ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for Monday and Tuesday

ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for Monday and Tuesday

ICYMI: Beijing Olympics Highlights for Monday and Tuesday



Steve Porino on gold medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland compared to silver medalist Sofia Goggia of Italy in women’s downhill: “Talk about a tale of two styles. This is Swiss-like precision up against just a heavy metal drummer, which is Goggia.”

Dan Hicks on Goggia: “There’s no other skier in the world with more of a go-for-broke style…I would say on this Valentine’s Day, Goggia is more than thrilled with that. She had no idea if she was going to be able to come back and even compete in these Olympics…but here she is.”

Steve Porino on Goggia: “It’s like watching Mission Impossible — you don’t know if she’s going to clip the green wire or the red one, but she is always going all-in and she has that ability. When the lights go out, she can believe that she skis the ground and that is unique to her. She just has this ability to take risk that others are not willing to take.”

Ted Ligety on Goggia: “She lives and dies by the sword…She has this crazy ability to just keep her skis going straight down the fall line no matter what her upper body is doing…That was the full Goggia show.”

Ligety on Mikaela Shiffrin: “She has the skills to be amongst the best in the world, if not the best in the world, in the downhill, but she is a risk-adverse skier. She doesn’t like to throw it all on the line unless she has to.”

Porino on Shiffrin: “She has the biggest bag of tricks out of any skier out there — the tucking, the turning, the gliding, the aerodynamics. However, when it comes to the shady conditions right now, it is really a matter of grit and appetite for speed.”

Hicks on Shiffrin: “She was out with Covid just before the Games, she’s had back problems so that has really cut into her training even further for a racer that just depends on all of that training to get ready to go.”

Shiffrin to Todd Lewis: “Once again today, it was super fun…It’s another day of really good experience on these longer skis and trying to figure out places where I have the natural instinct to want to go faster…The feeling was a lot faster so that’s good to have today, especially going into another training run and the combined.”

Lindsey Vonn on the condition of the snow: “Firmer, faster, and even a little bit slick…You’re coming into that turn with more speed, and because of the snow conditions, you really can just get compressed in the legs and your skis just slide out from underneath you…It’s difficult. You have to be able to be prepared for those conditions and sometimes you can see it in inspections and sometimes you cannot. So, these girls are having to rely on their strength, their tactics, and hope that when they come to those turns that everything will hold up.”



Todd Harris on Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud in slopestyle: “It’s a gold in the cold for Mathilde Gremaud! From silver in PyeongChang to gold in Beijing. The last athlete to qualify in 12th place, and she gets the win.”

Tom Wallisch on Eileen Gu’s final silver medal-winning run: “Clutch! That’s all I’ll say. That was a clutch run…A great run, so solid, but we did see Mathilde really stylish on those jumps…So, Eileen was very close there, but just a few tenths of a point away from that gold medal that Mathilde threw down.”

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Harris on Gu before her final run: “She is a clutch individual — you don’t just graduate a year early from high school and then get accepted into Stanford with a monster SAT score.”

Wallisch on bronze medalist Kelly Sildaru of Estonia: “She is so comfortable in this position, competing for so many years, even at the young age of 19. She is tried and true and knows what it takes.”

Wallisch on how the cold conditions impact slopestyle: “On a very cold day, the snow can feel like Styrofoam. It’s grippy, it’s grabby, and the metal of those rails when it’s freezing cold can be absolutely slick. So that combination of edging along the snow and then on those slick rails, it’s just very hard to be perfect on them…On a freezing cold day, it’s so hard to keep your feet from going numb and you need that dexterity, that ability to move and feel your ski in the boot to do some of these technical maneuvers.”



John Morgan on Germany pilot Francesco Friedrich: “This is Tom Brady. Who [else] do you want to talk about in this sport? What he’s done in the last eight years — the only setback he had on his resume was the 2014 Olympics. The Germans changed sleds…if they would have stayed in these…sleds that they’re in now, he would have medaled in that Olympics also.”

Morgan on the two-man Jamaican bobsled team: “It’s just great to see these guys out here, and they might not win a medal, but they certainly are still the most famous bobsled team in the world.”



“Over almost 100 years of Olympic Winter games history, only two Black Americans had ever won a medal in an individual event. That is, before yesterday, when in less than 24 hours, two more women added their names to the list – Erin Jackson winning gold at the speedskating oval, and then bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, a three-time medalist in the two-woman event, took silver in the monobob. In a moment when diversity has become an even bigger topic in the living room and in the boardroom, in the midst of Black History Month the timing is all the more notable. Inclusion in winter sports has long lacked…transformation doesn’t typically happen overnight, but the sight of Meyers Taylor and Jackson on the medal stand no doubt offers a power message of representation to young athletes that these sports could be their terrain as well.”

Tirico on Jackson’s gold medal: “A dream come true for her, and maybe the seed for dreams for future Olympians no matter what color. What a moment.”



Mike Tirico on today’s short program, Kamila Valiyeva and the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling: “This edition of the event clouded by controversy and uncertainty, and at least in the short term, will not be able to deliver what a competition is supposed to deliver: a clear, definitive result, because over the objections of the International Skating Union, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Court of Arbitration of Sport has ruled that Kamila Valiyeva can compete as her positive drug test is adjudicated. And when you add in the larger saga that surrounds the specific issue of Valiyeva’s positive drug test – Russia’s recent history with doping – it casts a large shadow over the biggest night of a four-year cycle in this sport.”

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Terry Gannon on the women’s short program and Valiyeva: “So, this is different. Let’s look at it honestly here – bizarre, frankly, and if you’re feeling that sentiment at home, we’re right there with you. We’ve got an athlete who has tested positive for a banned substance being allowed to compete at the Olympics and if she finishes in the top-three, the results may not be the results. There are more questions than answers right now.”

Tara Lipinski: “In my opinion, she should not be skating in this competition. We have to remind ourselves that she is just 15 years old, a minor, and I know more than any what it’s like to compete in an Olympic Games at 15 years old, but a positive test is a positive test. She cannot skate.”

Johnny Weir: “I completely agree. If you can’t play fair, then you can’t play. And it is a shame because she is a tremendous athlete.”

Weir: “I think so many people, myself included, saw her as the favorite for the Olympic gold medal, and now it’s such a letdown. It’s heartbreaking to have to reassess the way you feel really about everything in this competition…With all of this news, I feel so uncomfortable as a skater and as a skating fan in even having to commentate (on) her performance simply because she should not be able to compete in this competition.”

Lipinski: “Right, Johnny. I feel like I have that same feeling. I don’t even know what to feel, I just have this mix of emotions where I feel disoriented…I know at 15 (years old) the pressures of dealing with an Olympic Games – overwhelming feelings. So, for someone as young as Kamila dealing with this, it’s heartbreaking. You just really hope there’s adults around her that will finally step in and guide her and help her.”

Gannon on Valiyeva: “Many feeling sympathy for a 15-year-old who’s been in a searing spotlight with the world watching, but also feeling strongly she should not be allowed to compete.”

Weir after Valiyeva’s performance: “All I can feel like I can say is that was the short program of Kamila Valiyeva at the Olympics.”

Lipinski after Valiyeva’s performance: “I don’t know how many times over the past year I’ve said that she is the best figure skater I’ve ever seen, and just saying that now not only makes me confused, but it makes me angry and again, I’m disoriented by everything that I thought I knew.”

Gannon on Team USA’s Alysa Liu’s short program: “Does she ever look nervous?”

Lipinski on Liu: “Not at all, Terry. She couldn’t have asked for a better short program. There was so much energy and presence throughout that skate…That’s an Olympic moment that she will never forget. I had so much fun watching her, I felt like I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s like listening to a Bruno Mars song – you have to sing along and dance along to it.”

Weir on Liu: “Her skating is so approachable. It’s something that everybody can enjoy, like ice cream…She did exactly what she needed to do. This was strategic, it was strong, and it will hold her up high in this competition.”

Weir on Team USA’s Mariah Bell: “(She) weaves and ebbs and flows through the program in the choreography, it’s what makes Mariah Bell so wonderful.”

Lipinski on Bell: “She always go for it in competition, and that’s one thing I love about her skating. Beyond that mistake, she was flawless. She just lights up on the ice. She genuinely loves skating and competing, and it translates so well. It’s like she’s this shining light out there — almost like a Care Bear, like a Sunshine Care Bear with beams coming out of her.”

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Lipinski on Team USA Karen Chen’s fall: “This is what hurts to watch as a skater knowing this feeling…She’s tried so hard to change her mindset to attack everything she’s got in these programs and she had the attack here, but once again it’s not the short program she wanted to leave on this Olympic stage.”



Todd Harris on Team USA’s Alex Hall winning gold and the men’s slopestyle podium: “He’s ‘The Great Hall in China! American Alex Hall claims gold…I love it when it comes together and it works out properly, and for me today, those were the three best.”

Tom Wallisch on Team USA’s Hall and Nick Goepper winning gold and silver: “Just incredible skiing. The creativity from Alex Hall is what led to the top of the podium, and talk about Nick Goepper, coming back for a third Olympics and another medal.”

Wallisch on Hall’s gold medal-winning score of 90.01 on his first run: “When you have three runs and you lay down a beauty on the first run, the pressure is off…The creativity of this run is off the charts. There’s so much interesting jumping going on…Creativity, that’s the name of the game in freestyle skiing. He does the creative elements better than anybody else.”

Wallisch on Hall waiting for other athletes to complete their final runs while sitting in first place: “I can see why he got a little bit excited, and it’s because you’re sitting in first place in the final run of the Olympics. Just a little bit of a big deal.”

Wallisch on Team USA’s Colby Stevenson, who finished seventh: “With the run and the technicality he’s trying to put into it, it’s a gold medal run if he gets it. He’s not trying to settle for that third-place position, so he really is giving it everything he has with the most difficult run he could possibly do, and it’s admirable to see.”



Leigh Diffey: “They call the Yanqing National Sliding Center the snow dragon or the cool dragon, but sometimes, as we’ve seen, it can be an aggressive dragon…They race for gold right here at the house of speed.”

Diffey on Germany pilot Francesco Friedrich: “When you come to an Olympic Winter Games as the defending co-gold medalists, because there was a tie in PyeongChang, the pressure is on. And the pressure is really on Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis.”

John Morgan on gold medalists Friedrich and Margis: “This is quite a pair. What Brady and Gronk are in the current relationship in sports, these two — they’ve been paired up for four world championships together in two-man…It is unbelievable what (Friedrich) brought to the sport.”

Morgan on Team Jamaica in the two-man bobsled: “Just love it. They’re not going to win any medals but if (I)go any place on the planet and I tell people I’m involved in bobsled, the first thing they say to me is, ‘Jamaica.’ These guys are the most famous team on the planet. Bottom line, that is it.”

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Author: Sammi Turano
Sammi has been a journalist for over a decade, specializing in entertainment, lifestyle, sports and celebrity news. She is the owner of TVGrapevine and Football in High Heels and the Host of Grapevine in High Heels With Sammi.

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