We’ve been spending the evening watching the Dew Tour (Ion Mountain Championships) on DVR. Freestyle skiing and slopestyle snowboarding from Breckenridge, Colorado.
This is the first qualifying event for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, a little over six weeks away. You could say that we’re getting psyched.
We are not a sports family. That’s putting it mildly. None of us have an iota of interest in watching televised sports. In the current vernacular, you could say I’ve “lost my man card” in that I don’t care a whit about football and won’t even watch the Super Bowl. Ditto for the World Series. I simply don’t care who’s playing, much less who wins or loses.
To me, it’s just a bunch of sweaty guys running around a field in goofy-looking uniforms. I have better things to do.
But all that changes every other year when the Olympic Games approach. Suddenly, my wife and I are glued to the TV, checking out the broadcast schedules and recording as much as we can fit on the DVR.
I don’t think I could come up with the name of a single person playing in any professional sport today. But I know that Shaun White opted out of the slopestyle at Breckenridge due to an aggravation of an old injury, not because of the fall he sustained in the halfpipe.
I know. This makes no sense at all. It’s totally ridiculous. And I have to laugh at myself, because it’s so unlike me.
And yet, I find myself looking forward to the slalom, the downhill, the luge, the graceful figure skaters performing their triple axels, salchows and lutzes. The spectacular falls and crashes as well as the breathtaking successes. The interviews, the coaches, the platforms and medals, the strange-sounding national anthems from around the world.
I think back to the opening ceremonies of last year’s Summer Olympics in London, and remember how I stared open-mouthed and wiped a tear from my eye. The whole historical sequence of British life from agrarian days through the Industrial Revolution to the modern service economy. The children from Great Ormond Street Hospital jumping on the beds before drifting off to sleep and having Mary Poppins and Captain Hook dance in their dreams. The Mister Beans guy playing the same note over and over in the Chariots of Fire number.
It still gives me chills.
So what will the opening ceremonies look like in Sochi? I can barely begin to speculate. Will the classic works of Tolstoy, Pasternak, Dostoevsky and Turgenev be represented? Will Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky show up in the musical numbers? And how will Russia’s long, colorful history be portrayed?
I can’t wait to find out.
Only 52 more days to go.
Not that I’m counting or anything.