Monday, February 27, 2006

Into Olympics withdrawal
Well, the winter Olympics are over, and I'm already into withdrawal. Screw the "Olympics? What Olpymics?" attitude that apparently most of America had. I and my sweetie were glued to the TV for two weeks, completely caught up in Olympic fever.

And while I couldn't care less about the over-hyped, under-achieving Bode Miller, and found the equally ballyhooed women's figure skating to be thoroughly dull, I must admit that my revelation for the games is this:

Biathalon rules! What a cool sport. OK, on paper the concept of cross-country skiing yourself into exhaustion, only to stop and shoot at a target, seems like a ridiculous waste of time and energy. But oh my goodness, does it make for compelling TV viewing. (No, I'm not kidding!)

What I loved about it is how quickly the lead could change. Some guy skiis to the first shooting stage a full minute ahead the rest of the crew, misses two out of five shots, has to ski a 150 meter penalty loop, and suddenly some unknown from Latvia is in the lead. I lost track of just how many times that happened...the favorite totally implodes at a shoot, someone back in the pack shoots clean, and all of a sudden you've got a new leader. It's fascinating. Plus, at the end, there's frequently a crazy dash for the finish line that cannot help but get you screaming "go! go!' for that one guy from Finland that you just want to win.

Totally addicting.

On a side not, it's official, I think Apolo Anton Ohno is cool. I like how gracious and genuine he is in the face of both victory and defeat. He and the generosity of Joey Cheek completely redeemed the otherwise vaguely dull and, times, cringe-worthy American team (a tiara? on a ski helmet?).

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