The Winter Olympics: Are You Watching?

olympic ringIn general, I’m not a big fan of any Olympic opening or closing ceremonies, so will not even tip a toe into discussions about last night’s ceremony. Honestly, the highlight for me is always the parade of athletes.

However, I am a huge fan of many Olympic sports, and have been looking forward to the start of the Olympics for quite a few days. I tend to like more sports in the Summer Olympics than the Winter Olympics, but there are still a number of events I will be watching. I’m a big figure skating fan, so plan to watch as much of it as possible. I’m still trying to figure out the new scoring methods being used. It seems as if they’re rewarding tricks far more than artistry.

I also enjoy watching speed skating, so will be glued to my TV for many of the races. After all, it’s a chance to see Apolo Ohno outside of Dancing With the Stars.

The death of the luge athlete from Georgia served as a reminder of just how dangerous many of these sports really are. I’ve been fascinated by the luge for years, but am not sure if I’ll be able to watch it in quite the same way, or at all.

Setting aside the sports, I was reminded last night of one of the other things I really enjoy about the Olympics, the chance to get to learn more about another country and city.  Last night before the opening ceremony began, NBC did a brief introductory feature on Vancouver and Canada. As I watched, I found myself surprisingly moved by the photos and words.

We were reminded that Canada is the second largest physical country in the world, that 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S.  border, and that we share a continent, and so much more. I was touched by much of it, including the quote from John F. Kennedy, “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends.”

Two of my favorite foreign visits in recent years have been to Montreal and Toronto. Exotic? No, definitely not. But memorable and wonderful? Oh, very much so. I’ve never been to Vancouver (well, except for brief stops in the airport, but I’m thinking that doesn’t really count). But I’ve always been curious about Vancouver, and after watching films on just the first night of the Olympics, it’s moved way up on my list of cities to visit.

So how about you? Will you be watching any of the Winter Olympics? If so, what are your favorite sports?


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6 Responses to “The Winter Olympics: Are You Watching?”

  1. Tee says:

    There was a time (eons ago, it seems) when I would be glued to the TV watching the winter olympics, especially the figure and pairs skating. Not so anymore and I don’t really know why, except I no longer have an interest. I didn’t watch the opening ceremonies and probably will not watch the closing ones, either. The athletes have worked very hard to get there and that’s an achievement all to itself. I think that part of it is wonderful, but I’ll be happy to read the summaries of the events in the newspaper and online and that’s it.

  2. I’ll be watching, and not just because I’m Canadian, though there is that! I love figure skating, and during the Olympics always get caught up in skiing: downhill, slalom, freestyle, mogul, you name it.

    I loved Tom Brokaw’s emotional tribute to Canada, and the opening ceremonies made me proud of my beautiful land, though I am *always* that anyway.

  3. Interesting, Tee. I probably watch less than I used to, but will definitely be watching a lot.

    Thanks, Donna! I totally blanked on who the announcer was. Tom Brokaw did a fantastic tribute to Canada last night. I actually had to fight off tears a few times.

    And now, I just discovered that I actually have CTV on one of the digital channels I haven’t looked at, so I can also watch Canadian coverage when I get irritated by NBC.

  4. Kim T says:

    I’ll also be glued to the TV for every event. I’m an Olympics junkie and have been since the games in Calgary in 1988. I’m a sucker for the human interest stories (I teared up during the intro pieces on Canada, too). I grew up in Syracuse, NY and made many visits to Toronto, Montreal and the Stratford Festival growing up and I’ve always been a fan:)

    I’m always looking forward to the figure skating, but what I love about the Olympics is that you never know what will happen and where the interesting stories will be…like the Harry Potter look-a-like Swiss ski-jumper from the last olympics, etc. Unfortunately, these Games have started on a tragic note and a reminder of how dangerous these sports can be.

  5. Amna Khan says:

    I loved it! From the opening ceremony, to the lighting of the torch and now the first day of events! I always love the opening and closing ceremony part of the Olympics. Both the Winter and Summer Olympics celebrate the best humanity has to offer. For 16 or so days we come together to cheer and support our nations and athletes in a peaceful manner. Here we can display our national colors proudly yet still feel connected. I’ve been to different cities in Ontario, Canada but after last night would definitely visit Vancouver and other parts of BC. Any events like Olympics, World Cup Soccer or Cricket World Cup and many more that bring nations together are a great platform to promote peace, solidarity and some damn good sportsmanship!

  6. Amna, that’s just beautiful. That’s exactly what the Olympics do.