four years I make a resolution to myself that I will not sit in front of the television
for two weeks and watch the winter Olympics. But, like my infamous diet plans,
those resolutions seem to die and fade away shortly after the games begin. I never
have watched the opening ceremonies, so I suppose that is one consolation or another.
I must be true to myself.
The events this year has been somewhat more
interesting than some of the preceding ones I've watched. For example, this is
the first year for the snow boarding events such as the half pipe and the down
hill something or another. I found both of them fascinating to watch and wonder
how these young kids can even practice this stuff without getting their necks
broken. Where do they learn to do these things? Like most parents, I keep worrying
about their pants falling off…that seems to be a lesson in gravity all of it's
Our youngest son, who is now thirty went to school with a guy who
is on the American bob sled team…he didn't make it to the finals this year for
some reason or another. After you see these folks do these incredible feats that
got them there in the first place and then get knocked out for one minor reason
or another, you wonder how they manage to keep their spirits up and will they
return four years from now? This profession seems to be a very tough one to maintain.
me, the ice dancing is the hardest to watch. In the individual events if you screw
up the only person you have to blame is yourself. In the ice dancing, when you
mess up, you take your partner out at the same time. One can only imagine the
hours and years they have put into perfecting their routines, only to have their
hopes and dreams dashed by a wrong turn or twist of an ankle. Take a look at the
faces of the Italian couple who fell on Sunday night and you can see what I mean.
It was hard to tell whose fault it was that caused them to fall, but his attitude
certainly wasn't very forgiving to his partner. I'd imagine the rest of their
night was very frosty and chilly, even indoors.
think it makes good sense to inject new events into the games such as the snow
boarding ones, but I'd like to suggest a few that the Olympic committee might
want to consider in the years to come.
Snow bowling - bowling alleys are
slick, ice is slick…why not combine the two and have a bowling alley set up on
an ice rink? The possibility of the participants sliding past the foul line just
gives the event that extra edge of excitement. The reality of the pins freezing
to the surface makes skill even more valuable. Should be more interesting to watch
than curling….which is about the same as watching paint dry.
could use some jazzing up as well. How about this…combine the ski jumping with
some of the elements of the biathlon? It'd work this way…the skier would come
down the ramp…launch themselves off the ramp and then while sailing towards the
landing be required to take a rifle and shoot at some targets placed alongside
the ramp…now this would take skill. It would also be interesting to see how the
gallery would react to each racer. Think about it. It could catch on quick.
last suggestion is a little bizarre, but in the days of roller derbies and indoor
football, who knows what might turn out to be the newest and greatest sport of
all time? How about NASCAR ice racing? My concept would be to take an ice covered
track, use NASCAR type racing cars, put those spiked, studded tires on them and
turn them loose with about 25 other cars just like them at high speeds. Not only
would this spice up the racing world but it would make the pits stops much more
interesting as well. Let's see those guys change a spiked tire in ten seconds
or less. This could be big back here in the states in the winter time. You heard
it first on this column.
As the week continues, I'll be thinking about
ways to improve on these events for the 2010 Olympics when they roll around…stay
© Peary Perry
From North America
- February 21, 2006 column
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