Winter Olympics recommendations from NAIT alum sports reporters
Jason Gregor, Bryan Mudryk and Quinn Phillips share cool picks for the 2018 Winter Olympics
There are 15 sports at the Winter Olympics, which means there's a lot more to talk about than hockey – even if hockey tends to be the most-talked-about sport in North American media.
The puck stops here. To get a sense of the variety outside the rink, we asked a few NAIT-graduated sports reporters about what they'll be watching following the opening ceremonies on Feb. 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Here are Jason Gregor, Bryan Mudryk and Quinn Phillips to help set your viewing schedule.
What I'll be watching – Skiing and snowboarding
Why I'll watch it – Ski cross is highly entertaining. Also, the strength, speed and endurance of cross-country skiing amazes me. As for snowboarding, the atmosphere during halfpipe is great: Music is pumping, spectators are very close and the energy is great. Fun event to watch.
Who I'll be watching – I love watching the Olympics and I wish all of our Canadian athletes great success.
- Alex Harvey in cross country skiing. His 4th place finish four years ago was exciting and gut wrenching to watch. I'll watch to see if he can become the first Canadian man to reach the podium in cross country. Three women have, but no men.
- Can Marielle Thompson defend her Olympic title in ski cross? She is one of the best, if not the best, in the world.
- Mikael Kingsbury is a force in moguls. He was a silver at the 2014 Olympics when he was 20. He has dominated the World Cup circuit since and has the most World Cup wins in history with 48.
UPDATE: Kingsbury won gold in moguls in Pyeongchang on Feb. 12.
- And of course local boy Mike Riddle. He won silver in the halfpipe at Sochi in 2014. He's a great ambassador for young kids.
What I'll be watching – Mixed doubles curling
Why I'll watch it – I've called curling on TSN since 2009 and grew up playing in Alberta (I played at NAIT as well).
Mixed doubles is a first time discipline at this year's Winter Olympics. It’s fast, lots of rocks and play, and fun to watch. Canada has never won a gold medal in this format at any world championship before.
Who I'll be watching – Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris both have Olympic gold medal already in team discipline play and should make Canada proud.
UPDATE: Lawes and Morris won gold in mixed doubles, defeating Switzerland on Feb. 13
Quinn Phillips (Radio and Television - Television '03) - Global Edmonton
What I'll be watching – Speed skating and figure skating
Why and who I'll be watching – Speed skater Denny Morrison is an incredible story. Since the last Olympics, he has broken his femur and had a stroke. He came back from the broken leg but once he had the stroke it was hard to believe he could return. What an incredibly driven man and inspiring athlete.
Another one to watch is figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond, who lives and trains in Edmonton. She has been dominant this season finishing on the podium at every international skating event this season. It’s her second Olympics. In the 2014 Games she medalled in the team competition – [even though] – she was coming off injury and couldn’t train properly leading up to the Olympics. This time around though she’s going strong and healthy.
UPDATE: Kaetlyn Osmond won gold in team figure skating on Feb. 11 – Canada's first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics.