Olympic QUESTION


Are you watching the Olympics? I turned on the TV for the opening ceremonies, only to see how luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili of the Republic of Georgia died. In case I missed it, NBC kindly showed it a couple more times.

(Sidebar: before I saw the accident, I was talking on the bus yesterday with some of the regulars. We found it an interesting sociological phenomenon that ABC Wide World of Sports showed Slovian ski jumper Vinko Bogataj as the Agony of Defeat for 20+ years; the guy fortunately only suffered a concussion.)

But I’m not a big Winter Olympics fan. The newish extreme sports (halfpipe, etc.) look interesting, but I have no sense of how they score them. I learned a while ago that hockey is more interesting live than on TV, but if the US is in the match and not being trounced, I’ll probably watch some.

I figured out only yesterday why skiing, as inherently appealing as it should be, bores me silly. It’s one guy going down the hill. Then another guy going down the hill. And another. And another. And it all looks the same unless someone makes a mistake, and falls. Are we supposed to wait for a tumble, and hope it’s of the Vinko Bogataj variety rather than the Nodar Kumaritashvili type?

I realized that skiing is like the Kentucky Derby, except that only one horse and jockey go around the track. Then another. Then another. Substitute your favorite race (auto racing, track and field, swimming). Whereas the luge is so intense, not just fast but claustrophobic, it’s generally more watchable. Are we waiting for the (non-fatal) wipeout there as well?

The only thing I’ll truly see, though, is figure skating. The one thing my ex and my wife have in common is a love for the sport. I’ve been watching since 1992 and even have a basic understanding for the scoring in the men’s and women’s events, less so in the pairs, and hardly at all in ice dancing.

ROG

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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