Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The one good thing about this winter (and there has been very little) is that it is an Olympics year. I may not enjoy the season of winter but I am a die-hard winter Olympics fan. Then again I'm a huge summer Olympics fan too. For the entire two weeks of the Olympic games I sit in front of the TV and watch as much coverage as I possibly can. I am completely obsessed. Poor Jeff won't see the remote for the next two weeks as I jump between the stations carrying the games. I'm not sure where this passion for the Olympics came from. But I know that I've been fascinated for years now.

And I don't just watch the typical sports. If anything, figure skating interests me the least. I'm passionate about luge, skeleton, biathlon, curling, ski-jumping, and speed skating. A couple years ago I became obsessed with ice dancing although I'm not sure why. Like the summer games, where I watch at odd hours for the fencing, I will go out of my way to catch the more unusual sports. But I'm not picky. If it's Olympic coverage, I'll watch. That said, I feel I should clarify. I watch the events, not the other coverage. I don't even keep track of the medals standings mostly because I don't really root for any one country. I just love to watch the best athletes in the world compete.

In 2002, Jeff and I made the trip to Salt Lake to watch the games in person. We took Amtrak out to Utah and fell in love with the atmosphere. In fact the whole trip was incredible. We had purchased tickets to biathlon, downhill skiing, ski-jumping, and luge. We managed to get some last minute tickets to see a curling match. And at every event we were completely blown away by the atmosphere. At the biathlon we were completely surrounded by Norwegians and Swedes and the place was a constant party. There were flags everywhere and cowbells and horns. It was fantastic. The ski-jump was early morning and somewhat more somber. Than again there was far more risk involved. Luge was at night and was filled with picture attempts and amazing speed. When you watch luge on TV they slow it down quite a bit. Actual luge is too fast to even comprehend. It's like standing on the side of the interstate trying to catch details on the cars speeding past you at 80 mph. Tickets for curling were hard to come by and the arena was electric. It's like a chess match on ice and even the most subtle move can change the entire match.

So tonight my plan is to camp out in front of the TV, eat dinner, and watch the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympics. I haven't missed an opening ceremonies in the last eight sessions of the games. I love the pageantry of it. I love watching all the competing nations walk into the arena. I love seeing the uniforms. I love seeing how they light the torch. And I love the pride that seems to shine from the athletes' faces. It is a spectacle of the highest order and I don't intend to miss it. As always I'm sure I'll get choked up and cry. I'm sure I'll be swept up in the drama of the whole thing. And I'm sure I'll love every moment. If you've never seen an opening ceremonies I would highly recommend it. NBC tonight at 6:30. And if nothing else, make sure to check out some of the games.

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