As the old saying goes: Don’t you dare cut away to the figure skating until all of the skiers have their time in the snow. NBC learned this the hard way during the network’s Olympics coverage on Friday evening, when commentators Bode Miller and Dan Hicks decided to crown Anna Veith, one of the most dominant super G competitors in the world, the winner of the women’s event — despite a few more competitors still to come. (The exact words from Hicks: “Four straight Olympic golds in the women’s super G for the skiing powerhouse of Austria. I just about can’t believe it!”) The programming was then switched to the men’s figure skating finals, although the network eventually switched back to the super G upon the news that, ahem, somebody else won instead: Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic.
“Well, these are the Olympics, and anything can happen,” Hicks wisecracked about the turn of events. As a world champion in snowboarding, Ledecka was considered an underdog for the super G event, as she only began competitively racing in alpine skiing two years ago as a means of challenging herself. (She’ll be competing next week in the parallel giant slalom.) However, she managed to beat Veith by one hundredth of a second — in borrowed skis from gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, no less — and could hardly believe it.
“How did that happen?” she asked a group of cameramen when she completed her gold-medal run, adding later at a press conference: “I really don’t know what happened. You tell me … I was riding. I really don’t know what happened. It was great.” It was great, girl.