When Olympic gold medaling nordic
combined skier Billy Demong proposed
to longtime girlfriend and former skeleton athlete Katie Koczynski at the Spyder U.S. Ski Team House in Whistler, his
teammates helped out in a couple of ways.
Apparently, the ring had been burning
a hole in Demong’s ski suit for several
months, and the night of an Olympic gold
medal seemed like a pretty good time to
pop the question. But it took a last-minute thumps-up signal from Johnny Spillane for Demong to grab the microphone.
Then, when an old gymnastics injury on
Koczynski’s finger prevented Demong
from sliding the ring on smoothly, Todd
Lodwick stepped in to help squeeze the
ring onto her finger. We can’t wait to see
who the groomsmen are!
There’s no “I do” in team. Well, maybe there is.
A cut above
When Reed Kildow, Lindsey Vonn’s younger brother, agreed to have “L” and “V” shaved into the
sides of his head before the women’s Olympic downhill race in Whistler, it immediately gave him
flashbacks of his childhood. Apparently, Vonn used to line up her four siblings and give each of
them a unique haircut. “I had a bowl cut,” said Karin Kildow. “It’s basically the reason I didn’t have
friends for two years.” Still, Karin said, Vonn “was always trying.” Karin said that one time Lindsey
shaved Reed’s head bald with shaving cream and a razor, telling him that it would be cool to look
like Michael Jordan. “She was always doing stuff like that,” Karin said. “It’s just Lindsey.”
OUT OF THE GATE
Rah: The Sea Bus — a ferry SR rode nearly every day to reach
the Cypress freestyle venue.
Boo: The zillion other buses SR took in Whistler and Vancouver
Rah: The “Alpine Climb,” an 800-meter, 150-calorie burning
uphill walk at Whistler Creekside where spectators were pushed
on by pom-pom wielding cheerleaders, “The Eye of the Tiger,”
and tattoos at the “finish line” at the alpine audience area.
Boo: The Cypress Climb (below): 200 steps to see the freestyle
events, and more if you had high bleacher seats. Still, it beat
being one of the 4,000 standing-room ticketholders for the ski
cross and halfpipe events, who were shut out when hay bails
began giving way.
Olympic Cheers and Jeers
Rah: The Smurfs — the 25,000-strong, turquoise-clad volunteer
squad that kept smiling and kept us smiling.
Boo: The serfs who toiled away sight unseen, crunching numbers. (We missed you, Hank.)
Rah: Getting to hold the gold medal.
Boo: Having to hold an umbrella at women’s moguls.
The Games by the Numbers
3. 5 billion
3. 3 million
people who watched on TV
pairs of those darn red mittens sold
Facebook fans for Vancouver 2010
green sequins used in Opening and Closing Ceremonies
appearances by mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi
bus rides Ski Racing associate editor Eric Williams took
medals by Team USA
the February date declared Hannah Kearney Day by Vermont
governor Jim Douglas
the ounces in pints special “Warhorse” beer served at Lake
Placid’s Cottage Café in honor of Andrew Weibrecht
tons of cheese consumed at the Swiss House in Whistler
medals won by an Austrian male alpine skier
DOUG HANE Y; SHAUNA FARNELL; ERIC WILLIAMS
Rah: The sun!
Boo: The rain, fog, snow and sleet.
Rah: The Olympic pinheads who collected and exchange pins
around Vancouver. (Check out the video.)
Boo: The Olympic pinheads who collected an arm and a leg in
exchange for Internet service.
Rah: NBC’s Vancouver 2010 iPhone App.
Boo: NBC coverage of ski racing (or lack thereof).
Rah: The services at the Main Press Center: an office-supply
store, bank, McDonald’s, bar, full-service coffee shop and…drum-
roll, please…a complimentary massage service.
Boo: The sounds at the Main Press Center: distracting sea
planes, boats and notes of “Oh Canada.” (OK, we liked the sea
planes.) And the constant smell of French fries.