Ice, snow and spandex make for a memorable Olympics
It's only Tuesday and I'm already having Olympic withdrawals.
Over the years I've morphed into a TV junkie and typically have the TV on for the noise, with hopefully some decent content along the way. The 2014 Winter Olympics didn't disappoint, because anytime you combine ice and snow with extreme sports, dramatic things are bound to happen.
Spoiler alert: I'm not a great sports commentator. There were so many athletes, from so many countries, most dressed in spandex with helmets and goggles on ... I had a hard time keeping up with who was who.
But the wipeouts alone were magnificent to watch. Skiers, skaters, snowboarders half the time it seemed like if they could just stay on their feet they were guaranteed to medal. The Canadian men's bobsled teams had one of the scariest crashes; as it slid down the course all four members seemed to be sliding down on their heads. But every competition had their share of spills.
While it seemed like more, there were only 15 disciplines competing this year. I saw most of them; missed curling and skeleton for sure, and while I'm not even sure exactly what those are, I can live with that. You just can't see them all. But I'll admit I was taken by surprise when I saw the skiers with guns.
While the biathlon competition (skiers with guns) is traced back to the Scandinavians who would hunt on skis, it just seemed strange and a little scary from my Southwest Oklahoma point of view. Maybe I've read too many John Sandford murder mysteries, but if I was in the woods and a skier came racing toward me with a rifle strapped to his back, I'm quite sure I would scream like a little girl and dial 911.
The ice dancing was just beautiful. I'm happy for our American gold medal, thanks to Meryl Davis and Charlie White, but I enjoyed every single one of the couples' ice dancing that I saw. I even learned a new word twizzle that made it even more fun for the commentators as they tried to sound like they knew what they were talking about.
Then there was the talk after skier Bode Miller was moved to tears after his win and broke down when an NBC interviewer pressed him on how he related his efforts to his brother, who had passed away months before. The reporter got bashed on social media for pushing a button that went too far, and Bode Miller defended her, saying that he was just very emotional and she had no way of knowing how close to the edge he really was.
My take? Give her a break. When your brother dies you are going to cry unexpectedly for a very long time ... perhaps even forever.
I also found the cultural differences to be interesting when reporters and competitors at first were surprised by poor construction, brown tap water, stray dogs, etc. The social issues such as the high cost of hosting the Olympics and Russia's position on gay rights made for some interesting commentary and thought-provoking discussion.
Finally, my last observation, after much research and thoughtful consideration: All hockey players are hot. Uh, and skiers and snowboarders, too.
Now we have to wait two years for the Summer Olympics, which for me are not nearly as exciting. Call me crazy, but in the choice between skiers and gymnasts, I'll take the hot guys in spandex any day.