Thursday, February 11, 2010
Curling: Not Just For Irons Anymore
I am about to be overcome with ring fever. Specifically? Olympic ring fever. Ever since Michael Phelps and his mom (AKA Michael Weston's mom), I've been anxiously anticipating tomorrow. Something about team spirit (not to be confused with Teen Spirit, which smells much worse than Mr. Phelps' mildewed Speedo, rotting in a locker) and medals made of gold and hearing our national anthem over and over again. I'm especially fond of the Winter Olympics because where else can you see grown men with push-brooms furiously polishing ice and belting out "heh", "ha" and "hoh"? It's an American past-time.
OK, actually...it's not...but it should be. It should be one of those sports that kids who grew up in Queens talk about all the time. Like dice. Not like gang-banging. To me, it's frozen bocce ball and it deserves respect and love, just like the luge or the biathlon.
Because I've got the Olympic vapors, I have scored some new-found Winter Olympic wisdom, which I will share with you (and if you don't believe me, check Wikipedia. Very simple...unlike my fact-checking missions for the manure that Neal spreads around here so thickly. I'm sorry, I just have a hard time believing that the rotation of the earth determined our 7-day week. But thanks for trying.)
1. The event we now know as biathlon was originally called the military patrol. Not sure what the winter biathlon is? It's cross-country skiing paired with rifle shooting. Personally, I think you can only appropriately train for this sport in Canada...where you can ski for days and then shoot into the air without any danger of committing homicide. Those NYC boys? SOL.
2. The 5 Olympic rings represent the 5 major regions of the world: the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceana. I'm not sure where Oceana is...I've always thought that was one of the Titanic's sister-ships. Also, Australia? You should be pissed.
3. The Olympic Charter defines winter sports as "sports which are practised (yes, spell check...I realize that's incorrect. Those of us living in the colonies simply insist on giving "c" the soft "s" sound) on snow or ice." On a related note, no country in the southern hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Olympics. I would assume it has something to do with bullet point 1.
4. The 1900 Paris Games remains the only Olympics where no medals were awarded. Instead, winners were given valuable pieces of art...which further proves my theory that you can't trust the French. How many "gold medalists" own The Last Supper with an extra apostle?
5. Speaking of "where in the hell do you practice that sport??"...it's been 22 years since the Jamaican bobsled team made its debut. If that doesn't make you want to add Cool Runnings to your Netflix queue, you're clearly uninterested in the Winter Games.
Opening Ceremonies start tomorrow night at 7:30 PM. I simply cannot think of a better way to kick off Champagne Friday than with this: