Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Skeletons of fun

The games of the XXI Olympic Winter Games have begun. A time when a bunch of pale skinned [genuine vanilla faces, even!], fair haired, blue eyed men and women from all over the northern hemisphere and parts of Australia get together and play in the snow for weeks on end. I don't think that accurately describes the Games, however, as my friends and I used to do the same things. We called it "January". It was not as exciting as it sounds.

The caveat to the physical stereotype is, of course, the Jamaican bobsled team. We've all seen Cool Runnings. Don't lie. You know you love it. Besides, what's not to believe about John Candy playing a character who at one time was a world class athlete? Aside from everything.

I unabashedly love watching the Olympics. I like rooting for the good ol' USA. I like cheering for the underdog mixed doubles curing team from Lithuania. I like seeing the pure confusion on my friends' faces when I explain the difference between an Axle and a Toe Loop when we're all watching the figure skating competition.
What? Like you don't watch figure skating with your friends?
What? Like you're amazed that I know the difference in figure skating jumps?
What? Like you didn't know I used to take figure skating lessons as a child?
This hole is getting pretty deep. I better stop for a second.

But just for a second.

I understand how a sport becomes an Olympic event. What I don't understand is how a sport continues to be an Olympic event. Biathlon, I'm looking at you. Up for grabs today? You guessed it: 50 Stephen Bohn McFun Bucks if you can tell me, without cheating [I'm looking at you, Patrick Copeland], who the best biathlete in the world is. I'm assuming that you know what the biathlon is. The correct answer is, of course, Tim Burke.

What the hell kind of sport is that? Skiing and shooting a gun? Sounds like an action sequence from The Living Daylights to me. It sounds nothing like a sport. How in the world someone decided those two things should be mashed together, televised (albeit at 2:15 a.m. on MSNBCMOUSE), and then the winners of the event should be given pieces of precious metals for the efforts is completely beyond me. I understand the biathlon less than I understand the words "next date" and that's saying something. For all my cynicism, I'd still probably watch the event if I had cable.

The shoot n' snow event (I've renamed it] not withstanding, there's no reason why you shouldn't watch these games. Go and cheer for an underdog. Go root for the skeletoner... skeletonite... dude who participates in the the skeleton event who is from Denmark whose only competing with his sled Rusty SpeedCryer [writer's note: apparently Danish dudes who participate in the skeleton event name their sleds as though they were stereotypical Native Americans] and the song in his heart. Or, let me come over and watch it at your house because I don't have cable.

I'll bring the McDonald's and we can act just like the athletes in the Olympic village do: eating McNuggets until we burst. 'Cause the commercials tell us that's what all good athletes eat. If that's the case, I've got a Big Mac Attack some serious training to do.


1 comment:

  1. I wanna know how people get good at these events. What possess someone at, what I assume to be, an early age to learn how to sled down a luge track at ungodly speeds? Where do you get the sleds? Where do you get the luge track? I'm baffled.


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