I was tired enough last night when I got home around 7:30 to go straight to sleep, but I did not. One thing led to the other and by 8:30 I was fully engrossed in NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. I wanted to go to bed, but couldn’t take my eyes off the short track.
Like many of you, I watched with amazement at Apolo Anton Ohno started races and dropped into the last of four positions, half of the people in front of him wiped out in the last lap or so, and he crossed the line in a qualifying position for the next race. I know this man is a great racer/skater — just being out there proves that. But really, did any one else start wondering if he’s just plain charmed?
When the race for the GOLD started like all the rest with Ohno dragging behind the other four skaters (two Canadians and one Korean), I almost expected another miraculous train wreck. And there it came, in the last moments of the race. One Canadian and the Korean skater flew off the track to the wall and the second Canadian was flailing. I think he crossed the finish line backwards as Ohno slipped across behind him in momentary Silver Medal position.
Momentary because the judges reviewed the tape and determined that Ohno had his hand on the Canadian skater who hit the ice just moments before he slipped and they disqualified Ohno. Ohno does not deny that his hand was there (that would be idiotic, we all saw it in slow mo and hi def) but does deny that he gave any sort of push. He also quickly states that “that’s short track.”
So, as all the craziness of the races (both those in which Ohno participated and all the others being featured last night) had me riled up and as my friends were chattering on Facebook about this crazy short-track skater who also Dances with the Stars, I got to thinking about Mr. Bill.
According to MrBill.com, this clay character was created by Walter Williams in 1974 and first aired on Saturday Night Live on May 29, 1976. That means that as this destined for smashing character cried out “Ohhh Noooooo!” he was making Apolo Anton Ohno a household word. All of this before short track was an Olympic sport. (It was a demo sport at the Calgary hosted games in 1988.)
I kind of hope SNL brings these to icons of charmed disaster together in the near future.