Advertisement
  1. Archive

MORSI PICCOLI (SMALL BITES)

THUMBS UP

Enrico Fabris. Every host country needs a homegrown hero.

THUMBS DOWN

Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick. The United States picks up momentum in its bid to win the Olympic Anti-spirit Award

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"After women, there is soccer. Then comes culture, and then politics. That is the scale of values."

Vittorio Manfredi, Italian citizen, explaining why the country's males care more about soccer than the Olympics

LEARN THE LANGUAGE

"COULD YOU REPEAT?" Portrebbie ripetere (pot-reb-bay ree-patayray)

Q & A

What was the last Winter Games host to fail to win a gold medal?

A. Yugoslavia

B. Canada

C. Japan

Answer: B (1988)

KEEP THOSE E-MAILS COMING

This is how Apolo Ohno does devastation: very calmly.

But though it wasn't obvious to the world at large, the always mellow-looking Ohno says he was indeed devastated when he was knocked out of his first event, short track's 1,500 meters, in the semifinals.

But he got over it, he says, helped by communications from friends in the United States.

"I was getting some stuff from back in Seattle, guys I train with, and it was unbelievable the support I got," he said. "One guy wrote, "You're the man, here and now, breathe and relax.'

"For me to hear that stuff at the Games was very powerful."

You, too, can e-mail Ohno through his Web site, www.apoloantonohno.com:

"For general non-commercial inquiries, please send all requests to: ContactApoloOhnoyahoo.com."

THEY CAN'T HAVE SOME WINE WITH THAT WHINE

So far on the list of complaints about the Olympics are lack of fans, distances between venues, the natives of Turin not being the fun-loving Italians foreigners expected, the official cheerleaders and Turin's general lack of ambiance.

Now to add to the list:

The athletes hate the food being served in the Olympic Village.

It's bland and nutritionally questionable, they say.

"When you eat something, it must taste of something, it must smell of something," said Alexander Kluykov, the physiotherapist to Russian bobsledder Nadezda Orlova.

There aren't enough salad-bar vegetables and high-fiber breads.

"The highlight this week is that they installed a machine for ice cream bars," said U.S. Alpine skier Ted Ligety, who won a gold medal in the combined before the food began to affect him too much.

But village organizers say the athletes are the problem. Their expectations are just too high.

"They're not here to drink champagne and Barolo wine," said deputy venue manager Stefano Possenti.

THEY DON'T WANT TO RIDE THE ZAMBONI

The mostly European crowds at the hockey games don't understand why the North Americans get all excited when the Zamboni machine comes on the ice between periods.

"We are very different people, and we don't accord any high status to these machines, " said Mats Olsson, a Swedish media officer. "I don't know anyone who cares who cleans the ice."

The Italians tend to think that when it comes to worshipping machines, our priorities are wrong.

"We Italians have passion for other machines, and they tend to be red," said Alessandro Tancredi, an export manager in Turin, referring to Ferrari SpA's Formula One race cars.

GO FISH

The next country to have one of its compounds raided could be Russia. Suspicion has been raised about how its delegation got ahold of another controversial, sometimes illegally procured substance: caviar.

A shipment of sturgeon eggs for the delegation's Games-opening party could have breached a trade ban on endangered species, the World Wildlife Fund said. The group has asked Russia to clarify where the caviar came from.

The delegation doesn't know, team spokesman Gennady Shvets said.

"All this started with a private party, where there were bucketloads of caviar organized by one of our sponsors," Shvets said.

"Bucketloads" translates to more than 55 pounds served at the party, which was attend by more than 2,000 people. Also featured: 100 crates of vodka and tea from authentic samovars.

BY THE NUMBERS

23: pages of soccer coverage in Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport (the first 23 of the paper) on one Olympic day

30: page number on which Gazzetta dello Sport started its Olympic coverage that day

110 million dollars: being spent by Canada in athlete development programs to try to ensure a huge medal haul at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement