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Sorry I didn’t have time to do an entry last week. Things are really crazy at the moment because the new house is almost ready, but there are still lots of things that need to be done. I have ordered a lot of the things for my house (including all the lights) from the Internet to save money, so dealing with that is taking up a lot of my time as well.

As you know, I do not have a TV, so I have not been able to follow the Sochi Olympics at all. The only things I know are what I have seen online in the news and what Doug Jarrell has written about in his Jaremaga!

I tried to watch some of the sport on the BBC online, but the presenter they have now is so incredibly annoying that I couldn’t bear to watch for more than about five minutes.

The big stories I heard were that the Americans beat the Russians in ice hockey, that Yuzuru Hanyu won a gold medal, and that there was a lot of debate about a little-known Russian skater beating the Korean champion to gold in the figure skating.

Anyway, this week’s topic is really simple. Please tell me which events you watched and what you considered to be the outstanding performances of the games. I would also like to know what you thought about Mr. Mori’s comments about Mao Asada! (I read about that on Japan Today.)

Look forward to hearing your opinions.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

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  1. YU on Monday February 24th, 2014 at 03:47 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I’m a real TV buff, so I was watching “live” when Japanese athletes won all eight medals. Are you shocked?

    Well, Mao Asada’s free program skating performance moved us to tears. We really worried about her when she failed in her short program skating on the previous day and hoped that she would able to perform in her free program at her satisfactory level. After she had failed in her short proram we all started to think that she should skate only for herself, not for Japan or a medal any more. Anyway, I’ve never seen such a popular Japanese skater like her.

    The Russian skater performed well, but she made an error, so I wondered why she got such a high score too. As for the Korean champion, she performed well too, but actually I didn’t feel the passion in her skating very much this time. Obviously she was much better in the previous Olympics, I think.

    At first I was furious at Mr Mori’s comments, I even thought that he should try a triple axcel jump himself.(I don’t think he can do even a single jump, though!) After a short time I read the full text he spoke. The media seems to pick up only the inapproproate parts in his speech. Some articles say that what he really wanted to say was that he doubted the team competition which was newly introduced from this Olympic games was necessary and it was also a big mistake that Japan had Mao Asada take part in it. Because of that she ended up with leaving Japan a long time before her individual competition started and that caused her lack of conditioning. I agree with them.
    Having said that, I still don’t understand why he needed to say things like that in public. What is more, why precisely in the middle of her competition?! Some media call him “gaffe legend”.

  2. Biwa on Tuesday February 25th, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Hi YU,

    Nice to hear from you again.

    Hi everyone,

    I’m not a real enthusiastic fan of the Winter Olympics, so the only things I know are what I’ve seen in the highlights which were aired in the morning news. Besides, unlike game-styled sports, many of the winter sports are scored by their techniques, which makes it hard to tell what was good or not to the untrained-eye. I can’t even tell if the jump was a triple or a quadruple until I see the slow-motion video!
    Anyway, among my very limited knowledge, I think the 15-year-old snowboarder who has won the silver medal was great. He seemed to twist and twirl in the air so easily like magic.

    As for Mr. Mori’s comment, I’m not surprised at it at all. As Japan Today says, it’s a regular bout of his foot-in-mouth disease. I worry a lot about having a thoughtless leader like him for the 2020 Olympics.

  3. Anne on Tuesday February 25th, 2014 at 05:01 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Hi YU,

    Nice to see your comment here again.

    I watched quite a bit of the games on live and recorded some of them. Anyway, I don’t need to stay up late at night anymore and can get back to my normal routine.

    What touched me the most was the free figure skating performance by Mao Asada. As you know, her performance at the short program ended up a horrible one. I thought to myself, “What happened to Mao-chan?” However, the next day, her figure skating performance was very energetic and beautiful. It was totally different from the one the day before. I started shedding tears before her performance was over.

    As for Mr.Mori’s remark, I won’t be surprised at it at all. He should have been more careful for what he talks officially. As YU mentioned, it was only the part of his remark and that was focused on. I think there used to be such types elderly around us. He/She didn’t mean to annoy someone, but his/her words were always troublesome or bothering someone. Mr.Mori is notorious for his insensitive remarks and you might be able to name a lot of them! The problem is that he doesn’t notice what he has done. It might be OK when one is an ordinary person, but Mr.Mori is the boss of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I really hope he won’t say something troublesome anymore.

  4. YU on Tuesday February 25th, 2014 at 08:16 PM

    correction ;

    > I’ve never seen such a popular Japanese skater like her.

    I’ve never seen a popular Japanese skater like her before.

    Hi Biwa and Anne,

    Thanks for the warm comments.

    Hi everyone,

    I read in somewhere that Japanese Olympians usually go economy class, while members of the JOC like Mr Takeda or Mr Mori always travel business class. Isn’t that strange? I don’t think any Japanese people would have an objection to spend buying business class tickets for their Olympians.

  5. Tsuneko on Wednesday February 26th, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I especially enjoyed the games of mogul, slalome, snowboard pipe, ski pipe and figure skating, of course. My husband was into curling, too. During the Plympic, we also went to skate after long interval because every player gave us energy. Both performances of Aiko Uehara and Mao Asada, I will never ever forget!

    I’ve read the whole text and watched the video of Mr Mori. He sounded like an uncle on the street and was not so mean as the media pointed out, however I hope he always remember of being in a position that can have an influence on public.

  6. Biwa on Wednesday February 26th, 2014 at 03:51 PM

    Hi everyone,

    By the way, do you read Jaremaga, too?
    There was a story about how difficult it is to know how each national team is doing unless you are in their country, although the Olympic games are on TV around the world. I strongly agreed with him(Doug, the writer), especially the day after Mao Asada had done an incredible performance. I wanted to see the results of other competitions, too, but I had to give up because almost every channel was airing her or the other two Japanese skater’s highlight scenes endlessly. I don’t mean that it was meaningless, but I just wished they had aired other things as well.

  7. Fumie on Wednesday February 26th, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    There are lots of great stories in Sochi Olympics. I was moved by the performances of Yuzuru Hanyu, Noriaki Kasai, Aiko Uemura, Daisuke Takahashi, Mao Asada and two young snowboarders,

    I didn’t know that Mr.Hanyu is suffering from asthma. I couldn’t notice his illness from his beautiful performance at all.
    Mr. Kasai gave us courage and proved that even though we get older, we can still achieve high results if we try hard.
    And I really relieved when Mao-chan gave the best performance after her failure. She is really strong. Recovering from mental depression and getting her self-confidence must be so hard.
    I can’t believe Mr. Mori’s gaffe. How could he said such inconsiderate remark! I remember his son was arrested for DUI. He is not an appropriate person as the chairman of Tokyo 2020 Olympic. So put him down from the position!
    I have a question. I want to say 彼はもっともふさわしくない人(bad meaning)。The phrase “the last person” popped up my mind and I checked example sentences on the dictionary and the meaning is 決して~しない人(good meaning)。 “He is the last person being the chairman of Tokyo 2020 Olympic.” So in this case, I shouldn’t use “the last person”?

  8. YU on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 09:26 AM

    Hi Tsuneko,

    My husband seem to have enjoyed watching curling games too. I wondered what he likes about curling. He explained the rules to me, but still I didn’t see anything interesting about it.

    Hi Fumie,

    As for your question, if it were me, I would use ‘superlative’.

    He is the least suitable for the position.
    He is the least suitable person for the position.

    I’d like to hear other members’ ideas too.

  9. Biwa on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 09:51 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    My dictionary says “the last person/thing” is used to make a strong negative statement about someone or something. So I think your idea was fine. How about “He is the last person for the chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”?
    I think YU’s idea is fine, too.

  10. David on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    “The last person” can be used in both a positive and a negative way. It basically means “… is not the sort of person to do …,” so “the last person to do (bad thing)” would be positive, and “the last person to do (good thing)” would be negative.

    Positive example:

    “I heard that Mr. Sato was arrested for drunk driving, but I don’t believe it. He is the last person I would expect to drink and drive.”

    Negative example:

    “Mr. Mori is inconsiderate and opinionated. He is the last person who should be the head of the Olympic committee.”

    YU’s suggestion of “He is the least suitable person for the position” is also good.

  11. ashmoleanmuse on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Just passing by…

    Hi David and all,

    Mori is the last person we want to be the chairman of the Olympic committee!


  12. Biwa on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 01:34 PM

    Hi David,

    Sorry for commenting again!
    Thank you for the explanation. Now I have a question, too.
    Does “the last person” always have to be continued by a relative clause? In my Japanese dictionary, there is an example like this; “She is the last wife for a farmer.” I’m a bit confused.

  13. Fumie on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Hi YU, Biwa, David, and Ash,

    Thnak you so much for your help. Now I understand that. (o^∇^o)

  14. Tsuneko on Thursday February 27th, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the message for me. I didn’t understand the rules of the curling game Well, either. According to my husband, watching some tactics that players are thinking out is a lot of fun.: they sometimes let the other team get one point in order to get two points themselves.

  15. YU on Friday February 28th, 2014 at 09:37 AM

    Hi Tsuneko,

    I didn’t understand the rules very well, either. I wonder if men like to compete their tactics with others more than we do. By the way, unlike other sports, in curling you can surrender to the enemy anytime you see that you have no chance of winning the game. I find it very interesting because in other sports you shouldn’t give up till the very end.

    My husband told me that he should learn some winter sport from now to take part in the next winter Olympic games in South Korea. He means, almost no one does winter sports in his country(Indonesia), so he has a big chance to be an Olympian of his country. I told him, “You can dream of anything, but please work for your family.”

  16. Tsuneko on Friday February 28th, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Hi YU,

    That’s a very good idea! I mean I’d really like your husband to take part in the next Winter Olympics as an Indonesian athlete. Ask some other friends and make a curling team, please:)

  17. Animal Farm on Friday February 28th, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Hi David and everyone!

    I’m not a big fan of the Olympiad. First, I do not have a TV. Second, it is political.

    I was able to know the Russian skater beating the Korean champion for gold from CNN because there was a big debate. Although there are many opinions about it, I’m not sure which skaters did well because I don’t know the rules. Therefore, it is hard for me to say if the Russian skater should have gotten a silver medal because she made a mistake.

    Talking about Mr. Mori’s comment, this is not the first time with his gaffes.
    One of his remarkable quotes is “stay in bed for the day.” during the election. He said that because half of Japanese people haven’t decided whom to vote for.