The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Olympics set to offer television worth seeing

By Ryan Mercer/sports editor

   With the opening ceremonies just a few days away, the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, could be one of the best Olympics in recent years. With the United States taking its best team, expect a plethora of medals and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
   The expectations are high for Team USA as the members attempt to surpass their medal total from the Salt Lake games, the most any U.S. winter team has won. Team USA has progressively gotten better over the years although competitors from other countries more suited to winter sports have always given Team USA fits.
   The Olympics is a great spectacle of athletes from around the world. If one thing is certain to happen at this year’s games, it’s controversy.
   In 2002, a Canadian figure skating pair was cheated out of the gold medal by a judge’s bad score; however, Olympic powers rectified the problem, awarding two gold medals.
   In short track speed skating, Apolo Anton Ohno was cut off from his path, causing him to lose the gold … or so he thought. Later, a judge ruled Ohno had the right of way and disqualified the winner, making Ohno the champion.
   If controversy appears this year, it may come from downhill skier Bode Miller.
   Miller has been making some strange comments lately. The reigning world cup champion, he is the first American to achieve that feat in some time. But Miller hasn’t won gold, and until he does, look for him to be quiet. If Miller does win the gold, he will probably want to say something. At that point, he has every right to speak.
   The Olympics brings great television watching. Whether skiing, hockey, speed skating, bobsled, figure skating or curling, something will grab your attention. Some must-see events will entertain and should make for some drama.
   Alpine Skiing—Watching skiers exceed speeds of more than 30 mph is always a thrill because one slip up and the skier tumbles down the hill with equipment flying everywhere. With Miller being the favorite, we want to see if he can put his money where his mouth is.
   Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton—Sledding events are popular because they’re about the closest thing to NASCAR people in Texas will find.
   Skeleton will provide the most nerve-racking experience. Skeleton is similar to the luge except these athletes sled head first. Brought back to the Olympics in ’02 after an absence of several years, skeleton appears to be here to stay.
   Speed Skating, Short Track—This classic event where skaters wear funky skates, fly around an icy track and play beat the clock should be a strong showing for Team USA. Short track pits the skaters against each other rather than the clock. In this Olympic version of roller derby, skaters jockey for position in a race so tight one slip and gold medal chances disappear.
   Figure Skating—Michelle Kwan’s being on the figure skating team has sparked some controversy since she did not compete in the U.S. championships, getting a medical exemption.    This is most likely Kwan’s last chance at gold. Look for some great drama as viewers hold their breath for a beloved skater searching for that elusive gold.
   Ice Hockey—With the NHL sending its players to the games, ice hockey should be one exciting event. The 2006 Team USA hopes to achieve the gold for the first time since the “Miracle on Ice” back in 1980.
   Standing in their way are Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden. All these teams are stacked with great players and good coaches, so the Americans should have their hands full.
   This event isn’t just for men anymore as women take the ice for the third straight Olympics. The event has been dominated by America and Canada, so expect a repeat of these two teams in the final, where USA hopes to avenge its ’02 silver medal.
   The Torino Olympics will be broadcast on NBC and all its affiliates. Log onto NBCOlympics.com for a complete schedule of events and live coverage with up-to-the-minute medal count.

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