I love the Winter Olympics. The Summer Olympics are fine, don't get me wrong, but the Winter Olympics are about more than simply conquering your opponent, or even pushing yourself past the limit. The Winter games, so unlike the majority of summer sports, require competitors to not only fight against each other but to also fight against the elements. They wear blades on their feet, wrap themselves in insulating thermal underwear. Their gameplan can change overnight, depending on the quality of the snow, the temperature in the air, whether the athlete who went before cut a bad line across the slope.
The Winter Olympics are cooler. Not only in degrees, but degree of difficulty. We can all run--maybe not fast--but we can run. Swimming, throwing, jumping... these are natural human actions. The Winter Games, however... are almost demonic. Two slabs of plexiglass strapped to feet, sliding someone down a hill, to a giant ramp that flings them into the air? Don't see that everyday. Guys with brooms, ushering a big shiny rock across a plain of ice? That's a sport someone had to invent.
But maybe I'm biased. I went to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Wow, was it really 1994? Like, over a decade ago??? Wow I'm old.
So I'll be watching the opening ceremonies tonight, despite the fact that no Olympic opening ceremony ever has made sense. Even with the explanations offered by the TV commentators:
"The woman in the colorful hat and purple leotard emerging from the water symbolizes the ancient Mayan diety of sport, Gzacklahunda"Ok, I made that up. But honestly, you'll hear something close to that tonight.
"And the elephants flying over the crowd represent the 7 continents."
"Here come the ballerinas dressed as unicorn-lion hybrids, which signifies the mix of fantasy and power the games embody."
"Oh look! It's four Siberian Husky puppies painted in the traditional colors of the Zylock people, barking out the word "freedom" in twelve different dialects to the four corners of the world."
"When we return, the PARADE OF NATIONS! A hundred countries you don't care about and then, the U.S.A.!!!"
So lets go U.S.A.! Even though all the foreign judges will be biased against our athletes because of certain unpopular American policies, I think it should be a fun Olympics to watch. After all, the Olympics are about peace and goodwill. We could use a little bit of that right now.