The Olympics Sap-o-Meter finds redemption.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter finds redemption.

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter finds redemption.

Scenes from the Olympics.
Feb. 16 2010 10:46 AM

The Olympics Sap-o-Meter

The Sap-o-Meter finds redemption.

A come-from-behind gold medal for American snowboarder Seth Wescott and the figure-skating romance of China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo dominated Monday's Olympic telecast. On a night when love was in the air, NBC's middling score of 44 Sap Points reflects the fact that love—and beloved and propose and wedding—aren't on the Sap-o-Meter's radar.

While plenty of moms (three) and mothers (four) were on hand, proud topped the Sap-o-Meter podium with seven mentions—an out-of-nowhere victory after several nights of minimal usage. NBC's pride swelled most during a feature on Canadian moguls gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau, whose older brother has cerebral palsy. "I just want to tell you I'm so happy and so proud of you," Bilodeau recalled his big bro telling him after a disappointing Turin Games. Four years later, the skier would redeem himself with Canada's first gold at a home Olympics. (A data point to suggest Olympics sap extends beyond America's borders: The Bilodeau feature was provided to NBC by Canada's CTV.)

Advertisement

On this night, it wasn't just NBC that found redemption everywhere it looked. Back in 2008, the Sap-o-Meter made a grave oversight in omitting redemption from its list of the 33 sappiest words in the Olympics. This time around, the Sap-o-Meter made the same inexcusable mistake. But, as NBC always tell us, it's never too late to find redemption—we've revised our word list, cutting patriotic and adding in redemption. There have been nine mentions of the word so far during the Vancouver Games, including two on Monday night.

It's only right that redemption make its debut in our Sappiest Line of the Day, which came during NBC's snowboard cross coverage. "Nate Holland, you remember back at the Torino Olympics, disappointing 14th place finish," analyst Todd Richards said, setting up the event's final race. "I think the eyes of redemption say it all." (Emphasis on sap words is ours.)

Previous Sap-o-Meter entries:

Become a fan of Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Josh Levin is Slate’s editorial director.

Jenny Rogers is a Slate intern.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.