Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Last night, I found myself at the gym with 3 televisions in front of me, all broadcasting olympic events. I was in heaven as I pedaled away, watching hockey, figure skating, and snowboarding simultaneously.

The Olympics are my favorite sporting events to watch. Nothing...not the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Series...comes close to it. (ok, maybe the Red Sox/ Yankees playoffs in 2004) I love the summer Olympics, the winter Olympics, the opening ceremonies, the closing ceremonies; just about every event you can see. Except curling. What the hell is up with that ridiculous sport?

There's just something so magical about the games! I remember when I was younger, I got so wrapped up, hoping that the US would win. Now, I really don't care who wins, as long as it was deserved. (oftentimes in figure skating, ice dancing, or gymnastics, the judges have a rather creative way of scoring) These games, especially, it seems that the athletes are from everywhere and nowhere. There are athletes with dual citizenships, living in one country and competing for another. There's that Chinese figure skater who defected TO Russia to skate with her partner in pairs. And I find myself cheering for the Canadians to win a gold in their home country.

That adorable are Shawn White and Apollo Ohno? They both just seem to love competing so much! And they are both just SO GOOD!

I was fortunate enough to go to the 2002 games in Salt Lake and I saw short track speed skating. That was only the second games for short track and it wasn't very popular then. It wasn't popular with me. I remember grumbling that we couldn't get tickets to REAL speed skating and we had to settle for this second rate substitution.

Back then, they didn't show short track for what it really was on TV. I just remember tight camera angles showing wipe outs but not the overall race. It looked like a free for all; roller derby on ice. It wasn't until I saw the entire track from above that I understood what it was all about. "Oh! That's why he was disqualified. I totally see now." "Oh! That's how to pass legally"

ANd Apollo was NOT the fastest one out there. Far from it. He almost looked like one of the slowest skaters. But what he could do was pass on the inside. Really well. Flash forward 8 years and he's like, 30 pounds lighter and one heck of a lot faster. Plus he can still pass on the inside. ANd stay on his feet when unfortunate Korean skaters wipe out in front of him.

Then there's ol Shawn. He looks like he sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in Mississippi to give him superior airborn skills. He's that much better than everyone else.

I'm so excited about all the events yet to come. Women's figureskating. Women's half pipe. Aerial skiing. Downhill skiing. Hockey.(You'd think that with all the hockey and olmpics I've watched in my life that I'd know all the words to "Oh Canada" by now. But sadly, I only know the first and last lines of the song.)

The other feelings I get during the games, of course, is the desire to work out like a fiend and compete myself. Sadly, at age 40 I think my chance of making it to the olympics are long over.

Except, maybe, in curling. There's a lady competing at the olympic level in curling while she's 6 months pregnant! I think I may actually have a shot at this. And ---there's a curling club less than 30 minutes from my house! I could be in the 2014 games! Did I say curling was a ridiculous sport? I meant the most awesome sport in the world.


Carolina John said...

i love curling, we also have a curling club here in raleigh. never played it though.

the olympics are always a blast to watch. but i can't get into the figure skating. graceful, yes. competitive, i can't see it.

Anonymous said...

Once I learned how curling is played, and just how hard it can be, I got way more impressed. Yeah, it's not hockey, but the strategy involved is crazy.

I've always loved the Olympics but, like a lot of folk, I don't tend to watch the sports any other time! LOL