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SPORTY OBSESSIONS FOR NON-SPORTY GIRLS
Anders' flight was cancelled and he was already coming in late to Copenhagen, which pushes his arrival home tonight into the wee hours. I am wiped out from a long week of work and single-parenting, but am determined to stay up and make sure my mindpowers bring him safely home. If I fell asleep who knows what would happen?

The kids and I watched (nearly) the entire opening ceremonies of the 20th Olympic Games. I don't even know what you call the thing they did to make the ski jumper figure out of people on the stage, and then the white dove made of people in the air, but those were the parts that impressed me the most. The ladies who carried the country signs made me laugh with their wonderfully kitschy humongous alpine skirts complete with snow-covered peaks, pine trees, tiny skiers and little lit-up mountain chalets!

I surfed the web while the countries paraded, because I could not manage to sit still in front of the TV for that long just to watch smiling waving people walk past the cameras. The kids called me just before the U.S. and Sweden came in, and we cheered for them and Martin and I want to get some of those funky fun Swedish flag mittens.

I've always liked the winter olympics, because of the hockey and the ice skating. I can remember watching ice skating as a kid with my parents and siblings. O! Beautiful Peggy Fleming! O! Darling Dorothy! O! Perfect and Heartbreaking Katja & Sergei! I'm so out of it now that I'm clueless as to who is competing and hope I will at least catch some of the skating...is Michele Kwan still at it? I won't understand a thing, I'm sure, since there's a new scoring system as well.

The first year that Anders and Mats took the kids on their week-long ski trip coincided with the European Figure Skating Championships being held here in Malmö, which Anders had given me tickets to for Christmas. The tickets were for ALL the events, a full pass, even to watch training sessions, and included the Gala Exhibition. I was in heaven! I ditched work early each day and went to my seat high up on toward the end of the arena and watched ice skating to my heart's content. When we first met, Anders was baffled by my devotion to figure skating, since I can't skate worth a damn (my center of gravity shifted dramatically when I gained weight as an adult), and he had always thought of it as a "sissy" sport, being the hockey-playing viking that he is.

Soon after we met, we went to see one of the ice revues that featured several gold medalists and long-time world champions whose careers I had been avidly and devotedly following for years. We had excellent seats, close to the ice, although on the far end, and Anders was blown away and VERY impressed by how FAST they went and how HIGH they jumped. You don't get that sensation at all when you watch skating on television because the cameras follow the skaters so tightly. It's almost as if they are skating in place on TV. But when you see it live, it makes a huge difference (just like basketball or any other sport, I'm sure).

Nowadays, I don't have time to sit down and watch all the skating, but I'll at least try to make time for, or tape, the pairs and the ice dancing and the final competitions, and definitely the gala at the end. I intend to try and get the kids to watch it with me, too. Maybe I can get Martin interested in it that way, at least!

Really, Really Cool: Nosepilot (click on each image and then click again on the last one on each page!)
 tired
mood: tired
music: Katie Melua—Nine Million Bicycles


Comments

I liked the dove part myself, though I was still astonished at how many tropical countries, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Thailand (Thailand in the Olympics?) were participating. Well, I guess if they have experience with snow or ice, good luck to them.

I've been to both ice hockey games and figure skating galas in person, though I'm more in favor with the ice hockey games. Maybe it has to do with my opinion against being judged--sometimes unfairly--on how tight your twist was or how you did your moves. But it's still a good sport for those who don't like H-E-double hockey sticks. :)

forgot...

* H-E-double hockey sticks is meant to refer to ice hockey.

I don't know about the others, but the Ethopian cross-country skiing guy is said to live in Wisconsin and has co-founded the Ethiopian skiing federation with his brother. His idol as a kid was Swedish cross-country skier Gunde Svan and pointed out that his countrymen generally are good at endurance sports, so if there only was snow in Ethiopia..

Except for one skeleton participant from South Africa, all African athletes seem to either go cross-country skiing or downhill. Likewise the 46 year old Thai gentleman. Venezuela and Virgin Islands have one participant each in the luge - both born in 1953! Generally, those countries with only one or two participants each seem to have sent the veterans. I guess recruitment to winter sports is difficult in a country that seldom or never sees snow or ice.

I used to watch a lot of figure skating as well, but haven't for a while, so I have no idea either who is still competing. All I know is that Irina Slutskaya won the European Championships for the 7th (?) time this year. I'm going to try and watch all the speed skating. Which, by the way, is extremely fast as well... I went to a race last year and tried to take pictures, but the athletes were just a blur in the picture... ;-)

am i the only one who thought the ceremony was a bit like an overgrown eurovision song contest spectacle? :-)

the mitens are cool. if you find out where to get them, let me know. i know someone in the states who would want a pair.

No, you are right on the money. It TOTALLY was an overgrown eurovision spectacle, but I confess to watching eurovision every damn year since I moved here. Not sure I should admit that in public, but oh well. A lot of it made me roll my eyes, but some of it was pretty cool anyway.

Heh, I just read that NBC has bought the rights to the Eurovision song contest format, and they're planning an American version with one song from each state meeting in a final. A few years ago there was talk to extend the Eurovision contest into a world contest, since some countries around the world fancy the concept. Maybe we'll see something like that in a few years time.

cool. wonder how much different it would be from the european version, ha ha.

I agree! I kept joking to Björn that it was as if they'd run an ad in the paper: Got an idea for the opening ceremonies? Send it to us AND WE'LL DO IT.

(though I really liked the skier guy and I want those gloves too)

I want those mittens too!

Like you, I can't wait for the figure skating to start ... Michele Kwan has a special place in our Edmontonian hearts. She trained in the city at some point with her couch.

The hockey always stirs national pride in our house, when Sweden & Canada hit the ice.

One of the joys of coming from Australia at Olympic time is that we come out among the first nations at the opening ceremony, before you are bored rigid with a parade of people mouthing "Hello Mum!" to the camera.

I have been enjoying teasing L-G this week, reminding him that Australia won 2 gold medals at the last winter games compared to Sweden's nil. At the time I was just as shocked as he was (we don't get much winter down under), not that I let on or anything. Dual citizenship be damned - I flaunt the Aussie passport every time when it comes to sport.

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