Thursday, February 25, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
The Winter Olympics have been going on for over a week and I must confess that yours truly has not found the same enthusiasm which drives the urge to watch the Summer Olympics.
Maybe it is because all of the venues which are necessarily used for the most dangerous and strenuous activities require the fans/spectators to be dressed in Artic survivor gear. Just as many of us who don’t think the thrill is worth the chill, there is a match of those who do.
I try to make it a point to take in such events as ski jumping, snow boarding and ice skating because, to me, these are where the action is. The spirit was dampened sadly and greatly when a luger was killed on a practice run prior to the start of the games. Let’s face it, some of these trials are super dangerous. And some of the athletes who have used this track at Whistler Mountain have complained that the route is just “entirely too fast.” On the flip side, some acclaim that the run down this track is exhilarating.
I have been in climes which are conducive to skiing and all, but must admit that there has never been the slightest desire to try a ski jump. However, if anyone who watches the ski jumps has any problem defining “poetry in motion,” this gives the perfect explanation. It is amazing how these jumpers keep their bodies in such exact and rigid form and nail the landing at breathtaking speeds. It is impossible to watch a spill in these runs and not feel the pain, even if one is sitting by a cozy fire drinking Kool-Aid.
As in the summer games, these athletes do it for fame and fortune. And oddly enough, when the games were started eons ago, it was never the intent to pit country against country. The first real country vs. country rivalries began with Germany against the world and then it was Russia against the U.S.A. and the world. Now, this appears to be the major thrust of the games. Hey, I am not knocking the premise, merely pointing it out.
I confess that each day I check the “tote board” to see how the ole home country is doing. Going into to Sunday, the U.S. was leading with 23 medals overall, with six gold. Matter of fact, we were ahead in all places. Germany was second, Norway was third and South Korea was fourth.
The South Korean gold medalist was upset that the American who won a medal to become the most decorated in a Winter Olympiad was standing on the same medal stand. And I always thought that the South Koreans were our buddies.
There are many more medals to be won and yours truly thinks that we will get our share.
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