Olympic Recap (failed)


This is my attempt at some in-depth sports reporting…or not.  I am going to give you all the generic couch potato’s review on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

The opening ceremonies had not even begun and the 2010 winter games already had received a black eye.  The poor Georgian luge competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili (try saying that 10 times in a row…hell, try saying that at all) died during a training run prior to the start of the games.  While this is only the 2nd luge death since the sport was introduced as an olympic event in 1964, it highlights the danger of luge.  Look at the facts.  Start with a tube of ice on a steep incline.  Now add in some wicked turns that can put up to 5G’s on a slider.  Then, throw a person on what is essentially a piece of plastic strapped to two ice skate blades and let ‘er rip…no thanks, I will stick to my innertube on a grassy hill…And you can forget about Skeleton…that is the luge, but head first…F THAT!

The beating for Canada did not end there.  During the somewhat boring opening ceremonies (compared to China’s) when it came time to light the olympic flame, there was a glitch.  You had Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash and a couple of other Canadian spares all standing there for at least 2 minutes with failed smile while this contraption arose from the arena floor…the problem was that not all of the contraption made it out of the floor…boom, another black eye!  So before the first competition is even played the Canadians look like they have been a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson.

Luckily the Canadians would recover nicely during the two weeks of games.  They ended up being the leaders in gold medals, which is nice considering the way things started.  Let’s review some of the individual events and athletes…

Let’s start with the events as they occurred chronologically.  As boring as the ski jumping is, it intrigues me a little because it is somewhat insane.  Can you imagine sitting up there on that little bar waiting to just point your skis down a steep hill that ends in mid-air?  Then you are expected to stay airborne for over 100 meters! Crazy! And I didn’t see one person crash…I would have hit then end of that ramp and just dropped like a stone only to end up as a clump of tangled limbs and ski equipment at the bottom…

Speed skating could quite possibly be the most exciting winter olympics sport.  I am not talking about the long distances, but the short track stuff is great.  There are constant crashes, disqualifications and just plain great athleticism.  I am not knocking Anton Apolo Ohno, but should he be put up on that pedestal that the broadcasters seem to put him on?  Has he won 8 olympic medals? Yes…This is a nice accomplishment, but if you look at those medals they are mostly Silver or Bronze.  If we are going to idolize our athletes, let’s pick one that wins more than they lose…I’m just sayin…Bode Miller is another of those celebrated winter athletes that has a bunch of medals, but only 1 of his is gold…Another thing that bugs me about speed skating is the gay helmets that they wear.  All of the other sports have stylish, modern helmets.  Speed skating has what look like the old foam bicycle helmets from 1985.  There is just no way to look cool in one of those, especially if you are already wearing full-body spandex…

Freestyle skiing is also an exciting event.  I can only imagine the damage done to these competitor’s knees over time…It makes mine hurt just watching them hit those moguls.  The jumps are the best part and the tricks get bigger and bigger with each competition.  This is also where Canada managed its first gold medal in the men’s division.  This was a cool story because the winner has a brother with cerebral palsy and to watch the wheel chair-bound guy root for his brother to win gold was just a nice little story.

All of the downhill skiing events are fun to watch because those people are going so fast.  You don’t have to wait long for someone to wipe out and then just watch as their bodies flip and tumble and slide down the rest of the mountain with skis and goggles flying everywhere…it’s just great!  It reminds me of a crash test dummy flailing around.  It is also dangerous and most of those that crash do not get up on thier own…but I still giggle at each crash, I can’t help it…

How dominant is the US in snowboarding?  Moreover, how dominant is Shawn White?  This guy had successfully defended his gold medal title with his 1st preliminary run!  He didn’t even need to take his 2nd run.  Does he just cruise down the center of the half-pipe and mail it in?  Hell no!  He pulls the double mctwist 1260!  (a future blog about the name of snowboard tricks coming soon)  This is a trick that has never even been attempted in competition, let alone landed.  It was greatness and so is he…other than that hair…he should use some of the millions in endorsements that he makes to get that carrot top-looking bush trimmed up.  The other snowboarding badass is Seth Wescott, who repeated as the gold medalist in snowboard cross.  Snowboard cross is a wild event.  It is 4 boarders in a timed race that includes sharp turns and big air jumps.  This event provides the crowd with huge air and lots of crashes…greatness, cause you know I like crashes.

I just can’t get into ice skating…men’s, women’s, pairs, ice dancing…they all look the same to me and I could not tell you the difference in a Lutz, loop, salchow, axel, etc…they all look like the skater jumps up and spins around and lands on one leg…I will say that the girl from Korea that won the women’s gold is a badass and the guy that won the men’s for the US is a gay ass…I will say that the bronze medal winner in women’s skating had a really sad story and she showed some intestinal fortitude to go out there and not only perform, but perform well right after her mother suddenly died.   I only wish that she could have won gold, but there was not going to be anyone defeating that Korean, and there may not be for quite some time…

Kudos to the US for actually competing quite well in bobsleigh and nordic events (cross-country skiing).  In the past the US has not been much of a competitor in these events and this olympics the tide was turned and the future of both events looks great for the US…even though these are both boring events to watch on tv…

A big kudos to the US hockey team.  Although they fell short of winning the gold, they sure turned a lot of heads and gave the Canadians all that they could handle.  Great gold medal game.

The closing ceremonies were much better than the opening ceremonies…mainly because there are not so many ceremonial things to sit through…it’s more like watching a variety show, and who doesn’t enjoy a nice variety show?  I bet the male figure skaters like a good variety show…I do give the Canadians some credit for making fun of themselves and the issues with the flame lighting and the oversized beavers and moose…I thought it was funny.

All in all, I will be sad that the olympics will not be on my television tonight.  I have enjoyed watching and will watch again in 4 years for sure.  Now it’s back to sitcoms and all of these new shows that NBC is throwing out to try to gain some viewers back after the Leno debacle.

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About Generic Dad

Ex break dancing champion turned competitive eating loser. I am into prosthetic limbs, knife throwing, and I am a self-taught magician...I once fought Kimbo Slice to a draw, my belly button is known to seep gravy, which has come in handy on more than one occasion.

Posted on March 1, 2010, in Thoughts on Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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