Sunday, February 21, 2010

What A Wild Ride The USA Is Having At The Olympics! Literally....

Wow! Today was amazing, exhilarating, and sometimes disappointing, but it was still all good. I'm so hooked that I find it hard to tear myself away from the events to even eat my dinner. Mr. Snooty doesn't share my enthusiasm. He watched golf instead. Snores compared to the Olympics, really. No Tiger Woods = Boring Golf. Hello. No wonder he sleeps through most of it!

I can't help but remember the year that we (the USA) beat the Russians in hockey. It was February 22, 1980. I was with Mr. Snoots in Breckenridge, CO skiing with his brother and his uncle (that recently passed away). We went to a local spot for a late breakfast on our way to ski and the place had the hockey game on a TV there. Naturally, we got so caught up in the game and the moment, we stayed (along with everyone there) until the game was over. After that, it was total mayhem. Grown men were crying and laughing simultaneously and it was truly a *moment in time*. It was really something that you just never forget. You know, I can get many of the years and places of Olympics mixed up, but not that one.

Of course, I can't forget the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany where 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. I know it's hard to think about, but we should never forget what happened there. Ever. It was a freaking nightmare that practically unfolded before our eyes during a time which should have been filled with other things and thoughts and events. It was a living horror that I won't soon forget. I'm sure that everyone else at that time stayed as glued to their TV's as I did and it was so sickening to watch it all unfold. Bless the sweet souls of those 11 Israeli athletes. They never did anything to anyone and yet they paid the highest price of all for who they were.

Moving on, I made sure Mr. Snoots put in his earplugs again before bed, because speed skating and the women's Super G were yet to come. I yell and scream all through these two events. What am I saying? I scream through almost all of the events. And cry. And laugh. Yes, obviously I'm an emotional mess during the Olympics, but I love it all.

I cried and screamed when Lindsey Vonn got bumped out in the Super G to third place, but am glad she at least got the Bronze Medal. Besides, I have to say the two other ladies who won Silver and Gold were *balls out* (an old ski term from days gone by) on their runs. Now, the Super G is a combination of downhill and GS which can be quite tricky. However, I think the blue lines helped them a lot, although they started early this morning and there were major shadows and low light areas, making it difficult to anticipate some of the rough spots, even though the light got better as the race moved along to the remaining contenders (who won the Gold and Silver Medals). I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I HATE skiing in flat light, even though I have a great pair of rose colored goggles that make it easier to see what lies ahead in same light. I also hate the restriction of goggles. Yup. That's the way I roll. Free and easy, which doesn't include goggles.

And, it seems the women mostly elected to go with the longer downhill skis as the men had, which I couldn't believe. It takes one helluva lot of strength to turn those suckers. Lindsey was skiing on 210's (210 cm length) and the longest skis I ever skied on were 190's back in the day. Of course, I'm only 5'4" and she's taller, but still, those are really long boards, I tell you! Built for speed. Nothing but speed. So, in order to maneuver those babies down the hill, it takes some major leg strength.

There was one thing that I found to be strangely disturbing... to me, anyway. Evidently, the Austrian ski coach (coach of the Gold Medal winner in this event) was the person who laid out the course. He reportedly laid it out exactly like the course his girls were accustomed to practicing on at home in Austria. Huh? What? Surely they were kidding, but no, it was for real. I've never heard of such a thing before. Perhaps I've just been out of the loop for too long now. I thought that was called cheating by way of affording one's team with an obvious (illegal) edge. Color me naive. 

There were also rumors floating around the Olympic Alpine Skiing crowd that Lindsey Vonn was skiing on Bode Miller's old skis, brought to her by her coach who had previously been Bode Miller's coach, which I thought was rather cool. I could have never skied on Michael's (my first husband) skis. Apparently Vonn's skis were made by Heinz Haemmerle, who is listed among the legends of alpine ski designers. I would have surely ended up severely injured by the sheer speed of my final crash. The athletes these days are so much stronger and have so many more training tools than we used to have. It is truly mind boggling for me to watch them. Talk about legs of steel. They were all really fast but controlled and panic free on their runs, which also amazed me. These younger athletes don't usually let much get to them. I mean, they are tough!

Also, I learned something new today. Earlier this afternoon, during NBC's coverage of the 2010 Olympics, a woman reporter (whose name I can't seem to recall) did an amazing report on the schools in Austria and how all children in Austria learn to ski at age two and most enter a boarding school environment at around 11 or 13 (can't remember that either) where they attend school together but also have major ski training. I've forever wondered why the Austrians were always Alpine Skiing medal winners and now I know why. It's a gentle yet firm environment for growing young minds & bodies. It's all funded by the Austrian government. Tried as I may, I couldn't find a link to it anywhere, but I did see it and it was totally cool.

Last of all, there is a CD called the Olympic Team USA Soundtrack, which is wonderful AND it's available through iTunes or an ad on NBC. All of the proceeds from this CD (12 different popular artists) will go to benefit The USA Olympics and you'll get to hear some great music from famous artists who have donated their sales of this mixed CD to the same. It's a win-win deal and the music is seriously good, even though there is one rap song, which I detest. The point is, that it's for the USA Olympics, and they always need help. If you're planning on making a DVD of your kids in the near future, these songs will fulfill all of your background music needs, trust me. I would have killed for a CD like this back when my kids were graduating from private school 6th grade and we made videos with pictures of all their years together. Our background music sucked, but we didn't have this wonderful CD. Trust me here. About this, I am right. Besides, you at least get something for your money rather than just a blind donation. And no, I'm not getting paid for this lip service. It's just a really great CD for an even greater cause.

Until tomorrow, I remain your devoted Olympaholic...


Suburban Princess said...

Oh! Dont forget the times the Canadian hockey teams beat the US hockey teams! :O) *duck*

You said 'luge deaths' but I thought there was just one? I havnt been watching much tv for a few days so I think I have missed something important!

Grandma Nina said...

I'm still with you as an Olympaholic. My hubby also falls asleep and I don't know how? I sit in bed with him, with the light on so I can knit, and the TV sound up and I'm making comments out loud to myself. But how could he sleep and miss Apolo? I wish he would have won the gold, but to break the record for most medals won! I love him. You do such a wonderful job of updating and remembering past Olympics. I remember those moments, too.
OK, back to the TV.

noble pig said...

Honestly I learned more about the Olympics reading here than watching TV! My husband doesn't share my enthusiasm either...whatever. And it's more fun to watch the parent's faces when their children win...I cry every time.

Tracey said...

My goodness, woman! How are you going to get that house of yours ready to sell? You might have to join an Olympaholics Annonymous club!



P.S. I haven't been around much either. Working rocks when I'm able to pay the bills but blows when it comes to leaving me time to blog and read blogs.

Green-Eyed Momster

Snooty Primadona said...

SB: You are so right. I'm not sure why I thought there were two. Let's blame it on menopause, shall we?

Nina: I would have mentioned the triumph of Apollo but felt I'd already rambled on enough...

Cathy: Then like me, you probably cry over that Proctor & Gamble commercial where the moms sing a song about hope and it ends with Thanks Mom. I burst into tears every time I see it. Go. Figure.

Snooty Primadona said...

Tracey: Yeah. I know. Luckily, I'm not watching during the day so I can get things done. At night, my time is strictly for the Olympics. The hubby can fend for himself until this is over, LOL!

Heather said...

Hey, it only happens every 4 years—so enjoy! I'm also learning so much from you—especially about skiing.

But I have to admit to watching golf this weekend. Mr. Villegas was playing so well for most of it. I'd like to see Mr. Woods back, but I'll watch with or without him.

Lyn said...

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Have fun!


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