Tag Archives: Apolo Ohno

Random Things Round-up: It’s Been A Week in London

Did you know that apparently the men’s basketball uniforms for Team USA are made out of recycled plastics water bottles somehow? Apolo Ohno was also surprised, in this video documenting his first trip into an Olympic gift shop. Spoiler: he puts on a biking unitard, but he can’t quite bring himself to try the tiny speedo situation.

By the way—be jealous—I have pins from the Barcelona and Albertville games. I have duplicates of a few, in case you want to make an offer.

Never mind, they’re priceless.

In regards to other winter Olympians, NBC is really cashing in on any cult of personality they can snag, including Shaun White who apparently does not excel at fencing, but just wanted to clarify, “I’m obviously not competing, I’m just enjoying everything.”  He does, however, think that Gabby Douglas is super inspiring, as established in a really clumsy non sequitur towards the end of Friday’s primetime coverage. He also vaguely remembers training on a trampoline as a child. So, there’s that.

Have you ever noticed how the news crew are always talking to the Dutch? It’s totally because a) they all speak perfect English and excel at life, and b) they’re easy to pick out, wearing all the orange. Also, in case you are planning a trip to future Olympics, know that Holland House has been the hit of every games since those last same-year Olympiads in 1992 (Barcelona and Albertville); this year, guests hoping to party Dutch-style apparently have to book tickets in advance online.

And, in case you were wondering what the Olympics are about, Stephen Colbert has the definitive answer: “Making little foreign girls cry.”

I mean, one thing at which the Russian lady gymnasts really dominate is expressing a sense of utter, devastating tragedy impending around every corner.

Viktoria Komova, I’m sorry Gabby Douglas made you cry.

Aliya Mustafina, your name makes me want to hiss “Mufasa,” all the time. I’m also sorry about that. Sort of.

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Filed under Commenting, Obscure Summer Sports

Apolo Ohno Just Can’t Stay Away From the ‘Lympics: Superficial Archery Things

So, Apolo Ohno has a special segment on NBC’s Olympic Zone (which airs after the local news and before primetime coverage… and is fairly awful from my limited experience with it). Ohno is bringing you the athlete’s perspective (versus… ?) from the games in a bit called “Apolo’s Inside Track.” Don’t you just love the short track pun?

Still, I clearly love Apolo Ohno, so clearly I am watching this wonderment. Today he hung out with the archery team and learned how to shoot arrows. He was not terrible. He didn’t even injure anyone.  Also, I think he might secretly be funny. They should probably give him a longer segment, because everyone else is boring.

As for the men’s archery team, I just feel so horribly for them because apparently the reason the American public is suddenly into archery is all thanks to The Hunger Games. I am so sorry that your silver medals are marred by this nonsense, Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Jacob Wukie.

This is from Team USA’s website. It is.

Other things I am enjoying include having a similar name to the sprinter busy showing up Usain Bolt: Yohan Blake. Sometimes people say “Johanna” with a  “Yo.” It’s true. Also, Bolt dubbed Blake “The Beast”—and that’s pretty awesome. I am very excited for track and field to start, but I am sad for swimming to be winding down. I do love watching a butterfly stroke.

I am excited for all the things that I already know are going to happen on primetime tonight.

SO many feelings. Sorry.

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Filed under Commenting, Obscure Summer Sports

Apolo Ohno on Soccer Talk Live. True Story.

On Monday nights the Fox Soccer Channel features Soccer Talk Live, hosted by Kyle Martino a former MLS and national team player. Martino sits at a weird box desk in a faux locker room set hung with various team kits. It’s  little lacklustre, but you know… I mean honestly, how many people are actually watching this show? The jerseys might be the most expensive items on set.

Honestly. Sorry.

At any rate, Soccer Talk Live somewhat inexplicably featured a “Words to Bumble” favorite this week: Dear Apolo Ohno, why-oh-why did you just happen to “stop by?”

Oh,  you’ve finished your speedily ghostwritten autobiography entitled No Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday? Oh, OK.

He has you know. It sounds super inspirational.

I’m going to try to reign in my sarcasm which stems from my issues regarding speedily ghostwritten autobiographies in general, because as you probably know (assuming you have read this fantastic blog before), I’m a big Ohno fan. It’s just hard to lose the sarcasm once Kyle Martino has actually used this line on television: “[Stay tuned as]… Apolo Ohno skates by.”

It was a decent interview, although mildly inexplicable when pondering why on earth Ohno is promoting on a soccer talk show. I mean… it worked for me, but I’m a little odd.

He talked about his experience working on the autobiography, joking that half the book was written in the sauna, which is where (a) as an athlete he spends a lot of time and (b) he likes to meditate on life. So apparently his ghostwriter did a lot of following around, working out and sauna-ing with Ohno 8-10 hours a day.

Actually, maybe he wasn’t joking.

But moving forward from book promotions, I bring you Ohno’s schpeel on soccer:

“I’ve always been a soccer fan, and I think the coolest thing  about soccer now, was this past World Cup—I think for me, and you guys may think differently—but for me as an outsider, looking at the sport I saw for the first time, I think domestically, as a nation people were saying ‘hey this is a really cool sport’… People were actually, you know, they were being true fans about it. They were buying jerseys they were supporting… So to see that… I think the reason that I think that’s so cool is because I see similarities between short track. We were a small sport and you guys were not a small sport, you’re a big sport but small in the United States but then finally being recognized, I just think that’s cool.”

That’s true. Afterall, my local cocktail bar rented flat screen televisions in honor of the World Cup.

The one true soccer tie-in to Ohno’s life went down during the 2002 World Cup, months after his first Olympic games in Salt Lake where there was a disqualification of Korean skater Kim Dong-Sung resulting in gold for Ohno… Korean fans were pissed, the Olympic Committee server crashed from emails, there were death threats, etcetera. That year the World Cup was held in South Korean and Japan. When the Korean team scored against the US, Ahn Jung-Hwan led a performance of the so-called “Ohno Dance,” which involved waving their arms wildly apparently as he had done when bumped during the Olympic final.

Weirdness.

I mean I get really worked up about short track too, but then a couple of months pass and I move on with my life.

Apparently Ohno was out to dinner when he found out about his namesake “dance.” Someone to tell him to get to a television… and there it was.

Well.

I leave you with the mandatory Dancing With the Stars portion of the interview:

“First of all I had no idea what I was getting myself into; and second of all I had no idea how hard it was truly going to be. And then by about halfway through the show, that’s when I realized, ‘Ok, I better do my best to win this thing or I’m never going to be able to live it down.’ […] it would be really bad.”

So what you are saying is that Evan Lysacek must be feeling really down since he came in runner-up. Like, really down and out.

“Did you see some parallels to […] you know some of the coordination in your feet skating and trying to dance,” queried Martino.

“No,”  Ohno laughed, “zero.”

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Filed under Commenting, Television, [Obscure] Winter Sports

Things I Miss…

…Giving obscenely detailed recaps of Olympic sports supported by an overwhelming quantity of pictures from NBCOlympics.com.

That’s all.

Thank goodness the Kentucky Derby is soon to be upon us, just like that Apolo Ohno derby commercial from the Olympics promised way back when.

As usual, it is impossible to find a clip. Always.

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Favorite Ridiculous Olympic Moments: Random Things

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  • Mary Carillo hugging, nuzzling and wiping the tears of stuffed moose Colbert after Canada’s hockey loss.
  • Props to Bode Miller on being less of an ass-hat and tearing up for his gold. Emotional growth–win.
  • “Looking ridiculous, does it affect the judges?” “Yes, Tom, it does come into play, it is a subjective sport.” Regarding the Russian ice dancers.

    brisbanetimes.com/ Reuters

  • Hearing Steve Holcomb’s name and immediately making an Arrested Development connection when he stood up, both arms raised: “Steve Holt!”
  • Short track cameraman, what is wrong with you. Why do you always zoom in on Apolo’s crotch. By always, we mean specifically that one out of control time during the 1500 meter race on the first Olympic Saturday.
  • Mary Carillo attending the RCMP Academy and attempting to rise through the ranks to the sound of American Beauty music. She was wearing knee socks.
  • The Orange Crush Dutch folk, especially the very to-the-point blazing orange bobsled. Having seen the speed skating fans, I should have known it was coming, but I have to admit that I was not quite prepared.

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  • Stephen Colbert climbing into the faux fire-place at the NBC interview set.
  • Billy Bush called Julia Mancuso in winners circle after her first silver medal race… and she ran off to grab her phone and proceeded to engage in conversation.
  • Words of wisdom from Shani Davis, who always sounds like he kind of hates the world. “I’ve learned a little trick. It’s called skate with your heart.” On the other hand, he has also had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game where he “almost skipped the plate:” but you know, “White Sox forever!” Thanks Shani.
  • Apolo Ohno jumping over fallen foes in the 500 meter and then magical moments afterwards when they showed a montage of Apolo that allowed us to see for the last time that footage of him running up a cliff. Plus that time there was that other endlessly entertaining Ohno segment regarding being recognized for Dancing with the Stars. Chris Collinsworth named Apolo Ohno’s short track performances his second top moment of the games: “He’s jumping over people, he’s doing all these outrageous thing! … It was nothing but fun out there on the short track.”

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  • Everything Scott Hamilton did or said, as per the wide range of entries on the topic.
  • “The lane change heard ’round the world,” AKA Dan Jansen’s take on the Sven Kramer catastrophe.
  • Women’s Giant Slalom commentator regarding Julia Mancuso’s raw deal: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts.” Really? Yes, that was said.
  • Mirai Nagasu spinning so fast in her short program that she got a bloody nose. Plus, she came in fourth solidifying her claim that “I’m the future.”
  • Stephen Colbert: “I’ve got Olympic fever. Either that or I ate some really bad poutine.” Me too Stephen, me too.

Glad it has somewhat passed. On to Oscar night mayhem next, but don’t worry there is Julia Mancuso update/ recap in the works. I know you are holding your breath, do not lie to me.



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One Last Sartorial Glance: Spandex, Spandex & Vera Wang Too

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Let’s do this thing.

We covered many a sartorial spandex moment, from sequins on figure skaters to swizzles on skiers, but we have a few things left to say, including some comments on tighties from the athletes themselves.

nbcolympics.com

First of all, take a moment to conjure the image of the US bobsled team, including the gold medal winning ‘Night Train’ team. Those uniforms look dead awful on everyone. Every single person who had to wear one. Also, they looked like some old thing that someone had dug out of their attic. Ew. I’m sorry that you had so many pictures taken of you wearing that disaster-basket of a spandex suit.

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To make is worse, the bobsled team was also sporting those terrible spangled parka situations that we’ve seen across the games on various American teams. They are despicable. Combine them with the bobsled uniforms and the result is tragic.

Now if you want to see some sleek bobsled uniforms, the people you want to catch up with are the German team. Plus, they know where the camera goes (if you are not aware, much of bobsled coverage at the gate consists of an upwards view of the athletes’… ah… glutes). So the Germans invested in snazzy posterior designs.

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We have also seen and discussed the super-engineered own-the-podium-esque Canadian speed skating suits. And what does an American athlete have to say about their skin-suits?

@Jesslb16 @apoloohno does the design of your suit help performance?

@ApoloOhno RE: http://bit.ly/bDG3rO Jesse- performance? Besides making us look silly? Haha! Just better aerodynamics.

Ohno also tweeted in pondering whether or not to wear his spandex to the Oscars.

Another lighthearted look at spandex from Aksel Lund Svindal’s Twitter profile: “Most of the time I travel the world in a spandex race suit trying to be fast…”

So that is all very official, isn’t it?

And on the fussier side of Olympic fashion, we have a brief reflection on Evan Lysacek and Vera Wang.

Did you know that Wang trained as a figure skater? She skated as a pair with James Stuart in the 1960s and when they did not make the Olympic team she went into fashion. She now designs figure skating costumes for people like Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek, Michelle Kwan and Nancy Kerrigan, including Lysacek’s costumes from these recent Vancouver games. In 2009 she was inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame for her contributions to the sport as a designer, so Ms. Wang is an expert on sparkly spandex. In a recent interview she spoke about the importance of having that physical knowledge of figure skating when designing a costume so that it will not impeded the athlete’s performance or succumb to wear and tear throughout the season.

nbcolympics.com

And yes, she was responsible for what Stephen Colbert referred to as “the world’s most glamorous snake attack!”

And that is the end of our spandex et cetera report.

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Favorite Olympian Names

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And now for something purely silly. When you spend two weeks watching fairly obscure athletes perform in their fairly obscure winter sports, sometimes all you can do is throw caution to the wind and choose to put your lot in with the athlete marred/graced by the best/craziest name. Here are some of our favorites, some are well-known, some not so much, but they would each render a fantastic autograph.

This is an unranked list, but a list nonetheless:

  1. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway, Alpine Skiing)
  2. Apolo Anton Ohno (USA, Short Track)
  3. Didier Cuche (Switzerland, Alpine Skiing)
  4. Elisabeth Goergl (Austrian, Alpine Skiing)
  5. Gregor Schlierenszauer (Austria, Ski Jump). He is apparently a really big deal (complete with a clothing line) in Austria where  fans call him “Shlieri,” and he leads a life of fame and fortune: “I am feeling a little like a rockstar– and I like it!”
  6. Gro Kvinlog Genlid (Norway, Ski Cross)
  7. Magdalena Neuner (Germany, Biathlon)
  8. Nicolien Sauerbreij (Netherlands, Snowboard Parallel Slalom)
  9. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (Norway, Cross-country Skiing)
  10. Simon Ammann (Switzerland, Ski Jump). All the announcers had to say about him was that people like to say he looks like Harry Potter? I don’t see it, but whatever. Also he is pretty much out of everyone’s league in the ski jump world. Commentators said things like, “He told the world: you’re skiing for second place,” jumping twenty feet further than his nearest competitor. Asked how he plans to celebrate? “Long!”

So who did you become rabidly attached to based on their name?


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