Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Monday, February 27, 2006

Goodbye, Winter Olympics


The 2006 Winter Olympic games have come to an end. I admit it, I ama fan of the Olympics. I got off toa slow start this year, what with being out of down the first 4 days and all, but thanks to TV Spots nightly on demand highlight reels, and the nightly evening coverage I still got to experience a wide variety of the best Winter Sport has to offer, worldwide.

Alpine Sking - check - Saw the non-conformist Bode fail at eveything he tried. Saw snow postpone skiing,imagine that. Caught some downhill, some slalom, some super G. Maybe not my favorite but it is interesting to watch. What was with outlining the course in blue spray paint, I don't recall seeing that before.

Biathlon - caught the women's race. Saw the winner practically lap everybody else. The endurance of cross country skiing, the patience and accuracy of target shooting.

Bobsled - Saw that two, you might suspect its one of a coaster fan's favorite event. Coaster fans even travel to ride 'bobsled coasters', roller coasters in deep troughs meant to give the feel of bobsleding. Last summer ACE visited Olympic Park in Salt Lake Utah, where they have a public modified bobseld run for anybody interested. I wish I could have made it.

Cross Country SKiing - I saw the men's relay which was won by an Italian, saw his bask to glory as he was FAR ahead of anybody else, then saw Italy win again in a 50K endurance race that was decided by fractions of second.

Curling - OK, I admit it, I am fascinated with Curling. Sure itslike shuffleboard on ice, sure it isn't exactly the fastest paced game at the Olympics, sure subtly and finnesse are favored over strength. What some people can do with a 44lb rock is amazing. And, hey the United States took home a bronze medal. Not bad for a country that isn't exactly known as a Curling hot spot. Well I suppose its another 4 years of Curling deprivation for me.

Figure Skating - Well, the good news is a new objective scoring system seems to have rid us of the usual judging scandals. The bad news is said scoring system has been inferred to have promted skaters to design such demanding routines that falls were more the rule than the exception. I mean 4 falls in Ice Dancing!!!

Freesstyle Sking - so its x Games meets the Olympics, its still really fun to watch what people can do in terms of stunts mixed into a downhill race.

Ice Hockey - Watched a few games of this. Saw Russia get a player ejected for unsportmanlike conduct, saw USA get dinged for having too many players on the ice. Saw USA's hockey dreams dashed.

Luge - Sledding for Gold! Yep, its another coaster fanatics dreams. I got to see a luge sled up close at the Minnesota State Fair once. I hear the price for error is severe, and unfortunately we got a lesson in that this time around. I got to see some luge racing, thogh I missed the Skeleton, which is face first Luge for Psychos.

Speed Skating - yep saw both the regular and short track (roller derby) style races. Saw the first African-American winter olympic medal winner win, saw the height of ugly unsportsmanlike conduct threaten to tear our team apart. And saw Italy sit back and take Gold while our splintered team was recoiling from the shock of bad blood, Saw some wipe outs, saw South Korea take the prize this time.

Snowboarding - Okay so its X-Games meets the Olympics, its just plain fun to wath this one.

Ski Jump-I didn't manage to catch much at all of this one, but what I saw looked good.

Oh an'd yall may laugh at us Curling fans, but outside of hockey, how many other sports had their own dedicated channel!

I caught the closing ceremony last night, have not watched the opening yet, but have it taped for whenver I have like 4 or 5 hours to spare.

I also witnesseed a great example of making the most of what cards life deals you in the Vancouver mayor. He is the victim of an awful skiing accident that left him as a quadrapalegic. Part of the ritual and tradition of the closing is the passing of the Olympic Flag from one host city to the next. with each mayor waving the flag vigorously. Well, he scoffed at the idea of letting a stand in take care of his flag waving duties, he engineered his own brilliant solution to the problem. Thats the spirit.

As has been stated these Olympics shared the medal wealth more than any other Winter games with 26 nations medaling, some for the first time ever. It seemed there were no sure things, and that keeps the dream alive.

Well, now the pagentry and spectacle of watching the world's best is over until the next summer games in 2008 (China) and the next winter games (2010) in Vancouver, Canada.

So, like that, it seems to take forever for the Olympics to roll around again, they may seem to last forever as we are glued to the TV night after night. But then, when its time for it to end, its like a vacation, it just seems like the time flew by.

Well, there is one last thing to dofor these Olympics. My own personal closing ceremony - time to take down my Olympic Flag, fold it up carefully, and put it back into storage, awaitng the 2008 summer games. Maybe I'll give it a few vigourous waves first.


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