Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thank you, Olympians, for Helping to Kill off February

As I think pretty much anybody reading this blog knows, I have only one good thing to say about February while I'm living in northern climes: it's only 28 days long. Everybody agrees it's just a good idea to get me out of Michigan for a couple weeks in the wintertime, and late February is one of the best times to ship me off to visit the sun.

However, that didn't happen this year, so as long as I had a February to endure, it was quite lovely to have the Winter Olympics on the tube to help me kill the last couple weeks of this frozen month. Monique, Katie the Beagle, and I have spent an awful lot of time the last couple of weeks on the couch watching people from all over the world slip, slide, and fling themselves through the air in a variety of unlikely ways. They landed on their feet surprisingly often.

This year's Olympics watching has especially benefitted from both the HDTV and the DVR. This is the first year we've had a Winter Olympics since we bought the HDTV a few years ago, and it was an especially notable improvement for the cross-country skiing and biathlon. The snow on the pines of Whistler was beautiful and as I watched all those elite athletes gliding elegantly through that winter wonderland, I wasn't at all inspired to dig my own cross-country skis out of the garage. But on several occasions I was inspired to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, 'cause it looked cold out there.

The DVR is the greatest thing ever for watching the Olympics. Essentially we could record the most of the daytime events and watch both them and the nighttime broadcast by fast-forwarding through all of the ads, profiles, and endless hours of figure-skating previews.

Here are my 2010 Winter Olympics awards:

Greatest Bronze Medal of All Time: Won by in the women's individual classic sprint by Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic, who was injured in a pre-race crash when she slid off the course, fell into a ravine, and struck a large rock. She went on to race a qualifier, then four heats and win the bronze with four broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Seriously. That's no typo. Four freaking broken ribs and -- as if that wasn't bad enough -- a punctured lung. She had x-rays after the crash and before the race, so she had to know before she started. Kinda puts Lindsey Vonn's bruised shin into perspective, doesn't it?

Best Four-Legged Couch Companion: Katie the Beagle! (Especially after Monique gave her a bath.)

Most Welcome Gold Medal: Four-Man Bobsled for the USA, the first gold in bobsled since 1948! Seriously, I first saw bobsledding in person more than thirty years ago, and they were already on a losing streak of more than 30 years then. Rooting for the US has been like rooting for the Chicago Cubs ever since. Really, I was beginning to fear that Jamaica was going to win a gold in this event before the US.

The worst heartbreak came in Calgary in '88 when the Swiss sled went right between Buckner's legs. Just sad.

And in closing, my final word on the closing ceremonies?


Now my Winter Olympics experience is truly complete!

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