If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at--look, I'm just going to say it. The ladies' Snowboard Cross "competition" was vastly and objectively lamer than the mens'. I won't even start in on the monumental choke job turned in by American media obsession Lindsey Jacobellis. We all know that story; and now we know how it ends.
But Jacobellis was merely par for the course: aproximately 1 in 4 supposedly badass chicks couldn't make it through the first two turns without crashing. One competitor failed even to push herself over the first rise out of the start (really??? In the Olympics?). And in at least one semifinal, only two ladies managed to make it to the bottom, one of them sliding face first over the line.
For a grand finale, the thrilling medal round consisted of Canadian Maelle Ricker winning by what looked to be the length of a football field. Silver went to France's Deborah Anthonioz. And officials say Olivia Nobs of Switzerland took bronze, and we'll just have to take their word for it because she was so far out of sight, left far back up the hill after sliding to a complete stop mid-course. She must have found her way to the finish before the medals ceremony took place.
Thanks to NBC for showing this event in it's entirety. I was under the impression that one of the few benefits of a delayed and repackaged broadcast was to spare viewers sights like this. Meanwhile, Biathlon, long track speed skating, and the opening day of men's hockey also took place yesterday--none of it was even recapped in NBC's primetime coverage (at least not in the west coast feed I watched).
However, I did appreciate one moment. After the conclusion of Jacobellis's prompt elimination in the snowboard cross semifinal, NBC cut back to the studio where Bob Costas said, with a slightly pained expression: "Well, not much else to say about that...."