ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for 2/16

ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for 2/16

ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for 2/16


AJ Mleczko on the Team Canada defeating Team USA, 3-2, and the rivalry: “Nothing compares to it. Absolutely nothing compares to all of the hard work, the dedication and everything that goes into it. It’s once every four years, it’s not even every year. I’ve been on this side of it too. We were projected to win in Salt Lake City (in 2002) and we choked. We fell flat. Team Canada came out and played a tremendous game on our ice. Felt like they stole the gold right from under us. I’ve been there with tears in my eyes. Proud of both of these teams for what they’ve done for this sport, the new heights that they’ve pushed – the level, the skill, the compete – and all of the young kids out there that are watching these teams trying to emulate them.”

Mleczko on captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Canada defeating Team USA, 3-2: “Incredible to think about the effect that she has had on the teams that she has played on. Not only as a leader – she’s an incredible captain – she just drags the team into the fight with her, but the way that she competes, performs and executes when the pressure is at its greatest.”

Mleczko on Hilary Knight’s short-handed goal, 3-1 Canada: “What else do we expect from four-time Olympian Hilary Knight? A clutch play and exactly what Team USA needed right now…Knight stays with it. First shot is blocked, shot on net is saved and she stays with it.”

Mleczko on Marie-Philip Poulin’s goal, 2-0 Canada: “Captain clutch. There’s nothing else you can say about that player. She plays the right way. She battles, she strips the puck, keeps it in the zone and she uses a screen of her teammate and two defenders in front of her.”

Mleczko on Team USA’s Hannah Brandt hitting the goal post early in the first period: “This would have been a gamechanger if she was able to corral that bouncing puck.”



Dan Hicks on Mikaela Shiffrin skiing out in the slalom portion of the combined: “Unbelievable. It’s happened again. Not once, not twice, but three times…she will leave these games without an individual medal.”

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Steve Porino: “It’s tough to watch…It’s quite clear this is not the skier who is the winningest slalom skier of all-time. She has won more slalom races than anyone has won in any single discipline, and here, just a little bit late on a course that’s not overly difficult…She is baffled…we did catch a glimpse of her training just before this start and she skied out in the training run, which is something she rarely does. Clearly she’s in a headspace now that she hasn’t found herself in before often in her career.”

Ted Ligety: “Utter shock. I don’t even know what to say…Skiing is such a punishing sport…basically all of the greatest skiers have had big events, big games, World Championships where they go oh-fer…you shank a golf shot, you’ve got four more days to make it back. If you double fault in tennis, you can get back in it. If you make a similar mistake in ski racing, your day is done. That’s why those mistakes stick in your mind as a ski racer. You’re out there for a minute and a half. That sears into your memory.”

Lindsey Vonn: “As devastating as this Olympics has been for Mikaela, we just have to remember how incredible her career has been. This will be a learning lesson for her, she’ll have many more Olympics to come. This is not her last. My hope is that she doesn’t take this too hard and she re-centers for the team event…she has another Olympics, maybe two left in her career.”

Porino demonstrating the latest in skiing technology: “The most sophisticated and latest piece of protection is an airbag. It’s got seven sensors, three gyroscopes, three accelerometers, and one GPS all communicating to a brain that has an algorithm that understands the mechanics of an alpine ski crash.”



Tom Wallisch on Eileen Gu: “This is what we saw out of her in slopestyle…Just so big, the amplitude, the corked-out rotation. Everything is so smooth and stylish. She makes it look easy…There’s a picture-perfect run for Eileen Gu.”

Wallisch on Team USA’s Hanna Faulhaber’s first run in the women’s halfpipe qualifiers: “Amazing way to start things off. Puts a run down, the pressure can kind of come off her shoulders a little bit.”

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Hannah Kearney on Team USA’s Justin Schoenefeld finishing fifth in men’s aerials: “Adding an entire extra rotation to the tricks he’s done previously the last few years is a huge accomplishment and doing it on this stage.”



Johnny Weir to Mike Tirico on Kamila Valiyeva: “It has been a very emotional journey for us as skaters, as Olympians, and as broadcasters. I walked out of calling the short program yesterday and stood outside and cried because it’s such a terrible situation to watch unfold for a 15-year-old, to have the weight of the world on their shoulders and then to have to condemn everything surrounding her and look into everything that we’ve said as broadcasters about her. She’s so talented that we, as well as many people, thought that she would be the Olympic gold medalist here and now to have to reevaluate everything you’ve thought about that is just – it’s a nightmare.”

Tirico to Weir and Tara Lipinski: “I’m stuck with trying to figure out how responsible are the people around her? How responsible does she have to be? Take us back to your teenage days. How responsible did you all have to be regarding anything that went into your body?”

Lipinski: “I had a very sound team – family, coaches, everyone around me – not only helping me and guiding me, but giving me a voice to advocate for myself so that I also knew to be very careful of what I ingested…Obviously there’s an investigation happening, there’s more questions to be answered, but whether she knew or she didn’t know, she’s just 15 years old. I really do hope that whichever adults through this investigation that have failed her are held accountable. At the end of the day, the athlete is the only one that bears the consequences of anyone else’s decisions.”

Weir on drug testing: “There is no offseason for an Olympian or an Olympic level athlete. You have to submit that so they can test you in competition and out of competition. They can show up at school, at your rink, anywhere, to test you. And that’s part of the job, that’s part of what you try to accomplish, and I was lucky enough to have people around me – my coach, who I spent just as much time with as my family – looking after me, making sure I was putting things in my body that were the right things and that were legal and allowed, and I obviously had to know what I was doing as well, but I don’t know what Kamila’s situation is. I don’t know if she’s as lucky as I was in having people look out for us in that way.”

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Tirico: “We hear what’s happening with the brief filed by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. In it, they say there are three drugs that were in her system, two legal and the other drug that is referred to as ‘TMZ’ – trimetazidine – which is on the banned substance list. My question to you – this looks like a cocktail of some sort that helps endurance. Is there connection with the ability to do quads, especially late in your program which is a bonus in the scoring – any connection between that and what the scientists say these three drugs can be?”

Weir: “Well, there are plenty of people around the world that can do quads and can make it through their programs cleanly…to make things look that perfect and that easy, it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of discipline — diet, not having friends, not going to school like everybody else. So, it really does take over your life and if there is an easier way to accomplish something, whether it’s working extra hours on the ice, in the gym, with a sports psychologist, you try to find ways to make this journey easier. But, these people are able to accomplish this stuff clean from hard work, not from anything that helps you.”

Lipinski: “You do not need performance-enhancing drugs to do a quad, but the endurance and stamina part of it – there’s so many questions that I have. Can someone do two quads, three quads in their program or a quad triple? I’m getting in the weeds, but can it help them throughout a four-minute program? That’s a long time.”


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