Olympic Fever

As a boy growing up in England, I have fond memories of watching the Olympics every four years with my family, rooting for the British athletes. The medal count for the Brits may have been low, but the sense of pride and patriotism was palpable (we’d discuss the events ad nauseum in the schoolyards).

Even though I’m not really a sports guy, the habit has stayed with me and I love watching the Olympics to this day. Sports I wouldn’t normally spare two brain cells to think about — short track, curling, alpine skiing — become riveting. Even Kimi will watch the figure skating with me. (Unlike me, she shows some restraint and stops watching sometime before her eyes start bleeding.)

This year in Turin, I was impressed by the Cirque-du-Soleil-like opening ceremonies, and I’ve been really impressed by the snowboarding.

TiVo, of course, makes watching the Olympics bearable. Four-hour blocks (the kind that include several sporting events preliminaries or athlete profiles you don’t care about) can be devoured in under an hour. Even I’m getting sick of how often some of the commercials are repeated, and I don’t have to watch them — I’m fast-forwarding by at 60x. The last time I watched the Olympics with commercials was 1996. Ah, technology!

It was good to watch the profile about _____ ____ (name too hard to spell or pronounce), who has dominated his event since a young boy. With his hours of practice and years of dedication, he quickly climbed to the highest ranks of international competition. A hero in his hometown of _____, few could believe upon meeting this humble and unassuming (blond/brunette) with (salient physical feature) that he was a world-renowned champion. With top finishes in the regional world nationals, everyone believed he would take the gold in 2002 at Salt Lake. The pressure was enormous. Tragically, however, just two weeks before flying to Utah, _____ was struck down with a rare and undiagnosed case of ______. The tests confirmed the diagnosis. (Orchestra swells here.) Doctors told him he would never (skate/ski/jump) again. (fade to black)

(Fade in to montage) But ____ never gave up. No, not _____. He worked night and day to regain his form. Last year, he competed in (minor event). He told himself he would be happy just to finish. But he won. And he kept on winning. And now, miraculously, he is here in Turin, and once again eyes around the world are on ____, wondering if he has what it takes to take the gold.

Not a crummy silver or bronze, or heaven forbid he only come in fourth or fifth. Because it’s not enough to be one of the ten best in the world. The only thing that counts is the complete and utter humiliation of his opponents. Which we certainly hope ___ can deliver tonight. No pressure or anything. Now back to you, Jim.

Jim: Thank you for that report, Suzanne. But before we bring you to that thrilling race with _____, we’re off first to the Sestrianilini Race Track, where we’ve just received word of an upset in the men’s 1500 meter single skate hop, and…

One Response to “Olympic Fever”

  1. Crabby Says:

    I tried really hard to be able to compete in the Eat Yourself Silly with Various Ice Creamables competition, but tragically, last year I suffered from a rare form of Ruptured Small Intestine While Ingesting Icecream Overload (RSIWIIO). Now I can only safely eat three bowls of mint chip, and I don’t feel like getting laughed out of the Olympics… ;_;

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