Not A Big Fan

This may be heresy, but I’m just not a big fan of figure skating. I know, it gets the best ratings of the Olympic telecasts … but it’s just not my bag.

And there’s lots of it. Ice dancing, pairs, singles, compulsories, original routines, free skates … you can’t turn on the Olympics without being subjected to at least some figure skating.

And I know, there’s artistry and athleticism and technical skill.  It’s got to be extraordinarily difficult. I don’t want to take anything away from the sport … but I’d rather see something else.

So what would I rather see? I’ve always like bobsledding. Fast, precise, like little jet airplanes in afterburner on the ice. It’s the Olympic sport most like an air show, and one day they’ll figure out how to make one of those bobsled tracks, what they’re calling the “sliding center” in Vancouver, with a loop. I mean, it already looks like a roller coaster ride.

Ski jumping is another of those sports that I’ve always enjoyed. I sometimes wonder who the first person was who decided to find out who could fly the furthest off a mountain. I’ve watched the sport long enough to remember when the didn’t do the “V” with their skis. But some smart guy probably with some computer modeling program figured out that making a delta shape with the skis, the jumpers body providing much of the lift for the jump, would allow the jumpers to fly further down the hill. Science and sports. Higher, faster, farther.

I’ve actually watched more of this Olympics than I have in past years. And I do like the Winter games more than the Summer games.  If there’s something less compelling to me than figure skating, it’s track and field. And since the basketball teams started allowing NBA players to play, that lost it’s appeal as well. When it was truly amateur … U.S. college players and coaches opening up a can of whup-ass on the rest of the world … that was cool.

Early on in the games, NBC did an essay about the dangers of some of the winter sports. The games were marked with tragedy when a luger from the former Soviet republic of Georgia was killed in a practice run. For so many of the sports, there is such a fine line between being the fastest and being out of control, and the ones who manage to control the chaos are those that win gold medals.

So no, not a big fan of figure skating. But finding more interest in the Olympics overall this year. And to see the sports I like … I’ll manage a few triple lutzs.

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