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February 9, 2018

Sport Saturday: Naked Tongans, Arsenal, and Georg Hackl

Tempted as this author was to post: 

Sport Saturday is watching the Olympics:  tune in tomorrow... 

Here are today's Sports sampling.

The Olympics, that is the 2018  Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, started Thursday, and have been officially underway since the opening ceremonies yesterday.  This writer must admit to enjoying the parade of athletes.  Winter Olympics bring the added interest of seeing which countries are participating, and this year brings a record number. Seeing what designer clothes the athletes from nations are wearing or not wearing is also interesting. 

As is now tradition, apparently, even for the Winter Olympics, shirtless Tongan Pita Taufatofua stole the show. He was in Rio in 2016 for Taekwondo, and carried the Tonga flag in a national uniform, Coconut Oil, and some sort of grass skirt.  Imagine the surprise of many when this tropical island is entered, this year, in the Winter Olympics.  Pita is back to compete in cross-country skiing, a sport he had never done until after the summer games. Everyone else was bundled up in parkas, but not Pita. The only insulation he needs is coconut oil. The beauty of the Olympics is not just in the sports, apparently. 

Luge hits the track in PyeongChang with the men's singles competition today. Chris Mazdzer, a two-time Olympian from the U.S., hopes to dispatch Felix Loch and a Germany team that took the gold medal in the event at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Austria's Wolfgang Kindl also has high hopes today.  Readers of this space will well remember Germany's George Hackl (also a favourite of our own Rexswimguy)  Georgwho was the only Luger to have won medals at five consecutive Olympics in Singles Luge.  He was last reported as an assistant coach to the German squad, so you might glimpse him on the sidelines. 

Slopestyle begins today in men's snowboarding with Chris Corning and Red Gerard hoping to defend the gold. 

Team USA faces China in mixed doubles curling. China has placed in the last two World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships and should be in fine form today.

The gold medal final in men's ski jumping (individual normal hill) and men's slopestyle qualification in snowboarding is also on tap for today.  Ski jumpers take to the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre hoping to knock off Poland's Kamil Stoch, known to readers of this space, the reigning Olympic gold medal competitor.  Today also features the final in men's Alpine downhill.

In English Premier Leagues Soccer, today features Tottenham vs. Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.  This is not, as it were, the main competition.   Instead, it will be a hard fought competition, as each of these teams hopes to claw its way into the top four of the final standings, become eligible for inclusion in Champions League and other elite European competition.  This match will be a fascinating clash on so many levels and it has the trappings of a six-pointer in terms of the race for a top-four finish. Tottenham have come to feel at home at Wembley but Arsenal, who until last year had been quite comfortable as perennial members of the top four,  have won on each of their previous nine visits to the national stadium.

In the United States, in PGA golf competition, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am third-round play continues on California's Monterey Peninsula. Only the top 60 players (and ties) make the cut for tomorrow's final round. Three venues for this event today include Pebble Beach GL, Monterey Peninsula CC and Spyglass Hill GC.

From soccer, golf to Olympic competitions, all in all, some of us would rather just watch a shirtless Tongan. 


Gabriel said...

Pita is so fine!!

Xersex said...

the first guy is an hero!

Belami fan said...

Je suis candidat pour aller le huiler (PARTOUT) pour la Cérémonie de clôture.

Rex said...

Comme les anciens Grecs, n'est-ce pas Belami fan?