Friday, February 19, 2010

The Winter Olympics

I have noticed something extraordinary about the Winter Olympics this year: I have changed my opinion dramatically about what events are worth watching.  For instance, women's figure skating used to get me tuned in every time, but this year I've noticed the men's single figure skating is FAR more exciting than the women's.  I think it's because the men are allowed to just go for it and let loose on the ice, whereas women are still supposed to be graceful and elegant, even while throwing themselves about in the most extraordinary positions.  To be fair, the single women's competition hasn't aired yet, but looking at the women in the double's competition, it seems that they're just... well... duller. 

I think this change in me has happened because when I was younger I always wanted to BE a figure skater (or a gymnast, or a dancer, or a paramedic, or a midwife, or a lorry driver, or a "stone lady"...), so I'd watch these tiny little skaters with the sure knowledge that I could also do what they were doing, if I only chose to do so.  Now I'm older and the skaters are pretty much ALL younger than me (humph), I've noticed that the male competitors are able to perform much more advanced jumps and twists, which makes for more interesting viewing.  I've gone from cringing at a man in spandex flaunting his wrists about and tilting his effect in a romantic fashion, to holding my breath when they attempt the ever-elusive Quad.  It's extraordinary.

Also, speaking in more general terms, I think this Olympics has shown me some really, really exciting events I hadn't paid any attention to before.  The fact I now live in the USA means that events have really become something, because there's usually a fair chance a medal is up for grabs.  The team from Great Britain have barely been visible, although I will always cheer for them first.  Also, the fact I live in the Midwest means that a lot of the US team's competitors are either local to this state or train nearby, which is rather exciting.  For those reasons I've really taken to the short track speed skating (especially the relay... Oh. My. God.), the snowboard cross, the snowboard half-pipe and I'm sure some other events yet to be shown.  There was a rather thrilling event the other day in the women's downhill skiing, because the competitors were flying down the mountain at such a rapid pace that there were wipe-outs and crashes galore.  Fabulous!

Because I'm at home all day I've managed to watch nearly every minute of broad-casted Winter Olympics and I have to say, I don't think I've enjoyed one before quite so much.

Come on Great Britain!  Win at least one medal... please...!


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