Saturday, February 15, 2014
sochi sisters 2.
sarah hendrickson, 19yo of salt lake city, knew she wasn’t going to win the gold, thanks to a torn acl & mcl injury late last year. nevertheless, she still went down in history tuesday by wearing bib 1 at the first women’s ski-jumping event ever at the winter games. hendrickson came in 21st; 22yo carina vogt of germany won the gold.
erin hamlin, 27yo of new york, achieved something no other u.s. athlete has in the half-century since luge was introduced as an olympic sport: she captured a medal in singles luge. the bronze win also makes hamlin the first-ever american woman luger to medal. a three-time olympian, hamlin had finished 12th at the 2006 winter games in turin and 16th at the 2010 winter games in vancouver. of the 81 medals awarded in singles luge since 1964, 54 had been won by germany – who still took the gold & silver at sochi.
21yo california luger kate hansen has a pre-race ritual she’s been sharing all over the media: she dances. to beyonce. big-time. quoth hansen, “she just gets me fierce, & i get stoked, & i just have to (dance). i have good mojo going on, so it’s just how i roll. i’m completely in my own world, and it doesn’t matter who’s staring. i’m still gonna dance.” hansen came in 10th in women’s single luge, but her olympic spirit sure is winning!
30yo tina maze of slovenia & 28yo dominique gisin of switzerland raced to a gold medal tie in the women’s downhill skiing event wednesday, the first time olympic gold was awarded to two skiers in an alpine skiing event. gisin began in 8th position, maze in 25th, and both crossed the finish line in 1:41.57 to share the spot atop the podium. this was only the eighth time ever that two gold medals were awarded for one winter games event.
31yo polish skier justyna kowalczyk is just plain hard-core. kowalczyk won the women’s cross-country 10km classic thursday with a foot fracture she sustained last month. kowalczyk completed the course in 28:17.8, gaining her second olympic gold; she won the 30k classic women’s cross-country at the 2010 vancouver games.
meredith vieira became the first woman ever to anchor nbc’s primetime olympic coverage solo. filling in for bob costas, who has been suffering through the sochi games with a nasty, lingering, double eye infection, 60yo vieira hosted friday night’s coverage, giving three-day substitute matt lauer a necessary rest. costas was sent to the anchor bench tuesday, ending a 157-appearance streak as nbc’s olympics primetime host – his first missed olympics broadcast since 1988.
noelle pikus-pace, 31yo of salt lake city, clinched the silver in the women’s skeleton event friday night, following huge disappointment in vancouver, retirement, two kids, one devastating miscarriage, de-retirement, & a blackout wreck/concussion during training last week. her teammate, katie uhlaender – 29yo of vail – meanwhile missed the bronze by four-hundredths of a second. silver for supermom, heartbreak for katie read the headline. but before pikus-pace moved on to a medalist’s celebration, she turned, found her friend & they embraced – one sad for the other in her happiness, one happy for the other in her sadness. a perfect olympic yin+yang.