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PLANETSKI OLYMPIC DIARY
Friday February 9, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The greatest show on earth is underway & we look at anything quirky, off beat or newsy that catches our eye in PyeongChang. NEW & UPDATED

 

 

On this rolling blog we will bring you some slightly quirky and more unusual stories that catch our eye as the Winter Olympics start in #PyeongChang in South Korea.

And some snippets of news too.

Let the games begin .....  the Opening Ceremony kicked off the games on 9th February, and it was a spectacle.

For our latest diary items, see part 2 of our blog:

WEEK 1

SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY


MASSIVE SHOCK IN SUPER G

In what must be the shock result of the Winter Olympics so far, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic has won the women's Super G.

Not a shock because the rank outsider beat the likes of the American Lindsey Vonn (who came joint sixth), Switzerland's Lara Gut and Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein.

A shock because Ledecka is a snowboarder.

Yes - a snowboarder has won the alpine super G - on skis!

The look on her face when it happened says it all. 

Ester LedeckaSurely some mistake?




























"No.... must be some mistake," she was heard to say on the television coverage.

And later when she realised it was no mistake:  "how did that happen?"

Apparently Ledecka borrowed a pair of skis from Mikaela Shiffrin in order to compete.

She will change from two planks to one later in the Games to compete in the snowboard parallel giant slalom.

She is a double world champion in snowboard events and it would be remarkable if she were to win golds in both skiing and snowboarding.

Obviously to say she's a decent ski racer is an understatement but, even so, respect.

Utter respect.

FRIDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

COOL RUNNINGS, COOL BEER?

30 years after the Jamaican bobsleigh team first competed at the Winter Olympics, inspiring the film Cool Runnings, the involvement of the women's team in Pyeongchang is in jeopardy.

The coach has walked out, apparently threatening to take the sled they'd been training in with her.

But there is some hope.

According to the BBC's Olympics - and occasional PlanetSKI - reporter Nick Hope, who's in Pyeongchang, the team will compete in a sled "donated" by the Jamaican beer company, Red Stripe.

It sounds as if this latest saga could inspire another Hollywood film.

If they are able to compete in Pyeongchang, it will be the first time for a Jamaican women's team.

Jamaican bobsleddersJamaican bobsledders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORWEGIAN PANTS

Why do the Norwegian curlers wear such zany pants or trousers?

Watch the video below to find out.

And on Valentine's Day the Norwegian Curlers put on a show sporting their 'hearts' with the world.

Hearts for Valentine's DayHearts for Valentine's Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15TH FEBRUARY

GOLD MEDALS FOR CUTENESS

Back by popular demand - it's the cute baby games.

The Olympic Channel has produced a winter edition to mark the Pyeongchang Olympics following its smash summer hit last year which went viral.

The Baby Games has been viewed 37 million times.

The latest one has toddlers "compete" on snow and ice.

There's alpine ski racing, curling, figure skating and more.

We defy you not to smile....

BODE & OTHERS BIG-UP DAVE RYDING

One of our All-time-heros Bode Miller, tells us what he thinks of our man Dave Ryding.

He's an exciting man to watch, .... so-say-all-of-us!

Good luck Dave.... you never know it could be GOLD.


14TH FEBRUARY

GOING UP

Swiss freeskier Fabian Bösch has been having a bit of fun in Pyeongchang.

He posted the video below on social media.

"After 20 years I still couldn't figure out how this thing works! Am I doing it right?" he said.


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY


The Tongan cross-country skier  - yes, you know the one,  he of the bare-chested opening ceremony fame (see the entry below under 9th February) has been doing some video diaries for Eurosport.

Today's is a special Valentine's message:

 

TEAM GB TRIVIA

Some trivial but interesting facts about the GB squad, with thanks to Team GB for the stats.

  • Youngest team member - Freestyle skier Izzy Atkin (19 years 7 months 19 days)
  • Oldest team member - Curler Kelly Schafer (36 years 10 months 1 day)
  • Siblings - Katie & Molly Summerhayes (freestyle skiing), Thomas, Glen & Eve Muirhead (curling) and Kyle & Cammy Smith (curling)
Molly & Katie SummerhayesMolly & Katie Summerhayes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Birthdays - celebrating during Pyeongchang are Laurie Taylor (alpine) who was 22 on 10th February, Lloyd Wallace (aerials skier) who turned 23 on 13th February, Andrew Young (cross-country) who'll be 26 on 21st February and Alexander Glavastky-Yeadon (halfpipe skier) who'll be 24 on 24th February.
  • Olympic medallists in GB team - Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton gold at Sochi 2014), Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray, Eve Muirhead and Anna Sloan (curling bronze at Sochi).
  • Most Olympic appearances - Zoe Gillings-Brier (Snowboard Cross) who will compete at her fourth Winter Games.

And if you're in the mood for some more Winter Olympic trivia, test your knowledge with this BBC quiz.

See if you can better the score of PlanetSKI's Chief Reporter who got 8 correct answers out of 10.

13TH FEBRUARY

CLOSE CALL .. ONLY 4 HOURS

IOC President Thomas Bach revealed that the agreement for North Korea and South Korea to march under the united flag was only finalised 4 hours before the opening ceremony.

President Bach, reflecting on the Korean athletes marching together, said, "That's a great moment and even when I see it now again it still gives me goosebumps and great emotions. Because this is the Olympic message as it should be. You see these athletes from the two Koreas, they are holding hands and enjoying their moment together and writing history at this moment."

IOC President Thomas Bach - jumping for joyIOC President Thomas Bach - jumping for joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOSSING TIME

Team GB's skiers have had a lot of downtime at the athletes' village waiting for their events to take place.

But they can't resist a bit of competition and today being Shrove Tuesday - pancake day - two of them went head to head to win the title of top tosser (or something like that...)

Slopestyle skier Katie Summerhayes took on Emily Sarsfield, the ski cross racer.

We love their looks of sheer concentration....

Katie SummerhayesKatie Summerhayes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily SarsfieldEmily Sarsfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The contest was featured on BBC Radio 5 live with sports presenter Eleanor Oldroyd and the head judge was GB halfpipe skier Pete Speight.

It looks as if the judging also involved a taste-off.

Pancake tossing judgingJudging time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PlanetSKI was busy watching the sport at the time so didn't hear the BBC radio item.

Anyone know who won?

Photos: Team GB and British Ski & Snowboard

YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS

Freestyle snowboarders are cool, right?

They wouldn't be seen dead wearing the wrong type of clothes, right?

Wrong.

This is Ben Kilner, Great Britain's recently retired halfpipe snowboarder, as spotted on TV...... in a lycra race suit!

Ben KilnerBen Kilner, but not as you know him

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two-time Winter Olympian Kilner, who's a World Cup medallist and reigning British halfpipe champion, is one of the BBC Sport pundits for the Pyeongchang Games and a great job he's doing of it.

But we think he might just have lost his marbles - or his street cred, at least.

GB's former alpine racer, Chemmy Alcott (also a BBC pundit), shoehorned Kilner into a race suit as part of a studio discussion about why different snowsports athletes wear the clothing they do.

Ben Kilner & Chemmy Alcott Ben and Chemmy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She later posted this photo on Twitter of the pair of them with BBC presenter Clare Balding, claiming Kilner said: "This actually feels quite nice"

Chemmy Alcott, Ben Kilner, Clare BaldingIn the BBC studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ummm....

We definitely prefer the uber-cool Kilner (and we'd hazard a guess he does too).

Ben KilnerBen Kilner - that's better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12TH FEBRUARY

THE OLDEST WINTER OLYMPIAN

So, who is the oldest Olympian at Pyeongchang?

Step forward the 45- year old Japanese ski jumper, Noriaki Kasai.

He made his Olympic debut at Albertville in 1992 and has competed at every Winter Olympics since - a grand total of 8.

He won a silver medal as a member of Japan's team in Lillehammer in 1994, and added the silver and a team bronze in Sochi in 2014.

He was born in Shimokawa on Japan's northernmost Island of Hokkaido.

It is a town with a population of under 5,000 people but has produced five Olympic ski jumpers.

Noriaki KasaiNoriaki Kasai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And his aim at Pyeongchang?

Just taking part perhaps?

Not a bit of it.

"I want to win the gold. Winning gold in Pyeongchang is my objective. I've yet to win Olympic gold," he said as the Games began.

Noriaki KasaiNoriaki Kasai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He has had the most World Cup starts in any snowsports discipline - 537.

He is also the oldest ski jumper to win the medal at the Olympics, the oldest individual World Cup winner, the oldest ski jumper on World Cup individual podium, and the oldest World Cup performer ever.

11TH FEBRUARY

CYBER-ATTACK INVESTIGATION

An investigation has been launched into whether a cyber-attack was the cause of severe technological issues at some of the venues during the Opening Ceremony.

The Olympic Stadium  and the Press Centre were affected areas and the Pyeongchang 2018 web site shut down.

A spokesperson for Pyeongchang 2018 said they "cannot speculate" on the reason behind it but did not rule out claims that their servers were deliberately targeted by hackers.

FROM BED TO BRONZE IN LESS THAN A YEAR

Back in March 2017, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris had the most appalling accident with life threatening injuries.

Today, less than 12 months on, against a massively competitive arena and with a lot of will power, Mark McMorris won the bronze medal in Snowboard Slopestyle at the Winter Olympics.

PlanetSKI was in Canada when the accident occurred and commented on it at the time in the March 27th 2017 post Here >>

He was the first ever to complete a backside triple cork 1440 and he won back-to-back gold medals in the 2012 and 2013 Winter X Games in the Slopestyle event.

The accident took place while backcountry snowboarding in Whistler where he sustained multiple injuries including a fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung!

Against all odds, today, he's a Bronze medalist.

He's one tough Canadian cookie.

#congratulations

Mark McMorris - from bed to bronzeMark McMorris - from bed to bronze

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


JAMAICAN BOBSLEIGH TEAM SHEDS A LOAD AND BECOMES A SKELETON

Jamaica has ditched its bobsleigh for a tray.....  sorry we need to clarify that, the men have.... (there's a fighting fit team of women competing in the bobsleigh this year - who we will report on shortly).

Jamaica has a skeleton slider at the Winter Olympics for the first time at PyeongChang 2018, and his name is Antony Watson.

He's a bit of a pin-up boy with a lot of charisma and a he's professional singer.

He commented on twitter "Words can't express the surreal humility and honor I feel being told "you're going to the Olympic Winter Games! God is good thank you Lord!


WARDROBE MALFUNCTION

Yura Min, the South Korean ice skater had a massive wardrobe malfunction, as her red hot dress slipped off her shoulders.

Oh Noooooooo!

O dear!Oh dear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXTREME SPORTS IN THE WINTER OLYMPICS

Here's an interesting video themed on 'Pushing the Extreme' at the Olympic Games.

It's fascinating to see the idea of 'extreme' progressing and developing from the 1924 Chamonix Games, where Ski Jumping, apparently, was the only sport perceived to be extreme (though we might contest that judging by the vintage video posts below featuring Bobsleigh).

The X Games, that started in 1977, has become an important testing ground, pushing the boundaries for some of the more recent extreme sports.

Over the last two Winter Olympics 16 new events have been added, where 10 are in the category of action sports.

The new action sports include Half Pipe events, Ski & Snowboard Cross, Slopestyle, Parallel Snowboard Slalom and this year in 2018 for the first time #BigAIr Snowboarding is part of the Olympic Games, most of them first featured at the X Games.

And the number of athletes is awesome.

By the 1992 Olympic games, the number of athletes fighting for medals reached 1,800!

We wonder what sport will be added for the next Winter Olympic Games?


FIRST WINTER OLYMPICS CHAMONIX 1924

And following on from the post above, if you've got time to spare, watch the archive footage of the Winter Olympics at Chamonix.

The first true Winter Olympics were held from January 25 to February 5 1924, in Chamonix.

In total, 258 athletes from 16 countries competed in 16 events from 6 sports.

1924 open-sided bobsleigh1924 open-sided bobsleigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first video shows the Bobsleigh.

The action looks raw, challenging and dangerous - check out the open-sided bobsleighs and some of the makeshift helmets, along with the cameraman at the edge of the course winding his camera! 🤣

The next video is courtesy of Library & Archives Canada

The film shows Chamonix and its surroundings, as well as some of the opening ceremony.

Also featured are qualifying rounds of 500-metre speed skating, figure skating choreography, and part of the ice hockey final between Canada and the United States.


10TH FEBRUARY

EGGS-ASPERATED NORWEGIAN CHEF

The Norwegians have a little eggy-problem to overcome, it appears they have over egged their order of... err ...  eggs. 🤣

The Chef de Mission eggs-plained that a simple error occurred in Google Translate, when their Chef de Cuisine sent a scrambled order and added an egg-stra 0 by mistake, so instead of receiving the 1,500 eggs they thought they had ordered, 15,000 eggs were delivered!

That's a lot of poached, fried and scrambled eggs to get through.

It is thought the delegates may need to eat a minimum of 124 eggs.... each!

Watch the video below:


#CrackingJoke

LOOK-ALIKES ESCORTED FROM OPENING CEREMONY

Two guys were dressed up as the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the US President Donald Trump and attended the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang.

The Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump impersonators were getting along famously.

US President Trump & North Korean leader Kim Jong-un look-alikesUS President Trump & North Korean leader Kim Jong-un look-alikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the duo caused a commotion and the two look-alikes were unceremoniously frog-marched out of the arena followed by a posse of journalists and photographers.

#GoodResemblanceGuys

S President Trump & North Korean leader Kim Jong-un look-alikesUS President Trump & North Korean leader Kim Jong-un look-alikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9TH FEBRUARY

BE PREPARED....  BUT IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER

Some Team GB athletes confess to their little routines that mean a lot to their mental preparation.

Do you have any little pre-match superstitions too?

 

BIG AIR HITS BBC RADIO 4 TODAY PROGRAMME

And Big Air hit the BBC flagship morning news programme on Radio 4 on 9th February.

Though we think Sarah Montague was a tad confused about what exactly #BigAir was all about.

Ed Leigh and Maisie Potter put Sarah straight on air about #BigAir.

Listen to the interview below:

 

PRETTY LIGHT TUNNEL AT OPENING CEREMONY

Light tunnel - Olympic Opening Ceremony PyeongChang (photo: Twitter)Light tunnel - Olympic Opening Ceremony PyeongChang (photo: Twitter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TONGAN ATHLETE BARES ALL...  AGAIN

Yay! Tonga's Pita Taufatofua has made it to PyeongChang.

And he's the Tongan flag bearer, almost baring all.... again!

Watch him parading the Tongan flag (showing off his gorgeous body) at the opening ceremony where temperatures dropping as low as -20ºC have been reported, and he's simply wearing his national costume.... a grass skirt!

Read more about Pita Taufatofua who represented Toga in Taekwondo at the Summer Olympics and who will be cross country skiing at the Winter Olympics.

We wish him luck.

Pita Taufatofua with Tongan flag - Warmer climate at Summer Olympics above & slightly cooler at PyeongChang below -20ºCPita Taufatofua with Tongan flag - Warmer climate at Summer Olympics above & slightly cooler at PyeongChang below -20ºC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pita Taufatofua looking macho.

 


LOOK WHO WE SPOTTED 🤣

Well we didn't actually spot him in the crowd, we spotted his photo on Facebook in the crowd of Olympic coverage that is already hitting our timeline.

It is none other than Holger Gassler, looking very dapper and waving the flag for the Tirol, and representing the the Austrian tourism delegation.

Holger Gassler waving the flag for the Tirol Holger Gassler waving the flag for the Tirol

 

 

 

 














 

 

 

 

 

 

LLOYD WALLACE - AERIAL SKIER WITH A LOT OF KIT AND A LOT OF DNA

Just before his departure to PyeongChang, Lloyd Wallace, showed off the kit he would have to wear over the two week period at the 'Ollies' in PyeongChang.

Just a quick reminder Lloyd Wallace is the man who flies high in the Aerials, with a cheeky sparkling smile.

That's a lot of kit.

Lloyd Wallace shows off his stash of TeamGB's Olympic KitLloyd Wallace shows off his stash of TeamGB's Olympic Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But flying high is part of Llyod Wallace's DNA it seems - he was born to fly.

In fact he comes from a family of high fliers.

Lloyd Wallace is the 5th Olympian in his family.

Both his parents were Olympians, Jilly Curry participated at the 1992 and 1994 Games while Robin Wallace at the 1988 Olympics.

And there were more Olympic high fliers in the family, but possibly more grounded (!)..  uncle Shaun Wallace was a cyclist in 1984 and 1996.

And..... Wallace's maternal grandfather Peter Curry also competed in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 1948 London Games.

Our Chief Reporter Jane Peel met Lloyd Wallace - Read more here

Lloyd Wallace: Aerial skiing - a different perspectiveLloyd Wallace: Aerial skiing - a different perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATIE ORMEROD AND BIG AIR

Katie Ormerod is now sadly out of the games even before they started due to a severe foot fracture and a sprained wrist.

But this is what she would have been up to.

This is the first time that #BigAir was in the Olympics and she was primed for success.

Read more here on Katie Ormerod's accident.

This is what #BigAir is all about.


THURSDAY 8TH FEBRUARY

OLYMPIC CHAMPION TO CARRY GB FLAG

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold will lead Team GB into tomorrow's Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony after being selected as flagbearer.

The 29-year-old carried the flag at the Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony four years ago after winning gold.

She is the only individual Olympic medallist in the GB team at Pyeongchang and is aiming to become the first British Winter Olympian to retain a title when the event gets underway on Friday 16th February.

Her winning margin of 0.97 seconds in Sochi was the largest in Olympic history as she registered two track records and the fastest down time in each of the four runs.

Lizzy YarnoldLizzy Yarnold - photo Andy J Ryan Team GB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yarnold won every major accolade in the sport in just 407 days across 2014 and 2015, with an overall World Cup season win, a European Championship title and a World Championship crown completing a remarkable14-month stint for the former heptathlete.

She took time out in 2015/16 but returned to the circuit last season, winning a silver World Cup medal in Lake Placid and a bronze at the 2017 World Championships in Konigssee in February.

The current World Cup campaign began with another bronze in the opening race in Lake Placid in November and concluded with a fourth-place finish in Konigssee last month as she placed ninth in the overall World Cup rankings.

"My first reaction when I was asked to be Flagbearer was complete excitement and I'm really proud to march in front of the whole team," Yarnold said.

"There are so many talented athletes competing here for Team GB at this Olympic Games and hopefully this can be the start of our most successful ever Winter Olympics.

"Being Flagbearer at Sochi felt like a real celebration whereas this time around it's a completely different responsibility. This could be the start of something really special and I hope the other athletes aren't too far behind me as we're very much one team going into these Games."

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

 

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