Who else had the bejesus scared out of them when American skier Sarah Schleper roared before she began her race? That's quite the way to psych yourself up.
Congrats to Jeret "Speedy" Peterson for winning the silver medal in freestyle aerials. I still can't tell the difference between Peterson's famous hurricane jump and any of the other jumps, but I'm happy he did well. Back in November, Peterson and some other skiers and snowboarders came to Rockefeller Center in N.Y. to celebrate the 100 day countdown to the Olympics and they did some of their aerial tricks on a trampoline. It was fantastic to see live.
Billy Demong made history last night by becoming the first American to win gold in the Nordic Combined. Johnny Spillane won the silver - his third of the games.
I am hating NBC right now. They showed only 10 figure skaters, three of which were not even in the top 12 after the short program. Why would they do that? I understand that they need to cut between different sports, but instead of going for the ones with cute little stories, show me 7th and 8th place. And seriously, why not show Demong's medal ceremony on the late night broadcast? I am thrilled that they made history, but that could have been an extra skater right there. Isn't women's skating supposed to be the premiere event of the Winter Olympic Games? Sigh.
To me, the performance of the night belonged to the bronze medalist, Canadian Joannie Rochette. She has a maturity and grace to her skating that the younger skaters, still in their teens, just don't have. That, combined with having her hometown crowd behind her, and the added emotion from her mother's death on Saturday made her mesmerizing to watch. But silver medalist Mao Asada's two triple axels (one in combination) is quite astounding to me as well. I do think that this is a similar situation to the quad controversy in the men's competition. That Asada's score came nowhere near Olympic champ Yu-Na Kim's is a little startling to me. Mao had just as much pressure from her country to win gold as Yu-Na did and she was clearly distraught during the medal ceremony. But talk about Yu-Na's score - she would have placed 9th in the men's program. That is ridiculously amazing.
Both American ladies skated really well. Mirai Nagasu had my second favorite performance of the night. And Rachael Flatt skated really well too - it's too bad her triple flips were downgraded. But as well as they skated, they broke a pretty amazing Olympic streak: At least one American woman has been on the podium at every Olympics since 1968...until last night.