Monday, February 10, 2014

The bizarre events of the Winter Olympics

Hockey, figure skating, alpine skiing and even bobsled are exciting events people identify with the Winter Olympics. The Winter Olympics has some great events but it also has its share of weird sports, boring sports  and, in some cases, events that don't even classify as a sport. Some of these events make us groan, some make us giggle... but they all make us change the channel.

Curling - *forehead slap* I’m sorry, but… no. Any event that uses a cleaning apparatus as a part of competition isn't a real sport and doesn't deserve to be in the Olympics.

Skeleton – An event for the daredevil with a death wish. In this competition, participants hurtle down an icy track at 80+ miles an hour HEAD FIRST. Can also referred to as "opposite luge."

Doubles Luge – Don’t even get me started. This is luge, but one guy lies on top of the other – no need to contain your giggle.  I think we have found something that overtakes men’s synchronized diving as the most homoerotic sport in the Olympics!


Team Figure Skating – This event makes me mad. Like most living, breathing women, I love Olympic figure skating. But team figure skating? To me, it’s just a pathetic (and transparent) attempt to boost TV ratings by adding four more days of figure skating to the lineup. A event should not be in the Olympics when that is the only time it occurs during four years. Many of these other sports are strange, but at least the athletes train specifically for them, and have events throughout the year. It actually offends me that people will win an Olympic medal in team figure skating.

Biathlon – Look, I know cross country skiing it is extremely difficult. That said, when adding a gun to your event can’t even make it interesting, you’re doing something wrong.

Ski Jumping – Impressive? Yes. But I’m still not convinced that anyone with the guts to try the sport (which isn’t most people) can’t be good at it. Like, what qualities make a great ski jumper? I think the following: 1. Have the guts to try it. 2. Have the time and money to do it over and over. 3. Have no excess weight to bring you down (literally). 4. Have strong legs to land on.

Nordic Combined – I had to look this one up – not a good sign. The Nordic combined is a winter sport in which athletes compete in both cross-country skiing and ski jumping. So, basically, you can cross country ski and ski jump, but not good enough to do either on its own, so you practice both and become passable at each – Nordic Combined!

Moguls – Real conversation at a party Saturday: “Wait, this is part of an event, right? It can’t be someone’s goal to be just a moguls skier, can it?” Yes, yes it can. Plus, don’t your knees and back hurt just watching it?

Long Track Speed Skating –Short track makes me dizzy, but at least there’s some contact so I can kinda get into it (still not really). But long track is painfully dull to watch, and unless you’re from The Netherlands you probably don’t care about it.

Honorable Mention: Snowboarding. I’m sorry, but I can’t take a sport seriously when it’s announcers (and athletes) sound like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s about “gnarly tricks” and the definitely-not-high athletes who are “so stoked” to be at the Olympics. Plus, it’s a subjective sport, which is annoying; like fellow judged sports figure skating and gymnastics, I DO enjoy watching but prefer sports where the winner can’t be argued. That said, some of the best looking athletes - and undeniably the most fun - are snowboarders.

All of this said, I appreciate the commitment and dedication that the above events have to their discipline. But that doesn't mean I don't groan when it comes on during NBC's Olympic coverage - or giggle, in the case of luge doubles.

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