Sometimes you forget the power of the Olympics, after all they only come around every four years, but despite all the hype and controversy and money and just plain bs, they can captivate like no other sporting event.
Actually to call it a sporting event is a bit like calling the Super Bowl a football game. It’s just a little bigger than that, and internationally anyway, the Super Bowl is comparatively a blip on the radar for most residents of this planet. And unlike the NFL championship, at least this year, the Olympics usually comes through on several occasions with thrilling moments and touching stories.
I mean already there’s the mogul-skiing sisters from Quebec (how cute are they, I’m pretty sure you might be seeing them on a commercial coming to your screen soon), the Canadian cross-country ski coach helping the Russian skier get to the finish line by rescuing him from a broken ski, the sudden departure of the Russian figure skating champion, the American figure skater who fell hard, and kept on going, the Canadian speed skater who sacrificed his spot for a fellow teammate who went on to win silver……..
The stories go on and on and once it finally comes down to the competitors is when the Olympics truly shine, and we’re just getting going with the men’s hockey competition. Go, Canada, go.
There’s a perception about the Winter Games that they have second billing to the Summer Games, and I understand that. After all the southern hemisphere isn’t that involved with all things snow, thus they may have trouble connecting with lugers and biathletes and short-track speed skaters.
However, this is Canada, and we care. Almost too much, but hey it’s part of who we are, like beer and maple syrup.
Certainly the skiers and skaters have gotten us off to a great start and there’s nothing like seeing the maple leaf rise as the strings of O Canada play in the night air thousands of miles away in front of a worldwide audience, well northern half anyway.
And locally we still have Kevin Hill, snowboard cross, and Justin Dorey, halfpipe skiing, to cheer for this week. Go guys go.
Sometimes I even catch myself watching events on TV that I wouldn’t think I would have the remotest interest in.
Often at bed time I’ll flick around the four or five channels that carry Olympic coverage (how did we ever get by when it was only one I don’t know?) and, of course, thanks to the time change that’s when venues are live so it adds to the interest greatly when you don’t already know what’s going to happen (or haven’t heard somehow, I already spoiled one Canada hockey game for a fellow worker by commenting on it not knowing he was PVRing it at home, hoping to avoid any talk of the outcome, oops).
So there I am flicking the channels trying to decide between curling and cross-country skiing, thinking maybe I should just go to sleep, when the attire of the Norwegian men’s curling team catches my eye.
I suddenly remember these colourful fellows from Vancouver four years ago and I begin watching their game with Germany, which is tied in the ninth end, and I’m wide awake.
Now, personally I didn’t have much at stake in the game, although my grandma was a proud Norwegian so I guess I was kind of cheering for the Scandinavians but it was just more interesting watching these rinks passionately battle back and forth, yelling instructions in languages very foreign to me, in a game that’s very Canadian.
It was cool.
And before I knew it I ended up staying up until midnight to see how it turned out. Norway won.
And we still have another week to go. Enjoy.