For all the talk of medal counts and national pride, the Olympics are supposed to be about making memories and that often has nothing to do with the competition. Here were some notable story lines that will carry on long after the torch is extinguished in Sochi:Full Story >>
The appeal of the Olympics extends beyond humans, apparently.
In a video posted to YouTube during the Winter Olympics, an adorable cat named Musya can't get enough of a round of luge in Sochi. Musya repeatedly tries to catch the lugers as they come down the ice, to no avail.
If you think about it, for an animal with a short-attention span it doesn't get much better than watching luge on television. The broadcasts consists of a speeding object darting through frame after frame. No wonder Musya is so drawn to this sport.
Perhaps Musya would enjoy the company of George, the golden retriever puppy who loves watching tennis.Full Story >>
American speedskating star Shani Davis may be leaving Sochi without any gold, silver or bronze medals, but that's not to say he's departing empty-handed.
The 31-year-old, a four-time Olympian who won a gold and a silver in both Turin and Vancouver, was part of the U.S. team that lost to Canada in the quarterfinals of the men's team pursuit Friday. When he showed up to speak with reporters, Davis was wearing a medal, but this one was made of chocolate. It was given to him by an admirer as he walked into the media area.
"I got a medal today," Davis joked. "It’s awesome."
— Gary Mihoces (@ByGaryMihoces) February 21, 2014
Although the U.S. salvaged a silver in the men's 5,000-meter relay team event, American men and women came away with a total of zero individual speedskating medals in Sochi, the first time that had happened since 1984. The speedskaters had won at least two medals at each of the previous seven Olympics.
“This is something that’s going to stick with me for a long time," Davis said. "I’m a pretty resilient guy, been through a lot of stuff. This is going to be a tough one to finally get over."
And while the chocolate medal is a cute consolation, it's not even the best edible prize we've seen recently. No, the gold medal of edibles goes to this bacon creation given to snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg.Full Story >>
Even though Filip Flisar didn't win a medal in Sochi, he'll still came away a winner.
That's because the the 26-year-old Slovenian ski racer has perhaps the best facial hair of any competitor in Russia. Flisar has been sporting this handlebar mustache for some time, but it was his Olympic debut this week that brought worldwide attention to his fantastic follicles.
Not gonna lie. I am alittle jealous of Slovenian skicross racer Filip Flisar. He wins "mustache olympics" pic.twitter.com/GDGmKAJR2N
— MARK CURTIS (@mcurtis12news) February 20, 2014
Flisar ate snow in his freestyle ski cross event, but by that time his mustache had already inspired lots of great tweets.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have Winter Olympics Moustache gold right here. Filip Flisar: pic.twitter.com/g2llnsPLNM
— BeardWatch (@SportBeardWatch) February 20, 2014
— Mark Purdy (@MercPurdy) February 20, 2014
— Daniel Petrus (@Daniel_Petrus) February 20, 2014
Twenty years ago the figure skating world was rocked by an attack on one of its most prominent stars, Nancy Kerrigan.
The incident happened at the U.S. national championships, which serve as the Olympic trials, and there was only one camera crew whose cameras were rolling in Detroit's Cobo Arena when Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg by Shane Stant.
The footage belonged to the Chicago-based sports and entertainment company Intersport, which happened to have cameras trailing Kerrigan as part of a special it was filming.
Charlie Besser, who founded Intersport in 1985, immediately told producers to embed an "Intersport" logo into the footage. He then shopped the clip to national news outlets, eventually settling on ABC News because that's who had originally contracted Intersport to film Kerrigan, the eventual Olympic silver medalist that year in Norway.
An excellent feature in Crain's Chicago Business reveals just how much Intersport has profited on the clip in the two decades since the attack. Whenever anyone wants to use the footage they've got to acquire the licensing rights from Intersport. That includes documentaries, news features and any other type of story.
Fees are typically around $10,000 or $15,000 per use (roughly $250 per second), and Besser told Crain's that he has gotten more than a dozen requests in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics.
"When Tonya Harding gets married, we get calls. When Nancy Kerrigan gets married, we get calls. When somebody has a baby or gets divorced in that group, we get calls," Besser said. "It's kind of crazy, but it just keeps going."
Intersport uploaded the below footage of the attack to YouTube last month.
The revenue from the Kerrigan attack footage has netted Intersport a seven-figure sum, but that's a fraction of the company's total revenue. The company makes $100 million a year from various sponsorships, and three years ago the NCAA paid it $17 million for the rights to use the phrase "March Madness," which Besser had trademarked.Full Story >>
Here's one way to spice up curling: Have Sir David Attenborough narrate it.
The award-winning British naturalist and broadcaster, the man behind the famous Life series, lent his voice to a women's curling match. And, as you might imagine, the results are hilarious.
As many of us are accustomed to hearing Attenborough describe the intricacies of nature, it is wonderful to hear him apply his unmistakable tone to the widely misunderstood Olympic sport.
In the clip below from the BBC, Attenborough describes how the "alpha female gently but flamboyantly launches the oversized walnut down the frozen river."
See for yourself:
And in case you're unfamiliar with Attenborough, here he is doing his day job:
The Summer Olympics could be getting a little more extreme.
Thanks to the popularity of new events slopestyle and freeskiing in Sochi, the IOC will consider adding skateboarding and BMX halfpipe and park to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
BMX racing was added to the Summer Olympics in 2008, and it may soon be joined by two other BMX events: Halfpipe and park. IOC Sports Director Christophe Dubi told Sports Business Daily that the organization will take the important step of recognizing the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) by the end of this year.
The ISF was created in 2010 by Camp Woodward President Gary Ream and BMX legend Mat Hoffman and encompasses both sports.
“That is probably the next boost to the sport,” Dubi told Sports Business Daily. “Major events, exposure to the global stage is what will help the sport continue to grow.”
In the first week of the Olympics, NBC cited 54 percent digital growth since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, crediting users' increased ease with cable authentication, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dubi also said global Internet consumption of the Sochi Olympics is surging, with much of the increase due to the popularity of slopestyle and freeskiing among younger generations. Both sports are making their Olympic debut after being a part of the X Games for more than 10 years.
“What I find interesting is (slopestyle) is strong on TV, which is a good thing because it’s (where) our traditional viewers (are), but it’s also good on the internet, which is the younger generation, and these age groups have a big pickup,” Dubi said.
Rumors have been swirling about the IOC including skateboarding, and Tony Hawk, perhaps the most accomplished skateboarder of all time, told TMZ last year that it's about time the sport gets the recognition it deserves.
In addition to skateboarding and BMX halfpipe and park, Dubi mentioned sport climbing as another lifestyle event that the IOC will consider for the 2020 Olympics.Full Story >>
What's better than owning an Olympic medal?
Winning an Olympic medal made out of bacon, of course.
Shortly after winning the Americans' first gold medal of the Sochi Games, 20-year-old snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg sent out the following tweet:
Ahh I wish the Sochi medals were made out of bacon thoooo..!!
— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) February 10, 2014
Kotsenburg also tweeted that one of his first moves upon returning to the United States would be to down some bacon:
“@ChrsGrenier: Back in USA. First thing to do...Eat bacon.” YES!! Me too!
— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) February 11, 2014
Clearly, the young man is a big fan.
And it didn't take long for his wish to become reality. The Pennsylvania meat manufacturer Godshall's, which claims turkey bacon as its flagship product, has made a bacon medal for Kotsenburg.
While the Godshall's creation is turkey bacon, we imagine Kotsenburg will still be pretty "stoked" to hear about it.
"For athletes like Mr. Kotsenburg, [turkey bacon] offers a high protein alternative to pork bacon with all the flavor and is 94 percent fat free,” the company said in a statement. “It is also allergen free, gluten free, and has no MSG."Full Story >>