Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louisan Schlanger Has Historic, Epic Olympics Call

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louisan Schlanger Has Historic, Epic Olympics Call

Article excerpt

Steve Schlanger broadcast Cardinals baseball during Mark McGwire's record-shattering home run season of 1998, has become a fixture on Tour de France TV coverage and has called many golf, college basketball and Olympic events.

But the St. Louisan never experienced a moment like he did Wednesday, when he described the women's cross-country team sprint final from PyeongChang, South Korea, in which Jessica Diggins won in a frantic comeback to give the Americans a huge upset victory in an Olympic event they never had won. Diggins finished what teammate Kikkan Randall had started.

He and analyst Chad Salmela had an epic description on NBC of the scintillating final moments, with Schlanger masterfully relaying the excitement as it built with a spot-on, emotion-charged description and Salmela screaming in support of the American effort.

How special was it?

Viewers have offered plaudits.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune dubbed it "the call heard round the world for these Olympics."

Yahoo Sports' Casey Gutting put it at an even loftier level, calling it, "definitely the greatest live broadcast call in Olympic history."

While that's debatable, it is true that the most famous Olympic call of them all in the U.S. came in an event shown on tape.

That was the "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!!!" classic from Al Michaels when a group of American kids pulled what many consider to be the biggest upset in sports by beating the high-powered Soviet hockey team in 1980.

Schlanger and Salmela now are in an international spotlight, as Schlanger said he has received requests from as far away as New Zealand and Australia to discuss the call which was made from NBC facilities in Connecticut while they watched video.

Here's the Schlanger-Salmela exchange as the finish line looms:

Schlanger: "So close for the U.S. on so many occasions. ... Now (Diggins) moving up on the inside," his voice pulsating. "Into second place!"

Salmela: "They're all completely gassed! They've given it everything on the klaebo bakken. Stina Nilsson leading Jessie Diggins into the final turn. Can Diggins answer?"

Schlanger, voice building even more: "As the roars rattled around the cross-country stadium in PyeongChang. …

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