and such" is lame.

I think that's just healthy nationalism. During the Soccer World Cup, the fans do the same thing, times 10 :p

I find a lot of the Winter Olympic events boring to watch (Curling, seriously??), but the Canada/US hockey game was spectacular! If you didn't watch it, I highly recommend a download.
ESPN had an extended discussion yesterday about how that game had a US viewership approaching the SuperBowl:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/30675/

According to an ESPN.com report, Sunday’s gold medal game, which was broadcast on NBC, “drew an average viewership of 27.6 million and a rating of 15.2, a jump of 45.5 percent from the same matchup at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.”

Furthermore, the U.S. TV audience reached a crescendo between 2:30–3:00 p.m Pacific Standard Time when 34.8 million were tuned in.

In terms of hockey viewership, Sunday’s game was trumped only by the 1980 gold medal game, which featured Finland and the United States after the States had defeated the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice.

As a comparable, this year’s Super Bowl, between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, was watched in 51.7 million households according to media information company Nielsen.

The numbers were even better in Canada, the land of hockey.

A.K. Boomer
03-03-2010, 09:40 AM
I love the Olympics -- and yes you gotta give it up to the Canadians, And the Germans Norwegians American's and many more for that matter --- Lots of true grit story's behind the seen.

I was a little bummed about the lack of foresight on the luge track and how it cost the one racer his life,
Im not against the tracks getting a little faster but it has to be coupled with reasonable measures, I don't think its ok to have exposed vertical rails on an outside turn,
that was very difficult to watch - he clipped the inside line and that's what sent him way off to the outside,
I think allot of the sledders were bumming due to them having to start from the womens gate after that, believe it or not this really is a safe sport and nobody has been killed for something like 50 years,
There's no reason for that to have happened - not to say something freak could occur at those speeds but tracks can be designed to keep the people in them, or if they ever go flying out at least give them a fighting chance of sailing off and tumbling - better than the 1,000 G forces that that young man had to deal with...

lazlo
03-03-2010, 09:45 AM
I was a little bummed about the lack of foresight on the luge track and how it cost the one racer his life,
Im not against the tracks getting a little faster but it has to be coupled with reasonable measures, I don't think its ok to have exposed vertical rails on an outside turn

That was bad track planning, no question. They designed the track hoping to set world records, and it's uncontrollably fast. On the Bobsled, the various teams, including the Canadians, called the middle turn about halfway down (when your speed is over 90 miles per hour) the "50/50" turn because half the teams competing crashed in the pre-game training runs.

And of course, it was flat-out stupid to build the track with vertical beams on the outside turns where even the best racers were likely to wipe-out.

They did the same thing on the downhill ski course -- they put a giant ramp at the bottom, where the skiers are at their maximum speed, and several gold medal candidates were injured in pre-game practice. After enough complaints, including Lindsey Vonn, they knocked down the ramp a lot.

Evan
03-03-2010, 09:57 AM
That was bad track planning, no question. They designed the track hoping to set world records, and it's uncontrollably fast. On the Bobsled, the various teams, including the Canadians, called the middle turn about halfway down (when your speed is over 90 miles per hour) the "50/50" turn because half the teams competing crashed in the pre-game training runs.

And of course, it was flat-out stupid to build the track with vertical beams on the outside turns where even the best racers were likely to wipe-out.


It wasn't designed by the Vancouver Olympic Comittee, it was designed by German track designer Udo Gurgel who is now making excuses such as "Nobody objected it was too steep...". He is the one that is responsible for the track design and he is the one that is charged with knowing how safe it should be since he is the engineer.



Initially, the luge track was to be located at Grouse Mountain, north of Vancouver, allowing a shallower, more traditional course at very fast but not extraordinary speeds. But VANOC soon asked that the track be moved to a location in Whistler that was far steeper, Gurgel says, because they wanted it to be commercially viable after the Games. He told them that this would create a much faster track, and there were no objections.

In the traditional discussions about the trade-off between safety for athletes and track visibility for audiences, no one demanded that higher walls than usual be built on the final fast curves, he says.

And no objections arose when it became clear two years ago that the chosen steep terrain had resulted in a faster track than planned. "The track had to be near Whistler, for use after the Olympics. You don't want to ruin an investment," he says. "So the track is on terrain that's a little steep."

Gurgel knew soon after this revision that he had designed a track that is unusually steep and fast. Each of its final four curves makes for speeds of more than 130 km per hour - something never done before. Yet he insists the track is safe for expert use. "The track can take very high speeds. The curves are long. Had this been a dangerous track then there would have been unsteady descents by other competitors, and that wasn't the case, even though many came down much faster than he [Kumaritashvili] did."



http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20100218.OLYLUGEDESIGNER18ART02259/TPStory/TPSports/

Mcgyver
03-03-2010, 10:12 AM
I think that's just healthy nationalism.

and therein we take a turn deeper, and more off topic :D

checking all prejudices at the door, and trying to put on hold everything that has been programmed into us, think about whether nationalism is healthy or a good thing? Its hard to do because its a contrary thought to most of the programming that's been done. Me, I just no longer believe that because of what side of an imaginary line someone was born on has any relevance to whether they're a good person or that i'm suppose to have some sort of affinity with them

....it would be rather harmless feel-good tribalism if it wasn't such as easy thing for manipulators (read politicians) to lever

lazlo
03-03-2010, 10:20 AM
....it would be rather harmless feel-good tribalism if it wasn't such as easy thing for manipulators (read politicians) to lever

And there's the rub -- various tyrants throughout human history have used a false sense of nationalism and xenophobia as a means of controlling the mindless masses.

But back on topic, what fun would the Olympics be if there weren't countries? Even pro sports teams have home cities, and the locals root vigorously for "their team."

Sports wouldn't be nearly as much fun to watch if there wasn't a home team :)

Evan: I didn't mean to imply the Luge death was the Canadian's fault -- just whoever designed the track with vertical rails on the outside turns was an idiot. That death is on his/her shoulders.

Evan
03-03-2010, 10:29 AM
The original Olympics were not a nationalist contest. That is a feature of the modern games. In order to compete in the original games you had to be a citizen of Greece. There were city-state rivalries of course and the games were very important because they served to stop the fighting for the duration. There was an absolute truce imposed during the Olympic holidays and all competitors were free to travel without being molested. The truce was rarely ever broken.

The original Olympics continued for a very long time. They were held every four years for approximately 1000 years.

lazlo
03-03-2010, 11:13 AM
The original Olympics were not a nationalist contest. That is a feature of the modern games. In order to compete in the original games you had to be a citizen of Greece.

But the states of Greece (Athens, Crete, Sparta, ...) were effectively countries, and the rivalries between the states was fierce. King Minos' son Androgeus (of Crete) won every game he entered inthe Athens Olympics. The other contestants were jealous of Androgeus and killed him. Minos then declared war on Athens. The rest of the story is mythology, but the Olympic games sparking assassinations and civil wars was common.

camdigger
03-03-2010, 01:11 PM
The original Olympics were not a nationalist contest. That is a feature of the modern games. In order to compete in the original games you had to be a citizen of Greece. There were city-state rivalries of course and the games were very important because they served to stop the fighting for the duration. There was an absolute truce imposed during the Olympic holidays and all competitors were free to travel without being molested. The truce was rarely ever broken.

The original Olympics continued for a very long time. They were held every four years for approximately 1000 years.

The original games couldn't have included winter sports of any kind because of where they originated. No ski hills in Athens. The athletes competed naked, too. Somewhat unrealistic for sports where you reach speeds in excess of 60 mph at freezing temps.:D Although from what I've seen of the women curler's calendar, nudity would increase male viewer numbers...:rolleyes:

lazlo
03-03-2010, 01:34 PM
Although from what I've seen of the women curler's calendar, nudity would increase male viewer numbers...:rolleyes:

Yeah, no kidding -- the American women's curling team looks like a bunch of middle-aged Soccer Mom's:

http://www.youtube.com/v/G12fEYNjIR0&hl=en_US&fs=1&

Evan
03-03-2010, 02:20 PM
But the states of Greece (Athens, Crete, Sparta, ...) were effectively countries, and the rivalries between the states was fierce. King Minos' son Androgeus (of Crete) won every game he entered inthe Athens Olympics. The other contestants were jealous of Androgeus and killed him. Minos then declared war on Athens. The rest of the story is mythology, but the Olympic games sparking assassinations and civil wars was common.


No question. But it did not include any of the other countries of the time. Travel wasn't the issue either, expatriot Greeks would come from as far as the British Isles for the games.

The reason for this was plain old bigotry. The Greeks thought of themselves as superior to all other peoples. This can be seen in the origin of many words in English but one in particular stands out. The word "barbarian" is directly derived from the Ancient Greek word "barbaros" which means non-Greek.