Olympic 'boarders get dose of reality on MTV
|Kimiko Zakreski of Calgary struts her stuff.|
They must have figured there’d be plenty of personalities (read characters), not to mention drama. Judging from the premier episode of Summer Sessions featuring the Canadian snowboard team – premiering Thursday on MTV at 10 p.m. ET/PT – they appear to be on to something.
It was a smart move by Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium to commission something like to this to give the public more of a feel for some of the athletes they’ll be cheering for at the 2010 Games.
The athletes and coaches know the cameras are rolling, so you definitely gotta wonder how much is reality and how much is just plain staged – it certainly does seem forced at times. But it does give one a feel for what they’re going through as tensions mount as the Games get closer.
You get to see tearful veteran boarder Alexa Loo of Richmond, B.C., after she learns her Sport Canada funding has just been axed, as well as the shenanigans and attititude of bad boys Michael Lambert and Simon Bonefant (these dudes definitely love the camera).
Dominique Vallée extols the virtues of her new discovery, “woga,” where “you reach for your glass of wine and it’s always with your heart first.” (Something like that could catch on as an Olympic sport!)
Coach Mark Fawcett plays the heavy, taking on a Bull Meecham-type attitude, with his shaved pate, perpetual scowl and desire to run the training camp as a more of a boot camp. He continually criticizes the boarders for being too soft.
“You’re pussies,” Fawcett tells them.
Fawcett recalls how tough it was when he was a competitor and he had to sleep in the back of trucks. He doesn’t mention how he also used to sell cookies to fund himself (Might be bad for his hard-ass image if they know he can bake.)
This is the prequel to a half-hour series, Over The Bolts, which will air on MTV in 2009.
O is for Obama. O is for Olympics …
There’s a growing feeling in many quarters that President-elect Barack Obama could be the man to put Chicago over the top in their bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics against competitors Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
As longtime Olympic watcher Philip Hersh notes in his column, not only will Obama be a powerful ally for the bid, but McCain would have been a liability because he is not well-liked by IOC types because of his tough questioning of them during the Senate Commerce Committee hearings that followed the Salt Lake bribery scandal.
As one Chicago resident told a local CBS affiliate: "I think instead of having Michael Jordan and Oprah representing Chicago, we now have the president of the United States representing Chicago and I think we have a good shot now."
Patrick Ryan, the head of the Chicago 2016 bid, certainly thinks their chances have improved.
The spokespeople for the Tokyo bid are also quickly backtracking from comments that bid members have made that they’re worried about the Obama factor.