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Significant Details: It's too easy

February 17, 2014

PUBLISHED FEB. 15, 2014 –– Taking potshots at the Olympics is easier than having Ole Einar Bjoerndalen shoot fish in a barrel. Actually, since he’s the 10K Sprint Biathlon gold-medalist from Norway, it’s more like shooting pickled herring in a hot tub. Which would look like fish soup.
Yes, that is a bad visual, but in our media-saturated world, it seems as if the Olympics are only about looking good. First DQ in that competition went to the Team USA sweaters that look like schizophrenic patchwork quilts designed by a committee (“let’s put in EVERYTHING”) and sewn by the Vodka Lovers Quilting Club.
Then there’s the high-tech, aerodynamic zippers on the U.S. speed skaters’ suits, which didn’t help since other countries relied on their skaters’ huge, tree-trunk-sized thighs.
Look: photos of “Scantily Clad Russian Olympians.” Tacky. Sexist. Shameless. Doesn’t Russia know that the only proper way to exploit attractive female athletes in swimsuits is in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue?
Since it’s hard to do a story on the 1440 YOLO snowboard trick, we get headlines like: The New Olympic Sweetheart, Our Olympic Crush, Great Moms, Olympic Moms, More Moms, Olympic Family, Earthy Olympian, Cosmic Olympian, Tough Path to Gold, Weird Path to the Olympics and enough sappy, sentimental stories to make you beg for an hour of Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and his High Tech Biathlon Rifle (which is actually very cool), or “serious” news about how skiers and speed skaters can’t find pants that fit because they have tree-trunk-sized thighs and rear-ends as big as basketballs. Don’t even mention those “colorful” curling pants that were stolen from a clown college.
On to the events:
Figure Skating/Ice Dancing: Like doing gymnastics or synchronized dance steps to music with knives on your feet. Spectacular.
Snowboarding/Moguls/ Freestyle/Half Pipe: Again, we’ve got high-flying gymnastics, but this time with big boards or long sticks stuck on your feet, plus you have to ride/slide/ski upright in between jumps. Unbelievable.
Speed Skating/Short Track: All-out running on ice. Amazing.
Cross-Country Skiing: All-out sprinting, or all-out distance running (and shooting, eh, Ole?), on skis. Burns the lungs just watching.
Curling: A 40-pound rock and brooms. Don’t try this at home.
Luge/Bobsled/Skeleton: Sledding 90 mph down a twisting, turning sheet of ice. Are you kidding? No.
Ski Jumping: It’s called “flying.” Enough said.
Alpine Skiing/Snowboarding: Watching is the only way to believe anyone can ski or ride downhill that fast, for that long while making screaming-crazy turns.
Unfortunately for America, this year the Winter Olympics have been more about the agony of defeat than the thrill of victory. “U.S. Women Routed in Curling” (by one of the scantily clad Russians, no less). Sadder words were never written. Unless they are: “The highest U.S. finisher was 18th,” which is only topped by, “the other two Americans also competing,” which sounds much better than, “the American racers finished ahead of the Lithuanian mascot and two fifth graders from Estonia.”

(Jon Klusmire of Bishop is an Olympic-caliber couch surfer who thinks winter is over since baseball spring training has started.)

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