Let the Games begin!

Coaches, winter sports enthusiasts offer Beijing Olympics viewing picks

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics opens tomorrow (wake up at 5:30 a.m. to watch the ceremony live or wait for the taped coverage at 7 p.m.). The Hinsdalean asked Hinsdale Central coaches, the staff at King Keyser and a local collegiate hockey player what be events they'll be tuned into over the next 16 days.

Christina Brodell, boys water polo coach

Favorite event: freestyle skiing. As a skier, I love seeing people do insane jumps and tricks on skis.

I'd like to try: bobsledding. I can't think of one experience I've had that would be like bobsledding! I would want to experience something completely out of my comfort zone.

Kim Estoque, girls gymnastics coach

Favorite events: Ice skating and the aerial ski jumpers. I enjoy these because they both have some similarities with gymnastics.

I'd like to try: bobsledding. It looks like it would be a lot of fun sliding down those tunnels of ice.

Jason Hayes, wrestling coach

Favorite event: cross-country skiing, due to the cardiovascular endurance that is needed to compete at an extremely high level.

Alex Hipskind, boys bowling coach

Favorite event: curling, because it's like bowling on ice.

I'd like to try: biathlon or ski jump. It seems impossible to succeed at either but is so impressive to watch.

Jaden Johnson, University of Maine hockey recruit

Favorite events: ice hockey, alpine skiing and snowboarding. They are all super fast-paced and makes it entertaining to watch. I am excited to watch U.S. hockey player Matty Beniers, the second overall pick in last year's draft who plays at the University of Michigan and has a high hockey IQ and is a creative player.

Dan Jones, athletic director

Favorite event: downhill skiing. I like the speed and intensity. Ice hockey is second - I love hockey.

King Keyser crew

• Rick Johnson

Favorite event: watching Casey Larsen compete in ski jumping. He is from Barrington, and we used to take care of and tune his skis before he made the U.S. national team. And watching Mikaela Shiffrin, one of the best ski racers of all time. And who isn't going to root for the Jamaican bobsled team, qualifying for the first time in 24 years?

• Carolyn Johnson

Favorite event: downhill skiing, especially Mikaela Shiffrin. Especially after her dad just passing away and her almost quitting skiing.

• Emily Johnson

Favorite event: halfpipe with Olympic champion Chloe Kim. And the big air event.

• Jim Loufman

Favorite event: I'm going to say curling.

Jess Krueger, boys golf coach

Favorite events: downhill skiing and Super G. I love the speed, the danger, the skill, the nerves, the concentration required and it is just you and the mountain.

Tony Madonia, girls soccer coach

Favorite events: freestyle skiing and ski jump. I just cannot imagine how difficult what they are doing really is, especially at that level.

I'd like to try: curling. I am pretty good at shuffleboard, and I think the skill might transfer.

Mark McCabe, girls cross country coach

Favorite events: speed skating, short track skating and bobsled. As an endurance athlete I admire the cross country skiers, but find watching the competition kind of boring.

I'd like to try: bobsled.

Chris Ortiz, girls water polo coach

Favorite events: curling and biathlon. I enjoy watching biathlon because it's incredible how people can stop from a dead sprint, steady themselves to hit a target, then move back to racing. I like curling because of the strategy involved.

I'd like to try: curling. It seems to be the most accessible and something that can be enjoyed with others.

Kelly Stapleton, girls volleyball coach

Favorite events: downhill skiing and ski jumping. It is so cool to see how the athletes navigate the course at such high speeds. I enjoy ski jumping because I think the athletes are so brave and it must be so exciting to fly through the air like that.

Brittany Zust, softball coach

Favorite event: curling. The teamwork and tactics are so different from other sports that it really intrigues me.

I'd like to try: curling. I have played shuffleboard many times. It seems similar? Maybe I wouldn't be terrible at it - fingers crossed.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean