Saturday, December 20, 2008
Short Track Speed Skating Nationals in STL
These images are from the men's 500 m B and A finals today at the Short Track Speed Skating Nats. We paid a whopping $5 to see the best men and women short track speedskaters in the country race. It was fun to walk right in and see a final featuring Apolo Anton Ohno. He ended up 3rd, after crashing out not once, but twice. They restarted the race after AO took out two other guys on the third lap of the first race. After much deliberation, the officials did not disqualify him and allowed him to start again. AAO led after the second lap and then fell again about 20 m from the finish on the straight away, taking out another dude with him. Not a good day for AAO. The AD and I both think he should have been DQ'd after the first crash. Someone in the lobby of the rink was showing a nice high definition replay of the first crash and you could clearly see AAO grab the arm of the guy next to him and take him down.
Of course, there is very little local media coverage of this national championship event. Reminds me of a weightlifting nationals, only there are a few more people in the stands and it isn't being held in some dank hotel ballroom. Same volunteer officials with their blue blazers on doing all the work. Very talented athletes toiling in anonymity, with some serious glutes and quads packed in their high-tech uniforms. Mostly families and friends cheering them on.