Monday, February 15, 2010

Creating a smokescreen

A few thoughts about the Winter Olympics:

– That was quite a tap dance that Olympic officials did after a Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, went off the luge course, hit a pole and died last Friday. The International Olympic Committee and officials of the sport basically blamed Kumaritashvili for his own death, citing the 21-year-old's relative inexperience. But his deadly accident came on the same day a veteran slider lost his sled in an accident and had to hang onto it for dear life as he shot down the track. And what did the IOC and luge officials do after telling everyone that the track was perfectly safe? They put up a big wall to prevent anyone else from hitting the pole, and they changed the starting points for the men and women lugers to cut down the speeds. There are also reports that Canadian Olympic officials did what they could to prevent lugers from other nations from practicing at the site until just before the games, in order to give their lugers a home-track advantage. Shameful.

– The missus is a huge Winter Olympics fan, so I've seen nothing else on my television since Friday night. I find some of the sports enjoyable to watch. Speed skating comes quickly to mind. But some of this stuff, like cross-country skiing and the ice dancing part of the figure skating competition, make curling look like “Rollerball.” And would it be too much to ask NBC to show more of the actual competitions, even if the competitors are from Zingzangistan and not in contention for medals, rather than blab, blab, blab for 50 minutes out of every hour? A little less talk, a lot more action would be nice.

– Speaking of figure skating, did anyone else notice that in the pairs and ice dancing competitions, there are a bunch of people who were born in one country but are skating under another country’s flag? Apparently, a guy from the United States can skate for France if his third-cousin’s grandmother’s brother once ate a croissant. Seriously, these rules need to be tightened up so that the competitors have to compete for the country in which they were born and lived all their lives.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the IOC simply let the men start from where the women had been starting rather than lowering the starting point for both? More of the old "men are tougher than women" thinking at work originally?

February 15, 2010 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

The men, women and doubles competitors are all starting lower on the track than they would have before the fatality. In fact, a couple of the women competitors were griping because they said the change made the event boring.

February 15, 2010 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Also, men may not be tougher than women (if we had children, there would be a helluva lot of single-child families; hell, the human race would probably die out), but men are, on average, stronger and faster than women.

February 15, 2010 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Let's reiterate "ON AVERAGE"--- yes, there are exceptions... Flo-Jo could take me there and bring me back... well, not now... for the same reason Helen Keller can't drive a car...

But you smell what I'm cooking :-) If you compare the strength and speed of 100,000 men vs. 100,000 women, the men have a statistical advantage.

February 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higher. Faster. Stronger.


February 15, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could not agree with you more on how annoying the constant talking is. Add to that the ridiculous number of commercials every hour, it becomes almost painful to watch.

February 17, 2010 at 8:06 AM  

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