Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Games of the XXI Olympiad

Closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are tonight, and I will miss them when they are over. I like both winter and summer games, but must admit to a preference for the winter games. I love all of the crazy sports that you never see any other time except when the Olympics roll around, like ski jumping, luge, bobsled, and curling. I can't believe that I am saying this, but the gold medal match in women's curling between Canada and Sweden was riveting stuff. Really. No, really. Honest. Really. OK, never mind. But it was. Drama and strategy. Anyway, another nice thing about the Olympics is that this time around my daughters both enjoyed many of the events, and having the games on the TV was a good family activity that we were able to enjoy together.

The games got off to a solemn start, with the death of the Georgian luge athlete, and ended in disappointment, with the hated (by me) Sidney Crosby scoring the gold-medal-winning overtime goal against the US earlier today. There were many great moments in between, and lots of fun for my family.

There is one thing I have to admit having mixed feelings about, though. As an American, I find it a little unsettling the dramatic effect that money and high tech training have on these events. In these games, Americans did better in several of the events not usually strengths for our country, such as some of the cross country skiing events. We were able to accomplish this primarily through force of economic will. Hire the best coaches, build the best facilities... There is no sense howling at the moon about things that cannot be changed, but it does make me appreciate it even more when the underdog wins.

Next winter games - 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Where?

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