2014 Olympic Recap

My thoughts about this year's Winter Olympics. They are not in order.


  • The USA/Russia game. That was such a crazy game to watch. I had gone with a friend (Hi Matt!) to the bar at the Panther's practice rink to watch the game - as I knew they would be playing the game, and serving booze at the 7:30am start time. The whole bar got really into the game. The other people watching the game started off as strangers, and by the end of the game they were new friends.  (Hi Mundo! Hi Steve!) We went out for celebratory drinks after.
  • Oshie. Just because he deserves his own bullet point. Clutch hockey player, class act, and adorable. LOVE HIM.
  • Disappointed that Team USA didn't medal. And kind of pissed, too.
  • I really enjoyed the larger sized rink. It really enables players to "do their thing." Less boards, more hockey. I could see the NHL eventually adopting the larger rink size.

I love the Winter Olympics. I can't wait for 2018. But South Korea?!?!

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Miracle

This post is written by Mr. P.

“…11 seconds, you've got 10 seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles?! YES!”

Perhaps the most famous TV sports words in history were screamed out by Al Michael’s, ABC TV’s ice hockey play-by-play man, during the closing seconds of the USA-USSR hockey game in the semi-final round of the 1980 winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY. Remarkably, this was only his 2nd first being a game between the USSR and Czechoslovakia in the ’72 Winter games in Sapporo, Japan. He got the assignment because he was the only person on ABC’s staff that had ever called a game before! And after the USA-USSR game, he remained in the booth to call the Sweden-Finland semi-final game shortly thereafter just as my wife Shelly and I remained in the arena to watch that game. More on that in a bit…

It only seems fitting that on the eve of tomorrow’s (Saturday) ice hockey game between Russia and the USA that I share with you what it was like to be in Lake Placid for the Olympics that year, and especially the memories of that last weekend of ice hockey. We spent the final week of competition in Lake Placid and came back with memories forever imbedded in our hearts and souls. There were so many amazing performances that year and it wasn’t just from the ice hockey Gold medal.

Eric Heiden of the USA won an unprecedented 5 Golds in speed skating and despite his sudden thrust to fame, could not get a ticket for the USA-Russian game. He ended up in the arena standing behind the announcers on a small platform in the corner of the rink. Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark was the men’s alpine skiing icon with two golds and Hanni Wenzel took two golds and a silver in women’s alpine skiing for her country, Liechenstein. It seemed as if each day brought us a new record performance or brilliant comeback and the village had a certain buzz about it that is reserved only for events that are truly special.

The first thing we noticed upon our arrival to the little village was the colors! It was rainbow of red, blue, white, yellow, green, and black parkas, sweaters, and ski jackets as far as the eye could see. What was pretty cool was that in 1980, we did not have security threats like today and the athletes mingled with the fans as if one. Every place you went to eat or have a drink, you might end up sitting next to some Swedish hockey players or Norwegian skiers, both male and female. Many of the athletes stayed for the duration of the Olympics rather than to return home after their event and many of these same athletes partied hard taking the spirit of the Games to new levels! There was multi-language singing, dancing, and laughter into the late evening every night. Strangers walked arm–in-arm sharing world class camaraderie and the feeling of joy enveloped the town for two full weeks!

We had purchased our tickets 6 months in advance on the day they went on sale. I was familiar with the USA men’s ice hockey program and roster and felt that they had a chance to be in the Final 4, and that if they held up their end, they would meet the almighty USSR team in a semi-final game on Friday night. Our tickets arrived to us in the mail and we had seats for the Friday night, 830pm game, 10 rows up from the ice near center ice. Pretty close to perfect seating!

The Russians blew through their competition to easily reach the Final 4. When the USA team tied Sweden in the last minute of their first game, then beat the Czechs, things were looking very promising for the USA to hold up their end. In 1980, there were no Russian players in the NHL. Their top 20 players played for their national team and their Stanley Cup was the World Championships held every spring. Every fourth year, they got to flex their muscle in the Olympics as well. With a roster stacked with future Hockey Hall of Famers including the best goalie in the world, Vladislav Tretiak, the Russians appeared unbeatable.

                                                                       Vladislav Tretiak

                                                                       Vladislav Tretiak

In fact, the week before the Games, they played Team USA in NYC and hammered them 10-3. Nobody gave us a chance including probably our own players, as our team was comprised mostly of recent college grads or college kids with no pro experience and an average age of 21. When we finally beat West Germany 4-2 in the last preliminary round game, we clinched a spot in the Final 4 vs. USSR. Game on!

Shelly and I were thrilled to be holding a pair of center ice tickets for this game. People were getting up to $1000 a seat on the street for a ticket. But then we were thrown for a loop…it turns out the 8:30pm game was going to be the Sweden-Finland semi instead of USA-USSR. American politicians pleaded with the Russians to swap times with Sweden-Finland so it could be broadcasted in “prime time” here in the US, but the Russians were not our best friends back then and refused. It was to be played at 5:30pm…arrrggghhh….fortunately, I had a cousin who worked for ABC up there and he was able to get us into the arena for the game and we got to view it from the control room where the director was watching 20- something monitors from cameras inside the building right next to the ice. So we did get to watch the game live in the building.

As the game went on and we tied it at 3-3 in the 3rd period, the noise built to a deafening roar. When Mike Eruzione scored with 10 minutes to go, the anticipation and noise level was off the charts! For the game, the Russians outshot the USA 39 to 16 and it seemed as if most of those shots came in the last few minutes. Our goalie, Jim Craig, made one acrobatic save after another while our players sacrificed their bodies to block as many shots as they could get in front of.

Then finally, the “countdown” from Al Michaels and then it was over! Total bedlam throughout…hugging, kissing, jumping up and down at once, 8500 people, less the Russians in attendance, went berserk! Everyone spilled into the streets of the village and the chant “USA, USA” echoed through the cold, dark evening air for hours and hours. It seemed to electrify an already electric scene and the clubs and restaurants quickly filled with ecstatic revelers. Shelly and I remained behind to watch Sweden tie Finland in a dull 3-3 game, at least dull compared to the game we had just witnessed. We did join the celebration after our game was over .

On Sunday morning, with Shelly and I sitting along the ice behind the goal, we watched Team USA come from behind to defeat Finland for the Gold medal 4-2. It was a dream tourney if there ever was one!

Ticket Stubs
Ticket Stubs

Here’s a few interesting tidbits about that USA-Russian game:

  • Perhaps the biggest coaching mistake in hockey history was when the Russian coach yanked Tretiak with 1 second to go in the first period and replaced him with his backup, Vladimir Myshkin, after Tretiak gave up a soft goal. The USA kids were intimidated by Tretiak and this gave our kids the boost needed to help them get over the top. Tretiak did not return to the game after he was pulled.
  • The game was broadcasted on tape delay to the USA at 8pm. Most people thought they were seeing it live and had no idea it had already been played.
  • Most people underestimated our team, but virtually all of them played in the NHL after the Games. A few were all stars with long careers, so this was not just a bunch of kids thrown together for two weeks of hockey.
  • The Russian team was the equivalent of an NHL all star squad that averaged in their late 20s, the primes of their careers.
  • The USA team did not play a North American style of play, but instead, adapted the wide open Euro style with some body checking tossed in. Coach Herb Brooks trained our kids to be able to outskate any team in the third period and it was that strategy that won it for us.
  • Ken Morrow, one of our defensemen , went from Team USA after the Olympics to the NY Islanders of the NHL, where he won the Stanley Cup 3 months later. What a year for that kid!
Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Olympic Snack Attack

I've been snacking full force in front of the TV since the Olympics started. Have any of you caught the Women's Hockey games? Team USA is looking fierce on the ice! I've noticed that a lot of the players wear mascara while they play... I can't help but be curious, wanting to know what kind of mascara Olympic hockey players wear?! Not only are their lashes looking lovely, but they are playing well, too... USA whooped up on Finland, and Switzerland. Tomorrow they play Canada - I'm guessing this will be a tighter game than the previous two. So in terms of snacking, those who know me, know that I'm not much of a hearty eater. I would much rather nibble and crunch on 50 little things sporadically, instead of wolfing down a traditional meat/veggie/carb dinner. As a result, I've become an expert, or as my dad likes to call it "world class" snacker. These are the four leading snacks I've been chowing down on while watching the Olympics.

First up, The Broccoli Slaw Kit

This stuff comes in a kit that contains, the slaw, dressing, and the nuts/cranberries. I always eat the whole bag in a day. A few bites here, a few bites there. This shit is good. And I consider it to be healthy because it has the world broccoli in the title.

Blue Diamond's Rosemary and Black Pepper Almonds

I'm not crazy about plain almonds. I think they are boring and bland tasting. But Blue Diamond has NAILED the flavored almond creations. Some of my other favorites include the Honey Dijon, and Coconut flavors. But I literally could barely contain myself when I first tried the Rosemary and Black Pepper flavor. And, a plus point for Blue Diamond because 28 nuts equates to 1 serving! I get immense satisfaction when I get a lot of "bang for my buck" in the caloric sense. ;)

Wheat Thins Dipped in Chive and Onion Cream Cheese

Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins + Your Favorite Cream Cheese Flavor = You're welcome. (Pro tip: Do not get the store brand Wheat Thins... they are not as good).

Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries

If I'm craving chocolate, I eat these bad boys. I doubt they are much healthier for you than any other chocolate. But I don't eat these to be healthy, I eat them because they are freaking delicious.

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

USA, Fashionably Awesome

Zach Parise, captain for Team USA's hockey team
Zach Parise, captain for Team USA's hockey team

One of my favorite parts of the Olympics is seeing what the athletes from around the world are wearing for the opening ceremony. It's the most patriotic fashion show in the world. Designers put so much thought into creating these patriotic ensembles that are to be draped on their nation's top athletes. Ralph Lauren designed the outfits for the American athletes. Personally, I think he nailed it.

It's just so tacky-Christmas-sweater-chic. But really, I think RL pulled something off that could have easily been way too over the top, and, well, tacky. However, the outfit exudes classic winter cabin America. The boots I think really pulled the outfit together, with the red laces, and thick soles.

Win or lose, USA is going to look good. But I think they'll win. ;)

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.