06 February 2018

Olympic Week: Thumbs Down 👎 (Events & Storylines)

It's Olympic Week here on Fanatic Radio presented by MyPillow and The Craft Beer Club...Winter Olympics edition, but we will be counting down and previewing the drama and fabricated spectacle from South Korea throughout the week and the month of February.

(NBC Sports)
Now, I love the Olympics don't get me wrong, having worked behind the scenes with the U.S. Olympic Committee was an eye-opening experience to say the least and the athletes will forever have a place in my heart, yet for anyone outside the Colorado Springs-Park City, Utah area, the Winter Games are unfortunately a grind to follow due to the yearly timing, lack of popular events and usually location.

The Opening Ceremony is on Friday, Feb. 9 and with so much going on the in world of the Olympics off the field, here are three THUMBS DOWN 👎 events and storylines:

Coverage and Overall Lack of Interest:

(NBC Universal)
I feel like we on Fanatic Radio don't pull any punches on giving the media and network execs their well-deserved comeuppances on stupid, uncreative decisions to solely sell themselves out for profit, and this time is no exception, especially after NBC somehow blamed millennials for declined ratings for Rio in 2016.

The Olympics are supposed to be the championed event of international sport, calling upon the youth of the world to assemble in four years time and compete, and capturing that to the "common fan" is difficult. Everything else goes over the top and is usually unnecessary, and with a Winter Olympics, 14+ hours ahead in a winter-wasteland call Pyeongchang, South Korea, the attempts NBC and it's partners will make or not make will be cringe worthy.

I just keep looking back to the Rio Olympics and what a mess it was from the women of the Today Show getting awkward with the Tongan flag bearer, to BuzzFeed pumping out digital garbage with actual access to Olympians! That's right, Fanatic Radio doesn't get the love or credentials, yet everyone's favorite "Which Game of Thrones Character Are You" quiz site got up close and personal with the likes of Simone Biles and Phelps to provide us with pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things. Plus Lauer's fired, Costas retired and yet we send Tirico, Rutledge Wood and Hoda Kotb...

I can only imagine what the masses will do in Pyeongchang.

No inspiring playlist of native music, Spotify?

That's the problem, with the Winter Games heading back to Asia for the first time since Nagano 1998 staying there through 2022, how the correspondence will cover these events will go in so many awkward directions. Plus with events and athletes very few have followed let alone covered, this is where I feel bad for the sports that will either get digital-only coverage, 3rd-hour primetime block coverage for a hot second, or be overshadowed by a pointless feel-good, social issue story that adds little to the grand scope of the sport for the next Olympics or next year for that matter.

Just this article alone shows the American media has no faith in the coverage due to lack of interest, star power and the time difference.

*I do want to give credit where credits do and give big props to NBC's Nick Zaccardi of OlympicTalk who works day and night to give the people what they want in all Olympic news (we're open to freelance anytime to help you out, Nick).

Unified Korea:

(Toronto Star)
Powerful and ambitious at the same time. The thumbs down, however is the lasting potential train wreck this will have.

It's one of those ideas that sounded good on paper and a diplomacy dream come true, but other than the opening ceremony, there's nothing really great about this. It's so awkward to the point where their women's hockey coach had to make three-page dictionaries of translation because, surprise surprise, theres a dialect barrier between the two Koreas.

Who knows how both teams will play? Watching the women's pre-Olympic match looked like me out there on ice, with no chemistry or plan of action. Just look at the picture we found of the team...do they look like they're having a good time playing together?

Beyond the rink, many South Koreans have stated their displeasure in the attempted of a "Unified Korea". Imagine growing up hating your neighbor for decades on political differences only to be forced to compete on the same team, not for your own country's national pride, but a melting pot squad in sports you may not be very good at.

Plus with the political mess going on in North Korea vs. the United States, and the fact the 49th parallel is a stones throw away doesn't help at all. The sad thing is, it's an amazing feat to get the DPRK to even come to the Winter Olympics, but this is a rare instance where the covenant Games can't mend bridges and have everyone be all kumbaya.

Figure Skating:

(Getty Images)
Sorry, this is obvious. Maybe it's Margot Robbie's, I Tonya film that weirdly taken the movie-goer nation by storm, or the overhype of athletes on Team USA by *cough* NBC, but I never can get into this sport.

And don't get me wrong, it's amazing to watch what these athletes can do in their death-defying jumps and moves to Kalinka or Tchaikovsky, all while trying to put on their happy face. The thumbs down is everything else surrounding it.
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The fact the the IOC moved figure skating events to morning/mid-day Korean time to accommodate for the United States television audience, and how NBC is also supplementing its figure skating coverage with a daily live show that will preview upcoming events and report on storylines.

The "drama" where we think we still live in a Cold-War society of cheating judges, like in gymnastics, that are out to get the U.S. Olympians to show the world that the pig-capitalists are weak or the confusing scoring that even Lipinski and Johnny Weir can't explain.

But sadly part the thumbs down goes to the expectation everyone has.

Nathan Chen, our best hope for male singles, is making his Olympic debut sorely behind the eight-ball in the eyes of the judges: both attempts at World's he failed to finish higher than 6th and has not faced the full Olympic field in the various ISF events throughout the season. The women's singles are all unknowns and randos and the Shib sibs of Maia and Alex Shibutani couldn't even win the U.S. National Championships in Ice Dance yet they get more coverage.

I'm mainly salty, however that Ashley Wagner and my girl Gracie Gold are not competing this year, they provided America with medals and moments like this:

But, shoutout to Michael Terry - the real OG of figure skating.

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