Tag Archives: Olympics

Post-Olympics Hangover

The long-track speed skating team pursuit races were fun to watch.

An affliction that happens every two years has entered my house. It’ll stay for a day or two or three before vanishing . . . not to appear again until the summer of 2012.

The Winter Games ended yesterday. And now I’m suffering from post-Olympics hangover. There’s so much I’m going to miss now that television and our lives are back to regular programming.

The USA men sweep. Wish my guys would learn from this!

I won’t be staying up late anymore to catch the curling action on CNBC.

It looks like a big bullseye, but curlers call it the “house.”

And I really do love watching curling! It’s the perfect sport. It goes on forever, so you can nap during it and really not miss much. Plus you can multitask while it’s on (I’m partial to surfing the web on my MacBook) and barely miss a curl. Its glacier-like pace reminds me of a soap opera. And curling even has time outs!

Brave Canadian Joannie Rochette skates.

I’ll miss being moved to tears by NBC’s coverage. Whose heart didn’t break hearing the news that Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette’s mother had died shortly after arriving in Vancouver? Her daughter skated brilliantly in her memory.

Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed international passengers on September 11, 2001.

Last Saturday as the events were winding down, NBC broadcast an amazing documentary by the incomparable Tom Brokaw about Gander, a small town in Newfoundland. The city opened its arms and hearts to international passengers who were diverted from U.S. airspace on September 11, 2001. That heart- warming piece wrung my tear ducts out to dry!

USA’s four-man bobsled is upside-down on the track.

My emotions switched from tears to fears, as I watched the bobsledders hurtle down the track at 95 miles per hour. Some flipped over. Others won medals.

USA’s Ashley Caldwell is about to go airborne in women’s aerial skiing.

And how about freestyle skiing’s aerialists?

Caldwell sails upside down through the air with the greatest of ease.

Certifiably crazy! But so thrilling to watch . . . from the comfort of my chair in my family room.

Women "hand off" by pushing in the short-track speed skating team relay. It's like roller derby!

I’ll miss the thrills and spills of short-track speed skating, especially when the USA’s Apolo Ohno is involved.

One of the colder cameraperson jobs at the Winter Olympics

But I bet that this person won’t miss the chills of the short track. How would you like to be on your knees with a camera on your shoulder videoing speed skating for hours? I think I’d rather try the aerials!

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir enthusiastically sing to “O Canada” after their gold-medal performance.

One thing that I won’t miss is wondering why virtually none of the American gold medalists sang when the national anthem was played at the medal ceremony. It seemed like winners from every other country were at least mouthing the words. But not us. It made me really appreciate when Canadians won the gold—the loud singing from the crowd gave me goosebumps!

Disappointed goalie Ryan Miller after Canada beat the USA for gold in ice hockey.

Finally, I’ll miss the wonderful highs and bittersweet lows that are the hallmark of every Olympics. The final contest of the Winter Games—the men’s ice hockey final—was a bittersweet moment for Team USA, which wasn’t expected to contend for a medal. It was a thrilling contest, but it did seem fitting that Canada, the purported birthplace of the sport, persevered to win the gold. The image and sounds of the victorious players and their homeland fans lustily singing “O Canada” will stay with me until the Summer Games is about to start.

Oh, and I pronounced “about” as “aboot” . . . in honor of the magnificent job that Vancouver did in presenting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Bravo!

Random Winter Olympics Snippets

German Magdalena Neuner wins the 10K individual biathlon pursuit (as shown on my little TV).

Sometimes it seems like I can’t get enough of the Winter Olympics. I really enjoy watching the Games on our family room’s big HDTV. But when I need to get things done in my office (mostly Photoshopping), I turn to the next best thing: My little Haier portable TV. I got a great deal on the 7-inch digital wonder via Amazon.com at the end of last year and knew it would be a mainstay in my office (it does sport a rechargeable battery).

At first I tried the TV as is with its regular antenna, but I couldn’t get Fox or ABC. So I sprung for an external one, and that’s pulled in lots of other noncable channels as well as those two. I’m glad I have my little TV right by my side!

Oh, and I actually use its remote, even though the TV is an arm’s distance away. How very “guy” of me!

Love these Olympic mittens!

Here are some random Olympics thoughts so far:

• I love the official Olympic mittens, especially the maple leaf!

• I loved that Wayne Gretzky, aka the Great One, was the final torch bearer. Very appropriate. It was a shame that part of the indoor cauldron was on the fritz, though.

• I love that former Olympic athletes and coaches commentate on their sports. Not only do I appreciate their expertise, but I love their enthusiasm. They truly can empathize with what the athletes are going through. We’re partial to Scott Hamilton, who reports on figure skating. He also was a favorite when he won the Olympic gold medal in 1984.

• I love the P&G commercials, especially the one where the little kids are Olympians. That tagline, “P&G—proud sponsor of moms,” gets me every time!

Alexander Bilodeau won the first gold medal for Canada.

• I loved that when Alexander Bilodeau was awarded Canada’s first gold medal (and the first they’ve won as a host country), the Canadians at the venue sang “O Canada!” with such fervor and pride.

• What I especially love about the Olympics is that these athletes compete for the love of the sport. Any of them can be a star, gaining fame that will last them at least until the next Olympics.

But as much as I love the Olympics, when I had to choose between watching the Winter Games and “Lost” last night . . . .

Ben Linus (played by Michael Emerson)

There was no competition! What a great Locke/Faux Locke-centric episode!

Let the Home Olympic Games Begin!

There’s no logo for the Home Olympic games . . . yet!

The Winter Olympics. Did you just hear that stirring “Bugler’s Dream” theme that’s been played first on ABC and now on NBC since 1968 in your head? Dum-dum-de-dum-dum-dum-dum. When I hear it, I can’t help but think of speed skating, figure skating, ski jumping, and gold medal dreams.

The #2 son “laces” up his “skates” as he watches the Olympics on TV.

The Mister and I have loved watching the Olympics together ever since we started dating during the 1988 Sumer Games. The #1 son was born right before the 1992 Winter Games, and I rocked him to sleep to the “Bugler’s Dream” almost every night. I’ve enjoyed the Olympics dating back to the 1960s when I was a kid.

A cheaper, safer alternative form of speed skating

But since I’ve had kids, watching the Olympics has been much more fun, because whatever sport they see the athletes competing in, they try to mimic it. Especially the speed skating. When they were younger, we used to have big, corrugated blocks that the boys would use as their “skates.” They also would put on socks and skate around the kitchen “oval” (aka, the island).

The carpet skates in action

When I saw that Bed, Bath, and Beyond sold carpet skates, I knew that one of the boys would want them: My #2 son. He loves all things athletic, which is why on any given day you can find footballs, basketballs, frisbees, lacrosse sticks, and disc golf baskets in our family room. He loves them all . . . but he doesn’t want to keep them in his bedroom. It’s like living in a sports store.

The USA’s Shani Davis skates against the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer.

#2 and I were watching the Olympics together over the weekend. Once the speed skating began, out came the carpet skates. #2 was ready to compete . . . on the berber!

#2 is skeptical of Andrea Kremer’s touting of skate blades.

Of course, #2 wasn’t content to just slap on the skates.

Note that this is a Scooby Doo beanie!

Even though we were definitely indoors, he just had to wear a beanie as though we were outside in Canada, too.

Sidebar: The Mister calls these kinds of hats “toboggans.” The first time he asked me where his toboggan was, I looked at him like he had two heads and six eyes. Why in the world would we have a sled when we live in Houston?

Russian Anna Boulygina shoots in the prone position.

The carpet skates also came in handy as we watched the biathlon, which is a mixture of cross-country skiing and marksmanship.

Is #2 taking biathlon seriously enough?

#2 added to his skates by picking up a toy pistol (the closest weapon to a rifle that we have) and donning sunglasses. He used a pair of lacrosse sticks to propel himself across the carpet. He was having more fun than the Olympians! And so much less stress.

Less stress . . . for him.

Switzerland’s Simon Ammann jumps to a gold medal.

Switzerland’s Simon Ammann jumps to a gold medal.

Because when we watched ski jumping . . .

Canada’s Jenn Heil airs out a silver medal.

and freestyle skiing’s moguls race, I had frightening visions of my 14-year-old son climbing on the roof with boards pulled from our fence strapped to his feet.

I’m not quite ready for those kinds of events to be included in our home Olympic Games!