Category Archives: sports

Speed Skating Hide

Team USA is stylish. From those all white medal stand jackets to their heated Ralph Lauren opening ceremony attire, they’ve got some serious fashion. But who designed the Team USA uniforms? From figure skating to curling, there are a lot of winter sports which means there are a lot of Team USA uniforms. They’ve all got to look good, right? Sure, athleticism is the reigning monarch of the Olympic Games, but it’s hard to deny that these athletes are carting around some serious style alongside that mind blowing talent.

Of course, some sports don’t require all teammates to have matching uniforms — here’s looking at your figure skating and ice dancing. Others, however, have their Olympic gear designed for them. Each team from each sport will be wearing a different uniform, and they’re special. Every single sport will have a different uniform designed by a different designer because let’s be honest they all deserve special treatment for their accomplishments, right?

From astronaut-themed suits to some seriously cool details hidden inside jackets, the Team USA athletes are all going to look killer once their hit their respective ice or snow.

At first glance, speedskating couldn’t be more boring. Two participants on metal blades glide round and around an oval ice track, and no sooner do they cross the finish line then a new pair is sent off to repeat the performance. All of their movements are nearly identical, making it impossible for the casual observer to tell the skillful skaters from the average ones. But if you keep looking, you’ll gradually enter the inner world of speedskating, and from there, from within, speedskating is among the most thrilling of sports.

In the country I come from, Norway, speedskating was once a national obsession. When I was growing up, I knew the names of skaters from the end of the 19th century to our modern times. Oscar Mathisen, Ivar Ballangrud, Hjalmar Andersen, Knut Johannesen, Fred Anton Maier — I never saw any of these legends skate, yet their names resonated like a list of kings. The media covered skating in detail, but novelists and poets wrote about it, too. One of the best-known works by Norway’s great postwar poet Olav H. Hauge is called “Kuppern Skates in Squaw Valley” and concerns the radio broadcast of a 1960 Olympic race, while Norway’s most important postwar novelist, Dag Solstad, has filled page upon page of his novels with race results.

What is it about speedskating that could bring an entire people together around the radio or television, women and men, young and old, rich and poor? What was it that compelled children to scribble down skate times and collect them in books? Why are the names of Kay Stenshjemmet, Jan Egil Storholt, Sten Stensen and Amund Sjoebrend etched in my memory 40 years after they hung up their skates for good, whereas I have long since forgotten the names of prominent politicians of the day or the teachers I had at school?The oldest ice skates that anyone has found so far were made in Finland 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, which is to say 800 years before the Trojan War depicted by Homer in the “Iliad.” These primitive devices were made from the sharpened shinbones or jawbones of cattle. Metal skates first appeared in the Netherlands during the 13th or 14th century, when Dante was writing his “Divine Comedy,” and the first speedskating competition we know of took place in England in 1763, the same year Immanuel Kant presented his proof of the existence of God. The first unofficial world championships took place in 1889, when Nietschze published “Twilight of the Idols.” It is hard to know what the ancient skaters looked like as they raced across the ice, but film footage from 1911, before the Great War, shows skaters competing at the world championships in Trondheim, Norway. We see them flashing by like strange birds beating their wings. And although much has changed in the sport since then, the basic moves look more or less the same, for there is really only one way in which to propel oneself forward at a reasonable speed on ice with metal blades under one’s feet.

Winter Olympic Games

The 2018 Winter Olympics have begun in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where athletes from 92 countries around the world will compete in over a hundred separate events for the gold. There’s more to it than just the games though: there’s the technology that brings the event to viewers across the world.

The games run from February 9th through February 25th; follow along for all of our coverage.

The Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony was hit with a cyber attack, officials for the PyeongChang games confirmed — but stopped short of blaming Russia for the breach.

The PyeongChang 2018 website wasn’t working before the Friday night games, making it impossible to access event tickets and crucial information.

WiFi at the games also stopped working before the official kickoff.

Order wasn’t fully restored to the system for 12 hours, at about 8 a.m. Saturday, the Guardian reported.

There was a cyber attack and the server was updated yesterday during the day and we have the cause of the problem,” Sung Baik-you, a spokesperson for the games, told the Guardian on Sunday.

“We are taking secure operations and, in line with best practice, we’re not going to comment on the issue because it is an issue that we are dealing with,” Sung continued.

The representative declined to say what nation or entity was behind the attack.

The games are considered a hot bed for hacking attempts because of the massive number of people attending, according to security experts.

Winter Olympics 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Chris Mazdzer threw a fist in the air, grabbed an American flag from the stands and let out a scream of absolute jubilation.

Not even a month ago, he was at rock bottom. On Sunday night, he made history for USA Luge.

For the first time, the United States has a men’s singles Olympic luge medalist. Mazdzer won silver at the Pyeongchang Games, matching the best finish ever for USA Luge in any luge event at the Olympics — Americans have been second in doubles twice — and giving the native of Saranac Lake, New York, the sort of moment he’s spent half a lifetime chasing.

“It’s 16 years in the making, what you dream about as a young child and 20 years later you’re finally on the podium,” Mazdzer said. “I still don’t know how to describe it. All I know is that I have my friends and family here celebrating with me, and this is validation. Everything I’ve done, all the sacrifices, it’s worth it.”

And how.

For the rest of his life, he’ll be introduced as an Olympic medalist. For the rest of his career, he’ll know he can come up big at the biggest moments. For the next few days, he’ll get to bask in this medal while seeking another in the team relay.

A career that seemed to be going sideways just a few weeks ago is now right back on track.

“I trained with this kid every single day,” said USA Luge teammate Taylor Morris, who was 18th in his Olympic debut. “Day in, day out, he is an animal. And it is paying off. A silver medal, just a few hundreths out from being an Olympic champion. That’s just the mental and physical resiliency that he has and it just shows that hard work does pay off and dreaming big and never setting a ceiling for yourself, it pays off.”

Winter Olympics

Jamie Anderson was in the best position a snowboarder could be in: lining up for her second slopestyle run with the gold medal already clinched.

On an afternoon when high winds played havoc with nearly every rider’s runs, Anderson fell too.

But it didn’t matter.

Her outstanding first run was good enough for the gold, her second straight in the event. Laurie Blouin of Canada was second, and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland third.

Canada employed its top skaters and breezed to a gold medal in the team figure skating finals. Russia (silver) and the U.S. (bronze), kept their big names out of the free skate. Go here for our coverage.

High winds put off the men’s downhill, and now the women’s giant slalom has also been postponed. The race has been rescheduled for Thursday, the same day as the rescheduled men’s downhill.

The race is highly anticipated because it will be a key test for Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States, the slalom specialist who has expanded her repertoire to the giant slalom and could very well win it.

“It’s a bummer that we’re not able to race today,” Shiffrin said. “But with the training block I’ve had, I’m prepared and feeling good. I’ll use this time to continue to train and refocus on Wednesday’s slalom race.”

Here’s what you missed:

  • Felix Loch of Germany lost a bid for his third straight men’s luge gold medal when he hit the wall on his fourth and final run. That gave the gold to David Gleirscher of Austria and opened the door for the American Chris Mazdzer to win a surprise silver medal.

  • Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won his third straight men’s 5,000-meter speedskating gold medal. Kramer poured it on over the second half of the race to beat the rest of the field by nearly two seconds.

  • The U.S. women’s hockey team eked out a 3-1 win over a gritty Finland team Sunday at Kwandong Hockey Center. The Americans, who are favored to battle Canada for the gold medal, had some nervous moments and were down, 1-0, at the end of the first period. But Monique Lamoureux-Morando evened the score near the midway point of the second period, and Kendall Coyne scored the game-winner two and a half minutes later on a power play. Dani Cameranesi added an empty-netter with 13 seconds to play. — MATTHEW FUTTERMAN

  • Red Gerard fell on his first two runs, but only the best run counts, and his third was about as good as it could be. He won the snowboarding slopestyle men’s gold medal, with Max Parrot and Mark McMorris of Canada second and third. Read more about Gerard’s run here.

  • Norway dominated the men’s skiathlon, taking all three medals, with Simen Krueger the gold medalist. Krueger crashed with other skiers just after the start and fell but worked his way back up through the pack.