Now I generally catch the events at work. My other job besides author is bartender and at my bar, sports are always on. Or if sports aren't on, the sports news is on perpetual repeat. And since the only two team sports I really enjoy watching are baseball and hockey (well, I like soccer too, but it doesn't get much coverage in America), I'm bored 50% of the time. Lately it's been especially terrible because while I just don't really care about basketball (like many Chicagoans, I stopped following after the Michael Jordan era), I hate football with every ounce of my being. So for the last few months, my Sunday night shifts have been pure torture. Then, this week, figure skating was on. I was instantly and joyously transported back to my childhood.... well except in my childhood I wasn't watching figure skating with a couple of football-loving men in their fifties who had to give a running commentary about the outfits. ("Men shouldn't wear that. Is that chiffon?" "Isn't chiffon a color?" "Either way, men shouldn't wear that." If I hadn't been so tired, I might have thought to interject that if men shouldn't wear that, should they really be running around a football field in shiny spandex tights?) Of course, lots of mockery was going on about my favorite figure skating outfit of the evening, the German pairs skaters' harlequin look. I'm sorry but this was just too adorable. The only thing that would have made it better is if they did their routine to something like "Coin-Operated Boy" by the Dresden Dolls. They might have gotten the gold then:
Now when I watch the Summer Olympics, I mainly focus on the sports I loved as a kid, but never was very good at, ie. gymnastics, swimming, and diving and there are some sports that I'm not interested in watching at all (volleyball gives me bad gym class flashbacks, wrestling and weight lifting do not interest me & I hear they are adding golf which sounds brain-numbing). There aren't any Winter Olympic sports that I was ever even remotely good at. Though I did love to roller skate as a kid, so I think that's why skating is my fave. I remember the thrill of seriously cruising at the roller rink, or, more often just flying around the park on my roller blades, so I definitely dig speed skating because of that. I love the figure skating costumes and am amazed by the way these athletes dance and leap on ice! On ice! With really sharp blades on their feet! Kind of terrifying if you think about it. In fact, I think I might like the Winter Olympics even more than Summer (despite how much I love watching gymnastics, swimming and diving) because so many of the sports are total daredevil activities often involving high speeds and tricky leaps. I just can't imagine the rush of racing down a mountain on a luge or a snowboard. Though I also definitely wouldn't be able to endure that cold....
Honestly the only sport I have no interest in watching during the winter games is that one where they ski and then shoot stuff. I just don't get it. And I didn't get curling for many years but last Winter Olympics it was explained and demonstrated to me in the bar. The joys of bartending is watching the Olympics with an audience.... even if the audiences does make fun of your favorite figure skating outfits sometimes.
Ooooh and want to win some books while you are enjoying the Olympics? Who doesn't! Author Tera Lynn Childs is running a Contest of Olympic Proportion through out the Winter 2010 Olympics in which she reflects on a sport, pairs a book with it and then you can enter to win said book. Ballads of Suburbia got paired with snowboarding (the edgy daredevil thing), so right now you can enter to win it here.
What are you waiting for? Go enter! Oh wait, but tell me your thoughts about the Olympics first. Do you like 'em? What are your favorite events?