Alright, that was harsh. A lot of Olympic sports are pretty good and can stand on their own, however, there are also a load of them that don’t get a mention until the Olympics are on. During that time, especially during the Winter Olympics more so than the Summer Games, everybody will become an instant expert in obscure sports that us Australians only ever see on TV.
It is the middle of summer here in Australia. that means it is hot… Really hot! That makes it difficult to develop an understanding of sports that can only be played in cold conditions. Because of this, once every 4 years, us Australians turn the air conditioning on to full then move our freezers close to the sofa and open the door, to get the proper Winter Olympics experience.
The romance of Russia
Its fair to say that the majority of the world had never heard of Sochi, a city with just over 400,000 residents, before it was announced as host of the 2014 Games. Even the spellchecker on this computer doesn’t recognise Sochi since it has put a big red wavy line underneath it to tell me that it isn’t a word. Hold on while I add it to my spellchecker.
There are just weeks to go until the Russians have a massive, vodka-heavy, chain-smoking, gun-firing piss up, vaguely disguised as an opening ceremony. Despite it being so close, there are still over 300,000 tickets available for Olympic sporting events and there is a damn good reason for this… Russia is a terrifying place. You only have to go to LiveLeak and search for the term “Russia” to see video evidence of why I wouldn’t want to go there for a holiday.
Because of the ever present threat of terrorist attacks in an already volatile part of the world; Russian authorities may have imposed martial law and a so-called “Iron Ring”. But I fear that neither this, nor another 100 propaganda photos of Vladimir Putin sat topless on a horse, is going to be enough to strike fear into the terrorists who threaten the Games.
Lets not forget Russia’s poor human rights record, the fact that the President is openly imposing his anti-homosexual anti-gay propaganda throughout the Olympics, and the fact that I’m sure that you still have to line up to be handed a piece of bread. Lets be honest, this could turn out to be the worst Olympics in the history of Olympics. Its no wonder that they drink a lot of vodka in Russia.
Once every 4 years, us Australians turn the air conditioning on to full then move our freezers close to the sofa and open the door, to get the proper Winter Olympics experience.
Australia at the Winter Olympics
As an Australian I am proud of our sporting achievements. We are a small country who go up against the biggest in the world and don’t only hold our own but often win. That said, I am not even going to bother checking the medal tables for the Sochi Games because we don’t stand a chance. Athough if complaining was an Olympic sport I would probably get a gold.
Unbelievably, Australia is sending its biggest ever Winter Olympics team to the Sochi Games. A huge 56 athletes are heading to Sochi to compete in sports that the rest of the country has never even heard of. I applaud them for going and I wish them luck and hope that they do well, but lets be honest, we don’t really expect them to win.
They should just rename the Games to “The Russia vs Canada vs Nordic Country Games”. Shit, Iceland has Ice in it’s name, how does anybody expect Australia to compete with that? Aus kind of sounds like Ice, but only if you say it in a New Zealand accent.
The Winter Olympics are only there for countries who struggle to compete in the Summer Olympics. Once every 4 years, Canada gets the chance to show their less polite American neighbours that they can complete at sport when they send a team of hockey players, and some other people, to “The Hockey World Cup with some skiing and skating events as pre and post match entertainment.”
Winter Olympic sports are dangerous
Aside from the ever present terrorist threat, there are a number of sports related ways to die during the Winter Olympics. Pretty much the only way to die at the Summer Olympics is from dehydration and heat. This can be easily solved with proper hydration and a bit of common sense. At the Winter Olympics however, in most sports the best way to stay alive is to not fuck up.
Most winter sports involve running fast, before belly flopping onto a board of some sorts and hurtling down an icy track at an insane speed, with no brakes, whilst praying to God that you don’t hit anything. Apart from ice hockey where the whole point is to go really fast and hit something, preferably something wearing a different coloured jersey.
If the sport doesn’t involve fast speeds, it generally involves choosing to wear either tight lycra or really baggy clothes, before coming off of a ramp and performing flips of some sort before trying to land on your feet. Generally, the reason that most snowboarders miss a landing is because they chose the baggy clothing option and their pants are below their ass. You’d think that winning a medal or protecting themselves from broken bones might be more important than some stupid fashion statement.
Weird Winter Olympic sports
When the Summer Olympics roll around, the majority of sports that are played are recognisable to the rest of the world. During the Winter Olympics however, a lot of the sports are obscure to those of us from warm countries.
Figure skating is a sport in which a load of people who nobody has ever heard of, get together and perform the same spins and jumps in front of a load of judges who pick a winner based on whoever didn’t break an ankle. I won’t deny that it is a physically difficult sport, but to the majority of people watching at home they might as well just line up and let the judges throw a medal at whoever has the best looking outfit. Women’s figure skating seems right, however, and I’m unsure of whether Blades of Glory is to blame or not, watching men dance around whilst wearing sparkly lycra just seems wrong.
Last time that the Winter Olympics were on, pretty much every decent sport such as luge or ski jumping, was interrupted by breaking news from Curling which coincidently, aside from being the only sport in the world which is based on a dull household chore, seems to be one of the only sport which isn’t governed by the laws of gravity.
Curling is lawn bowls crossed with sweeping, on ice. Two teams have their own set of large stones, and they take turns sliding these stones down a sheet of ice toward a target. As the stone slides, two teammates sweep the ice with brooms to help direct the stone. The first time tries to delicately place their stones in the optimal position before the second team comes along to smash shit up. A point is given for every stone you get closer to the target than the other team’s best effort. Why stop at sweeping, lets all put on some lycra and turn dish-washing, dusting and vaccuming into boring Olympic sports too.
The real story of the Winter Olympics
Aside from the abundance of lycra, the injuries and the obscure sports, the the real story behind these games is Russia. If there was ever danger of a major sporting event going arse-up, this is it.
They might as well have just handed the games to Australia because, despite our climate, I feel like we would still do a better job. Russia, the ice cube is now in your court and it is up to you to prove the rest of the world wrong, and I hope that you do.
The Winter Olympics have started and Russia is already failing hard. Take a look at these shocking pictures of what journalists have found in their hotel rooms in Sochi.