Once again, the very early morning had women's hockey, and this was an important game -- the U.S. against OAR (Olympic Athletes of Russia). To be clear, this wasn't like playing the old Red Army men's team. And the Russian women's team is young without a great deal of Olympic experience. Still, it's a major rival, and the U.S. team won 5-0. The game was close until Jocelyne Lamoureux happened. She scored the team's second goal in the second period -- and then when I fast-forwarded to get past all the down time until the puck was dropped for the next face off...I realized that I went too far and had to scroll back. That's because the U.S. scored another goal SIX SECONDS after the face off! And better still, it was scored by...Jocelyne Lamoureux, who set a record (men or women) for the fastest two goals by one person in Olympic history! (And yes, it was Jocelyne who scored both -- I say that because she has a twin sister, Monique, on the team).
There are a bunch of different broadcast teams announcing hockey -- for men's and women's, and then the great Doc Emrick will be doing some of the medal games, I believe. But this team doing women's hockey, John Walton and A.J. Mllecko have been very good -- effective play-by-play, informative and personable,
So, do you remember at the start of the Olympics I mentioned my father's observation decades ago about curling? How it only exists as a reason for men to drink bear? Well, after the Canadian mixed doubles team won the goal medal, NBCsports had an interview with the team. The reporter asked how they'd celebrate. Kaitlyn Lawes talked about getting together with her family, having a wonderful gathering and then flying home. Her partner John Morris then replied, "I'm told they have a Molson's THIS high" and he held up his hand at eye level "and they say is 5%, so it's pretty good beer." So, yes, my dad was right. Even at the Olympics level.
The other day I wrote about how NBC was shunting a lot of their featurettes to some of their other programs, so many aren't getting seen during the Olympic broadcasts. In particular, they gave short shrift to the terrific Mary Carillo, whose work I've enthusiastically adored for years, at the last Summer Games, and thus far have done the same this year. I hope that changes. But that got me to thinking of my pal Clare Duffy Swift, who is a terrific producer for NBC News. I first crossed paths with her when she produced -- and starred in -- one of the best sports documentaries I've ever seen, Blood, Sweat and Cookies, a George Plimpton-like show where she trained with the 2010 women's Olympic hockey team. I wrote a high-deserved glowing review of it for the Huffington Post (which you can read here), and as you might imagine she was pleased by it, which brought us in contact. I wish the documentary was available to embed -- it's not, alas, but happily I have a copy -- so you'll just have to take my word for it how joyously great it is.
(Clare Duffy being urged on by U.S. Olylmpian Julie Chu.)
(One of the members of that 2010 team, Erika Lawler, is now an in-studio analyst during women's hockey. She's a spitfire, and her open and honest commentary is fun, though she is new to this and doesn't quit-yet seem fully comfortable with the camera. Hopefully that will come.)
Anyway, this all got me to thinking about two pieces she produced for this Olympics and happily, I can embed them. This first is a terrific featurette on Olympic legend Peggy Fleming.
And this second story is one she did with Tom Brokaw (she works a lot with the Brokaw fellow, who seems to rightly-appreciate her work) that's a more general piece on Korea.
And just as a bonus, here's a link to one more featurette that Tom Brokaw did with Clare that aired this past Sunday on Sunday Today with Willie Giest. It's an extremely nice piece with former Congressman, 90-year-old Pete McCloskey, who fought in the Korean War and you might recall challenged Richard Nixon in the 1972 Republican primaries, running on an anti-war platform. Side note: a few years back, he switched parties and is now a Democrat. You can watch the video here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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