Saturday, February 25, 2006

mystery achievement

back when i was in 7th grade i wrote an essay about wanting to be an olympic athlete. something about the thought of reperesenting your country as a top athlete really got to me, even though i was a scrawny (though reasonably athletic) kid. my english teacher, mr. bundy, commended me on the piece. since i can remember, i've been entranced by the idea of the olympics, as much as the competition (and this was before i found out the the athlete's village was one giant pick-up joint, the hooking up apparently enabled, if not encouraged by the ioc and sponsors.).

anyway, i love watching them, especially sports that i wouldn't necessarily be all that into were they not part of the games -- swimming, track and field, luge, bobsled and of course, curling (and admittedly, yes, this helps). oh and moguls, but then this helps as well.

this year, though, it's been a giant bore. i watched a few hours of it during the week, and with the exception of a few curling matches, the canada-swizerland hockey game and any of the hockey games in which finland played, it's been bleh.

well, not totally. snowboard-cross was awesome, and short-track speedskating is fun, and not just for the spill-factor.

but there have been no compelling stories featuring winners. the big stories have been about the over-hyped who for various reasons, couldn't deliver and were less than sporting or gracious about it. though to be fair, weir has taken the gold for "Best Use of the Games to Become A Bigger Celebrity", narrowly edging out the flying tomato.

though come to think of it, the french guy who won men's downhill gold...that was a thrilling moment. last guy down the run, not expected to do much as he's still recovering from a knee injury, and steals the top spot with a daredevil run. that was a good story, even if it had a short shelf-life.

those surprise moments were just too few and far between. yeah, it was great that the japanese girl won her country's first gold in that sport, i mean, competition. but she did it because the favorites fell. if they'd all stayed on their skates, she's 3rd at best.

usually i find myself at the end of the games almost not wishing they were over. this year i keep wondering when they're finally gonna end.

{addendum...watching the games makes me want to go to torino. looks like an amazing place for a winter vacation}

that said, i still would love to be an olympian. 2010 is far enough away to get together a danish bobseld team, right?


susan said...

mmmm...greg in a bobsled.
i always wanted to be a gymnast - i get much more excited about that OTHER olympics

this charming man said...

now that i think of it, unless you're the sled driver you don't see much during the run. you're bent over with your face in the butt of the guy ahead of you. and being the driver takes tons more training than i'd be able to do without quitting my job and being supported full-time by the danish olympic committee.

a gymnast? what would be your signature event?

susan said...

I think the uneven bars. That used to be my "thing" as a young gymnast. Then I got too tall and fat. *Sigh*