Monday, February 13, 2006

Oh the Humanity!

It's 11: 42 and I'm sitting in front of the computer, eating a crusty scone I let sit untouched for too long, and gulping down some cold tea (not in front of the computer, Dad.) with the same problem as the scone, and watching the Women's Short Track Speed Skating.

Ah, the Olympics.

I've got no right to be as excited about them as I am, my level of atleticism being what it is, that is, practically non-existent, but ever since I was little I've loved watching them, Summer or Winter. I remember prancing around our living room when I was 6, in a leotard and scarf I specifically changed into because I was watching the Gymnastics Competition.

I probably shouldn't be allowed to watch them, though. I get all emotionally attached to the athletes and take it almost personally if they lose. It's such great drama, however! Huge wins, tragic losses, upstarts claiming gold and champions falling short. Or better yet, champions becoming long-shots, and then winning.

We may have been the only ones watching this afternoon, but in the Cross Country Skiing (Pursuit, which means it's more of a sporint, I think) there was one of those moments. The favorite, a Norweigian, Frode Estil, the World Cup Champion and gold medalist, was in an accidental pile-up at the starting line and after being sorted out and skis fixed started out in dead last. But the other skiiers , in a show of good sportsmanship, actually slowed down for him, and he rejoined the pack and eventually pulled ahead to win the silver.

Seeing that show of selflessnes on the part of the other skiiers and watching the previously written out champion pull ahead, almost made me tear up. (I know, I know) It surprised me how emotionally attached I was.

And then, conversely, hearing that Michelle Kwan was dropping out, just about tore my heart out. I was so wishing for her to win. She deserved it, and wanted it so bad. I felt so bad, especially because I had rooted for Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes, the upsets that won at her Olympics. Even Bode Miller, the arrogant jerk that he seems to be, finishing 4th in downhill skiing because of ski problems, the look he had on his face at the bottom was so genuinely agonized that I was moved to pity.

I think it's the unexpected things that make it so exciting and heart rending at the same time. When we see how quickly and with no warning a dream can be shattered, leaving only the regret behind, and how someone with no expectations of glory, just setting out to do their best, suddenly be granted the victory...it rings true somewhere deep inside.

I'm tempted to cry, "Oh the humanity!" as I watch them, dissapointed and radiant alike.

Speed Skating is over now, it's so late that they are showing a medal ceremony for someone who isn't American...that's really late. I will pop off to bed now, but be back again tomorrow to see what else happens in this drama that is the Olympics.

2 Comments:

Blogger Rabenstrange said...

Ha, ha. I'm the exact opposite of you. I view the Olympics with pure indifference.

Watching everyone pretend they're participating in some sort of noble ceremony of world harmony while they are really putting on an ultra-comercialized, money-making machine is both amusing and a little pathetic.

Not that I have anything against capatlism, it's just that the pretense is a bit much sometimes.

11:43 AM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

Aw, don't be such a cynic, Raben!

I know, the whole one world thing is a bit much, and it is a huge commmercial thing...but I like watching the sports. Maybe I'm just projecting my idealism onto all the atheletes I see perform...hmmm.

8:07 PM  

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