Winter Olympics in Full Swing

February 16, 2010 | Tom Federline

Big fan of the Olympic Games. Love being hit left and right with obscure sports that you can rarely catch on the tube. Athletes on skis traversing cross country for miles, carrying a gun while pausing ever so often to shoot at a target. Personal favorite – “Pucks with Brooms”, a large disc/”rock” with a handle, launched down an ice alley, while teammates alter the plight of the “rock” with the sweeping of brooms. This leads to the “rock” engaging other “rocks” or landing in a specific ring of points. That’s just cool – I got hooked on this Curling deal, during the last Olympics. The Luge, Bobsled, Nordic Combined, Snowboard Cross, Moguls, etc. etc. All the sports I would like to try but really at this stage in my life, could be somewhat challenging, if not just to dangerous.

I am a warm weather person, but I favor the Winter games over the the Summer games. It may because there are less athletes and teams. It may be because I like the landscape and aerial shots of snow covered mountains. Although like most of you, I am sick of snow. And heck, except for the mountains, they have very little snow up there in Vancouver. It’s all here! They are complaining because its warm and raining/slushy. Who wants to run up to Vancouver with me? We can still catch the Curling and Giant Slalom. How about the mens Downhill Skiing last night? Are you kidding me? Never ceases to amaze me how they stay up, while skiing down a hill I wouldn’t even take a sled down. Do they even still make wooden sleds? Some people say I had/have a little daredevil in me, but man some of these events are just “off the slope”.

The moguls! Once again, I shake my head. Are your knees and legs supposed to be able to act as pistons running at 3200 rpms, while skiing over small mounds of snow and ice, then doing aerial acrobatic maneuvers while being timed? Grant it, there wasn’t one kid who stepped up there that the commentators didn’t reel off their history of hospital visits. But man, just so cool. The USA gal, Hannah Kearney, winning gold Saturday night in this event was exhilarating to watch. Last run, had to beat the Canadian, judging did have to come into play (I’ll leave it at that, for this blog). The commentators were engaging. My daughter and I were watching and it felt like we were there. We were pulling for the USA gal, through the television. That ladies and gentlemen is entertainment.

The Winter Olympics: I like the almost constant coverage – NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC. I like being able to turn on the tube and watch these athletes perform their passion. I like the music of the Olympic theme. I like the Dr. Feelgood stories. I like not having to hear about steroids and doping schemes every other event. I like the notion of an athlete, a piece of equipment, against a clock. Minimizing human subjective interaction that leads to “fixes”. “I Know What I Like” – Genesis (old – the good stuff).

I also know what I don’t like about the Olympics. I’ll leave those comments  for a later blog. The festivities started out rough with the Georgian “Slider” getting killed on a practice Luge run, the day of Opening Ceremonies. Extremely heavy. The games must go on. Alterations were made. We will not see another 95 mph ice track for athletes to go down on a piece of fiberglass that has two long metal runners on the bottom of it. Once again, bizzare equipment for an unusual sport. Skeleton is even nuttier than the luge……they go head first! How about the Bobsled? Let’s get in a car with skates and cruise down this ice tube AND we are going to push it as hard as we can at the top to get the most speed! These kids are nuts I tell you and I enjoy watching every minute of it.

I am not fond of a commercial every 5 minutes. I am not fond of the “fix” in Figure Skating.

I wanted to start out the Olympic blogs on a positive note. So let’s not pick apart what we already know is wrong. Let’s give a standing “O” for the kids who have reached their dream. A standing “O” for the athletes that didn’t hang it up and put in another four years of training to make it back. Yes, some are looking for a big payoff and some already have achieved that. Good for them. Making it to the Olympics, the experieince and maybe if the stars are right a medal.  Then receiving potential compensation for something you love doing, no matter how obscure it is……..hey man, that’s the ticket. Hit me up with your favorite Winter Olympic event. USA, USA.