Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 2 of 2010 Winter Olympics Swish-Whack Awards

Week 2 of 2010 Winter Olympics Swish-Whack Awards


Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

It's week two of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, and I'm giving a second round of Swish-Whack, Take That awards. I created the awards in 2004 to honor America's Mariel Zagunis, who won America's first fencing gold medal in 100 years.

The problem was NBC did such a crappy job of covering Zagunis' historic prize, they only spent 30 seconds on her entire bout. So I give Swish-Whack awards during the Olympics whenever someone does something that deserves attention.

Last week, the first Swish-Whack award of 2010 went to Dutch speed skater, Sven Kramer, who asked an NBC reporter if she was stupid, and refused to answer a question ("If you can say your name and your country and what you just won here").

However, the judges had to confer to discuss whether Kramer should lose his Swish-Whack award, after he won gold in the 10,000 meter, but was then disqualified for an improper lane change. It turns out Kramer's coach, Gerard Kemkers, told him to switch at the wrong time.

"I was on my way to make the right decision and right before the corner I changed my decision because of the advice from (Kemkers)," Kramer told the press. "At the end of the day, it is my responsibility. I am the skater on the ice, I have to do it."

The judges were torn. Do they take away last week's well-earned Swish-Whack for such an amateurish mistake? Or do they give one — grudgingly — to NBC out of a sense of vindication.

After discussing it long into the night with the SWTT Organizing Committee, the judges have decided to let Kramer keep his Swish-Whack, but to award a second one to NBC The two will then share the Swish-Whack awards as double award winners.

The next Swish-Whack goes to American men's figure skater Evan Lysacek, who defeated Russian effete snob, Yevgeny Plushenko for the gold.

"Obviously, Evan needs the medal more than me, maybe because I've got one already," said Plushenko. "I think we need to change the judging system -- a quad is a quad. If an Olympic champion doesn't do a quad, well I don't know. Now it's not men's figure skating, it's dancing."

But Plushenko's little hissy fit didn't stop there. His website awarded him a platinum medal, which was later taken down, and his agent said that Plushenko had nothing to do with the egotistical power pout. The label "Platinum medal" was taken down, although the extra-shiny medal was not.

So, in addition to the gold medal, I'm awarding Lysacek a special rhodium Swish-Whack award for remaining classy and not acting like a pouty little girl, unlike some Russian figure skaters we could name. (Rhodium is more valuable than platinum.)

It's another Olympic first: a Swish-Whack award goes to a pair of pants. The Norwegian men's curling team pants, to be exact. These argyle beauties have raised a lot of eyebrows among the Olympic crowd, but people loved them, including the King of Norway. They even had a Facebook fan page.

That is, until Facebook suspended the page, claiming they violated the site's terms of use, prompting page manager Tony D'Orazio called it a "sad day for pants." However, anger abounded among the argyle activists, so they left comments on the page about the unfairness of it all. So Facebook brought the page back after 2.5 hours later.

So a loud and colorful argyle Swish-Whack Take That! award goes not only to the pants, but to the 470,000+ fans whose loud pants-inspired tirades got Facebook to restore the page to glory.

Finally, another historic Swish-Whack award goes to Americans Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane for taking gold and silver in the men's individual Nordic Combined event, just two days after winning silver in the team event. It was America's first gold in a Nordic sport, and the fourth individual medal in any Nordic sport (cross-country skiing and ski jumping). Spillane's was the fifth.

I'm proud and pleased to give the final Swish-Whack of the 2010 Winter Olympics to Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane for making American Olympic history, and finally winning in a sport that has been dominated by Scandinavian teams ever since the Vikings strapped pieces of a barrel to their feet and went sliding down a mountain.


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1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard about Plushenko's fit. Oh dear.

    As for the pants, though: how could I not notice? I see them in my dreams!

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