Listen

News 88.9 KNPR
Classical 89.7 KCNV
NV89 Discover Music
'Jazz'

an member station

NPR
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Sports, Zazz And Commerce At The Winter Olympics

585358363_374929428.jpg

Figure skater Adam Rippon of the United States celebrates after competing in the team event at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
Maddie Meyer, Getty Images

Figure skater Adam Rippon of the United States celebrates after competing in the team event at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

When we invited our buddy Sam Sanders, of the It's Been A Minute podcast, to talk to us about the Winter Olympics, we didn't even remember that in 2014, he helped NPR cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi. As it turned out, in addition to his usual insight and thoughtfulness, Sam possesses relevant experience!

In this episode, we talk about Glen's distaste for the Winter Olympics (like the Summer Olympics without swimming and with more parkas), Sam's memories of just how complicated a logistical endeavor the Olympics really can be, and the "temporary city-states" that have to be built. (If you're interested in the darker side of these things from a safety perspective, don't miss this piece from Jeff Passan, which I mention.)

In the wake of great athletes like Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon — and, since we taped, Chloe Kim — also making such a splash with their appeal and press-friendliness, Sam talks about how athletes go out of their way, or don't, to make themselves available to reporters. We discuss the tension between our ingrained cynicism and our desire to just yell, "SLOPESTYLE!" We advocate for less commentary of higher quality, fewer droids to terrify Stephen, and sports where we can tell what's going on and whether people are competing well or disastrously. (We freely admit this is our lack of understanding.)

Support comes from

All this, plus talk about "twizzles."

Follow Sam on Twitter, and listen to It's Been A Minute. And on Friday, we'll be back to talk about a film you may have heard of that goes by the name Black Panther.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.