OK it’s confession time. I don’t talk about it much as many would would find it unbelievable to even conceive of the idea… but here it is – I have not watched a single event of this Olympics. Whether it be skiing, skating, luging or curling, the whole thing has escaped my attention. Whew! Now let me explain why…
Growing up there was only one sport in my house…football – which as you know if not an Olympic sport. And it to this day is one of the few sports I can understand and watch and not feel like a total idiot. I get the game. I know nothing about the men playing, I have no idea who is the best at any postition, and truthfully I couldn’t identify the positions on the team if you asked…at least not all of them. But I get the game. I know how it is played, what most of the calls mean and I know what happens when X,Y,or Z happens.
The Olympics is a whole different animal. Skiing, Speed skating, figure skating, hockey, and then there is curling….what in the heck is up with curling? Domestic sweeping combined with shuffleboard on ice. ???
I am lost and since I am lost I find it hard to watch. But there is one thing that intrigues me about the Olympics and it is the only thing that has held any interest for me. I like the human stories. I like reading each day about he triumphs and trials of these athletes who have given up a normal life for this dream…only to have normal life crash in to the party. I don’t want to sound morbid, but it makes them human to me…not just machines who will do whatever to win. And so I cry with them, I laugh with them and I shake my head at the fates that await them.
I read yesterday about the Canadian figure skater whose mom passed away suddenly 2 days prior to her first competition. Having lost a parent that way, I wept with her. And then second part of that story was that Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Jensen – who famously lost his sister just a couple of hours before his race in 1988 (and came back in 1994 to win gold) – had reached out to her by letter and an offer to meet with her if she wanted someone to talk to. Not just a decent gesture – heartfelt concern for someone dealing with an emotional pain he himself had felt.
Or how about the speed skater whose coach told him to switch lanes – causing a DQ in a race he would have easily won. Can you image being that guy? Can you imagine being that Coach? A mistake, even a big one, is still an accident.
And then this AM, I read about 2 American skiers sniping at each other on Twitter. Jealous much?
This is what I am intrigued by at the Olympics. The games themselves…well, someone else can watch those.