Disclaimer: I am not an athletic person. My idea of exercise, other than Pug Chasing, is Horse Chasing, done with a halter in one hand and lead rope in the other. It's a sport of strategy: I block off his escape route until he gives up and lets me put the halter on his head. I'm always more winded than him. Otherwise, I don't even really care about sports much, with the exception of the Olympics. I like seeing everybody in one place doing their thing. I especially love the winter Olympics because these sports are crrraaazzzzy. Death defying. I like to live vicariously through our athletes, because there's a little part of me that would love to do crazy stuff like that.
Here's my take on the whole thing:
BOBSLED Wouldn't this be a blast? Seriously. I like to go that fast but it's in a car, with a roof, and doors, and you know, pavement as opposed to ice. Plus I think it's so cute the way the helmets bop around when the hit a curve. I just do. Check out the arms on our bobsledder here, Lascelles Brown. Wow.
LUGE I can't really get this. It's like tobogganing, only blind. And two-man? I just don't know about this. You'd have to really honestly like the other guy.
SKELETON This is nutty, man! Isn't this the thing your mom told you not to do? Head first down the hill? Whee! Should be illegal it's so dangerous, but I must say, it sure as hell does look like fun.
FIGURE SKATING I know, I know, it's totally poncey, but these people are in excellent shape and consider the difficulty of what they're doing. That being said, WHA HAPPEN? I had no idea you could skate on your bum. Everybody was skating on their bums. Only one guy, the beautifully mulleted Evgeny Plushenko-- I do love him and his craziness and his wack hair-- stayed on his feet. It's like he wasn't even competing with all the others. He was untouchable. Because all the other guys were on their bums. The ice dancers even skated on their bums, and I know nothing about this, but I've been told that ice dance doesn't require all the dangerous lifts and throwing the lady around and that sort of thing, and yet still, skating on their bums. It was worse in pairs. The skated on their faces. I didn't watch all of that but I'm glad. I tend to feel sympathy pains. I think it's a mother thing. In any case, the women were better, but there was still some bum skating. Jethro is a really big fan of Russia's Irina Slutskaya. But after this, he's becoming a big Sasha Cohen fan too. He only watches the women. Guess why.
HOCKEY This was pathetic. The men's team, I mean. What the...? Got too many Maple Leafs on the team, is that the problem? The women's team, on the other hand, Plushenkoed every team they faced.
THE NON SPORTING ENTERTAINMENT I'm a nonviolent person but I do have a mean streak, plus I'm impatient, so can somebody please slap Avril Lavigne for me? Slap the bleach blonde waves of Barbie doll hair off of her. Slap her goofy "I'm a big rock star so I can slop my way through my own song because I'm emoting here and making a fluffy hit seem so much more sincere just like that Simpson chick does" kind of wailing out of her. This is the preview for 2010 Vancouver? Yikes. And I'm really pleased that Ricky Martin changed his mind about the lip syncing at the closing ceremonies. Ricky can sing. I barely noticed his singing over his gyrating but he can. And those who can, should. No medals, but do it right anyways.
SKIING There are about 500 kinds of skiing but I don't like the cold so I don't bother much with it all. I do know that a guy named Bode Miller was a much discussed contender, but he admitted that he was really there to party. Apparently, party he did. If only they gave out gold medals for partying, dude, he'd be so gold laden he'd outshine the sun.
CURLING I do not get this at all. Hurry! Hard! Sweep that ice, dammit, before this slow chunk of granite gets there and taps the other one! I do know that thanks to men's curling, Newfoundland has a new holiday every February for the rest of recorded history.
SPEED SKATING Can you believe this stuff? The short track made me cringe--skate blades, razor sharp, inches away from faces!-- but I had to watch!! Long track is cool. In their slick suits they have a vague alien look, with the pleasant surprise coming after the race when they peel off their hoods and emerge as humans. Canadians rocked in speed skating this year. How about that adorable Cindy Klassen? (That's a good Manitoba Russian Mennonite name too, if I may play the old Menno name game.) She won five medals this time, plus one from four years ago, setting her place in the record books. Clara Hughes used to be a cyclist, now she skates. She won gold in 5000 m. Are you kidding me? She speed skated for 5000 metres. And then collapsed at the finish line. I would have too. I can't help but feel sorry for Jeremy Wotherspoon. He's a big handsome dude who's apparently really good at what he does...until the pressure's on. He was one of the "agony of defeat" stories. I think the sports psychologists have got their work cut out for them.
This is really why I watch Olympics: the drama. This is reality TV folks. This can't be predicted or scripted. For every amazing victory, there is a defeat, and some of those are bordering on tragedy. For every seasoned Champion there's a young upstart nipping at the heels. There are role model good sportsmanship examples, and some very sour faces and attitudes. I cry at this stuff. I never used to; I think it's a mother thing. I love it when somebody sees a camera and yells Hi MOM! But I must admit, I'm glad it's over now. I'm freakin exhausted!