Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Little Olympics, A Little Princeton

TigerBlog long ago realized that he was older than any athlete he was going to see on TV.

Does he really have to be more than 20 years older than two American gold medal winners combined though?

What's with the 17 year olds and the snowboard events at the Olympics? First it was Red Gerard in snowslope, and then it was Chloe Kim in the halfpipe.

They're both 17. Winning Olympic gold medals. At least Jamie Anderson, who also has won a gold medal in snowboarding, is 27. And Kelly Clark, who finished fourth, is 34. Of course that's an age TB hasn't seen in forever either, but it's better than 17.

Oh, and Clark? She actually has won a gold and two bronzes in the event. The first time? That was her gold, back in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, when she was just 18.

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are purring along. TigerBlog isn't as into them as he is the Summer Games, and maybe it's because he never knows what time it is in South Korea, so it messes with whether or not events are live. Or maybe it's because he's not the biggest fan of figure skating or the extreme-type events.

He doesn't mind the figure skating, but it's so clear that it's what drives ratings at the Winter Games and NBC is going to milk every cent it can out of the sport. That's why there's a team event now.

One thing TB will say is that the commentators for the figure skating are really good, especially Tanith White.

TB isn't a big fan of sports that are judged. He prefers events where there is a clear winner, achieved without having any judges have to offer what human nature dictates will be scores that are at the very least influenced by the reputation of the competitors.

The cross country skiing just looks brutal, but he found an event yesterday that he really liked - the cross country sprint. It took a little more than three minutes to do, and the finishes were often decided by a fraction of the length of a ski.

TB also likes the alpine skiing. And the bobsled and luge.

And hockey. He'd like the hockey more if Kelsey Koelzer was on the U.S. team, but maybe that'll be the case four years from now.

Koelzer, who graduated from Princeton a year ago, won the hardest shot contest and then added the MVP award at the National Women's Hockey League all-star game. Koelzer had four goals in the game; TB would love to see her in a Team USA jersey four years from now.

That's one note that TB wanted to pass along from last weekend. He also wanted to mention the women's tennis team, who won the ECAC tournament at Jadwin Gym this past weekend.

It was the first ECAC championship for Princeton. It wouldn't be as noteworthy were it not for the fact that the eight-team field consisted of the eight Ivy League schools, and Princeton stamped itself as something of a favorite with its wins over Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth.

Its win earlier against then No. 12 Auburn also was attention-getting. This is shaping up as a nice year for the Tigers.

Princeton is back in Jadwin Gym this weekend, hosting Xavier Saturday and Kentucky Sunday. Maybe those schools will have such a good experience this weekend that they'll tell their men's basketball teams all about it and tell them to try it themselves?

Now that Princeton has had a good start against Ivy League teams (remember, league matches won't start until March 31), the Tigers are going to turn their attention to the Big 10. Beginning a week from today, Princeton will host, in order, Rutgers, Indiana, Maryland and Penn State, four Big 10 schools, in a 10-day span.

A little more in keeping with the winter season, the Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships begin today at Harvard. The event will run through Saturday.

If the recent H-Y-P meet at Harvard is an indication, Princeton isn't going to be a pushover in the Ivy meet.

The men's Ivy League championships will be held a week later, which means they start a week from today. That event will be held at DeNunzio Pool.

Also next weekend will be the Ivy League Heptagonal track and field championships, which will be held at Dartmouth. The winter season is winding down.

Oh, and last night? It was Princeton 60, Penn 40 in women's basketball. TigerBlog will have more on that before the weekend comes around.

For now, he'll just say that it was a really impressive performance by a team that has been impressive all season.

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