Home > Sports > Enduring the Olympics, the 2010 version

Enduring the Olympics, the 2010 version

Here’s a sign that you’ve had a personal blog for a little too long.  Tonight, I sat down to write a missive about how I’m a bit fatigued watching the Olympics.  You know… how after a week-plus of near saturation of coverage, you start to feel tired yourself, as if you’re a cross-country skier dragging into the homestretch with nothing left in the tank.

About three paragraphs in, the text starts to look familiar.  Turns out, I wrote almost the exact same entry during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. The whole bit, including how I got suckered into the Olympics before and during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.  So much for original thought. So much for my few remaining brain cells.

But, I’m determined to write something about this Olympics.  So, here’s my take.  This, more than any other, is the Olympics that will be remembered for unique personalities.  Great names.  Memorable faces.  Breakout stars aplenty.

Take Lindsey Vonn, the US Alpine skier who monopolized pre-Olympics coverage with news about her bruised shin.  Before the Olympics even started, we got an eyeful in her Sports Illustrated.  So, if you watched NBC’s Today Show before the games started, you would think that Vonn’s shin was a news story on par with the war in Afghanistan, healthcare reform, and whether or not Sarah Palin approves of Family Guys scripts.

What I’ll remember about Vonn is that, unlike many other times, she actually lived up to the hype!  How often does that happen?  With a bum wheel, she still threw down a gold medal performance in her first time out.  And, in Julia Mancuso, she had a worthy foil – a more down-to-earth adversary who didn’t get the limelight but is just as accomplished as Vonn.

Figure skating is a sport long-known for its personalities, and this contest is no different.  On the men’s side, we had the mulleted douchebag, Yevgeny Plushenko, bemoaning his loss to American upstart Evan Lysacek.  Gotta love an evil Russian (is this 1980 again?).  The women’s side had the amazing performance by bronze medalist Joannie Rochette from Canada, gutting out a memorable performance for her mom who passed away on Sunday.

And in ice dancing, you had a bunch of brother-sister pairs who just gave you the creeps.  Best headline of the games thus far?  Brother-sister ice dancing teams find way to get past that ‘ick’ feeling.  Uh, OK.  Let’s move on.

Naturally, we can’t talk about Olympics without the true breakout star: the sport of curling.  Sure, every four years, America sits down to watch shuffleboard-meets-horseshoes-on-ice, but this year it really took off.   You had a Danish curler who posed topless. The USA men’s team was an affable, but ultimately clueless squad, whose bumbled their way through the games as it was a Chris Farley movie.

Which leads us to the real breakout star of the Vancouver Olympics.  The skip for the silver medal winning Canadian women’s team, Cheryl Bernard, earned plaudits for her timely shot-making and her over-40 sex appeal.  ESPN’s Bill Simmons somehow combined “cougar” and “curling” to make her the “curglar,” which still seems like a villain in the McDonald’s world.

Sometimes, it wasn’t the personalities as much as it was the names.  Johnny Spillane, part of the first US team to medal at Nordic combined events, sounds like he should be part of a 1940s film noir.  Last night, NBC showed the men’s aerials finals, and it featured two great names on the US side.  Ryan St. Onge finished just out of the medals, but his name should definitely be the basis fo a soap opera character.  The silver medalist, Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, sounds either like a drug dealer or a crazy sitcom sidekick. Apolo Ohno has a name perfectly made for headline writers around the globe.

And if you didn’t chuckle when Korean speed skater Mo Tae-Bum was announced, then, you’re a more mature person than me.

There’s probably more I could say, but I’ve got more Olympics to watch. Or at least, about 153,893 more Visa commercials and Marriage Ref promos.

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Categories: Sports
  1. February 28, 2010 at 12:28 am

    hee-hee Mo Tae-Bum

    On a serious note though, when I see a link entitlted “posed topless,” I have certain expectations when I click it. And I WILL click it. But I had to click twice and briefly peruse an article to get to the goods. I married, man, I shouldn’t have to work that hard to see boobs.

    • sweetmonkeypie
      February 28, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      I apologize for making you click a few times before boobs. It’s tough to find a pair of knockers on the interwebs… I know.

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