Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the games begin.

I used to like the Winter Olympics, and the Olympics in general, a lot more than I do now.  I don't know when or exactly why they lost their luster but I'm not running home and turning the tube on right away to see what is happening.

I think one of the biggest reasons is because the information is available right away that the anticipation of watching the event has been stolen.  Another reason is that NBC and the rest, spend so much time giving us life stories that I don't get to watch as much competition as I would like.  Don't get me wrong, some of these athletes have gone through a lot to make it where they are, but I don't need the biography of each and every competitor.  Please spare me the story of how some figure skater whose dad is a gazillionare had to get up at 4 in the morning to get rink time.  Jimmy and Leonard were getting up at 4 in the morning to deliver over 200 newspapers.  Their dad drove them twice.  Twice! Many, many mornings where it was below zero.  Otherwise the were pulling a wagon, or a sled.  And they did it every day, seven days a week.  I couldn't care less about how one of these guys "realized their Olympic dream"  while they travelled the world riding their snowboard.

(Sidebar on Jim and Len.  Back in the old days of growing up in Malta, staying over at someone's house was always a big deal and something we all tried to do every Friday night.  When you stayed at Jim and Len's, you got up and helped on the paper route.  It wasn't a bid deal except that in the winter it was freakin freezing.  Thus, they didn't have a lot of people sleeping over with them in the winter time.)

Don't get me wrong, if there are real stories to tell, I'm all for watching them. Just not on each and every athlete there.

Despite all of the above, I have decided to help begin the Olympiad by posting a video of one of the greatest performances of all time, Franz Klammer's downhill victory in 1976 at Innsbruck.  I can't rate my top Olympics memories of all time right at this moment, but I do know that this one is in the top ten.  Best of luck to all the competitors except the Chinese and Russians.  Won't root for them in anything period. I don't want them to die but if any of them has a compound fracture and dislocated hip, I'm not going to be crushed.

One more thing, keep your eyes peeled for Heather McPhie n the women's mogul freestyle competition.  Heather is from right here in Bozeman. She is competing Saturday afternoon in the prelims and if she does well there, she will be in the medals round Saturday evening between 7 and 10:30. Also look out for Bryon Wilson in the men's mogul freestyle.  He is a Butte native. The paper only says that Wilson competes on Sunday. (No offense to his parents, but Bryon with an "o" Cmon already!) These are two stories I would watch.


1 comment:

Uncle Scooty said...

Top Olympic memory? Hands down the 1980 Olympic hockey win over the Russians and then over the Fins for the gold. Got to watch some of those guys play high school hockey against my high school - that made it even more special.
My parents had tickets to a lot of their exhibition games leading up to the Olympics, so they were really into it. The day they played the Russians, it was an afternoon game, and was taped to show that night. My parents tuned into a scratchy, barely audible radio broadcast on a Winnipeg AM station, and heard the game live. My mother was so beside herself that she called all of us kids on the telephone to tell us what had happened. For the first minute or so, I couldn't understand a word she was saying, "They beat the Russians, they beat the Russians, they beat the Russians!" I thought, at first, someone had died!