February 20, 2006


Figure 1

Canadian medal prediction, 2006

Figure 1 — Updated probability distribution for Canada's 2006 winter Olympic medal total (click to enlarge). Prediction is based on the probability assessment here, updated as events are decided.

A "Horrible" Day in Alpine Skiing

When the 2006 Olympics started, I was thinking that I would include a snarky "Brian Williams" feature in each day's post, highlighting the inaccurate or infuriating claims that the CBC's Williams made each day.

I really am not a fan.

Fortunately for everybody, Williams has actually been pretty well-behaved, and I haven't had much material to work with. There was a pretty funny incident involving Mr. Williams' tongue — I wish I had a picture, but I don't — but he actually handled that one pretty well.

Then Williams apparently made a reference to "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" after Shani Davis won his gold medal. I didn't actually see that, so I couldn't really say much. L-Girl took care of it, though.

Tonight, though, Williams got me all revved up in his discussion of the results in alpine skiing. "There's no way to sugarcoat this — a horrible day for Canada," was how he put it. And in typical Williams style, he said it more than once, just to get his point across.

Let's see. In the men's Giant Slalom, 21-year-old Francois Bourque finished fourth, behind Benjamin Raich (eight-time GS World Cup winner), Joel Chenal, and Hermann Maier (14-time GS World Cup winner and reigning GS world champion). Thomas Grandi finished tenth.

In the women's Super-G, 23-year-old Kelly VanderBeek finished fourth, behind Michaela Dorfmeister (most gold medals in Olympic alpine skiing history), Janica Kostelic (most medals for a woman in Olympic alpine skiing history), and Alexandra Meissnitzer. Emily Brydon finished ninth.

How embarrassing for Alpine Canada! How can they live with themselves? Chokers.

Justice for Sami Jo!

Now on a positive note, I did learn something interesting from the CBC broadcast tonight. Williams had Geraldine Heaney on to talk about the Olympic champion Canadian women's hockey team. Heaney went out of her way to point out the positive role played by my acquaintance close personal friend Sami Jo Small. Heaney noted that Sami Jo, as the alternate (third) goalkeeper, will not get a gold medal — which I knew — but she then added that in men's hockey, the alternate goalkeepers do get medals.

I don't know if there is anything that anybody can actually do about that, at this stage; Heaney encouraged Williams to bring it up with Don Cherry when he is on tomorrow night, but I don't know if Don has that much pull with the IIHF. And I have considerably less, to put it mildly. However, I will put the full power of this blog behind any effort to get Sami Jo a gold medal, even if it means an alliance with Don Cherry.

More Serious News

Of course there is a major doping story going on in Turin, and I am going to comment on that at some point. It seems that we have come to a frightening crossroads in the "war" against doping, and I am not sure that everybody has carefully thought that through. To be honest, I haven't had time to do it justice, and the news is still breaking so fast that I have struggled to write something that contains the essence of the story. But it does need to be discussed, and I'm not ignoring it.

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