While I’m not so much of a sports fan, I do, weirdly, love the Olympics. One reason is, unlike football games which last an eternity, the events are over in the blink of an eye. Olympic sports last from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, which works nicely with my recent self-diagnosis of being a person who is High Sensation Seeking (signs of being HSS: needing constant infusions of caffeine, always having to purchase at least one thing not on your list at Target, and clicking on any link on FB that promises to make you EXPLODE INTO A MILLION PIECES AND CHANGE EVERYTHING YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT DOGS/SOLDIERS/GOD/CHILDREN/MOTHERS.).
The other reason I like the Olympics is they do those little vignettes about the athletes’ personal lives, and so, in addition to getting my sports-in-small-doses, I get stories, somewhat true stories about the athletes. Producers take the mundane facts of their real lives and, with the help of professional editing, gorgeous photography and the score from Gladiator, spin them into fluffy, inspiring, cotton candy tales. I really, really love them. Come to think of it, I would like somebody to make a three minute vignette about my struggle to the top, so I can watch it on bad days.
Anyway, I was watching the Olympic ice dancing finals the other night with my husband and son, and went on one of my flights of fancy (which other people might call “crazy ramblings” but I like flights of fancy better, and I’m the bloggess here). Here’s how it went:
Husband: I wonder how many of the pairs are dating each other.
Me: I don’t know. Probably not the brother and sister.
Husband: *Googling* Some date each other, but it is not encouraged.
Me: I really think I’d be good at ice dancing. Do you think it’s too late to pick it up? Can a 46-year-old learn ice dancing?
Son: Definitely. Go for it.
(**A small aside: My son thinks that by use of dripping sarcasm, he will kill my dream. He will not.)
Husband: I’ll be your partner.
Me: I’m going to have to lose some weight. I think we could win the gold on the seniors tour probably. This will be such a fun activity to do together.
Son: But it’s not encouraged to be in a relationship with your partner.
Me: You’re right. It could cost us the gold.
Son: You’re going to have to lose the weakest link.
Husband: Who’s the weakest link?
Son: *points to him* You are.
Me: You’re holding me back from the gold, honey. The gold and the glory.
Husband: I’ll give it up for you. All of it. For you.
Me: Thank you so much. When they do my little vignette story, I’ll be sure to mention your sacrifice.
Prior to the ice dancing, we had a lot of fun watching the two-man bobsled, and I got to hear about the 39-year-old Russian bobsledder who has never medaled but wants to so bad he’s withheld his love, I mean strongly encouraged his teen daughter to take up the skeleton. He did end up winning the gold medal (I will admit, I shed a tear of joy for his daughter and sent up a little prayer that she would now be allowed to be a real teenager and get a smart phone so she could text her friends and post regrettable Instagram selfies instead of spending all her time missiling face-first down iced-over water slides.)
I love how, in the Russian vignettes, the athletes are all like, “I must to win the gold so I can show the world how much I have achieved and the world will tremble at my feet. And then I will bathe in the blood of my enemies.”
Don’t get me wrong. I fully support them. They’re just being honest and it’s incredibly refreshing. In America, we’re taught we have to be good sports at all costs–be classy!–and hide our deepest desires, especially if they’re not charitable or nice or sound like we’re “giving back.” The Russians don’t seem to worry all that much about giving back, and who can blame them? Screw classy! They want to take the gold, dang it, and dance around your broken body while you weep in humiliation at the base of the medal podium. It’s so raw and real, I could just explode into a million pieces.
Now that I think about it, that might be the thing I like best about the Olympics.