As you all probably know, the Winter Olympics are happening right now! Yay sports! I’m not really sure why, but I’ve heard just about everyone say that they prefer the Summer Olympics to the Winter. I don’t know – I’m a big fan of both. Yes, in the summer you have gymnastics, and swimming, and what have you. But in the winter, you have figure skating! And hockey! And snowboarding! And bobsledding! And the luge, and the skeleton – you get the picture. I like watching those just as much. And the Winter Olympics, when they air, almost always fall around my birthday, which is just fun.
I’ve been watching them whenever I can since they started last weekend. There was the figure skating team event, the slopestyle snowboarding, the snowboarding halfpipe, and some other events that weren’t quite as interesting to me, but I watched them anyway. And I’m really looking forward to watching some winter sports while I’m relaxing in Texas next week. Man, that’s going to be the life, watching people suffer in the snow while I’m actually warm! For the first time in months! I just can’t wait for that.
What I love about the Olympics is picking a favorite athlete for each event. Usually I’m a big home-country fan, but sometimes people from other countries are just better, or have better stories. For example, I still just love Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, the Russian pairs figure skaters from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.[i] Yes, their Russian, I realize. But they were married, and their love was so obvious on the ice… oh my gosh, I just love them. Anyway. I’m making myself sad.
Another interesting aspect that is unique to this year is the fact that everyone is worried about terror attacks in Sochi. This is due to a number of things, but I know it’s in part because of Russia’s anti-LGBT movement recently. I even heard talk of them being worried about the White Widow, though, which is nuts. I thought she was in Africa? Oh, there’s more than one White Widow? Oh, dear.[ii] Anyway, there were a lot of terror attack threats on Sochi, on Russia, on the Games in general. That’s pretty scary to think about.
And none of that is including the chaos that has ensued for people who are spectating at the Games. Journalists were tweeting crazy things about the hotels – some of them don’t have floors, some don’t have lights, or water, or door knobs. It’s crazy. My favorite story is about an American bobsledder who got stuck in the bathroom, so he used his bobsled training to break out. Only the door was made of cardboard, so…
Plus, it’s Russia. There was a satirical newspaper article released saying that the person responsible for the last Olympic ring not opening up at the Opening Ceremonies was murdered for the mishap.[iii] It’s a very different place.
Here’s to the Olympics, to competitions on an international scale, to bobsledders who will NOT be trapped in a bathroom, and warmer weather. SOON!
[i] This is one of the saddest stories ever, though, because Sergei died of a heart attack at age 28. He just collapsed on the ice during practice. Katia was only 24, and their daughter was 3. It still makes me so so sad. Katia wrote the book My Sergei about their love story, and I can hardly get through it. It’s so sad. She loved him so much.