Weird I know, but I could watch cross-country skiing for hours. What a workout! Consider their abs of steel for a moment. Must be the Norwegian in me coming out. Take along a rifle as you ski, then stop and plunk target after target? That is good TV.
Call me crazy, but I do worry whether Lindsey Vonn will be able to ski in all her Alpine events. Has the Sports Illustrated jinx struck again? I’ll be completely enthralled as the men rocket down the men’s downhill course or clip gate after gate in the slalom. Here’s hoping Bode amazes all, and lives the Alberto Tomba life to the fullest.
Having ridden down many a hill face first eating snow all the way, the skeleton races are magic to watch as is the balletic start of any four-man bobsled run or a luge rider craning their neck to see what g-forced, gut-wrenching turn is next. The sweet arm-swings of the speed skaters battling big-time lactic acid buildup always produces compelling stories for this fan who will never forget Eric Heiden.
However, nothing matches the stunning beauty of a ski jumper riding down the grooved track on the monstrous-towered hills, nailing the launch point and then floating further and further down the hill to land with classic, split-legged aplomb. Big hill, small hill or Nordic combined, I can’t help but think this as close and pure as it gets to a human flying. What a wonderful vision.
As for the rest, I’ll watch a little curling, but after one or two matches I can’t help but think how I should be sweeping up all the dog hair on the kitchen floor. I love hockey, but don’t bother me until the medal rounds during the Olympics. Come on, can anything ever come close to the “Miracle on Ice?”
Apollo Ono is so “two Olympics ago.” Short-track skating makes me feel I am watching Greyhounds at the dog track taking each other out in the final turn. I’ll pass this time. Same for all the free-style skiing. I cringe and my knees ache after watching just one run on the moguls. I’d probably be more into the snowboarding if they’d just stop using the word “amplitude” dude.
Finally, there is the viewers’ Olympic favorite, figure skating. Let’s see how many triple-triple combos some Russian adolescent can land all while smiling with perfect gleaming teeth as white as their pale skin. Sorry, when Dorothy Hamill and her Hamill Camel hairdo skated off the ice so did all the grace and beauty that once enthralled me. Welcome to gymnastics on ice. Will any skater actually have a clean free program? Doubtful. However, I will watch a little, maybe the ice dancing, just to listen to Dick Button, one of the best sports announcers ever.
We’ll be watching the opening ceremonies tonight hoping Bob Costas doesn’t get overly earnest and that the ceremony itself will focus more on the athletes and less on dazzling production. There will be many opportunities to root, root, root for the home team Canadians, but the attention given the “Roots” headwear the team is sure to wear will wear me out.
Come Saturday, the DVR will be filling rapidly with the events on my must-watch list. If things don’t go as well as hoped, I’ll be singing “Blame Canada.” But, I am also sure to enjoy it all.