I started watching this Olympiad during the second week, when, while idly passing a Saturday afternoon, I flicked on the TV and saw the Women's 15k Biathlon. I love Biathlon. The combination of skiing and shooting reminds me of Finnish ski troops whooping Russia's ass during the initial stage of Russia's invasion of Finland in 1939 and 1940. I didn't even know they had women's biathlon events now (Title IX reaches across borders). The event was won by Darya Domracheva from Belarus. We noticed that she was quite beautiful. Googling her, I found a picture that would be a fantastic promotion for gun sports in the US.
Evidently, upon further research, I learned photo shoots of scantily clad women's biathlon teams are all the rage. There were even shots from a nude calendar of the Canadian Women's Biathlon team (You can go find the pictures yourself. I get enough views from porn spammers and I don't want to encourage it). Though a vehicle for fundraising, it is a fun yet exploitive way to promote the sport. In comparison, gun sports are promoted all wrong in the US. Here, proponents urge providing guns to teachers and look like the fellows below.
(Her name and face reminded me of a Russian student who was in my calculus class and school chorus at the last school I taught. She was smart, charming, a talented athlete, and beautiful. Yes, life isn't fair. She went on to college here on a basketball scholarship. I googled her and she's a financial analyst in Moscow now. I wonder if she peruses websites for American mail-order husbands)
How to market gun sports
|How NOT to market gun sports|
I also found evidence that those who deny global warming may have a point, as the British Virgin Islands sent a skier to the Olympics. Very crafty of the islanders to line the beaches with hotels to hide the snow-capped peaks in the interior.
|Peter Crook skis upside down for British Virgin Islands,|
demonstrating the clear misunderstanding of skiing in the Caribbean
RUSSIA INVADES FINLAND (again) - Enraged over Finland's 3-1 defeat of Russia in the Olympic Games, President Vladamir Putin has ordered the Russian Armed Forces to invade Finland. Russian tanks drive across the frontier (below left) while amused yet concerned Finns and reindeer join forces (below right) to treat the invaders as their comrades did on the hockey rink in Sochi. Many former fighters in Afghanistan were seen to chuckle at the news.
Ok, I posted this on Facebook already, but I really like it
We watched some of the pair and individual figure skating and I noticed a marked change from when I was a kid: the commentators weren't wearing tuxedos anymore. For a generation, Americans watching Olympic coverage imagined figure skating was a black tie event, with the hushed voice of Dick Button describing the moves and twists, perhaps between sips of champagne and nibbles of French cheese. Perhaps the Kerrigan/Harding controversy 20 years ago dispelled any illusions of elegance in the sport.
Commercials frequently feature the music from Chariots of Fire, and a recent one with an ironic context of kids on a waterslide reminded me of the 1981 movie with Ben Cross and John Gielgud. The movie featured elite Cambridge University student athletes competing with their fellow amateurs from other nations, the ideal of the Olympics in the 1920s. One of the themes of the movie was the budding conflict between the amateur and the professional in sports, with those advocating the professional seeming to embrace the future compared with the prim old champions of the amateur ideal. A few years after the movie's release, the wall between the amateur and professional came down in the Olympics.
The Paris Olympic Games in 1924, featuring athletes drawn from the elite universities of the world competing overseas, with receptions for the athletes wearing tails and the Prince of Wales, have little to share with the more democratic and professional games of today. On the other hand, I did notice that many members of the US women's hockey team, a branch of the sport that has little following in the US (WOMEN'S hockey, not men's), play for Harvard University. If there's little money to be made, the sport still embraces the elite amateur who can afford to pursue his or her passion.
I do have a new favorite Winter Olympic sport, replacing biathlon: Ski Snow Cross. Heats of 4 frantic skiers racing, flying through the air, weaving down the hill bumping into each other. Just watching the sheer craziness of it is a drug--I can't even imagine what it's like to participate. Some of the other new "freestyle" ski sports leave me cold: leaping and twisting in the air down a pipe of snow thrills me no more than the kids on skateboards at the skate park underneath the expressway, even with the dark spice of the possibility of crippling injury or death. But give me a TV channel with 24 hour Ski Snow Cross and I will never sleep.
|Coolest sport ever.|
|Spirit of the Olympic Games. No short programs, please.|
As a former math teacher, I like to devise word problems. So, let's play with the numbers above. With 33 condoms per athlete, that's actually a potential 66 couplings per athlete (assuming they're sharing and not double bagging). Athletes who play for Team Sappho (this is the Olympics) do not need condoms, so the potential protected plug and play possibilities increase and thus the grand total of combinations. In addition, many athletes try to stay focused until their events and wait until after their events to blow off steam. There. Consider the possibilities of those last few days of the Olympics. Hoonelly.