The Olympics Sap-o-Meter
Pride and tears at the skating rink.
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, at 7:43 AM
Check out Slate's complete coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Tuesday night on NBC, it was redemption vs. redemption. In one corner: American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, who had "the ultimate chance for redemption" after her famed wipeout four years ago. On the other side was Canada's Maelle Ricker, who had to be carried off the course after crashing during the Turin Games—yes, she too had "a chance for redemption."
In the end, it was Ricker who'd be redeemed by taking the gold in women's snowboard cross. Jacobellis, meanwhile, went off the course and was disqualified—a disappointing outcome for her, but a merciful one for those craving a redemption reduction in NBC's coverage. Tuesday's final tally: a could-have-been-worse four redemptions and an overall total of 39 Sap Points.
Mom continued her strong Vancouver presence with seven mentions, including maternal appearances at the snowboard cross course, the luge track, and the skating rink. Proud (five) also had a strong showing during the men's figure skating short program. The always-effusive Dick Button, for one, said he was proud of American skater Evan Lysacek, who finished a strong second to Evgeni Plushenko. "He was a sportsman tonight, as well as being a wonderful skater," Button told Bob Costas. "I'm just very proud of the fact that he was able to pull that off."
The Sappiest Line of the Day, though, belongs to NBC's Andrea Joyce, who seemed on the verge of pulling out a hankie during her post-skate interview with Lysacek. "Were those tears that were coming to your eyes—were those from relief?" she asked. Lysacek's response: "A lot of my friends and family are here cheering me on. … So, you know, number one make them proud." (Emphasis on sap words is ours.)
Previous Sap-o-Meter entries:
Monday, Feb. 15: Slate's scorecard of NBC sentimentality makes an emotional return.
Tuesday, Feb. 16: The Sap-o-Meter finds redemption.