Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Winter Olympics

I have yet to be entirely caught up in the Winter Games. Usually, the Olympics appeal to my most basic TV-loving instincts, the part of me that worships the creators of Hulu and would gladly spend hours lost on the couch. At its best, like in men's figure skating finals or women's downhill, watching the Olympics sends me back to the childhood years I spent immobile and rapt while Wide World of Sports brought me news of Ironmen Triathalons, off-year figure skating championships, rowing regattas, and various other competitions that in the pre-ESPN audience brought niche sports to the masses. What could be better than to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon inside watching the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? That's what I think when I'm watching the Olympics and enjoying them.

When I'm not enjoying the Olympics, though, when commercial after commercial for cars and beer and highly packaged juice products take pride of place, all I can think about is how they had to ship the snow to Vancouver and how the weird weather guy from the Weather Channel told Bob Costas and the rest of us that what we were seeing "weather wise" was "March in February." At those moments I can barely keep images of Canada's now slushy tundra filling my mind's eye and blocking off the smiling faces of all the pretty people selling things on MY TV. You can see how this could seriously keep someone from falling in love with the Olympics, even if I did kind of fall in love with the Norwegian guy who won the Super G last night. He was one tall drink of fresh clean water. Who doesn't love that?

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