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. *
Brilliant, Ziva. I'll never watch the Olympics in the same way again. Any sport you can participate in while drinking certainly works for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for clearing up a few misconceptions for me. I doubt that I will watch much, but I might make some popcorn!ReplyDelete
I like your version of the Olympics much better than the actual version of the Olympics. I think you should host them next time around. And I do mean YOU, not Finland. Olympics hosted by you are Olympics I would watch. Avidly. With buttered popcorn.ReplyDelete
I'd like to read your take on curling.ReplyDelete
Don't forget the Canadian and Finnish women's hockey teams play each other on Monday.
I love the Olympics! And, you are right about the skeleton thing. I don't know how you get into that sport but I don't think many last. How much alcohol do you have to have consumed to go "Hey, okay...I'll lay flat on my stomach...put a helmet on which probably won't be of any help when I smash into something going 76.6 mph...and then...oh, this is too easy...I know...let's rip these brakes off! I'll just use my feet for brakes!"ReplyDelete
I will be watching that game in my cheerleader outfit, yelling at the Finns to beat the crap out of the Canadian team.ReplyDelete
Now, my take on curling is pretty much this; one player throws a rock on the ice and the others try
to steer the rock in the right direction by waving a brush in front of it and
screaming at it. For some reason, curling players have yet to
realize that rocks don’t actually work that way. Newton’s third law of
motion clearly states that to every action there is an equal and opposite
reaction. Unless the power of their voice is a force to be reckoned
with, I highly doubt it will affect anything at all. But mental illness makes for awesome TV, don't you think?
In fact, they should just make Drinking an Olympic event, don't you think? It would be ruled by Finns and Russians, of course, but we'd still let you compete.ReplyDelete
Popcorn is all we really need in life.ReplyDelete
I like your take on the winter Olympics, not the biggest fan all around but there are some notable parts to it. Good post! :-)ReplyDelete
I'll host Olympic Jell-O wrestling for just you and me.ReplyDelete
My guess? A LOT.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Nathanael.ReplyDelete
"Razor sharp blades and brainless muscle"? "Down the road, not across the street"? You've got a dark streak, don't you?ReplyDelete
I love your take on these sports. It's so twisted and amusingly irreverent.
Ziva, Honey, I would not go to that place in Russia if you promised me all the gold in the world. Russians scare me. Russia scares me. Putin scares me. And besides, Alex has great binoculars so we could probably watch from your house. This post was awesome. It made me scared and cold. I love it when that happens!ReplyDelete
You had me at cheerleader outfit.ReplyDelete
When and where?ReplyDelete
Oh, great! I've already stated training.ReplyDelete
Well, damn. I can't believe I missed out on downhill skating. Who wants to miss blood-covered snow?ReplyDelete
Love the Darwinism remark! Exactly what I'm thinking every time I see somebody do something like that!ReplyDelete
I'm telling you, they're definitely a few fries short of a Happy Meal.ReplyDelete
One of the best things about snow, really, is how well the white shows off fresh blood.ReplyDelete
You love being scared and cold? Sweetheart, you would love Finland in the winter. And summer, come to think of it.ReplyDelete
My dark streak is a mile wide, KZ. ;)ReplyDelete
I don't even need the cheerleader outfit, do I? I had you at hello, my dear, because no one can resist a Swedish accent.ReplyDelete
I'll send you a formal invitation.ReplyDelete
You should be on your country's press team. Your take is much more interesting. BTW, I liked the Finns' team outfit. :)ReplyDelete
Hah! I'm afraid people take their sports way too seriously, I might just get lynched. But at least I'd die wearing a nice outfit.ReplyDelete
And really, isn't that all that matters?ReplyDelete
That's some amazing, creative insight into the Olympic games. I'll never look at them the same way. Especially the Jamaicans.ReplyDelete
I am currently watching Women's Figure Skating. If this blonde American gal who had FOURTH place and FELL doesn't prove herself, I'm gonna be ticked. Because the girl who got THIRD and did NOT fall was NOT invited to the olympics. There. I said it.ReplyDelete
I totally second, Jayne's comment!ReplyDelete
"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."ReplyDelete
I'd agree. but I have to admit, I have no idea what you're talking about. :DReplyDelete
Those Jamaicans sure are a funny bunch.ReplyDelete
I know you are watching with cheese, too.
Cheese? Nope. No. No way. Never. No.ReplyDelete
Gosh, I wish I had been able to read your descriptions of these sports before the Olympics were over. Damn, just my luck. We don't have any of those sports in Texas (except for hockey and I've never been) so I truly never understood how to rate as I watch.ReplyDelete
I love this: "a generous helping of I-could-do-it-better on the side."
I don't think you're missing out on much over there in Texas, hockey is the only important sport anyway. ;)ReplyDelete