I’m sure most of you have noticed that the Winter edition of the Olympic Games is in full swing over on the Russian Riviera. Palm trees line the streets in Sochi, where athletes are enjoying luxury accommodations with a wonderfully Soviet twist.
As a Finn, I enjoy winter sports. Not to practice, God forbid, but it’s always fun to watch them from the warm comfort of my designer sofa, a nice bowl of buttery popcorn in my lap and a generous helping of I-could-do-it-better on the side.
I don’t know how familiar you are with winter sports, but I thought I’d write you a helpful little guide to see you through the next couple of weeks.
First, we have ice hockey. I love hockey. There is nothing like grown men beating the crap out of each other and calling it a sport. Here’s how it works. The puck needs to go from the middle of the ice into one of two goals. Preferably the one guarded by a Swede. The puck manages this an average of once every 15 minutes. The remaining time is spent fighting and finding alternative uses for the puck as a tooth-extracting device. Brilliant sport.
Next up, skiing. Cross country skiing is boring as hell, but thankfully, there are also daredevils who participate in downhill skiing and make the Olympics that much more exciting. I watch it for the broken limbs.
Sadly, downhill skating isn’t an Olympic event, but it damn well should be. And it should be called suicide. In suicide, you take your skates and walk up a mountain. You then put on your skates and, along with three of your fellow Emos, fall down the mountain in a pile of razor sharp blades and brainless muscle. The one who accidentally manages to slit his wrists is the winner. Down the road, not across the street.
Bobsleigh is the rich kids’ sport. You pretty much have to own a mountain to be able to play. You also need three friends and way too much time on your hands. The idea is to run like hell for a few meters, then jump into a warm and cozy sled, and gently ride down the mountain in a nicely carved track that keeps you on your course. You don’t even have to be sober to compete. This is why Jamaicans love this sport.
Skeleton is the poor man’s bobsleigh. It’s called skeleton because that’s how you’ll end up after you fly off the track, break your neck and never breathe again. You do it alone and you do it by night when the rich kids aren’t using their track. You take your old toboggan, run like hell for a few meters and then race head-first down the icy track of death. Darwinism states that these athletes shouldn’t live long enough to reproduce.
Now, Nordic combined, there’s a sport for real men. Living up here in one of the Nordic countries, no one knows the dangers of the North better than me. Almost every single day I am forced into a situation where I quickly have to put on my skis, race down a mountain, take off from said mountain and fly 140 meters through the air, only to set a perfect telemark landing. This is almost always followed by a leisurely 10-kilometer cross-country ski. Originally this practice was developed to escape the hungry polar bears roaming the streets, but nowadays we do it just for fun. It’s even part of my daily commute. The second part of my commute involves something that doesn’t have an English name. It consists of a big hole in the ice and a very cold swim. If you add a sauna it also doubles as the national pastime in Finland.
Enjoy the Games, my friends. Next time, we’ll be talking about figure skating and curling. Oh, the fun to be had!
This post was written for Nicky and Mike's 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing III. To see the other posts, please visit We Work For Cheese. *