Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meddling, Olympic style

I'm no big fan of sports (unlike Simon who as previously noted will watch pretty much any sport on TV that involves a ball or wheels...that's most sports covered isn't it? He doesn't do horse racing or darts or bowls or women's anything but other than that, if it's competitive he'll watch it) My sporting interest is restricted to commenting on the silly names of players, the attractiveness of the kit, and an occasional forced comment about a goal or tackle (always prefaced by "look at this 'Rena, watch this").

This all changes of course when the Olympics are on (I am also partial to a bit of Wimbledon (but that is the ONLY tennis I will watch) the boat race (you half hope one of them will sink like in 1978) the Grand National, Formula One motor races and maybe (if I'm really bored on that Sunday morning) the London Marathon) I have zero interest in football or rugby or cricket (however I am quite likely to be watching a bit of footie this summer seeing as it's the world cup, and as it runs from June 11 until there's just one team standing (July 11 - oh god, a whole month of football...) it's going to be hard to miss, seeing as both England and Germany have qualified)

BUT when the Olympics start it's hard to resist the almost 24 hour coverage of sports you've never heard of, and suddenly you're an expert on all manner of obscure sports...

At the moment it's the winter Olympics in Vancouver and after getting over our incredulity at how anyone would want to hurl themselves down a tube of sheet ice in a fragile metal bullet with their teammates, let alone do the same thing but on what is little more than a tea tray, we've discovered Ski Cross. We watched the men's races earlier this week and then the women's. It's mad! Quite, quite mad, if you saw any of the BMX racing at the last summer Olympics that would give you an idea of what to's supposed to be a mix of downhill time trial and freestyle skiing and is supposed to be a non contact sport, although the number of elbows that were flying about you'd have thought the Germans were there! After watching both the men's and women's heats and finals Si & I are now of course experts in this new sport of Ski Cross, discussing the chances (or lack of) of the women actually getting over the first two very steep Wu Tangs (like a vertical ramp that they have to get up, in order to jump off of) - a couple of the women fell backwards off the almost top, having not had enough forward momentum to propel them upwards. Then Si got very technical, expounding the 'how to go faster theory' by compressing the jump...what? Apparently you go faster on the slippery snow than in the air so the longer you are in the air during a jump the slower your time...

Unfortunately Ski Cross is finished with so we'll have to find another sport to become sofa experts in...what to choose... slalom, bobsleigh (nutters), curling (yawn), freestyle skiing (could well provide entertainment), ice hockey (double yawn), speed skating (possibilities) and snowboarding...think it's going to have to be slalom and snowboarding then!

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