Olympics odds, ends & trends: Mr. T the curling fan, Chris Corning the ‘Human Cuisinart,’ and Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets to ride in a bobsled after all
February 24, 2018
In today's final installment of the Summit Daily's Olympic odds, ends & trends series: Mr. T stakes his claim as the biggest U.S. curling fan on planet Earth, Chris Corning's awe-inspiring attempt at a quadruple-cork 1800 is compared to an electric food processor, Red Gerard and Kyle Mack meet Ivanka Trump (kind of) and, after months of planning, Dale Earnhardt Jr. trips to South Korea to finally check out a bobsled:
Summit stat: 12
The number of tweets and replies sent out by movie star "Mr. T," between Friday morning and Saturday evening, about the U.S. men's curling team. The 65-year-old American actor and retired professional wrestler Mr. T — born Lawrence Tureaud — coined a new hashtag during his fevered fanhood for curling during the Olympics: #CurlingIsCoolFool.
Mr. T's curling-related tweets included:
"I am sitting on my comfortable couch with a ice tea in my hand. That means only one thing — it's curling time fool."
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"I predict PAIN for Sweden and victory for the USA! Yeah that's what i'm talking about. We're in it to win it fool!"
The Summit Daily pities the fool who didn't believe Mr. T's mere presence as a newfound rabid curling fan would inspire Team USA to its first-ever men's curling Olympic gold medal. The team of John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and Joe Polo defeated Sweden for the landmark gold. And, obviously, it only came after Mr. T himself phoned them in the pre-game locker room to deliver a pep talk.
"I'm your biggest fan," Mr. T told the assembled team during the pep talk.
Red, meet Ivanka. Ivanka, meet Kyle
During the online broadcast of the men's snowboard big air final on Friday evening (MST), the NBC online broadcast producers provided quite the visual experience for American viewers — especially political and reality TV show wonks — here at home.
After slopestyle gold medalist Red Gerard of Silverthorne completed one of his finals runs, the broadcast video image cut from the 17-year-old Gerard to a smiling and clapping lady in the crowd: Ivanka Trump.
Then it cut back to Gerard. Then it cut back to Trump.
The 17-year-old sudden Olympic superstar Gerard may have been unaware that the president's daughter was there cheering him and his teammates on.
But his good friend and fellow Olympic snowboard teammate Kyle Mack was certainly aware of the president’s daughter’s presence. In the wake of his thrilling silver medal win in the big air competition, the 20-year-old Silverthorne resident and Michigan native Mack asked Trump for one simple favor.
“Can I catch a ride back to the states on Air Force One??” Mack tweeted to Trump after she sent out a tweet congratulating his silver medal performance.
Can I catch a ride back to the states on Air Force One?? https://t.co/ngiKbzmJjx
— Kyle Mack (@_KyleMack) February 24, 2018
All that said, whatever Gerard and Mack’s politics actually are, it'll probably be neat for the young Summit County snowboarders to be able to tell each other years from now: "Remember that one time at the Olympics when the president's daughter cheered for us?"
Corning the… Cuisinart?
Chris Corning's fearless attempt at the groundbreaking quadruple-cork 1800 on his final jump of the men's Olympic big air contest on Friday evening was so jolting that it elicited the following comment from broadcast analyst Todd Richards:
"Watch the amount of whirling," Richards said. "The kid is like a human Cuisinart."
A Cuisinart? It's an electronic food processor known for its blindingly fast chopping and grinding blades.
We suppose Corning is supposed to take the comment as a compliment. That said, the good news for Richards is the 18-year-old is actually an avid cook who just this past Christmas asked not for any snowboard gear from his parents Laura and Brook as a gift. Rather, he asked for specialty Japanese cooking knives.
Dale Jr. takes to the track — the ice track, that is
For months, U.S. bobsled pilot and casual stock car racer Nick Cunningham interacted with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. about giving bobsled a try. On Friday at the Pyeongchang Olympics, Cunningham finally got his wish. The recently retired stock car racer Earnhardt Jr. tripped to the Pyeongchang Olympic sliding course before the games closed and before Cunningham and his four-man bobsled teammates competed for the last time at these Olympics.
Cunningham and his teammates — who finished in 13th place of 20 four-man bobsled teams — broke down the similarities and differences to Earnhardt Jr. between their full-throttle sport of bobsled versus his all-engines-go pastime of stock car racing.
"When you're taking a run, how do you know it's a good run?" Earnhardt Jr. — in an NBC Sports video — asked Cunningham's team.
"I'll just break it down easy," American bobsledder Justin Olsen said. "Straight is good and sideways is bad."
"Sideways is bad?" Earnhardt Jr. replied with a laugh. "That's the same thing in NASCAR, too."
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