It seems like there are two kinds of people in the world-those who love the Olympics and those who wish this two-week period would just pass already.
I fall in the first group. I love the Olympics. . . the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and the patriotism attached to it all.
So for the past week or so I have been watching more television than usual and making it to bed each night later than I should. I just can't quite get enough of it. Now I am not one of those people with three televisions on at all times so I can catch it all, but I certainly tune in for the prime time stuff.
Like most people, I have my favorites. The figure skating is high on the list, but so is the snowboarding.
As a casual downhill skier, I generally don't like snowboarders in real life. If you're a skier who has been forced in recent years to share your slopes, you understand. But when it comes to watching them on television and not watching out for them behind me on the snow, it is pure enjoyment. I am indeed a big Shaun White fan. I was thrilled to watch him take the gold last week. There's just something about that boy that is so endearing.
When we were watching his medals ceremony Joellen said, "Mommy, that girl won a medal!" I told her he was a boy. She protested, but finally ended with, "Well, girls have beautiful hair too!"
Besides the way the Olympics unite our country and our world, I also love how they make us all experts on rather obscure sports that we only watch on television once every four years.
Nowadays I can barely stand on ice skates, but l gasp in disgust when they single a toe loop.
I can't believe it when a downhill skier pushes some snow instead of hurtling straight down the steep grade. Yet if I were on the slope I would be paralyzed with fear at its drop.
I look on with disgust when a bobsledder doesn't steer well down the course, but a simple slope puts fear in my heart after I miraculously wasn't killed in a sledding accident a few years ago.
I know you other Olympics watchers have the same reactions. Admit it. We're armchair experts who would rather eat some disgusting concoction of Fear Factor than venture out into the cold from the warm comfort of our living room and even try the amazing feats of these athletes.
So for the next few days I'll be taking in the Olympics from the best recliner I've found and I'll try to keep my negative opinions to myself. May the best athletes win as we all win while there is something original and real on television. Go USA!
In another sporting note, last week I was late for the Magnolia boys' basketball game, so I put the play-by-play on the car radio. During the short ride with my three-year-old daughter the following conversation took place.
"Mommy, when we get to the football game, there will be ice on the seats?" she asks.
"Oh, no, it's not a football game. It's a basketball game. It's inside," I reply.
"But there will be ice on the seats?" repeats the child who has been to numerous basketball games.
"No," I say.
"But they said so," she insists, referring to the radio.
I thought for a moment.
"Oh. . . do you mean because Winters is on the bench?"