Winter Olympics

I got completely hooked on the Winter Olympics in Vancouver over the weekend. I owe this to NBC’s confusing but highly comprehensive site full of video replays and live streaming. Normally I get frustrated with the coverage — too many sob stories and too few events, too much if a USA focus, not enough death and dismemberment. I get through about a day of coverage and I walk away. However, with the online coverage I get sports I usually never would see, all of the qualifying and medaling races if the US is involved or not, and much less pablum.

I have watched snowboarding, skeleton, ski cross, slalom, high jump, curling, hockey, figure skating, and more curling. I have watched so much curling I may actually be getting toxic on curling. A few comments:

– If you have not watched Shaun White’s two runs on the snowboard half-pipe, you should watch his two runs down the snowboard half-pipe. If you watch nothing else, you should watch him get his gold medal. I’m not certain what a 1260 McTwist is but it is a thing to behold.

Ski Cross is the world’s most bizarre sport, a strange combination between skiing, snowboarding and motocross. I have been obsessively watching clips. The best one was where one guy — the French guy I think? — wiped out so bad he ended up in the hospital. This bolsters my belief that the Winter Olympics are based on drunken bar bets. “Yeah lets go do this horrible thing on skis.” “SOUNDS GREAT!”

Skeleton involves laying face-first on an ice skate and going down a mountain at 90mph. Why wouldn’t you watch this?

– The Russian guy was not robbed of a gold in figure skating. The US guy was better, and I’m not saying this in a ra-ra USA USA tone. I am saying this as someone who watched them back to back and the US guy was better. Also, Johnny Weir’s routine was too simple to qualify for a medal.

– Pairs ice dancing is boring.

– The Canadian women’s curling team is amazing. All the rest of the curling teams are made up of the four people in that country who had once looked “curling” up on wikipedia. That includes the US teams who are awful. Hilariously, the hockey fans were getting bored of blowouts in the qualifying rounds so they were coming over to rabble-rouse over at curling and the International Curling Federation was getting miffed.

– The US-Canada Hockey game last night was hard core!!!! WOOOOO! It wasn’t even the medal game! All these people who want to purge the Olympic hockey back to amateurs only are so wrong. Hockey players season over time. College hockey looks nothing like that game last night.