Monday, January 30, 2006

Winter Olympics

I do not like winter sports. They appear cold. I say appear because I haven't actually given any of them a whole hearted shot. When I was in the 8th grade, I went on a ski weekend with my class. I successfully snow plowed the bunny slope several times after falling once in the lift line. Not bad, I was told. What seemed missing was any desire whatsoever to repeat the experience ever again. The best part of the weekend was listening to my new A-Ha cassette tape in the van. My idea of fun in the snow is a) sitting inside a warm cabin drinking hot chocolate while watching the snow through a window, or b) watching movies that feature snow as part of a cute, romantic scene, as in Serendipity.

That said, I still get sucked into the Olympics, even the winter ones. Maybe it comes from growing up in a different country and feeling the tug of national pride, the swell of emotion at hearing my country's anthem, the sense of community in following the medal counts. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the carefully crafted stories tracing the athletes from hard beginnings to possible greatness (or at least great endorsements). Whatever the cause, I get pulled into the games and end up staying up way too late to find out who won a qualifying event in a sport I never think about otherwise. The next morning, as I grumble my way through getting ready for school, then as I try to teach through my sleepless haze, I hate myself. I hate Derek Parra and Apolo Ohno. I hate the sportscasters and the Olympic Village and Johnny Mosely. I hate all the curling teams. I SWEAR to myself and every kid in 1st period that I will not even turn the TV on, much less watch something like cross country skiing with target shooting nonsense. But then evening comes. The TV calls to me. I cannot make it stop. I say I'll just tune in to SEE WHAT IS ON. Then they play an athlete story, and it's all over because I want the little girl's daddy to win and now I have to find out if he does. At least this time around, I will have something valuable to do with my time while watching the luge. This is the brilliance of Knitting Olympics. I know I will be watching anyway, so I might as well take on this other challenge and create a point to all those missed hours of sleep.


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