Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter Spectacle

I love the Winter Olympics and Vancouver did Canada proud.

These Games are so different in style, glamour and scenery. In fact, I prefer them to the Summer Olympics. I watched enthralled as skiers threw themselves down the mountains in the Super G, knees straining to hold a line or the speed skaters rounding a curve with a millimeter of steel keeping them anchored to the ice.

I've even watched the curling and wondered at the precision of their play and struggled to come to terms with the speed of the bob sledders (or is it sliders)? and luge.

Its hard to explain the appeal but most of it comes down to seeing fit, confident people at the pinnacle of their careers. There is something very attractive about these supreme athletes that are modern day gladiators. They radiate a supreme energy that is palpable. I remember my forays into international canoeing and the privilege of being amongst the world's best. Its a sensation not easily explained but I felt waves of nostalgia as I watched these Games in Vancouver. I really wished myself back to those days of intense focus and larger than life goals.

My favourite disciplines to watch were the cross country skiing which included biathlons (shooting/skiing), marathons, team events. Lots to watch and marvel at. And the speed skating for its risk, power and precision. Both are colourful and extremely physically demanding. Watching some of the coverage in slow motion makes my jaw drop at the power and effort.  All against a pristine backdrop of snowy mountains.

Funnily enough, the one I was least interested in was Figure Skating. Don't know why. I even watched a bit of ice hockey to try and understand its fanatic popularity in Canada - glad they won the Gold medal else the nation would be in mourning right now.

16 days of glory for some and 16 days of devastated dreams for others.

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