Olympic Trivia - February 19

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2002

TV listings

All times EST

NBC 4-5 p.m. -- Cross country: men's and women's 1.5-K sprint (qualifying).

NBC 8-11:30 p.m. -- Figure skating: women's short program. Bobsled: women's final. Freestyle skiing: men's aerials final. Speed skating: men's 1,500.

MSNBC 1 -6 p.m. -- Hockey, women: Semifinal, USA vs. Sweden.

CNBC 6-9 p.m. -- Hockey, women: Semifinal,Canada vs. Finland.

Today's Olympic lesson

The third Olympic mascot is Coal the black bear, which represents the Olympic ideal of "stronger."

Coal is so-named of another natural mineral resource in the west.

According to Native American legend, the black bear was always the strongest creature in the woods and you didn't mess with it.

The black bear has 42 teeth a keen sense of smell and poor eyesight. The black bear can be an eating machine, consuming 45 pounds of food a day and he's not too picky. Native Americans referred to the beast as a cousin because it could stand on its hind legs.

Neat to know

NBC, which is televising the Olympics, has amassed the following to feed its 3,149 employees for the Olympics: 4 tons of bacon, 4.2 tons of poultry, 7.3 tons of beef, 3,400 pounds of broccoli, 32,000 apples, 34,000 oranges and 130,000 eggs.

Pop quiz

What is the previous record number of medals the United States has won in a Winter Olympics? (Yesterday's answer: The best performance by athletes from a snowless country was when the Jamaican bobsled team finished 14th out of 30 teams in 1994 at Lillehammer, Norway).

Story time

Rudolph Lochner, a bobsledder from Germany, was known for his motto, "Smoke openly, train secretly." He was a slick operator and chain smoker. At the 1989 world championships, a secruity guard caught him one night scraping ice off the corner of the course. He was still allowed to compete and was part of the winning four-man team.

Analyzing the jump

A research group with the International Olympic Committee has fixed seven cameras in various positions near the takeoff table on the ski jump hills at the Winter Olympics.

A team of researchers will analyze photographers of the various jumping styles and turned them into computer programs. Much of their work is similar to surveyors, plotting different points and positions.

The goal is to get a clear technical picture of the perfect takeoff in ski jumping.

The results of the project will by be published by three universities that specialize in biomechanics of sport: The University of Salzburg (Austria), the University of Jvaeskylae (Finland), and the University of Koeln (Germany). Note all of these are in top ski jumping countries.

The slow bus

To help transport fans at mountain venues, busses have been brought in to Salt Lake from Rocky Mountain National Park. These busses, which are small city busses, are built for going up and down steep grades.

They can't go more than 50 miles per hour. So, it will be a slow trip when workers have to drive them back to Colorado.

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