Olympic Links

All Olympics, all the time.

First, a fascinating look at scalping tickets at the winter games.

Olympic ticketing has its set process. Organizers generally sell seats as far ahead of the Games as they can, slowly releasing batches for the premier events first — in order to maximize cash flow in the years leading up to the festival. Pools of seats are then made available to citizens of the host nation, and anything that’s left goes to general sale nine to 12 months before the Opening Ceremony. So the Games are usually either “sold out” or “95 percent booked.” It only takes one visit to the Olympics to know that this type of news is all useless misnomer that should be completely ignored.

Apolo Ohno – Old Person?

Why Scandanavian countries aren’t any good at figure skating.

A majority of Canada’s hockey players are left handed. I don’t know hockey well enough to say, but maybe there’s a strategic advantage in being left handed, like in baseball, creating a self selection bias toward those players.

Roughly 60 percent of the Easton hockey sticks sold in Canada are for left-handed shots, Mountain said. In the United States, he said, about 60 percent of sticks sold are for right-handed shots. Figures over the years from other manufacturers have put the ratio discrepancy between the two countries as high as 70 to 30.

The difference even trickles over into golf, where the swing is not unlike that of a slap shot. According to the Professional Golfers Association, 7 percent of Canadian golfers play left-handed, which is proportionally more than any other nationality. The reason is probably that Canadians pick up a hockey stick first and are therefore imprinted by the time they take up golf. Especially if they are from Quebec, where hockey players are even more left-handed than players in the rest of Canada.

Oddly, British Columbia — sometimes said to be the most American-like of the Canadian provinces — skews the other way. “The rest of the country goes 2 to 1 in favor of left sticks, but it’s reversed in B.C.,” said Marc Poirier, a customer service representative who handles Canadian orders for Warrior Sticks.

Europeans also tend to be left-handed shooters. The International Ice Hockey Federation does not keep figures by European nationality, the communications director Szymon Szemberg said. But, he said, lefty shooters have predominated. “For long spells, the great Soviet teams of the ’80s never had a player who shot right,” Szemberg said.

Boston.com has a kickass photo blog for the Olympics so far.

As if curling wasn’t cool enough, the US curling team has it’s own condom.

Lastly, what’s better than a women’s hockey brawl in an Olympic qualifier? Don’t miss the score.