Lowlights of the Lillehammer Olympics
Lowlights of the Lillehammer Olympics -- We award gold, silver, and bronze medals to the best blunders of the winter games
Let’s face it: For all the majesty of Norway and the grandeur of the Games, there were times when the Winter Olympics looked less like a convergence of A-list athletes than a Scandinavian episode of TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Many of the ice follies went without medals — until now.
The Free Verse Competition Gold: Announcer Verne Lundquist said of Nancy Kerrigan’s mother, ”[She] is legally blind, but she can sense beauty.” Silver: Hockey announcer Mike Emrick philosophized, ”Life is timing. Hockey is life.” Bronze: At the Games’ close, Greg Gumbel read from the Viking scripture ”Words From the High One.”
The Microphone Relay Gold: Connie Chung and Tonya Harding danced a media duet as intricate as any Torvill and Dean routine. Silver: After skater Mandy Woetzel cut her chin, a cameraman tried to follow her into a private room. Hey, this isn’t Rescue 911! Bronze: When Dan Jansen slipped in the 500 meters, CBS’ Michael Barkann dogged coach Peter Mueller to ask if the ice was ”slippery in the corners.” (Mueller’s retort: ”Ice is always slippery.”)
The Downhill Sportsmanship Competition Gold: When gold-winning skater Oksana Baiul left the rink to put on more makeup before the medal ceremony, ice princess Kerrigan snapped: ”Come on. So she’s gonna get out here and cry again? What’s the difference?” Silver: Kerrigan was asked to compare her performance with Baiul’s and griped, ”I saw a replay of her two-footed triple jumps I think flawless always looks better.” Bronze: After Harding’s skate-lace trouble, Kerrigan observed that her rival was ”bending all kinds of rules.”
The Announcers’ Technical Demerit Competition Gold: Pat O’Brien for his faux-hip blazers-and-jeans combos, and for hugging two trolls. Silver: Jim Nantz announced AJ Kitt had won the downhill. (The winner was Tommy Moe.) Bronze: Gumbel’s hair. Was that a bobsled helmet?