The Winter Olympics are to the Summer Olympics what 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 Arena Football’s Cleveland Gladiators. It’s remarkable there’s so much interest in the Winter Olympics considering the entire wintry spectacle is based on nothing more than sliding. Sliding around on some form 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 102 distinct events, all involving doing something unique while sliding around on frozen 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 Olympics. It’s contagious really. For example guess what the most popular menu item is at the Olympic Village cafeteria? – Sliders.
The XXIII Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which is not to be confused with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. And hopefully never to be confused with pying pyong, which is what I believe they call table tennis in Korea.
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 – North and South. 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 102. And I’m not even going to mention the alleged sport of Curling – which I thought was for hairdressers, but is actually more like bocce ball on ice.
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. And why is it always downhill skiing? Just once I’d like to see some uphill skiing. And then the Nordic joke would be, “Let me tell you something Olaf, back in the day when we went to school, we had to ski 3 miles uphill – both ways.”
While I understand why equatorial countries like Somalia or Gabon won’t be sending teams to Pyeongchang (that’s a name that rolls off the tongue), 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 contrail of curious smoke behind them as the whooped and wobbled their way to the finish line. Nowadays I think the Jamaican bobsled team would excel at the half pipe – they’d smoke that event.
Not everything runs smoothly at the Winter Games. Who can forget the fashion faux pas of the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City when Japan and South Korea both showed up wearing the same uniforms. Thanks a lot NIKE! (Politically Incorrect alert) It’s hard enough telling them apart even when they are wearing different uniforms. This year South Korean ice skater Yura Min did suffer an unfortunate and rather risqué wardrobe malfunction when a hook on her costume became broke causing her skimpily clad body to look less like an ice dancer and more like a pole dancer.
Clearly the Winter Olympics need to be enhanced. Perhaps by giving them some of the perfectly suited indoor events from the more glamorous summer games like the indoor winter sport of basketball or gymnastics. With only their current menu of frigid events the Winter Olympics will remain the poor bastard stepchild of international competition. I’m shocked my suggestion of Tobogganing with the Stars (TWTS) was rejected. I think it’s a great idea. Tom Bergeron could host and I foresee a toboggan stuffed with aerodynamically curvy Kardashians or maybe the cast of Who’s the Boss. Who wouldn’t root for Tony Danza?
Doing My Part
In an effort to energize the Winter Olympics and make the games more interesting, I’ve formulated (as opposed to concocted) a list of new events that will serve to enliven the games and provide a welcomed sense of fun:
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 2018 Winter Olympics in the snow. Early trials have shown that although men have better penmanship, women are better spellers. Heck, I’d pay to see that.
4. Ice Fishing – See who can catch the most cubes in 3 minutes and not drown trying to cook them.
5. 2-Person Mixed Bobsled Conception – A man and a woman try to conceive a child as they careen down an icy bobsled track while desperately clinging to each other. The whole thing seems inconceivable.
Holy Kimchee! Neither North Korea nor South Korea, but Just a Single Korean Team.
Could this kind of team-building lead to the reunification of North and South Korea? I mean being reunited worked out for Peaches & Herb, could it carry over from people to countries. Some say the Koreas still have a long way to go: uphill – both ways. I think they can do it. As soon as that tyrant no longer rules the country. And no I’m not talking about Trump, I’M talking about the boy king Kim Jong-un. I’m optimistic the Koreas can reunite and that the frigid Winter Olympics may be an ice breaking catalyst for that event. – how ironic.
In the meantime, in between time, if 102 ways of controlled sliding turns you on, watch NBC’s coverage of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games before it slips away.