January 19, 2010
In 2010, Stephen became an integral part of the Winter Olympics by sponsoring the U.S. speedskating team. With help from Dr. Pepper, Budweiser, Verizon Wireless and a $7 donation from Stephen himself, the Colbert Nation reached its goal of raising $300,000, affectively saving the team so that it could compete in the winter games. However, one obstacle remained: Stephen's ongoing feud with star speedskater Shani Davis.
Despite Shani Davis's naysaying, Stephen remained determined to not only sponsor the team, but to truly enter the world of competitive sliding over ice on a slim blade. Encouraged by his appearance on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" in speedskating garb, Stephen challenged the hot-shot skater to a race. Any time, any rink any distance -- as long as Stephen would get a 1,000 meter headstart. If Stephen won, he would take Davis's spot on the U.S. speedskating team. If Davis won, he would receive a signed copy of Stephen's "Sports Illustrated" issue.
After Shani accepted Stephen's challenge of a speedskating race, the next logical step was for Stephen to learn how to skate. To do this, Stephen traveled to the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, Utah for a crash course with coach Ryan Shimabukuro and skater Tucker Fredricks.
Finally, it came time for the big showdown. Since he was the less exerienced skater, Stephen modified his uniform with a cape and sequins, determined to make up for his disadvantage with style. After arriving at the rink and reminding Davis about the race, the competitors took to the ice.Exclusive Outtakes
But there were classic moments from the trip that didn't make it on to The Report. For instance, Stephen spoke to coach Shimabukuro about one of the sport's most important elements: speed.Exclusive #1: Skate Expectations - Speedskating Team Training Pt. 1Exclusive #2: Skate Expectations - Speedskating Team Training Pt. 2
He picked Shimabukuro's brain about the right undergarments to wear while skating.Exclusive #3: Skate Expectations - Speedskating Team Training Pt. 3
He learned the truth about what happens to speedskaters after their careers end.Exclusive #4: Skate Expectations - Speedskating Team Training Pt. 4
And he got the chance to pitch a tie-in with "The Biggest Loser."
Ultimately, the trip to Salt Lake City and climactic speedskating race settled a score and turned once competitors into comrades, on the ice and off. To learn more about the 2010 Winter Games, visit the official website
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