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snowday

18 Feb

Hey, so it’s Winter Olympics time.

I’m one of those awful people that kind of thinks of the Winter Olympics as ‘Those Other Olympics’, but after watching a bit of it I have decided that I’m wrong.  The people in the Winter Olympics are far crazier, far more destructive than their summer counterparts.

In summer, people run.  They swim.  They flip around on a mat, and do some archery.

In winter they hurtle down an intentionally bumpy slope, propelling themselves into the air and flipping in ways that’ll most likely land them on their neck and snap their spinal cord.  These people are absolutely fucking nuts, and because all of their sports seem inherently dangerous and crazy, I have no way to gauge exactly how dangerous and crazy it is.

It’s like when you were a kid and your mom maybe put some food coloring in your eggs just for fun, and you were all, WHOA.  Mom can change the basic colors of things.  What else can she do?  Ride an easy-chair to the moon?  Eat living, venomous snakes?  Make a shank out of a toothbrush?  Because your mother’s obscure talents are already unreachable, nothing can surprise you anymore.

I’m the same way with all of these winter sports.  A snowboarder rockets fifteen in the air and does an Ultra Quark  Bojangle.  The crowd goes wild.  I nod appreciatively.  The next snowboarder rockets seventeen feet in the air and does a 1942 Supreme Burrito and the commentator stands, throws down his microphone, and sobs.  He has reached the pinnacle of his profession.  Nobody will ever achieve the perfection of the 1942 Supreme Burrito, and all other snowboarders may as well just shoot themselves in the face and be done with it.

And I am all, huh.  I don’t really see the difference between that and the Ultra Quark Bojangle, but I’m very glad that they are all so excited. Isn’t that nice, oh look, he’s jumping up and down and won  the gold medal.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE, SHAUN WHITE. GET DOWN BEFORE YOU BREAK SOMETHING.

To attempt any of these sports is impressive.  To master them is ridiculous, and to excel at them is utterly unbelievable.  Every single Olympic competitor excels at their craft, and at that point, it is difficult for me to discern Awesome from Awesomer.  They are all just crazy people trying to kill themselves in a half-pipe, albeit fancily so.

So here’s to you, Olympians.  May you not die in your quest for godhood.

I’ll just continue to watch and cover my eyes at the scary parts.

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8 Comments

Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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8 responses to “snowday

  1. James

    February 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    This is why I call the summer Olympics “The Five Rings of Lame.” There needs to be an omnipresent potential of permanent disability to hold my attention.

    My favorite trick has got to be the Gesticulating Hobo.

     
  2. Sally

    February 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    You’re one step ahead of me. I’m not even watching. Just getting Olympic news from reputable sources such as yourself.

     
  3. lisa

    February 18, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I would laugh harder at this post, except I know that the luger from Georgia died hurtling himself at 140+ km/hr down an ice track during a training run. This was the day of opening ceremonies and Vancouver was reeling from the shock of a dead Olympian. RIP. 😦

     
    • Jessica

      February 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

      This is very true. Hearing that news made me feel sick, and when they showed the video…ugh.

      I definitely cried during the opening ceremonies when Georgia appeared, and I can’t even imagine what that luger’s family must have gone through. To get so far and then be cut off at the height of your ambition is just unfathomably awful.

       
  4. ck

    February 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Here is what I have watched instead of the Winter Olympics:

    1) NBA All-Star Weekend.
    2) Blazer games.
    3) American Idol.
    4) Nothing.

    The people in the Winter Olympics are far crazier and more destructive, but that doesn’t make them better. In fact, just for kicks, here are my main complaints:

    1) Half the world can’t compete because it NEVER GETS COLD THERE. Ever wonder why we don’t have skiers from Kenya and Ethiopia? Because they’ve never seen snow in their lives. How can it be a world-class competition if half of the world is excluded?
    2) These sports are EXPENSIVE. Yeah, I know that summer Olympians spend loads of money on training and equipment too, but it’s at a whole different level with the winter Olympics. It’s feasible to become an Olympic athlete in the summer games and only having to buy a pair of shoes. Not so with the winter games. Every event requires ridiculous amounts of equipment, and on top of that, it’s expensive to even go to the mountain to train (or rink or whatever).
    3) Because of 1 and 2, the games strike me as being pretty exclusive. It’s not intentionally racist, but when you freeze out people who live in hot weather and people without money, you lose a large percentage of nonwhite and nonasian peoples. Seriously, count how many black athletes there are in the winter games. Doesn’t it strike you as a little odd that there are so few?
    4) It’s cold outside during these Olympics. What that means is that you lose a lot of the raw emotion and nonverbal communication that you’d see in summer athletes. Yes, you definitely get a taste of “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” but it’s much easier for them to hide behind a helmet and puffy jacket than it is for summer athletes. Also, on a lesser scale, the crowd has to be all bundled up and is far less insane than summer Olympic crowds.
    5) On a totally subjective basis, I much prefer watching the summer events. Look at what you’re missing out on during the winter games: No track and field, no basketball, no swimming, no beach volleyball, and no gymnastics. Boo.

     
    • Jessica

      February 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Yeah, I agree with you that the summer Olympics are preferable in a number of ways, but I’d argue that culturally, the Winter Olympics are important too.

      Consider countries like Sweden or Norway, whose sport culture is built around ice and snow. Things like speed skating are HUGE there. It would be unfair to ignore the sort of competition that their country is made for, because some countries aren’t as cold. I mean, dude, I remember reading Hans Brinker when I was a little kid and reading all about the ice skating there and being jealous.

      There’s no good way to standardize sports that embody the cultural heritage and allow equal opportunity in every single country. The variables are just too widely spread. Swimming ignores countries with little water. Running ignores countries where it’s too cold to get outside, or where the landscape is too rocky or dense. Skiing ignores countries without mountains or snow. Everything is going to be difficult for some country to compete in, and so I think the Olympics has really done just about the best that it possibly can. It’s a well-organized competition in which any country is allowed to compete.

      That said, I do agree that the drama is higher in the Summer Olympics and that they’re generally more entertaining, but I don’t see anything wrong with the Winter Olympics that could be remedied.

       
      • lisa

        February 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

        As a born and bred Vancouverite, I will say this: Canada is ALL about hockey, therefore the Winter Olympics draw more attention here. (If the Canadian men’s or women’s team wins gold, I will definitely be part of the screaming celebratory horde downtown!)

         
  5. Vanessa

    February 20, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I’ve always liked the Winter Olympics much more than the summer ones. I haven’t been watching, though, since I’ve been awfully busy lately. I’d like to catch some figure skating at some point.

     

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