News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Wayside Furniture

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Reindeer jerky and tailgating in Norway: Pluto's memories of Olympics past
Terry Pluto covered the '94 Lillehammer games for the Beacon Journal and says much like Sochi, some of his biggest stories had nothing to do with sports.
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The stories from Russia take our commentator Terry Pluto back 20 years – when he was a Beacon Journal writer covering the ‘94 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Download (WKSU Only)
1994 Winter Olympics:

There have been plenty of attention-grabbing stories from the Sochi winter games --- many not involving the sports themselves. Journalists have been tweeting about sewage in their hotel rooms, round-ups of stray dogs and long-term environmental threats caused by the sparkling new venues.

The stories from Russia take our commentator Terry Pluto back 20 years – when he was a Beacon Journal writer covering the ‘94 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

That was the year figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and speed skater Bonnie Blair won a historic five gold medals. But like Sochi, most Terry Pluto's stories are about what he experienced apart from what happened on the ice and snow.

Listen: Terry Pluto shares his Olympics memories from Lillehammer

Other options:
MP3 Download (4:03)


A learning curve in Norway
When he headed to Norway, Terry Pluto acknowledges, “I knew nothing about the Winter Olympics. One of the things they tell you early on is, “Be prepared. You’ll be writing about people you never heard of playing sports you don’t understand.”

With the regular sports of basketball, baseball and football, Pluto says, “often times we forget that we don’t know everything we think we know.  [Covering the Winter Games],you realize real quick you don’t know much about anything. And sometimes that leads to better stories because it makes you to ask the obvious questions and leads to some explanations you hadn’t thought of before.”

Reindeer meat and rides
And then there's the cultural saturation. “If you go to Norway, you’re going to eat a lot of reindeer. Reindeer jerky, or salmon jerky for breakfast sometimes.”

And what you don’t eat, you may end up racing. Reindeer racing is a favorite of the native people known as the Sami, who brought their reindeer down from the Arctic circle and offered Pluto a shot.

“They said, ‘Your reindeer’s name is Mooda.’ They put me in this little sled thing and they just whacked Mooda. And Mooda takes off … and I don’t even know what I’m doing. I’m holding on for dear life because I’m thinking I’m going over the snowbank. He goes right across the finish line and stops. I fishtail off, go head-first right over the snowbank.”

Cross-country tailgating
Another constant is cross-country ski races. “They tailgate all along this long course through the woods, everywhere. I suddenly realized, you don’t actually care who wins cross country skiing. You just go out in your igloos and you eat salmon jerky and you drink your homemade brew and you yell at the guys going by.”

New events at Sochi
As for the more formal sports, this year’s winter games have seen a dozen new events introduced. Pluto is less than wowed. “They always want the TV ratings. The Olympics gets more and more commercial. But I’m really glad they did add years ago women’s ice hockey.”

He acknowledges some of that is because of the Northeast Ohio angle: Brianne McLaughlin and Kelli Stack are competing. But overall, “But just in general, it’s a neat sport to watch because they don’t fight so much.”

Winter Games over Summer
Pluto also covered the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1994. Given a choice, he’ll take winter. Summer “is just too much. The track guys are all making big money. The basketball is just another form of the NBA. I’d rather do the Olympics in the winter because even with the skiing, they’re still not the big superstars, other than the figure skaters.”

Besides, there’s far fewer journalists, not as much hype … and just a lot more fun because of the people you run into.”

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on Ubaldo Jimenez signing with Baltimore
Other options:  MP3 Download (3:35)


LISTEN: Terry Pluto on Kyrie Irving named All-Star MVP
Other options:  MP3 Download (4:06)



Related WKSU Stories

Northeast Ohio curling club gets ready for another post-Olympics rush
Friday, February 7, 2014

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

School children in Bath produce a seed-to-table garlic feast
Super article. What a great idea to educate in sustainable farming! Garlic is so healthy as well. My Grandson Sam Mathews is in grade 4, and he looks like he ...

There's no off-season for the Cleveland International Film Festival
I would like to see "The Murders of Brandywine Theater" filmed by local Larry Longstreth shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival!

Study shows raising the cigarette tax a dollar could raise $342 million
So, it takes an expert to tell us raising the tobacco tax raises the revenue for the state? Doh. By the way, any one who was going to quit smoking probably alre...

Akron's Highland Square celebrates community spirit and public art
Both Donna and her husband, Joseph are both such amazing art talents! The photos look stunning! I must get down to Angel Falls for an in-person look. I just l...

Pluto: Another off-season, another Browns quarterback conundrum
The Browns do need a draftable QB for the future. Johnny Manziel needs to go and that leaves Brian Hoyer and Connor Shaw. Free agency doesn't really have any so...

Exploradio: Improving the lives of paralyzed people
God bless you doctor. I hope to be alive the day that humans, like me, can use the results of your search...

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University