Olympic Trivia Feburary 21

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2002

TV listings for Thursday, Feb. 21

All times EST

MSNBC 1-7 p.m. -- Ice hockey, women: bronze medal game. Curling, women: bronze, gold medal games.

NBC 4-5- p.m. -- Cross country: women's 4 x 5-K relay.

CNBC 7-10 p.m. -- Hockey, women: Gold medal game, U.S. vs. Canada (conclusion on NBC).

NBC 8 p.m.-midnight -- Figure skating: ladies long program. Hockey, women: Gold medal game, U.S. vs. Canada (conclusion). Alpine skiing: men's giant slalom. Nordic combined: K120 ski jumping.

Today's Olympic lesson

Technology, particularly in equipment manufacturing, plays a major part in giving Olympic athletes a competitive edge.

Equipment worn by the athlete is built for speed (eliminating turbulence) and has breathable panels for ventilation and stretch fabric that helps air flow. Snowboarders ride boards made out of iridium, which carries heat away from the bottom of the board, keeping the snow from melting and decreasing speed. Skiers apply secret mixtures of wax and ingredients to their skis to make them as fast as possible.

Scientists and physicists have been studying the snow in the mountains about Salt Lake to try to figure out the best combination of wax and ski design for the fastest times. Skis are made by stone grinding and some teams won't even tell you which city their grinding is done.

A speedskater's suit, or body glove, is made of six different fabrics. Each biathlon skier brings at least a dozen pairs of skis, each designed for different kinds of snow. The team also has a "wax technician" to figure out which mixture will cause the greatest speed. If that's not enough, biathlon and cross country teams have a central computer that relays the distance between each competitor to coaches, who have laptops, along the route. That way, they can advise skiers of strategy.

Neat to know

Going into tonight, the six U.S. women who have won Olympic gold medals in figure skating have all been born in a month that begins with J.

Watching the U.S. defense

Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense, was a guest at Tuesday's semifinal hockey game between the United States women and Sweden. He had a special seat at the E Center beside Milt Romney, head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Rumsfeld saw some good defense. The U.S. allowed only 10 shots in shutting out Sweden 4-0.

Competing with diabetes

Kris Freeman, a 21-year-old cross-country skier from New Hamsphire, is one of about 700,000 Americans with insulin-dependent diabetes, also known as Type 1 diabetes. He is proof of what can be accomplished with proper diet, medication and, yes, good old fashioned training.

"I actually started to feel better," he said of the treatment that began after a routine blood test two years ago, "even though I didn't feel like anything was wrong to begin with."

The Osmonds

Donny Osmond has been seen, taking in some of the Games. And he gave a British journalist a tour of Salt Lake City before the Olympics. In a BBC video clip of the limo ride, one can here a familiar tune playing in the background: "Puppy Love." Also the clip features Donny saying that "deep down inside, I'd love to try (skeleton)."

Dave and Oprah

These may be NBC's Games, but apparently there were some CBS viewers in the crowd at the men's freestyle aerials. One group of fans waved a giant sign that said, "Oprah: Call Dave" _ a reference to David Letterman's crusade to get on "Oprah."

Pop quiz

In the context of the Olympics, what are Canadian bacon, chicken salad, roast beef, egg plant and pop tart? (Yesterday's answer: Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, site of the opening and closing ceremony, is the athletic stadium used by the University of Utah).

Story time

Todd Hays is the driver of America's best boblsleigh team. A Texan, he was a national kickboxing champ in 1994 who suddenly got interested in bobsleigh. To raise money to buy his first sled, he entered the 1995 Ultimate Fighting Championship in Japan and defeated popular wrestler Koichiro Kimura. He won $10,000, enough to buy a sled.

Just a kid

Kim Martin, Sweden's goalie who had 28 saves in a 4-0 loss to the U.S. women's hockey team Tuesday, is 15 years old.

Name game

Name the country by its Olympic initial? UKR (Yesterday's answer: CYP is Cypress).



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