2022 Olympics Recap

Miles Osgood at n+1:

Toward the beginning of the games, NBC started to realize it had problems with its own script. The network’s carefully crafted redemption epic of the skier Mikaela Shiffrin was shifting genres into televised tragedy. Before Shiffrin competed in the giant slalom, NBC played intimate interviews of Shiffrin in her Colorado home, processing the grief of having lost her father two years ago and recalling a moment when she nearly gave up skiing. This has been a reliable formula for the network: give the home crowd the emotional backstory behind one of Team USA’s likeliest gold-medal stars, then wait for the athlete to write her own feel-good ending, turning adversity into triumph. But at the start of the giant slalom, Shiffrin skidded out at the fifth turn and missed a gate. Two days later, in the regular slalom, it happened again: having missed another early turn, Shiffrin turned uphill, took off her skis, and sat down on the snow by the edge of the course for twenty minutes with her head in her arms. Watching, one wanted desperately to look away, but the camera stayed fixed. An interviewer asked her, “What are you still processing?” Shiffrin replied, “Pretty much everything . . . makes me second-guess the last fifteen years.”

more here.