OLYMPICS NOTEBOOK: In-flight magazine doesn't forget 1980
No, they haven’t forgotten the 1980 Winter Olympics in Russia. Then again, it would be a miracle if they had.
The in-flight magazine of Russian airline Aeroflot offered a breakdown this month of past Winter Games, with blurbs on each and of course including the 1980 Lake Placid Games. The 2002 Salt Lake City Games also got a less-than-rave review, though that was mainly in regard to the figure skating scoring scandal and some prominent doping matters.
The harshest words, by far, were reserved for the 1980 games.
“The Lake Placid Olympics,” the paragraph begins, “was one of the most poorly organized.”
It goes on to talk about how venues weren’t completed in time and how the athletes’ village was built in what would eventually become a prison (which is true).
Then came a nod to the Cold War. “The Americans used the games to wage a propaganda campaign in support of a boycott of the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow,” the passage read. “Despite the harsh psychological setting, Soviet athletes performed notably.”
There was no mention of one of the most polarizing moments of any Olympics: USA 4, USSR 3 in men’s hockey, the “Miracle on Ice” game.
HOLDING ON: When Todd Lodwick leads Team USA into the Olympic stadium on Friday night for the opening ceremony of the Sochi Games, the responsibility of the role of flagbearer won’t be the only thing weighing on him.
The Stars and Stripes can get pretty heavy during a celebration that will last for a few hours. For a 37-year-old Nordic combined skier not even a month removed from a major shoulder injury, Lodwick could be forgiven for thinking about passing the flag to someone else to do the heavy lifting.
“No way,” Lodwick says. “I’m going to carry that thing with pride.”
Lodwick is the first American to compete in six Winter Games. His career started as a 17-year-old in Lillehammer in 1994, and he isn’t taking this unprecedented longevity for granted. The father of two says his fondest memory as an Olympian was during the opening ceremony of his first one, when he ran over to the stands to take a picture with his mother.
He calls being the flagbearer this year a “huge honor” and a “nice bookend” to his career.
“I don’t think that it will really hit me until they put that flag in my hand,” he says. “It’s something I never thought would’ve happened.”
GOING DOWNHILL: Fabienne Suter of Switzerland led the second women’s downhill training session today at the Olympics, which went off without problem after a key jump was shaved down.
Suter clocked 1 minute, 42.70 seconds. Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was second, 0.11 behind, and Anna Fenninger of Austria was third, 0.23 behind, although she missed some gates. Suter has won four World Cup races but only one of those was in downhill, in Bansko, Bulgaria, five years ago.
After Thursday’s opening session was delayed and then re-run due to the height of the final jump, organizers cut it down to a minor bump.
Defending overall World Cup champion Tina Maze was fifth and American teammates Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso placed sixth and 10th, respectively.
Current overall leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch was 11th.
OVER AND OUT: Austrian snowboarder Adrian Krainer withdrew from the Olympics after suffering an inch-long cut on his chin and hurting his heels during training today on the rugged slopestyle course.
Krainer finished last in his Thursday qualifying heat at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. He needed a top-four finish in Saturday’s semifinals to reach the medal round.
Earlier this week, Norway’s Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone and American Shaun White withdrew from slopestyle, citing the danger of the course.
After several accidents during training, the riders had fewer problems when competition opened Thursday. Canada’s Max Parrot scored a 97.5 to lead eight of the 29 men who scored in the 90s.
• American Heidi Kloser had to pull out of the Olympics after injuring her right leg during a training run before moguls qualifying. Kloser tore knee ligaments and broke her femur following a crash Thursday night, only moments before she was supposed to head to the starting gate.
YOGURT SPAT: U.S. Olympians will have to make do without the team’s official yogurt — depriving them of a source of protein and potentially disturbing their daily routines as they prepare for the biggest competition of their lives.
Some 5,000 cups of Greek yogurt from Team USA sponsor Chobani isn’t getting to Sochi because of a customs dispute with Russia.
U.S. halfpipe skier Aaron Blunck said today that to traveling athletes, getting food from home is part of feeling fit and healthy. “And having the yogurt there, that helps you, gives you protein, gives you nutrition.”
But teammate Lyman Currier said part of being an elite athlete is dealing with the unexpected, “so whether we have our yogurt or not, we’ll be able to adapt.”