Football season is over. Most years that means there’s no longer any reason to turn on the television after church – no scores to check or game starting. But this year there will be two more weeks of great sports to watch – the XXII Winter Olympics begin Thursday!
I remember watching the Olympics with my parents. Unfortunately, my earliest memories are from the 1972 Summer Games, when terrorists killed Israeli athletes. I was young enough that I understood little about the sports and even less why anyone would kill Olympians. I have been something of an Olympic addict since the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Winter Olympics are definitely my favorites.
My spouse and I were privileged to be volunteers at the Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and in Vancouver in 2010. There was a bit of concern in SLC, so soon after the terrorist attacks of 9-11, but I would be far more concerned if I were going to Sochi, Russia for this Olympics.
We met a lot of interesting people, got hooked on pin trading and managed to attend an event on each trip. We had to coordinate attending events with our work schedules, so we basically went to whatever was available. In SLC, it was curling, which was very interesting once I figured out the rules and strategy of the game. In 2010, we were quite fortunate that on the day we went up to Whistler, the women’s bobsled final was held.
Unfortunately, our small rural cable system does not carry all the NBC networks on which Olympic events will be shown. But I will adjust my schedule as much as possible to watch as many events as I can.
Two new sports will debut Thursday evening: team figure skating and slopestyle snowboard. The official Opening Ceremonies will be broadcast Friday night. Expect quite a show since Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to impress the world. From what I have been hearing about spectator and journalists’ poor accommodations, the Opening Ceremonies will need to be out of this world to overcome those impressions.