Yeah, it’s a little disconcerting to listen to one man wearing shiny bits and Lycra question the manhood of another, but that’s the bizarre machismo that is Olympic figure skating.
Cold War on Ice erupted last night when Russian favorite Evgeny Plushenko, the best quadruple jumper among last night’s contenders in the men’s final, essentially said American winner Evan Lysacek – who, with a left foot injury, doesn’t even try the quad – skates like a woman, then intimated that geography mattered more than execution:
“If Olympic champion cannot land quad … Now, it’s not men’s figure skating. It’s like dancing.”
Cherry Hill native Bobby Ryan chipped his two front teeth today when he took a stick to the mouth while tussling against the boards with Team Norway captain Tommy Jakobsen with three minutes left in the third period in a 5-1 game.
As Ryan licked the jagged tips of the teeth afterward, he allowed, “Yeah, things got a little chippy. I’m sure they were getting frustrated. You can’t blame them.”
After the U.S. took a 3-0 lead early in the second period, Norway, outmatched beyond the score’s indication and embarrassed after dropping an 8-0 decision to Canada, began a grab-and-bang strategy that helped turn the game’s momentum. They took two penalties in the last 12 minutes of the second period.
Scott Hamilton, 1984 gold medal winner in Sarajevo, TV commentator and ice show genius, was clear in his assessment of the need for U.S. contender Evan Lysacek to include a quadruple jump in tonight’s free program:
“If I were Evan’s coach, and he was thinking about doing a quad tonight, I’d tackle him,” Hamilton said this morning. “For him to try to throw this thing tonight would be a huge gamble. If he landed it, it would be legendary.”
With a gauntlet thrown down, all eyes are on the tight grouping atop the men’s figure skating competition.
Thanks to gold medal performances from some of its biggest names, the U.S. team set an American record for most medals in a single day with six -- three golds, one silver and two bronze. This group also became the first U.S. team to post multiple medalists in three events on the same day.
The golds went to skier Lindsey Vonn, who did not disappoint in her Vancouver debut in the downhill, and repeat golds from speedskater Shani Davis in the 1,000 meters and Shaun "Flying Tomato" White in the halfpipe.
Julia Mancuso picked up a surprising silver behind Vonn; Chad Hedrick earned a bronze in the 1,000 meters behind Davis and Scotty Lago earned a bronze behind White.
Join the Daily News' Frank Seravalli for a live chat a the U.S. takes on Norway in Olympic action.
Eric Bernotas, from Avondale, Pa., is still trying to get himself settled in at the Whistler Sliding Centre in advance of Thursday's first two skeleton runs. The remaining two are Friday night.
“I’m tired, this training schedule is challenging,” he said today after a second consecutive day of training runs. “I’m fatigued and my mind isn’t with me today, but I’ll be ready for the race. I’ll be excited tomorrow.”
Bernotas, a Malvern Prep graduate who finished sixth at Turin, also expressed some concern about the track.
One advantage of the Olympics being in North America is that NBC is showing fewer events on tape, but some of the marquee events will be getting the "live to tape" treatment, including Lindsey Vonn's long-awaited Vancouver debut.
The women's downhill begins at 2 p.m. Eastern but won't air until NBC's prime-time broadcast tonight.
Vonn will be 16th skier (of 45) to hit the slopes.
Thanks to Bobby Ryan, I can say that I led the tournament at one time.
Monday night at dinner, I joined a fantasy pool with nine Canadian writers. Probably not the brightest use of my money. Each of us picked seven players in the Olympic hockey tournament. Most points at the end takes the cash.
Ryan was my sixth or seventh pick, not quite sure, because it came on my sixth or seventh beer. But when he lit the lamp this afternoon to put the U.S. up 1-0, well, I jumped into first.
All of Canada has been waiting for tonight’s puck drop since July 2, 2003 – the date the IOC awarded Vancouver’s bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Flyers forward Mike Richards might have to keep waiting.
Both NHL.com and the NHL Live radio program have reported this afternoon that Richards will be one of Canada’s healthy scratches for tonight’s game against Norway (7:30, CNBC).Richards skated as Canada’s 13th forward in practice on Tuesday night.
Coatesville native Johnny Weir returns to the Olympic stage with the men's short program tonight at the Pacific Coliseum.
But if you want to watch Weir and fellow Americans Evan Lysacek and Jeremy Abbott, you are going to have to hang deep into NBC's coverage, and this time it is not NBC's fault.
Of the 30 skaters competiting, Weir drew No. 25, Lysacek is 28th and Abbott is 29th.