Robert Smith http://wlrn.org en Four Years Later And One Round Earlier, The Game Ends The Same http://wlrn.org/post/four-years-later-and-one-round-earlier-game-ends-same Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>For the second day in a row, there was heartbreak in Sochi for American hockey. Yesterday, the U.S. women's team fell to Canada. Today, it was the men's turn losing in the Olympic semifinals. Canada now goes on to fight for the gold medal in men's hockey while Team USA can still get the bronze. Today's match was supposed to be an opportunity for the Americans to avenge their loss to Canada in the Olympics four years ago. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:21:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28255 at http://wlrn.org Roundup At The Rink And On The Bobsled Track http://wlrn.org/post/roundup-rink-and-bobslep-track Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Now, a roundup of some of the big stories out of Winter Olympics in Sochi today. A Norwegian athlete became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time. And there was a bruising loss for host country Russia. Its men's hockey team lost to Finland and is out of the Olympic tournament. Russian fans like Alexander Ustinov(ph) were devastated.<p>ALEXANDER USTINOV: You know, it's so bad because we lose. We lose. I can't believe it. It's so bad.<p>SIEGEL: NPR's Robert Smith has been following the tournament and joins us now from Sochi. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28142 at http://wlrn.org In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go' http://wlrn.org/post/bobsled-you-learn-you-go If there's one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed, it's bobsled.<p>The bobsled brakeman does about five seconds of hard work, jumps in the sled and can then relax a bit. During the women's bobsled competition tonight in Sochi, we should keep our eyes open, because it's fun to watch.<p>The women call themselves brakemen — not brake women or brake person — in a nod to the fact that bobsled was an all-male sport until 2002.<p>Even now, the women only race two-man — not four-man — bobsled.<p>Elana Meyers is the No. 1 driver on the U.S. team. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28062 at http://wlrn.org In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go' U.S. Women's Bobsled Team Features 2 Summer Olympians http://wlrn.org/post/us-womens-bobsled-team-takes-center-stage Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>There is one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed. To be precise, you have to do a few seconds of work, after which you can close your eyes and hope for a gold. I am referring to the brakeman in bobsled. That's the athlete who pushes the sled. Tonight, the woman's two-person bobsled starts in Sochi.<p>NPR's Robert Smith introduces us to the team.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Let's get this out of the way. The women call themselves brakemen. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:03:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28051 at http://wlrn.org Bronze In Bobsled For A Team Of Steves http://wlrn.org/post/bronze-bobsled-team-steves Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Team USA has been struggling to win gold. There were some hope today. Two pairs of American athletes went into their events as the best in the world. And we're going to hear now how they did, starting with two-men bobsled. America driver Steve Holcomb and his brakeman Steve Langton sounded like this on the bobsled course.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)<p>CORNISH: The Steves were going 82.7 miles per hour. The Russian sled, piloted by Alexander Zubkov, sounded like this...<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)<p>CORNISH: All right. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:43:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28037 at http://wlrn.org U.S. Looks To Bobsledder Steve Holcomb To Add To Medal Count http://wlrn.org/post/olympic-update-sochi Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Let's check in on the Winter Olympics now. It's been a rough time so far for team USA. They have only won four gold medals in ski and snowboard slope style and in women's snowboard half pipe. The U.S. has struggled in the more traditional sports of the Winter Olympics. That could, though, change today. The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. And he races the two-man today.<p>NPR's Robert Smith joins us from the Sanki Sliding track in the mountains above Sochi. Robert, good morning.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Good morning. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:17:00 +0000 Robert Smith 28014 at http://wlrn.org Emotions Run High For Olympic U.S.-Russia Hockey Game http://wlrn.org/post/emotions-run-high-olympic-us-russia-hockey-game Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The big event today at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi is the U.S.A.-Russia men's hockey game. It is already underway in the Bolshoi Ice Dome. The U.S.A. or Russia can lose and still make the finals but the emotional stakes of these two old rivals meeting today in Russia is huge. NPR's Robert Smith is at the game. He sent us a list of how he prepared for the big event.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: You need five things to properly gird yourself for a U.S.A.-Russia hockey match. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 14:51:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27955 at http://wlrn.org Between U.S. And Russian Hockey, A Different Kind Of Cold War http://wlrn.org/post/between-us-and-russian-hockey-different-kind-cold-war Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.<p>For a lot of Russians, the true start of the Olympics was today. Team Russia took the ice in men's hockey. At the very same time, Team USA also had their very first game. We sent a reporter to each game to see how the two rivals stack up against each other and they sent his report.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: I'm Robert Smith at the Team USA game here in Sochi. It's the red, white and blue against the red, blue and white: Slovakia. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:55:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27890 at http://wlrn.org In Front Of A Home Crowd, Russia Has Hockey History On Its Mind http://wlrn.org/post/us-mens-hockey-team-faces-slovakia-preliminary-round There is a weird contradiction in Olympic hockey: On one hand, these professional players from the NHL arrive in a small town like movie stars.<p>They show up a week late, trailed by TV cameras and Russians begging for autographs.<p>And then they have to go back to basics. Early Thursday, members of Team USA were on the ice, doing the kind of simple drills that you'd see in a peewee hockey league.<p>Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers was practicing his passes with Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:29:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27861 at http://wlrn.org In Front Of A Home Crowd, Russia Has Hockey History On Its Mind Shaun White Misses The Medal Stand As 'I-Pod' Gets The Gold http://wlrn.org/post/shaun-white-misses-medal-stand-ipod-gets-gold Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Now to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where American snowboarder Shaun White attempted a three-peat today. He was trying to be the first three-time gold medal winner in the half-pipe competition, actually the first American man to win three consecutive golds in any Winter Olympic event. And NPR's Robert Smith watched the action today and joins us now from outside the half-pipe venue. Robert, how did things turn out for Shaun White?<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Well, at first it was set up exactly the way he wanted it. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:26:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27777 at http://wlrn.org The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History http://wlrn.org/post/norwegian-athlete-whos-one-medal-away-history On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.<p>The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.<p>Just to make clear: Bjoerndalen is 40. The guys chasing him are in their 20s. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 00:40:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27732 at http://wlrn.org The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History Glory And Glitches At Sochi Opening Ceremonies http://wlrn.org/post/glory-and-glitches-sochi-opening-ceremonies The 2014 Winter Olympics officially opened Friday with a ceremony celebrating Russian culture and introducing Olympic athletes from around the world. NPR's Robert Smith was at the ceremony in Sochi and joins us to recount the pomp and pitfalls on display. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 21:50:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27610 at http://wlrn.org Trains May Be Slow In Sochi, But The Snowboarders Are Flying High http://wlrn.org/post/trains-may-be-slow-sochi-snowboarders-are-flying-high Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Enough talk about whether or not Russia is ready to host the Olympics, it's time. The competitions have begun. Snowboarders and figure skaters took to the snow and ice today, even though the Opening Ceremony doesn't happen until tomorrow.<p>NPR's Robert Smith traveled with Russian fans to the first event to see if years of planning have paid off.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: The Russians spent more than $8 billion on a transportation system. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:58:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27548 at http://wlrn.org X Games Show The Olympics What The Kids Want http://wlrn.org/post/x-games-show-olympics-what-kids-want <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/News/2013/January/01/Go-For-The-Gold-Home/Go-For-The-Gold-Nick-Goepper">Nick Goepper</a> is headed off to the Olympics in a couple of days, but he's not taking it easy: He spent the weekend hurtling through the air on ESPN at the X Games.<p>The sport is slopestyle. If you've watched any extreme skiing on television, you'll know it well: Skiers hit rails and walls and massive jumps; they seem to spend more time in the air than on the snow.<p>It's old hat for kids, but brand new for the Olympics. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:28:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27063 at http://wlrn.org X Games Show The Olympics What The Kids Want Aerial Skiing Is A Game Of Skill — And Strategy http://wlrn.org/post/aerial-skiing-game-skill-and-strategy During the Winter Olympics, seeing an aerial skier perform is unforgettable.<p>It's like gymnastics in the air. And, like gymnasts, aerial skiers get points for doing a harder routine and for sticking the landing. But there's a crucial difference between the two sports.<p>In the final few rounds of aerials, you can't use the same trick twice. Tue, 21 Jan 2014 23:20:00 +0000 Robert Smith 26768 at http://wlrn.org Aerial Skiing Is A Game Of Skill — And Strategy