Friday, February 17, 2006

Olympic Slumber Party

Well, we told you the Olympics are kinda wacky.

Congrats to Vicki Hall of the Edmonton Journal, the only journo – other than The Curling News, natch – to pick up on Christine Keshen’s appearance in the third end of Canada’s win last night. Eurosport has a wee bit as well, but Hall’s piece is all over the CanWest media family today, including the National Post (subscription only).

Yup, she slept in and missed the start of the game.

According to Keshen: Honestly, I fell asleep. Fell asleep, didn't set an alarm and thought somebody would wake me up, but it just didn't happen.

It's not like Canadian assistant coach Paul Webster didn't try. He rang the door bell. He pounded on the door. He phoned over and over again. Nothing worked.

Keshen felt sluggish in the 6-5 morning loss to Switzerland, so she dozed off after lunch.

This is the first time ever in my life that I have slept with ear plugs in. There were cleaners in the apartment and they were making so much noise. So I thought, 'I'll try the earplugs.' They worked awesome.

Her teammates:

It's kind of like losing your kid in the mall, said Amy Nixon. You're happy they're there, but you're kind of mad at them for leaving.

We're just happy, said skipper Shannon Kleibrink, that she's in one piece.

TCN hears that sleeping has been a challenge for athletes this year. The Canadians are in special apartments booked years in advance by the Canadian Curling Association, and Keshen has been struggling to catch up on rest. These things happen, folks. Even at the Olympics.

A huge win for the girls today in round 7, 9-3 over defending Olympic champ Rhona Martin. Canada now holds second place at 5-2, with only Sweden ahead at 6-1 (winners over the Swiss by a 9-7 count).

Meanwhile, Cassie Johnson’s U.S. squad lost a wacky game to Russia (photo). The Russians had the game in hand until the Yanks scored three in the last end to tie. However, Johnson appeared to run out of time in throwing her last one, but the officials did nothing. Johnson missed numerous opportunities to bury the steal stone in the extra frame, and the Russians didn’t have to throw their last rock. 1-5.

In men’s play, Canada and Great Britain top the standings at 4-1, while no less than five teams have three wins. Can you say tiebreakers?


• there are tons of international curling What is this, anyway? stories floating about, including this from the U.S.; this from a North American writer working for a Greek newspaper; and this other mildly annoying one again from the States (note the shuffleboard reference, again. Grrrr)...

• Why is Canada’s national newspaper running U.S. wire content on the subject of Canada’s national sport (oops, sorry hockey)...

• Nearly 5 million Italians tuned in to see their men’s curling team stun the U.S. the other night. Five million. "Curling had a bigger audience than figure skating," said an Italian ice sports bigwig, who is now frantically trying to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime promotional opportunity. Five million. Bigger numbers than the sensationalized Juventus vs. Inter Milan footy match the same night. More on that in a humourous vein here, which includes a good zinger: There's really no explaining the Italians' sudden fixation with curling. The entire nation has been sent to doping control...

• If they gave out gold medals for Quadrennial Hand-Wringing, Canada would win hands down every single Olympic year. Is this year’s session over yet..?

• Finally... it started first with Rosie DiManno, then good ol' Bill Graveland, and wound it's way to Arizona and then to here and then to there (plus video) and the point is that the calendar story has exploded yet again, and all product is temporarily sold out. Yowza.

Boys on ice now. More later.

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