A lot of people like to dump on the Olympics, especially the winter games. Not to say that they aren’t without flaws, or even that ice dancing is my cup of tea, but the Olympics are special. Don’t deny it, yo! Nothing else brings the world together in such away and, apart from a hostile alien invasion, I’m convinced nothing else could.
We are over half way through the 2010 Vancouver games, and they have already produced a number of highs and lows. If you have yet to tune into NBC, do it now- before it’s too late! Revel in the John Williams soundtracks! Soak in every triumph and disappointment! Feel the national pride!
If you have missed out, here are the highlights thus far, from my point of view.
Curling – OK, I haven’t actually seen a minute of curling. But I wish I had.
Speed Skating – I don’t know why, but these events have been among my favorite. Speed skating is way cooler than it sounds and a bundle of fun to watch. Short-track is like an abbreviated NASCAR race on ice. You can pull for American kiddo J.R. Celski. At the Olympic trials in September, J.R. crashed, cut himself in the leg with his own skate blade, and, as one broadcaster so delicately put it, almost bled out on the track. Yet here he is in Vancouver! (You can pull for speed skating fairy Apolo Ohno, too. Just don’t pull for those Koreans.)
Snowboarding – While the men’s half-pipe finals were enjoyable, I am not under the spell of Shaun White to the extent that most people are. I don’t care what you say, he looks like a girl. How many people watched the women’s half-pipe event? Australian gold-medalist Torah Bright was just infectiously happy. She is also way prettier than Shaun White.
Luge/Skeleton/Aerial Skiing – I just wonder what percentage of athletes soiled themselves the first time they tried these sports. Gah. I’d be terrified.
Figure Skating – I have never liked men’s figure skating. Never ever. But I tolerated it this year. And I was happy for Illinois-boy Evan Lysacek. Quad or no quad, I thought he earned the gold. On a side note, did anyone see the Japanese kid with the Charlie Chaplin routine that had to stop in the middle of his skate to fix a shoe-lace? He was my favorite. Ladies skating starts tonight. Yay!
Cross-Country Skiing – I feel the pain just watching this sport on television. I know this is exactly one of the sports people like to pick on, but if you just catch the end of a race, it can be really exciting.
Ice Hockey – I saved the best for last. I was looking forward to the hockey above any other event of these Olympics. As it turns out, my excitement was not unfounded. I sat in on a live-chat of the US-Norway game, and “listened” as most everybody bemoaned the inferiority of team USA. I’ve only recently gotten into the sport, so when the people of cyberspace almost unanimously agreed that we were going to get creamed against team Canada, I assumed they were right (*Smiles.*)
But what will happen next???