Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Fever

by Robison Wells

There's been a lot of talk around the internets in recent years about who hates America most. I don't suppose I've ever given an official, straight-forward answer to the question, but I'll give it now: the people who hate America most are the people who don't watch the Olympics. (Also: the Russians.)

I love me some Olympics--even the stupid sports--and if you are not an Olympics watcher then why don't you go back to the Motherland and eat some borscht, Pinko.

Granted, there are a lot of stupid, boring sports in the Winter Olympics. As much as the commentators try, there is no way to make cross-country skiing exciting. I've gone cross-country skiing before, and the only reason I ever voluntarily strapped those stupid things on was because I was freezing in my tent and needed exercise to stave off impending death. (The problem is that cross-country skiing shouldn't be considered a sport. At best, it's exercise, but a more apt description is that it's work. People cross-country ski because they need to get to the other side of the big snowy field and snowshoes would be too slow. Also, have you ever met people who cross-country ski recreationally? They're the type of people who shop at Whole Foods and comment on other peoples' aspartame use.)

On the other hand, the Winter Olympics has a lot of awesome sports, too. Both short-track skating and snowboard cross are violent slugfests that could easily result in serious injury. That's a big plus in my book. Likewise, the commentators during the moguls used the phrase "controlled chaos" about ninety-five times, and that has to be a good thing.

Every time I watch the Olympics I get the inspiration to try some of the sports. Snowboarding looks pretty fun. Besides, if those pot-smoking slackers can get to the Olympics then imagine what I could do--I mean, heck, I graduated from high school! Just give me the medal now.

So, with this desire to prove that I can do whatever those so-called "athletes" can, after the 2006 Olympics my wife and I signed up for curling classes. Curling, for those of you who are unaware, is the most awesome sport on the face of the earth. It's essentially bowling on ice. You slide a chunk of granite across the ice and try to hit the center of a target. Along the way, team members with brooms scrub the ice to alter the stone's progress. It's loads of fun, and endlessly silly, and I figured that it was the ideal sport for me. I mean, how hard could it be?

The answer: extremely hard. Another thing that was extremely hard: the ice onto which I repeatedly fell.

Here's how curling works. When you're the player who casts the first stone (determined by whichever team member is without sin) you crouch down with your back foot in the hack (a brace for your back foot) and all of your weight is resting on your forward foot. And your forward foot is wearing a teflon shoe. Walking on the ice is bad enough, but wearing a teflon shoe? And then balancing on one foot? This is pure stupidity.

So, these classes that I was registered for were four weeks long. The first week we learned all the lingo and practiced throwing stones (people who lived in glass houses were disqualified). The second week we practiced sweeping, and played our first games, and fell down over and over and over and over. It was highly unpleasant. We didn't find out what happened during weeks two and three, because we were nursing our bruised and fractured bodies.

My point of all this is to say that curling is really hard, and you should watch the Olympics more and think about how amazing those curlers really are. My other point is that snowboarding doesn't look too hard--maybe I'll try that.


At 2/16/2010 7:36 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I've never been snowboarding, but I have a friend who goes regularly. She said the hardest part is getting back upright after falling. Unfortunately, novice 'boarders will be doing this constantly.

On the plus side, it's snow, not ice. And after your curling practice, you should already be a pro at falling and standing up. Oh, but instead of Teflon shoes, you get to wear something that shackles your feet in place. That shouldn't make it too much harder.

I can't believe you didn't mention the coolest sport of all - the Biathlon! Skiing and shooting, what could be more manly?

At 2/16/2010 8:03 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Biathalon is indeed awesome. I wanted to talk about more Olympic stuff, but I figured that if I left some of it out it might inspire me to blog about it next week. Maybe. It'll be an Olympic miracle!

At 2/18/2010 3:15 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

See? And I thought curling was a sport for chicks. I've seen some girls do their hair in RECORD TIME!

At 2/21/2010 11:12 AM, Blogger Erin said...

We are taking up crosscountry skiing next

At 2/22/2010 11:37 PM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

I don't care how hard curling is, it is still the lamest thing I've ever seen on TV (this said with the full knowledge that, yes I have watched the movie Titanic which held first place for lame until curling came along)

However watching you curl (aka fall down) would be highly entertaining. :)

At 2/23/2010 9:24 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

I totally agree! I love the Olympics. I am in awe of the work of each and every athlete that goes into it. I want everybody to win a gold medal. But I get very teary when I watch our flag go up and listen to the Star Spangled Banner. (But then I do that with Canada's too.)

At 2/24/2010 12:10 AM, Anonymous Hilary Blair said...

I am such an Olympic junkie (controlled chaos is my favorite - oh, and looking at the scowls on the Russians faces when they lose ice skating is good too) and I am disappointed you did not blog today about it. *sigh* I am going to have to agree with Julie, curling is really boring to watch - try snowboarding.

At 2/24/2010 11:46 PM, Blogger UTMomof4 said...

I am so out of touch, I didn't even know the Olympics had started. I do wish I hadn't missed the opening ceremonies, they sounded amazing.


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