On the Winter Olympics

I’m a sucker for the Winter Olympics – not so much the summer games, but count the days until the Winter Games. There’s something about curling up with a mug of hot soup when it’s cold outside and watching people ski, slide, skate, jump and shoot their way to victory. (Or maybe it’s the snow.)

I’m not so much into the chants and the flag-waving – my patriotism runs deep but quiet and is demonstrated through persistance, not volume. And for sports, I applaud people doing their best, no matter what country they come from.

I think the reason that I truly love the Olympics is that I love to watch people do their best, throw themselves into something completely. If you don’t end the Biathlon lying on the ground, gasping for breath, or finish your skate program with arms in air and tears of joy in your eyes, you didn’t do it right. I may not be able to judge your half-pipe moves, but flair seem to mean the élan that you bring to the sport – your height, your savoir faire as you grab your board, the je ne sais pas as you toss off moves that look like a Siamese cat falling off the roof and trying to right themselves…

And then there’s luge, which is completely the opposite, a sport in which remaining still, remaining quiet, as you hurtle through the hairpin turns faster than a speeding car, shifting your sled with just the slight bend of a knee but be oh so careful because too much and your sled slams against the wall and you lose seconds, bang, like that, and oh you are lucky if you just break your heart and not your body.

I’m not so much into hockey or speed skating – too much argy bargy for me. But who can resist the figure skaters? Or the ski jumpers, defying gravity, hanging air for just one more moment, just one more, just, oh, so close, can she make it up in style points? No! Yes!

And why do I like biathlon when cross-country puts me to sleep? And I surprised myself liking slopestyle since I can’t stand moguls. And I, like everyone else is waiting for the winds to die down on the slalom slopes.

And then there’s curling! Surprisingly entrancing, and, apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so since NBC has added so much more coverage of it. Although this year’s coverage is strange: I’m recording three different channels of coverage and yet I still seem to be saying the same sports over and over – for example, I sped through cross-country and did a quick dash through mixed doubles curling, stopping just for the final couple of rocks on each end. Not quite sure what’s going on.

I have great memories of one year, back in the late 80s, I think it must have been D’Auberville because I remember that I bought everyone funny-looking winter hats that year. There was a blizzard and everything shut down except the Chinese food delivery guy on his bicycle. I roasted plum tomatoes for soup and swirled in some fresh spinach pesto, some fresh crusty bread, and curled up with the Olympics. Amazing.

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day and despite two 12-hour binges this weekend, watching until 8:59 a.m. and starting again at 5:01 p.m. (thank goodness I work from home), I’m still a full day behind on coverage and will probably end up watching the closing ceremony a week late just so I can finish watching the games.

So no spoilers anyone.

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