I've never been an avid fan of the Olympics in general, but I like the Winter Games even less.
I get bored watching different people do the same things over and over. The bobsleigh, for instance, gets tiresome very quickly. Every bobsleigh team contains the same elements — a well-painted sled with two or four Gumby-looking figures in it. Every Run Looks Identical
In the two-man event, you only see one person's helmet-clad head as the tandem whips around the custom-made ice slide. In the four, you see three heads and one ducker (as in the guy who ducks down).
Every run looks almost identical, and the only excitement comes if there's a crash. Of course no one wants to see anyone get hurt, but it's only when there are arms and legs flailing that you actually call someone in from another room to have a look at the instant replay.
This year, they've added women to the bobsleigh ménage. I thought this could prove to be more exciting, at least from a fashion perspective. How would they race through the ice and maintain hair and makeup? No need to worry, as I found out: They, too, were covered from head to toe.
I understand the real drama of ladies' bobsleigh lies in who rides with whom. Word is the girls have been fighting, trading teammates, you know, generally acting like gals. It's been a mishmash of hurt feelings and shattered hopes. The behind-the-scenes gossip sounded more like a sorority-pledging nightmare than sled competition.
Skiing, Snowboarding and Looking Great in Tights
The skiing events prove to be a bit more entertaining. Unlike the sledding, you can actual see the participants' whole bodies. I certainly admire anyone who isn't afraid to fly 50 feet into the air, twirl like a top and land upright. It's just that watching eight to 10 men, then the same number of women, do it twice each seems endless.
Speaking of danger, there's the skeleton. Go down an ice path headfirst on a sled at 70-plus mph. Wow … that seems smart. Kind of like riding in the car with your arm stretched out the window on the way into a narrow tunnel.
There's snowboarding. Here, I can only think "ouch" and "dude."
For genuine fun in the flakes, there's always curling. I have swept and mopped my kitchen floor for years — but without a uniform, audience, and or opportunity to "medal." Accompanied only with my teammate, Mr. Clean, I've never once been hailed a hero, nor has anyone around me played the national anthem or raised a flag. If you do win the gold in curling, does it make you more likely to be the president of a janitorial service?
Now we come to speedskating. Again, it's monotonous to watch one contestant after another swing their arms like a pendulum. The most fascinating part of this event is the fact that these people all look great in fitted suits. Anyone who wears a suit that tight without displaying unsightly bulges deserves a medal. Getting Beyond 'Skategate'
In my book, figure skating and ice dancing are the most visually stimulating events. Here we see precision, beauty, grace, rhythm … all the things I don't have. Actually, I skated as a child and was kept from figure skating competition because I didn't have one thing … a figure.
Anyway, I digress.
Figure skating, my favorite, has been the most talked-about event at these Games. But why? Not for the excitement of competition and glory … simply because of the scandal.