Saturday, February 11

It's Olympic time!

Some of you may already know that I was a die-hard nordic skiier and biathlete when in college. I was never quite good enough to compete on the international level, but that doesn't stop me from being glued to the TV every four years for the Winter Olympics.

As usual, the TV coverage for the nordic - and especially the biathlon - events is relegated to the wee hours of the morning on cable. So once again, I have to live with whatever they end up posting on the web. But oh, how I wish I could have seen this morning's 20k men's biathlon.

Not that it comes as any big surprise, but the US is not generally viewed as a nordic powerhouse. Sure, we had Bill Koch's silver in 1976, but in general US nordic skiiers never get the respect they deserve. I think that might start to change this year. If this morning's event is any indication, it's going to be a very exciting month:

Alaskan Jay Hakkinen took 10th in a time of 56:10.9, but the best finish ever by a U.S. athlete could have been much, much better. Each miss results in a one-minute penalty and he missed three of 20 shots, including a split bullet that failed to knock down the target.

Had it fallen, he would have won the bronze medal instead of Hanevold.

A split bullet away from a medal? Oh. My. An infinitesimal difference and that target would have dropped and we'd have our first-ever biathlon medal.

Hakkinen posted the second-fastest ski time behind Bjoerndalen, who missed two of 20 shots, one too many to beat Greis, who missed just once.

Did I read that right? And this is not Hakkinen's best event - Tuesday's 10k sprint.

Those Norwegians and Germans better watch that rear-view, them yankees are comin'!

Go Jay go!!!


  1. We've got the TiVo. Can we copy anything for you and send it down? Send us an email.

  2. Like a beautiful logical proof, the idea that you would have competed seriously in a sport based on Norwegians blowing up a Nazi nuclear plant is both surprising and, in reflection, almost inevitable.

  3. To add to what TRP said, we've got CBC (Canadian coverage), and I'll be down either next weekend or the following weekend.