Growing up, I was enthralled by the nationalism, the honor, and the athleticism that the Summer Olympics represented. The Winter Olympics failed to evoke any of the feelings from my childhood. What's wrong with the Winter Olympics? Let me count the ways...
THE GRAVITY EVENTS: Several of the events of the Winter Olympics rely heavily on gravity. Bobsledding, luge, skeleton, etc. Due to basic physics, a primary goal for these athletes is to convert as much potential energy into kinetic energy. More specifically, fat athletes fall down faster. Note to Winter Olympic hopefuls... train hard, but not TOO hard.
THE GLITTER EVENTS: I think it's obvious I'm talking about ice dancing/ice skating now. The guys glitter more than a Stephanie Meyer vampire. An actual teaser from NBC said "SPORT + ART = GOLD". I feel that "ART" is weighed too heavily for an Olympic sport. The commentators even commented that the song selection and costumes would be reflected in the scores. Probably not exactly what the Greeks had in mind.
THE GUESS WHO WON EVENTS: I actually do enjoy the alpine sports for the speed, athleticism and pure bravery, but without "head to head" competition, it's nearly impossible to tell who has the fastest time run after run. Instead of getting the rush of excitement while the athlete is actually competing, the entire event is just waiting for the athlete to finish so you can see the official time or judge's score.
NBC's Delayed Coverage
NBC has been ruining sports for several years now, but they really stink it up when the Olympics roll around. With their delayed coverage (tape delaying events to show during primetime), we all have to pretend like ESPN, CNN, New York Times, etc. don't exist if we want to be engaged in the events shown during primetime. Part of the draw for watching sports is knowing that you're watching a moment that is being shared by the world. However, with NBC, you get to share that event just with people in your timezone who have never heard of the Internet. Well, at least NBC takes that time to edit down their Olympic coverage to give you just the absolute best moments of the day... well not exactly. We get to watch athletes warm-up, go to commercial breaks, wait for scores, take another commercial break, then watch a heartfelt backstory on the athlete... rinse and repeat. NBC has taken the "human story" factor a little too far. During one event, I was told multiple times that one athlete's family had missed several mortgage payments, but were there in Vancouver to be supportive. I kept waiting for a number to flash on the screen so I could send money.
PUT IT INTO CONTEXT
Where are the world records? How does this year's group of athletes compare to previous Olympics? Due to the nature of most of the winter events, the courses and tracks change constantly so it's impossible to have World Records to compare to previous years. Part of what made Michael Phelps' performance in 2008 was that not only did he win, but he was shattering world records along the way. Along those lines, since many events have athletes compete one after another, there is a huge advantage to be gained by luck of the draw. Course conditions change and watching others scout out the course before you gives a huge competitive advantage. In events that can be decided by tenths of seconds, there doesn't appear to be a level playing field.
IT'S NOT ALL BAD
Despite all my complaints, there are some perks to the Winter Olympics. First and foremost, I get to practice my USA! USA! chant. Also, I was surprising amused by Meryl Davis' resemblance to the Na'vi from Avatar. I think if they'd painted themselves blue and put tails on their costumes, they would have been a lock for the Gold.
I've hardly watched the Winter Olympics as most of the places I've lived in hardly broadcast it (unless it's on Sports on Cable TV but that's one channel I don't subscribed to). This year though, I'm living in Shenzhen and the China's state tv station CCTV-5 (a sports channel) has been telecasting the various competitive programs throughout the day and it's hard to miss it! Originally, I had titled this review "China's first Gold". … more
I'll be the first to tell you I'm not a Hockey fan. This is because it's not a hugely played sport in the US and I wasn't brought up with it. I was brought up watching football. Nevertheless, the Finals of the Men's Hockey of the US vs Canada was something I was NOT going to miss. Given that the US was able to beat Canada(with a score of 5-3) early on in the tournament added to the excitement of this game. Canada got a quick jump on the US scoring two unanswered … more
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, will be held on February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the resort town of Whistler nearby. Both the Olympic andParalympic Games are being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC).
The 2010 Winter Olympics will be the third Olympics hosted by Canada, and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada was home to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. These will also be the first games to be held in a National Hockey League market since the league allowed its players to participate, starting at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Following Olympic tradition, then Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan received the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The flag was raised on February 28, 2006, in a special ceremony, and will be on display at Vancouver City Hall until the Olympic opening ceremony. The event will be officially opened by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.