Winter sports aren't usually my thing (not that ANY sport really is). Not that I don't appreciate snow and cold weather (I was raised in Michigan and Missouri and I learned to like frozen precipitation), it's just that activities that require skis and skates are simply boring to me. Like most simple morons, I only go to hockey games for the fights, and I've never been to the Ice-Capades in my entire life -- not even when it's Beauty and the Beast on Ice!... But despite all this I still tune in to the Winter Olympics when they roll around once every 4 years. I guess it's because there's a very high probability that somebody will die or become severely damaged in pretty much every event. Which of course is awesome.
Now, unlike the REAL Olympics (i.e. the summer games), the winter games are all shit that was made up to appease gay countries like Norway, Sweden, Canada and Antarctica (who kept bitching and whining that they never had enough daylight or non-snowy conditions to practice track and field and other non-frostbite events that dominate the real Olympics). So we get lots of sports that take place on snow and ice, and now we have gay shit like The Half Pipe, Bobsledding, and Curling (i.e. shuffleboard) in order to really make us truly appreciate all that is good when the games are played on green grass and in temperatures higher than frozen-testicles degrees Fahrenheit. The best/only-really-good thing about the Winter Olympics though is that when they arrive it means that the Summer Olympics are only 2 years away. That's not to say that ALL the winter games suck, just the majority of them.
Anyway, like with my guide to the summer games, I plan to find out what makes each Winter Olympic event tick, and try to figure out why and how each fits into a competition that was originally invented several thousand years ago mainly so that grown men could sit around and watch young oiled-up boys wrestle around in the nude. Seriously, our ancestors scare the piss out of me.
I'm stupid. I always thought that since "pine" was a part of "alpine skiing" that it took place among the trees. Of course age (and a dictionary) told me that "alpine" instead means "above the timber line." That kind of sucks because it would have been much more exciting to see athletes dodge giant evergreens on their way down the powdery slopes. Instead the skiers just zip down hills and around flags in skin-tight bodysuits, in which you scarily still can't tell the sex of the athlete. I swear, I'll tune in and see some chick with great legs just skiing the hell out of the mountain, I'll admire her tight, but pert ass, and think that she's fairly cute as she blurs past the camera. Then she'll reach the bottom and yank off her goggles and helmet to reveal Hans the He-man, or Bill the Burly Boy behind the facade. Usually my boner dies right away and I find that I have to zip up in disgust (usually). And then later I'll tune back in and see the most cut and rugged man cruising down the slope, and then when that race is over it turns out to be a hot chick. What the hell, ski-outfit designers?! At least do something to make sure we can tell the sexes of the competitors involved in any given event! Paint bright-red circles on a woman's chest, or make their outfits like those t-shirts that have a painted-on bikini-body on them, so that we know for sure what we're pleasuring ourselves to! Dammit! Must I think of everything myself.
Anyway, alpine skiing is pretty fun to watch, but it's also one of the most unfair events in the whole Olympics. If you get to go first you get the least unfucked snow the whole way down. You go last and you have 50 ski tracks in the snow before you. It's not like a track and field event where it doesn't matter how many people ran before you – here, all the top skiers are less than a second off from each other. Unless they wipe out and die (which is really why anybody truly watches) they're going to be .6 or .7 seconds ahead of or behind the whole of their competitors. Yes, it's very cool to see these men and women shooting down steep inclines at 60+ miles per hour, but it's basically a sport of luck... Luck in your placement in when you get to go (yeah, in the preliminaries the skiers try to slow down a bit in order to get a better, earlier placement in the finals, but that's really lame too).
The spirit of what makes the Olympics the Olympics is there, but I say we take away all the hi-tech suits, skis, helmets, goggles, boots and poles, and let each athlete use the same pair of 50 year-old wooden skis while wearing thick snow-pants and one of those long-flapping ski hats. That or make them all go down the mountain at the exact same time, just like a marathon. Then we'll see who the best alpine skier on the planet is: the one who survives.
My opinion: Alpine skiing is kind of an Olympic sport, and it's cool to watch. And when the skiers fuck up, they REALLY fuck the hell up! Dislocated body parts are cool (when they belong to other people).
Like I said in my summer guide, I like when they combine two or more sports into one event. It just means that the athletes involved have to be that much more well-rounded, and they can't have spent their lives focusing on just one piddley thing. Unfortunately, the biathlon combines cross-country skiing and shooting. Did the ancient Greeks have rifles? I don't fucking think so. Yeah, it's cool to see these guys ski and ski and ski till they're frozen and shaking like a little kid caught between Oprah and an all-you-can-eat country buffet, and then have them try to aim and shoot straight, but there's no drama to it at all. Say if we put two loved ones of each biathlonner on either side of the target that they were aiming at... THAT would be television worth watching. Most athletes would probably break down crying and throw their gun to the ground in shame before taking even one shot, but you know there'd be a few left who were either total assholes and hated their wife and kids, or some who just hired some homeless people to pretend to be their family while they fired. Either way I'm sure that the ratings for this event would go through the roof!
My opinion: The biathlon just doesn't do it. Now had they used bows and arrows instead of rifles, and they brought my idea about relatives being chained to the targets, THEN I'd give this event an Olympic-sized thumbs up. But I just can't.
Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch! If it's something I myself used to do down our long and icy driveway back in Michigan, then it's NOT an Olympic sport! I would even gather 3-4 of my friends on one shoddily made sled and together we'd shoot down the slick man-made hill and almost die in one giant pile of bruises at the bottom like real men (and we had traffic to contend with!). Fuck bobsledding! If the goddamn Jamaicans can do it then anybody can!... Not to knock Jamaica or anything, I'm just saying that they ain't got no snow or ice there to even practice this shit, mon!
What they should do instead of this version of bobsledding is bring the athletes over to that giant fucking hill in the middle of the golf course behind our house in Missouri, where we'd spend the entire day sledding down the slope, over the icy golf-cart bridge, down the sand trap, up and over the hill and onto the (hopefully) frozen pond about 1/2 a mile away from the starting point. We truly risked our worthless lives back then. And it was a mile and a half trek back through the course and the forest before we could even get any help if say Joe happened to break his entire left leg (that thing fucking crumpled like a goddamn accordion! Oh, the pain!) or some moron fell through the ice (Sorry about your sister, Jimbo). The only thing that divides a first place finish from a last place finish in Olympic bobsledding is just how fat the fuckers are on the sled (I refuse to call "sledders" "atheletes").
My opinion: Pretty damn lame. It's sledding for chrissake! Yeah they go fast, but so did I. And I was like 5 years-old.
Cross Country Skiing
This is what I'm talking about! Endurance to the extreme. Cross country skiing is tough as shit to do, and these guys and gals just keep on trucking. I prefer the singles long races to the relays, but there is always the chance of an assload of athletes getting all tangled up in everybody's skis at the hand-off point... At least there would be if I were in charge of things! I'd also add line-backers and polar bears and maybe some penguins armed with crossbows to the event if the IOC ever got smart and wanted their ratings to go up a little (seriously, how can American Idol and Dancing With the Has-Been Stars top the Olympics week after week?!).
My opinion: This is pretty much the epitome of a tough sport that I can't do myself. I barely even have the endurance to walk to the keg in the snow outside during ski-party weekends (I don't even ski -- I usually just roll snowballs down the slopes in the hope that one will become an uber-snowball, like that one Madmartigan found himself trapped in in Willow [Hey, I liked Willow!], and then I blame it on a yeti). Olympic worthy!