Slip Sliding Away − The 2014 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics never disappoint me because I don't watch them. The Winter Olympics never disappoint me because I don’t watch them.

The Winter Olympics are to the Summer Olympics as Arena Football is to the NFL. And while I hope everyone enjoys the Winter Olympics, I’m going to pay about as much attention to them as I do to the San Jose SaberCats. The XXII Winter Olympics are being held in a place called Sochi. Sochi is a popular Russian resort town (pop. 343,000) on the Black Sea. But to me Sochi will always be the cute little nickname I used to call my first girlfriend. It’s remarkable to me there’s such interest in the Winter Olympics considering the entire wintry spectacle is based on nothing more than sliding. Sliding around on some kind of frozen water.  

In actuality there are really just two events – sliding on skis and sliding on skates. And if you think about it, there’s really just one event because skates are just very small skis used for sliding. And somehow from this singular principle of controlled sliding the Olympic Committee has concocted 88 distinct events all involving sliding around on solid H2O. And they’re even awarding medals depending on how fast, accurately or artistically you can control your sliding. Countries take this very seriously and spend a lot of money sending their best sliders to the Games.  

Who’s Fooling Whom?

Some of the Winter Olympic events have peculiar origins. For example people forget that the Giant Slalom began as a character in The Lord of the Rings. And others fail to remember that the Biathlon was originally a Cross Country event for skiers who went both ways – East and West. There’s a certain amount of redundancy in these games. I mean how many different ways are there to ski fast down a mountain or skate fast around an icy oval? Well according to organizers there are at least 88. And I’m not even going to mention the “sport” of Curling. I’ve got other concerns too. How do I know I’m even watching the real thing? Maybe they’re showing file footage from the last Winter Olympics? I wouldn’t be able to tell. One downhill skier flying down the mountain looks like another. Perhaps the whole thing is being faked, just like the moon landing was.

While I understand why equatorial countries like Nigeria or Kenya won’t be sending teams to Sochi, I really don’t understand how Jamaica was able to send a bobsled team to Calgary in 1988. I can still remember watching them jet down the track, leaving a happy trail of curious smoke as they passed the ganja stick back and forth. A lot has changed since 1988. Nowadays they’d probably smoke the half-pipe.

Not everything has been well-organized at the Games. We certainly can’t afford another fashion faux pas like the one at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City when Japan and South Korea both showed up wearing the same uniforms. Thanks a lot NIKE. It’s hard enough telling Japan and South Korea apart even when they are wearing different uniforms. Truth be told, Japan wore it better.

Clearly the Winter Olympics need to be improved or at least given some of the perfectly suited indoor events from the more glamorous summer games. With their current menu of frigid events they will remain the poor bastard stepchild of international competition. And to think my suggestion of Tobogganing with the Stars (TWTS) was rejected. I think it’s a good idea. Tom Bergeron could host and I see a toboggan filled with the Jonas Brothers and another with whomever is still alive from Gilligan’s Island.

Doing My Part

In an effort to save the Winter Olympics and make the games more relevant, I’ve compiled a list of proposed new events that will serve to enliven the games and provide a much needed sense of modernity:

Proposed New Events for the Winter Olympics

1.     Snow Angels – Could be an excellent opportunity for The Vatican to finally field a team

2.    Synchronized Snow Angels – Are you listening Mother Superior? Get those nuns flapping.

3.    Snow Writing – After drinking 64 oz. of water and using only “on board” apparatus, competitors must accurately write the phrase 2014 Winter Olympics in the snow. Early trials have shown that although men have better penmanship, women are better spellers. Heck, I’d pay to watch that.

4.    Ice Fishing – See who can catch the most cubes in 3 minutes

5.    Mixed Coital Bobsled – Men and women desperately careen down the track while frantically clinging to one another. 

6.    Uphill Skiing – Limited to skiers who piss into the wind

President Putin Speaks

The Winter Olympics are being used by President Vladimir Putin to showcase Mother Russia’s power and glory. It’s completely unrelated to the way Hitler used the 1936 Games in Berlin to display the invincibility of the Third Reich. Seriously. I mean c’mon, Putin doesn’t even have a moustache! President Putin has been accused of being homophobic and now he’s trying to soften his tone, but the idea of softening anything makes him even more homophobic. This is a leader whose vision is so bad he doesn’t need the special glasses to see the effects of a 3D movie. Mr. Putin has done his utmost to make these games his little vanity project. And in an interview I conducted with him in one of the onions at the Kremlin, I inquired if he was satisfied with the level of Olympic preparation:

Me:      Good afternoon comrade dobryj dyen’

Putin:  Thank you. And good afternoon to you too my friend.

Me:      Sir, people want to know, are you homophobic?

Putin:  That is true. But there’s a difference. I don’t discriminate against homosexuals. I fear everybody.

Me:      It’s nice to know you’re equitable in your fright. Tell me Mr. President, is everything ready for the Winter Olympics in Sochi?

Putin:   Not yet.

Me:      Nyet! You’ve had 4 years. Why aren’t things ready?

Putin:   No. You misunderstand. Not Nyet. I said “Not yet.”

Me:      That’s what I said. Nyet. So why aren’t they ready?

After advising me to place a very large object where there is a complete lack of sunlight, he hung up the phone thereby terminating the interview.

The Finnish Line

The Finnish Line is where we usually find the Finns. The Finish Line is where I hope to find U-S-A in first place, because as mediocre as these Games may be, I have a competitive streak and I want my country to win. There’s so much at stake. Do you realize a 1/100th of a second can mean millions of dollars in endorsement contracts? I don’t get it. Couldn’t all this frigid energy be directed toward something more worthwhile; like the Summer Olympics? Now that I’ll watch. But if 88 ways of controlled slipping is what you’re looking for comrade, watch NBC on Thursday for the Opening Ceremonies in Sochi. That Sochi…she was so cute.

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