Well it's official. These might just be the first (Modern) Olympic games that I'll ever see. I have some stuff to do over the next hour or so, but after that, I have every intention of bringing my HD TV downstairs and watch live some feats Olympic derring. I've never really experienced "Olympic Fever" first hand, but now that the epidemic is settling in for winter, why not embrace it and comedown with a case of Olypi-mania myself? At least, I can't see any harm in it.
With that said, I didn't always see my night turning out this way. Growing up I never really cared much about the Olympics. People like Michael Phelps do not do much for me. Shaving a fraction of a second off some time because you wear a fancy swim suit or whatever, fine... you may be the "fastest" in the world, but you're only the fastest at some predetermined activity. You're the fastest in a pool at a set distance. It's not a real world setting. I was always more impressed by the astronauts who went out and landed on the moon. They did something tangible. Armstrong, Aldren and Other Guy made that voyage,and because they did right now at this very moment there is a flag (it doesn't matter that it's American, it was made by human hands) on the surface of the moon. When Phelp's finished his aquatic feat, what did he leave behind? Hopefully nothing that won't be scrubbed out by the filters or killed by the chlorine. But you get my point (perhaps)
When I got older and I developed a passing curiosity for the knowledge of what it's like to sit around watching the olympics. But events conspired against me. I was either too busy, or it was the summer Olympics
Because of my genetics, I tend to sweat when the temperature gets above 75 degrees. Just thinking about running and jumping about in the baking sun of the Sydney Olympics (or other such summer time games) makes me feel physically unwell, as if my core temperature is even now rising and the menace of heat stroke threatens to set in . Without much imagination on my part, I can already feel the choking sensation as I struggle to breath oven hot air rising off the scorched outback. The psychosomatic effect of this daydream puts a very real fear into my reptilian brain stem, the fear that my nervous system will rapidly begin to shut down unless I seek shade like the noble Kangaroo. I know that for me (like the Kangaroo), Olympic feats are an impossibility in the noon day sun, and my best bet for survival is to lick my paws and forearms in an effort to use convection to lower my blood temperature.... and that's just from THINKING about competing in summer olympics. Watching them on TV? I expect that experience would prove entirely overwhelming
Even when I finally got up the will power to consider watching the summer games, politics prevented it. The 2008 Shanghai games I was forced to boycott, and I refused to watch one minute of the coverage. Indeed, I think it was very shameful that Former President Bush attended. What the Chi-Coms were doing to the Tibetans that year, and what they're doing in general, was unconscionable and I could not endorse the games with my viewership. Even if the political situation had been fine, the choking china-smog that hung like a haze over the "birds nest" (one of the ugliest structures ever erected by a species other than a bird) gave the competitors a funereal pallor in all the photographs I had seen. Hardly the best setting for watching the Human body achieve physical perfection. My cousin got to go to those games, but even I did not envy the opportunity to choke on the noxious gagging fumes of a nation stuck in a perpetual industrial revolution
That's not an obstacle this time.
No, THIS time it's winter games, and they take place in a city that I have absolutely no problems with. I love wintertime activities. I've been an avid downhill ski enthusiast since elementary school, and a sled and snowball fan for even longer. From snowflakes to snow cones and even snow angels, it's little wonder that Winter is my second or third favorite season. Heck, it used to be my dad's favorite season. I grew up watching ski jumpers at the BAY STATE GAMES, and learned to love the satisfaction I got from braving the bitter cold and embracing winter time athleticism.
I may frequently complain about the cold, but mark my words: I hold it as a point of pride that I can deal with freezing weather. It takes a certain kind of unique get-up-and-go to slink out of bed on a frigid morning in January, and I give credit to the fact that I'm a New Englander born and bred that lets me get not just out of bed but to head out hte door on those coldest of morning. Not everyone can do it. I have friends from LA and other places that show up here for our winters and are quickly laid low by the ice and general winter madness that ensues.
So I think I really can get behind the idea of watching people do Olympics stuff on TV. I have an admiration for people that go out and do cool stuff when it's cold out. I feel like I can relate to what it is that makes them do what they do more than I can to the Michael Phelps of the world who do what they do in the comfort of a heated pool. The Winter Olympians are the ones that most capture my imagination, and while everyone else may have an aspect of the Olympics they most prefer, for me, nothing beats the winter ones
It would be cool to watch it in person, but in way, it's even cooler (no pun intended!) to watch it from the comfort of my own home.
I bought an HD TV, but unfortunately the only things I get in HD on it are Network Television and videogames. I bought and HD DVD player about a month before that whole house of cards crumbled, and I've not been able to bring myself to spend the money on a Blu Raying PS3 when I already own an XBOCKS360.
So this is a rare chance for me to watch some cool stuff and also take my TV for a bit of a test drive.
Anyway, I'll shut up now and return when I've seen enough of the games to comment further.