Rachel Blount writes about a wide variety of sports subjects, including Olympic sports, women's sports and social issues that intersect with the games we watch and play. She has been at the Star Tribune for 20 years, covering everything from hockey to horse racing to seven Olympic Games. An Iowa native, she holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Missouri and is married to fellow sportswriter Pat Borzi.

Posts about Olympic speedskating

Beer here

Posted by: Rachel Blount Updated: February 22, 2010 - 10:59 PM

Did that get your attention? I'm sure a second blog post in one day will register with my editor. I only wrote one story today, the U.S.-Sweden women's hockey semifinal. If I don't do at least two blog posts, I'll feel like a slacker.

One of the more interesting news items of recent days has been the draining of the German Fan Fest beer tent in downtown Vancouver, near the train station. I usually pass by it at night. There is always a very long line. Seems the Germans ordered 25,000 liters of beer to last the entire Olympics. That was gone by Saturday, according to a story in the Vancouver Sun. They flew in 5,000 more liters of Kostritzer Pilsner and black lager from Germany to make sure no one goes thirsty. And that's not even the biggest-drinking venue! The Sun says 100,000 liters will be served at Canada Hockey House (big surprise there) and 80,000 at Holland Heineken House, usually one of the more alcohol-soaked spots at any Games. The Dutch love to party.

Speaking of the Dutch ... they have taken over the suburb of Richmond, where the speedskating oval is. Richmond is populated mostly by Asian-Canadians and Asian immigrants. The Dutch are tooling all around town on bicycles and handing out orange mittens to fans heading to speedskating. They are so fun-loving and so into the Olympics. You can't help but smile when you see them! And because they all wear that bright orange, you can't miss 'em.

As I finish up at hockey, I'm watching ice dancing on TV. I agree that the costumes have gone off the edge. I understand the showmanship and all, but they shouldn't detract from the skating, and some of these do. The skaters would be better served by more elegance and less flakiness.

The Russians sneaked in for third, bumping the U.S, duo of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto out of the medals. There has been talk that Evgeni Plushenko's whining about not winning the men's competition--and the moaning from all of Mother Russia--might push the judges to be generous with scoring for the Russian dancers. The new system is supposed to prevent that kind of stuff, but it isn't foolproof. Will be interesting to hear the expert analysis on this. 

      

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