Monday, March 1, 2010
Gold Medal in....TV Viewing!
ROBERTA: Having spent a good part of the last two weeks watching the Olympics, of course the games are on my mind. Don't you marvel at the athletes who seriously injure themselves and yet rehabilitate their bodies so they can go back to the same dangerous sports? And wonder about what kind of person chooses what kind of sport? No way in the world you would catch me skating in those circular heats where you have to bump and pass to take the lead in a pack of aggressive athletes with lethal weapons strapped to their feet. I loved the interview with the young Korean skater who won the 500 meter.
"Tell something about yourself," said the reporter.
"I like to do dangerous things. Anything with risk and danger."
Enough said. Maybe even worse is the ski cross--that's when four thrill-seeking skiers burst out of the starting blocks and careen down a narrow, icy track including ridiculous jumps. It's hard for me to relate to the kind of personality that would find that fun.
I turned to my hub at one point and asked him if he thought it was too late for us to go out for pairs figure skating. (Disregard the fact that my skating skills consists of inching around a rink on my ankles, though John is quite graceful on skates.) I was astonished to hear that he thought it was. Sigh. Probably a good thing, because how do those pairs get over it when one of them messes up and the other performs beautifully? I wasn't as crazy about the ice-dancing. And weren't the costumes almost universally hideous? Except I did love the American pair who dressed up in western cowboy outfits and danced steps from a hoe-down. My biggest disappointment? The best skating didn't start until 11 pm so I missed most of it.
How about you Jungle Reds? Olympics addicts?
HALLIE: Sorry but I couldn't get into the slalom and bobsled and speedskating... beyond an appreciation for how much spectators have to tolerate an excruciating sameness. But the skating is pretty amazing. I watched the women's finals. They make it looks SO easy. Like Roberta, I have rubber ankles.
You have to be extraordinarily talented and pathologically driven to excel in anything -- sports, music, art, writing...
RO: I'm mostly figure skating and short track during the Winter Games. I did watch a few minutes of the men's aerials while NBC tortured me for four hours waiting for the woman's figure skating finals - "they're coming in 17 minutes!" Were ALL of the women on MSNBC instead of just the 8 or 9 NBC showed? Dang, I should have checked.
And, of course it was insane and they're all talented athletes, but isn't that why ESPN created the X Games in the 90's - to differentiate between those sports for which fear or the absence of it is such a big factor? I guess the IOC added so many of these extreme sports to keep young people watching instead of geezers like me who just want to watch figure skating.
So...not that I'm opinionated or anything, but, I think Johnny Weir was robbed of the bronze. So was Mirai Nagasu (okay the Canadian girl was astonishing for being able to compete at all after the sudden death of her mother. I get it.) Apolo Ohno is cuter than ever with that little soul patch and a 2.8 bodyfat percentage. Mary Carillo is officially the most irritating woman on television. Bob Costas needs to lay off the Just For Men. Still don't get ice dancing.
BTW I met Brian Boitano once and turned into a bowl of jelly. Also meet Picabo Street and she was adorable. These kids are truly amazing. Glad it's over though so I can get back the hours!
JAN: I was so burned out by my non-stop watching of the Australian Open that I never tuned into the Olympics. Although I love to watch the skating, I prefer the competitions that are races and thus, a more objective measure. Someone is in front. Or not. The 1-10 judge voting always seems a bit political to me.
HANK: I can't stand it. I hate to watch figure skaters fall. It's too stressful! I hate the poignant interviews with the families who have sacrificed all to let their kids go to they olympics. I was so upset when Juila Mancuso had to start over because Lindsay Vonn fell. But I really, really, really thought the closing ceremonies (I saw bout ten minutes and was too baffled to watch any more)were absurd. I mean--balloon mooses and beavers and dancing girls dressed like Mounties? Isn't anyone embarrassed? Bring back Peggy Fleming, I say.
Mary Carillo. Is probably realy smart, but truly truly a caricature. I'm not sure of what. Someone is sure giving her some bad advice. And at least Bob Costas knows what he's talking about. Can we discuss curling???
ROBERTA: Isn't it funny--I got a kick out of Mary Carillo's fluff! I didn't get the closing ceremonies either, Hank.
RHYS: I've been trying to juggle writing to my looming deadline with sneak peeks at the Olympics. I thought NBC did a wonderful job this year of covering all the events, not just the events that Americans won. I think a lot of people had their first taste of thiings like cross-country skiing and even curling. Who would have thought that curling was exciting? But it was. The only flaw for me was the unfair disqualifications in the speed skating, and the ungracious attitude of the Russian who didn't get the skating gold medal. Highlights for me were Shawn White on the half pipe and the US winning the bobsled.
I wouldn't mind competing in curling, and I actually knew how to ice dance when I was young. Apart from that, I'm not a speed freak, I hate roller coasters and there's no way I'd hurtle down a mountain and launch myself into space.
ROBERTA: Rhys, you know how to do everything! How about you dear Jungle Red Readers--any hidden talents? Olympic yearnings? Complaints about the games?
And please stop in later this week for visits with two wonderful mystery writers and your chance to make Oscar predictions!