Jayson Terdiman is a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan.
Getting ready to head to Seoul, South Korea, after finishing up his training in Japan, the Berwick native found himself sitting in a train station with his eyes glued to his phone.
No, he wasn’t watching the livestream.
Terdiman couldn’t find a livestream anywhere and no one was watching Super Bowl LII on a television. He was relegated to watching the play-by-play of the big game on the NFL Mobile app. In fact, he had to purchase a data pack just so he could get that.
To watch the Eagles win their first Super Bowl — albeit, he watched the play-by-play, but still — now Terdiman can’t help but use the Eagles’ magical run as motivation as he prepares to take on the world’s biggest stage in less than a week — the Winter Olympics.
“I’ve been a big believer in, ‘On any day anyone can win. You just have to be the better team, the better athlete,’ ” Terdiman said. “Watching, not watching, but paying attention to what they did (Sunday), I feel like good vibes are on my side. It wasn’t my game and I’m not on the Eagles team, but I’ve been an Eagles fan my entire life. To have that kind of momentum in any aspect of my life is great going into the biggest event of my career.”
Terdiman can draw parallels between what he’s trying to do with his teammate Matt Mortensen in Pyeongchang and what the Eagles were able to accomplish.
It’s David vs. Goliath all over again.
Philadelphia lost starter after starter, including All Pro left tackle Jason Peters and MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz, was an underdog in each one of its postseason games and faced future Hall of Famers Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and the defending champion New England Patriots. But still, the Eagles were able to pull it off.
Terdiman and Mortensen on the other hand, will have to upend gold-medal favorite Germany if they want to hear the Star Spangled Banner on the podium Feb. 14. Six countries have gold medals, yet the United States is not one of them. Germany, the medal favorite in each discipline, has a record 31.
But that doesn’t meant that Terdiman and Mortensen won’t be a factor because they have a chance to medal in both doubles and team relay on Feb. 15.
“The way I look at it is, Matt and I can only control the sub-two minutes we get on that sled and take that a little-less-than-a-mile-run down the track,” Terdiman said, who is seeded ninth in doubles, according to the International Luge Federation’s website. “If we’re able to stay within ourselves and do what we can do, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the rest of the world and hopefully we’ll be in their heads at that point — where they’re doubting themselves or something like that.”
Before Terdiman even gets his opportunity to compete for his first Olympic gold medal, he’ll have the chance to walk with his fellow American Olympians in the Opening Ceremony on Friday.
With Pyeongchang 14 hours ahead of the United States, the Opening Ceremony will take place 6 a.m. local time. The event will be shown in prime time Friday evening on NBC.
“I’m looking forward to the Opening Ceremony. That was an incredible experience for me in Sochi. It was an awesome time,” Terdiman said. “We get to meet all of the other athletes from Team USA. It’s crazy. We’re all part of Team USA, but we never get to meet up. All of our tours are at different times and different places. I’ve made a lot of friends in Sochi that have also qualified for these games that I’m excited to meet up with again — just catch up with.
“Being with my family at the Games is going to be great. Both of my parents are going to be there.”
Rippon takes the ice
Clarks Summit native Adam Rippon, who is competing in his first Games, took the ice before Terdiman at Pyeongchang.
The figure skater, one of three U.S. men’s singles entrants, will make his debut Sunday night (Monday morning Pyeongchang time) during the singles free skate portion of the team event.
Rippon will then be back on the ice in competition Feb. 15 and 16.
The 28-year-old and the rest of his American compatriots will conclude the team event on Sunday, with both the men’s and ladies free skates and ice dance free dance. The 28-year-old will begin his journey for individual gold on Feb. 15, with his short program while competition concludes the following day.
“I’m at the Olympics,” Rippon told reporters on Wednesday, via The Denver Post.
“It’s bomb-dot-com,” Rippon added. “It’s very cool. It’s everything I kind of thought it would be, but it’s so weird to be actually living in it.”