SOCHI, Russia — The first weekend of the Winter Olympics brought us moments of humor and technical problems from the Opening Ceremony, a skater’s reaction that went viral and the sparkling debut of a sport where “stoked” and “dude” are part of a winning news conference.
Oh, how we love figure skating, a sport with subjective scores. And just like gymnastics — another subjective scoring sport — two years ago, it’s given us what should become an Olympic Internet meme.
On Saturday, U.S. skater Ashley Wagner went to the kiss-and-cry area to await her score in the women’s short program of the team competition. She obviously expected a higher score than the 63.10 she received. The score was good enough for third in the event. Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya finished first with a score of 72.90
A picture of Wagner’s pouty face after the score was announced is drawing as much attention as the one that showed gymnast McKayla Maroney’s reaction after she got a silver medal in 2012. But if you watch videos of Wagner’s reaction, she also seemed to use her potty mouth, saying something with bull in it.
“I know roughly when I skate a good program where the score should end up. So to score that low was very disappointing for me,” Wagner said.
Wagner’s the early favorite to become the meme star of the Games. She might have to compete with American bobsledder Johnny Quinn and one smashed-out bathroom door.
Step aside for a second, curling. It looks like slopestyle is a new fan favorite. Especially in the United States, which took gold in both the men’s and women’s events.
Jamie Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg turned many viewers into fans with their winning performances. At its first Games, the sport lit up the first two days of Sochi.
In a very unscientific poll, CNN users said the women’s final was more exciting than the men’s, which left a lot of people pretty stoked, including the surprise winner.
Incredibly, Kotsenburg won while breaking out a new trick. After all, what did he have to lose? Besides a gold medal.
“I just kind of do random stuff,” Kotsenburg said. ”I had no idea I’d do a 1620 (four-and-a-half rotation spin) until three minutes before I dropped. I invented that (the self-named ‘Holy Crail’) a few months ago, and it was sick to do it on the first try.”
In the women’s final Anderson was no surprise. She dominated this season, according to Bleacher Report. How did she prepare for the big day?
“Last night I was so nervous I didn’t eat. I put on the meditation music, burnt some sage and did some yoga,” she said.
We’re guessing there weren’t too many other people in the athletes’ village doing that.
Viral moments from the Opening Ceremony
Things don’t always go according to script at the Opening Ceremony. Four years ago in Vancouver, a really cool lighting of the cauldron went awry when one of the four arms didn’t rise from the floor of the stadium. On Friday night, five snowflake lights were supposed to morph into the five Olympics rings.
OK, a minor glitch in what was otherwise a terrific show. Nothing to send someone to Siberia over. Or kill.
So don’t believe it when you see the headline in your Facebook news feed: “Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi.” The person who posted it and wrote, “Is this true?” didn’t take much time to check the Internet to see if something they posted on the Internet was true.
It was satire from the Daily Currant, which also once ran the headline: “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 In Colorado on First Day of Legalization.”
What was true at the Opening Ceremony was the picture that came with the caption, “Russian Police Choir Performs ‘Get Lucky’ at Opening Ceremony.” Yes, Daft Punk’s catchy “Get Lucky.” Yes, the Russian police have a choir.
Yes, many of them have perplexed looks on their faces.
Family tradition for downhill skier
There are now two Olympic medals in his family after Austria’s Matthias Mayer picked the perfect moment to win his first major downhill.
In upsetting pre-race favorites Bode Miller of the United States and world downhill champion Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, the 23-year-old skier added his gold to his father Helmut’s super-G silver in 1988.
“This is unbelievable. I thought maybe in a few years I could dream of this sort of achievement. It was really cool and my family will be excited,” he said.
For Svindal, the disappointment is huge. “It is pretty much the worst place to be,” he said.
Miller, at 36 the old man of alpine skiing, finished eighth in his last Olympic downhill. He seemed to be in good shape until he hit a gate, Bleacher Report said.
“I’m not really sure what went wrong,” he said. “The visibility is different today and that’s the only disadvantage I had. But it’s something I face all the time. If the visibility is really good, I can ski my best; if it isn’t, I can’t. I wanted to ski (the course) as hard as I could and not really back off, but it requires a lot of tactics today, which I didn’t apply.”
He still has the super combined on Friday — the event he won in 2010 — for a chance at a sixth career medal.
The host nation comes to life
And a 15-year-old shall lead them.
Russia picked up four medals on Sunday, sparked by figure skater Julia Lipnitskaia, who crushed the competition in the women’s free skate program of the team event, a day after winning the short program.
And her team smoked the competition to win the host nation’s first gold medal of the Games.
The win pleased No. 1 Russia fan, President Vladimir Putin, but he reminded the team he hoped for more medals.
“He congratulated us at the boards, which was great. He said, ‘Well done, but don’t relax, you still have the individual events to come,’” Ekaterina Bobrova said.
He was so happy, he almost managed a smile, reported CNN’s Eoghan Macguire.
Russia also won medals in the women’s biathlon sprint (silver), men’s singles luge (silver) and women’s 3,000-meter speed skating event.
Back to the ice, there’s a bit of bad news for the other women in the individual competition.
“Now I fully know the ice and the arena I can relax a bit and skate better in the individual event than I did today,” Lipnitskaia said after the team event. “I will work hard on the free program after the small issues today.”
You read that right: As good as she was Sunday, she thinks she will be better.
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