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I think at this point you have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the short track powerhouse that is South Korea. Always at the top, seemingly never tired and impossible to count out. It’s a little frustrating, really.
The women’s relay final last night featured teams from– you guessed it– South Korea, China, Canada & the US.
As a side note, the South Korean and Chinese spandex suits are basically the most boring monotone uniforms in existence, and re: “About Those Spandex Suits,” I take issue with this. The Canadian uniforms were super engineered as part of that whole “Own the Podium” campaign and look pretty space age-y but they also give the uncomfortable appearance of restraining the athletes via those criss-crossed bands over the chest. The only thing the American uniforms have going for them is that the periwinkle vest-y situation over a blue body is fairly distinctive for race watching purposes…? Meh.
Long story short… track, ahaha so much wit. So much. Ahem. I’m really sorry about that.
Moving on, the US women’s team was of the race pretty early in the goings. They hung on for a while, fell back, surged back and then just ceased to be of much interest… or so it would seem…
Race comes to close, there’s some hairy inside passing as usual but Korea, China and Canada cross the line and the flags immediately appear out of no where. I find myself wondering how you get the job of being that person on hand with flag-age. Can I be that person? I am enthusiastic and consider myself capable of handling middling to large pieces of brightly colored rectangular fabric…
Something else that happens immediately? Contention! This US team is huddled on the sidelines looking tense, everyone else is celebrating but the officials are deep in the replays. The commentators are lamely trying to fill empty space as the prime time world waits with bated breathe.. what happened?! It seems that on one of the last turns, the South Korean team passed on the inside possibly bumping/clicking skates with/hampering the Chinese team… but is it for sure? Everyone looks tense except the Korean’s who have multiple flags of all sizes out on the track doing a smug victory lap.
Personally I had already ruined the race for myself because for some reason I have not yet processed the fact that if I insist on checking the @verified/olympians Twitter feed, I will see things that I would rather not. No, I do not know what my problem is.
Thus, I had to sit on the couch for what felt like an eternity so as not to ruin the outcome for Molly. It was torture. There was a sound argument for thinking that the longer the deliberation the more likely a DQ. There was also a solid case to be made that the longer the deliberation the less likely the Koreans with their many flags would be forced to leave the ice in a) disgrace b) a rage c) both.
In the end our American ladies end up doing a victory lap of their own by virtue of a South Korean disqualification. And as happy as I am for them a) it was a somewhat lackluster end and b) the disqualification in a sport that involves so much incidental contact almost all the time seems rather arbitrary and totally weird, but always keeps you on the edge of your seat. So many emotions. Crazy. Crazy-awesome.
And it’s not the end of the crazy, not by far! Fast forward to the late night coverage of the women’s 1000m heats (from earlier in the day) featuring more disqualification but also more joy. A lose-win situation.
Allison Baver had what looked like a great qualifying race, plus major style points for her hot pink gloves and skates. Possibly even trumping that Apolo Ohno gold-tipped glove that I love so. Shocking, I know.
Unfortunately despite a lovely inside pass to second, Baver was disqualified for bumping. The relay bronze is her first in three Olympics.
And for the joyousness of the 1000m? One of my favorites (she had Stephen Colbert autograph her thigh on his show prior to the games!), Katherine Reutter not only qualified first her in heat but set a new Olympic record for the distance at 1:30.508. Looking forward to seeing her rock it in the finals on Friday.
All in all, just another mayhem filled day on the short track. I love short track. I have to stay away from Twitter tomorrow. Have to.