Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Olympic Sized Questions

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I'm more excited about the summer Olympics than the winter ones.  I wouldn't have watched much of them at all except for two reasons: I don't have many TV channels to choose from since we cancelled cable and my daughter got her wisdom teeth extracted and is planted on the couch in the living room watching them.  I can't blame her.  She's in pain.  And when you're in pain, it's kinda nice to see other people in pain.  Misery loves company, right?  Before I get comments that I'm a heartless curmudgeon, I really do get that watching the Olympics is inspiring.  And if there's anything everyone in the world needs right now, it's to be inspired.

While I think someone speeding down a 100m high track at 90 km on skis and landing it safely, let alone traveling the furthest distance, is pretty damn amazing, I also think it's pretty elitist.  As are luge, skeleton, figure skating, bobsled, skiing and snowboarding.  Really, almost all the winter sports are really cost prohibitive for the majority of people.  Think about it.  Ice time, ski lifts, bobsleds, not to mention warm outerwear from REI for the snowboarders.  Have you been to REI?  A pair of socks that are on sale can run you $50 there. Then think about the last time you saw a luge track anywhere.  Nope.  Never have.  I assume they're in Lake Placid, NY.  Population approximately 2,500.  *cough [under my breath] Elitist.

Now think about the summer games.  Track and field, volleyball, field hockey, basketball and soccer. You don't need much fancy equipment. Pretty much you need legs, a net and a ball.  Maybe a stick, a pole and/or a javelin. And if you're Zola Budd, you don't even need shoes to break a world record.  Don't get me wrong, there are a few elitist summer sports.  Gymnastics, water polo, synchronized swimming and all the equestrian events.  (And I say this as someone who's high school sport was synchronized swimming and back in high school I briefly dated a guy who played water polo.  I'm not even joking.)      

The summer games are much more inclusive and egalitarian.  Not by design, but by nature.  Is it Switzerland's fault is has the Alps?  Or that it's one of the top 10 richest countries in the world?  Or that it's also in the top 10 countries to medal in the winter Olympics of all time?   But, remember, it's also the most expensive country in the world to live in.  And their cheese has all those holes in it.  And the whole country is rigged with explosives to isolate it from the rest of the world in case of an attack.  (Ok, that one's pretty cool actually.)

My point is this: you're not a loser because you didn't compete in luge at the Olympics.  You simply never had the opportunity to luge because so few people do.  Think about it, you could potentially be a gold medal winning luger,  Or curler.  If only you were born in Luxembourg, the richest country in the world.  None of that is your fault.  No, you're a loser because you've never competed in track at the summer Olympics.  Because all you need for that is legs.   

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...