Close to Nowhere
Sunday night I watched the closing ceremonies of the 23rd Olympiad and was panic stricken. What was I going to watch now?
I rapidly become addicted to the snowboarders and skiers jumping off the mountains. The girls’ snowboarding was new to me, but the year Shaun White became famous snowboarding was the first time I’d ever heard of any of it.
I am a Monday morning snowboarder now — at least as good as most of the Monday morning quarterbacks.
There was something new in snowboarding this year — big air. You come hurtling down an approximately nine-mile high ramp, it curls up and you launch yourself into outer space and tumble around holding the bottom of your snowboard,
Chloe Kim, a little-bitty 17-year-old girl, won all kinds of medals in snowboarding this year. She throws herself off the mountain with the same enthusiasm as the teenage boys. I always thought girls were smarter, but I guess not.
I love the skiing, the cross-county, the shooting in the biathalon and the ice skating. Oh my. The speed skating is incredible. The ice dancing with required spins, throws and “twizzles,” was spectacular.
During the free dance, there was one Russian girl who was so perfect and beautiful on the ice that I rooted for her.
One of the “sports” I’ll never understand was new to me this year. Curling. I’ve always thought golf was the most boring sport on television. I was wrong. Golf is exciting and understandable compared to curling.
I even resorted to Wikipedia to try and at least understand why everyone on television was so excited.
You push this rock that weighs 44 pounds down the ice toward a round target shape that’s called a house. You rapidly or slowly sweep the ice in front of the rock so it will go in the direction you want at the speed you want.
There are four people on your team. One to push, one to be the captain, two to sweep?
I tried, but curling will never be anything I want to watch, even in the Olympics.
Now, sledding is another matter. We’ve sledded on our hill a bit; fortunately, we don’t get enough snow to do it regularly.
Bob sledding is fun to watch. The sledding where you go 9,000 miles an hour feet first looks fun.
But skelton sledding is a completely different level.
And I have to wait four years for Bejing. Olympic withdrawal is sad...