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Woody Paige: Let's enjoy Colorado Kids in Korea, allowing for time change

February 13, 2018 Updated: February 14, 2018 at 10:29 am
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United States Olympic Winter Games figure skating pairs Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim pose for a portrait at the 2017 Team USA Media Summit Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Park City, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Am I the only person here who turns on the Winter Olympics every night, and all I seem to see is Sweden vs. China in mixed doubles curling?

Curling is an amalgamation of bocce ball, shuffleboard on ice and sweeping out the garage.

Before members of The Broadmoor Curling Club send a barrage of venomous emails, I was the only sports columnist in the entire world to cover the opening day of curling as a demonstration sport at Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France, in 1992. Don't ask. Just two of us traveled on the one media bus that made the treacherous, twisting mountain ride from Albertville, and the other guy was a Canadian competitor's brother.

It takes stones to curl.

But I don't want to watch curling or crocheting for hours.

I can't figure out the TV schedule of events, or the time in South Korea. (Is it tomorrow night or yesterday morning?) That's an awkward admission for someone who has attended a dozen Winter and Summer Olympics from Japan to Spain, Norway to Australia, Atlanta to Athens. I played blackjack with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley at the Casino de Monte Carlo (where The Dream Team was in pre-Olympic "training camp'' - wink, wink), viewed track and field on a 12-inch black-and-white TV in a pub in The Aussie Outback (where "Mad Max'' was filmed), flew over the Games in the Goodyear Blimp in Lillehammer, Norway, sat on a castle wall high above Albertville during the closing ceremony and got hammered on Chateau Montrose, had a snowball fight with RPK-toting security guards in Sarajevo, and was condemned by the head of The Church of Latter-Day Saints from the Temple pulpit in Salt Lake City.

Alone on my living room sofa in front of the flat screen is a calmer spot for the Olympics.

However, I have yet to witness an American medal accomplishment "plausibly live'', as networks term tape delay. I did watch cross-country skiing, which, in Switzerland, is a trip to the grocery. But I missed OUR luger winning a silver medal. First time I was at a luge venue, I thought the most important aspect of the sport was hanging on - because if you reach the bottom of the track, you'll be within two seconds of the world record.

What's going on in Pyeongchang (not to be confused with P.F. Chang's, as a Chicago TV station did) for Team USA, and especially the athletes with a Colorado connection, is rather amazing (I hear).

Colorado has more entrants (35, give or take depending on various connections) than any other state and a majority of the other 91 countries.

Thirty-three athletes - hailing from Telluride, Crested Butte, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Denver, Silverthorne, Eagle, Vail, Norwood, Pueblo West and Colorado Springs - are representing Rocky Mountain High.

Vail's Sarah Schleper, 38, was on the American ski team for four Olympics, but is now on the Mexican team. Mike Testwuide, also from Vail, was captain and leading scorer for the Colorado College hockey team in 2010. He then played in the Flyers' minor-league system before eventually migrating to South Korea. He plays on the Korean national team.

Already, five Colorado-associated athletes have been awarded medals, and several more will be medalists. How about a celebration in the Springs for all when they return?

PYEONGCHANG 2018 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES
Seventeen-year-old Red Gerard comes in for a clean landing on the final jump of his gold medal run in the Olympic Mens Snowboard Slopestyle event Sunday, February 11, 2018 at Phoenix Snow Park at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. Photo by Mark Reis, ZUMA Press/The Gazette 

Red Gerard became the first U.S. gold medalist - and the youngest ever at 17 in snowboarding - in slopestyle. Gerard is from Silverthorne (which changed its name for a day to Goldthorne). Arielle Gold of Steamboat Springs took the bronze in the women's halfpipe.

The other three medalists did Colorado Springs proud. In the figure skating team event, Mirai Nagasu pulled off a perfect triple axel to lead the U.S. to bronze. Nagasu, who is from California, moved to Colorado Springs in 2015 to train with local coaches and attend the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Two other skaters who live and train in the Springs also were important members of that full-medal jacket team. Husband and wife Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca Knierim, whom I recently profiled in The Gazette, are vying in the pairs event, too, as the only American couple.

Vail skiers Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning gold medalist in slalom (with the possibility of winning three medals), and Lindsey Vonn, former gold medalist the downhill, are still to come, along with the others from The Olympic State.

Now, if we can comprehend the TV schedule, let's enjoy Colorado Kids in Korea.

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