Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Fever Week 1!

Last night I went to bed ashamed and then woke up even more ashamed, and, a little depressed. I have gotten up late almost every day this week (this is an "off work" week for me) and have gone to bed way too late. Why? The Effin' Olympics, of course!! The reason for my shame today was I logged how many hours I had sat in front of the TV over the last six days and the number began to reach into the 30's. That's about six hours of Olympic coverage per day. I could have used this time to work out, learn to cook, start an online business, worked on Jil's web page, helped homeless children and a whole host of other, probably more constructive things.

But I chose not to. And it's because I'm an Olympic addict and always have been. I love the Olympics because it's two weeks out of the year where our world makes some kind of sense. Where every country gets a chance on equal ground to show what it can do and no one is in it for the money (well, that last part is not true because every sport is about the money, but the athletes don't get a check with their medal). When some dude from China can lay down with some dude from Japan, side by side, in the Biathalon and for once it's not about the enmity both countries have for each other but whether or not they can shoot a target the size of a silver dollar 100 yards away. Of course both shooters know that either a Norwegian or Swede or German will beat them at this game, but they take heart knowing that other sports their countries participate in have a decent chance of getting a medal (like short track skating).

So what have I learned and seen with my huge time investment this past Olympic Week 1? Let me share:

1) I know that a man wearing snakes on his garment, with perfect hair, can make me pay attention to men's figure skating and that Euvgeny Pleshenko is a little Russian bitch with poor sportsmanship. Way to go Evan Lysacek.

2) That a Swedish ski racer can have the worst wreck I've ever seen on a Women's Downhill and can come back the next day and get a medal.

Anja Paerson

3) One thing about short track speed skating: it is the closest thing to organized chaos in sport. But, Apolo Ohno needs to now shave off his little soul patch. Course, it's probably netted him some extra millions in recognizable marketing endorsements but he just looks like the guy at the frat party who is pumping the keg.

4) Bode Miller isn't a D-Bag. He now is throwing out Buddha-like wisdom on what it means to attend the Olympics. I'm paraphrasing here, but basically he said: you have to choose to give yourself over completely to what the Olympics are about. Once you commit, you can then find the passion and will within yourself to rise to the occasion that this event demands. If you can find that special motivation, you can make a magic moment. Way to go B.

5) There is no bigger letdown than going from watching Mens Halfpipe Snowboarding and then watching the Womens. This is as chauvinistic as I will ever be but here goes: it is like watching an NFL game and then watching a junior varsity high school game. The women have some nice tricks but the air is way low, the pushing of the envelope is basically non existent, and the woman who won the gold, Torah Bright from Australia, had no flair and no personality to her run. Maybe it's because Shaun White is so freaking good that he makes EVERY snowboarder look bad. Come on ladies, step it up.

6) Nothing gets me off the couch, wincing and then covering my face like the crashes in Downhill and Super G. It is completely involuntary and reflexive which tells me all my years of skiing have instilled a fear in me that I don't ever want to crash going 70 mph. I can't believe the guts of the men and women who carry that kind of speed down an ice sheet.

7) The MOST BORING SPORT OF THE OLYMPICS (it's a tie): Ski Jumping and Cross Country. No matter how the announcers build up the stories or try to create some kind of drama, these two sports absolutely blow. Watching dude after dude fly through the air in exactly the same way and then land on a hill where you can't discern if it was a big or small jump is torture (I still watched it). Worse is watching a bunch of cardio idiots zip their way around a track, not even racing each other, to try and get the fastest time when they look like they are going 5 mph (I also watched this).

8) Finally, my favorite moment of the Games thus far: Lindsey Vonn hugging her husband at the end of her gold medal downhill run and both crying and congratulating each other. Not sure if that was worth the 30 or so hours it took me to get there but I had some tears in the eye. Way to go Vonn.


  1. dude this is awesome - i swear to you grant, riley and i have had the exact same conversations about the olympics. riley has spent every night since the opening ceremonies at our house. we have watched EVERYTHING (minus ice dancing because that's not really an olympic sport.) you know you've gone too far when you see tears in riley and grants eyes after johhny weirs breathtaking performance.

  2. This was a great entry, it's nice to see someone writing about the athletes and not the countries-of-origin.
    I'm sad that the Olympics will be over soon :(