Monday at the office will feel a little strange without your daily dose of Olympic curling. The Winter Olympics have finished, and we’ll now have to wait for another four years to discover a whole new range of sports we won’t know are any good unless someone falls over.
For a land of beaches and barbecues, Australia is one of two nations from the southern hemisphere who managed to get on the medal board. Not a bad effort when you consider the average Australian’s knowledge of winter sports.
Our team of renowned office experts has come together to salute some of the more memorable performances at this year’s Olympic games in Korea.
While they may not have won a medal, we thought it would be fair to recognise some of the ‘other’ performances of the Olympics with some of our own awards.
The Softest Rig Award: Anton Grimus
Aussie skier Anton Grimus wouldn’t be out of place in the NRL. At 105kg behemoth stands out in a sport usually reserved for smaller athletes. Grimus did Australia proud with his performance in the ski-cross.
The Gangnam Style Recognition Award in Olympics Celebrations: North Korean Cheerleaders
As part of the effort to build a bridge with the outside world, North Korea sent their crack cheerleading squad to the Olympics in the South. An army of 200 North Korean women charmed the world with their unique style. They may not be the Barmy Army, but they did manage to win plenty of plaudits.
The F1 Excellence in Achievement for High-Speed Landings: German Bobsleigh Team
It may not have been the most spectacular spill of the games, but it was one the most exciting. In a scene reminiscent of a certain Disney movie, the two-man bobsleigh team crashed through to the finish line on the final turn of their run. The Germans were unhurt and posted the fastest time of the competition heading into the finals.
The Eddie the Eagle Participation Trophy: Elizabeth ‘Zero Trick’ Swaney
American Elizabeth Swaney found her way into the Olympics via Hungry. Swaney’s grandparents are from Hungry, giving her an opportunity to compete for the country. Swaney placed last on the half-pipe ski event after her failure to perform a single trick on her run. Swaney was able to exploit a qualification loophole that allowed her to make it to her first Olympics. She may have finished dead last, but Swaney’s effort was enough to land her our vote for the participation trophy.
The Steve Bradbury Award in Olympic Excellence: Jarryd Hughes, Chumpy Pullin and Cam Bolton.
It’s been difficult to surpass Steve Bradbury’s gold medal winning moment, but these guys came awfully close. In a team effort the Australian trio of Jarryd Hughes, Chumpy Pullin and Cam Bolton managed to survive the carnage of the men’s snowboard cross semi-final. Bolton crashed at the halfway point and then three other competitors went down soon after. Chumpy and Hughes went across the line in their Bradbury moment to qualify for the final. Hughes would go onto to claim the silver medal for Australia in the final.
The Pyongyang Fashion Award for Best Dressed: Kim Jong-Un Impersonator
An Australian man by the name of Howard made global news for his uncanny resemblance to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Howard looked the part and stunned the world at the opening ceremony and at the ice-hockey. The lookalike managed to sneak a photo with the North Korean cheerleading team before being detained by police. This was a tough category with the US speed skaters and the first streaker at the Winter Olympics pushing for line honours.
The John Terry/Wayne Bridge Team Spirit Award: Korean Pursuit Team
Chumpy Pullin earns a mention for snubbing Jarryd Hughes’ effort in the final of the snowboard cross event. The effort of the Korean women’s pursuit team takes the silverware. The Korean women became the focus of a bullying scandal after their effort in the quarter-finals. Two Korean speed skaters crossed the line four seconds of their teammate. In the pursuit event, all three skaters normally cross the line close together. A petition has been lodged by the public to have the two skaters kicked off the Korean team.
The Kevin Pietersen Achievement in Commentary Insight: Jackie Cooper
Jackie Cooper stunned viewers with some of her remarks on the apparent style of the Chinese aerial ski jumpers. The internet universe was quick to call out Jackie for the nature of her comments. We now have a four-year break between commentary stints, let’s hope Australia is able to add some variety to their commentary team in 2022.
The Daylight Robbery Award: Jia Zongyang
Jia Zongyang won the silver medal after beating Australian David Morris to the final in controversial circumstances. The Chinese skier crashed after completing his completing his jump. He was deemed to be in control enough to get the points to progress into the final at the expense of Morris.
The Lance Armstrong Assistance Award in Olympic Performance: Russian Curling Team
The Russian curling team get points for effort but leave the games empty-handed. The Russian husband and wife team were stripped of their bronze medals after being found guilty of doping. Competing as individual athletes after the Russian Olympic team ban, the pair were disqualified from the mixed doubles event.
The Oh my God, what am I doing Award: Dom Demschar and Elise Christie
This was a shared effort amongst the competitors with two performances standing out. Aussie skier Dom Demschar spent four years training and took less than two seconds to find himself out the men’s slalom event. British speed skater Elise Christie shares the award for her effort; six starts, five DQ’s and one face-plant. A special mention also goes to the effort of the Tongan athlete who came into the opening ceremony minus his shirt.
The Greg Chappell Award in the Field of Sportsmanship: North Korean Speed Skater
When your boss is a wannabe Bond villain then you’ll do anything to win. This North Korean speed skater did his best to get the jump on his competitors. While it is considered bad form to trip up your opponent at a start of a race, his opponents were willing to cut him some slack.