Sunday, February 25, 2018

Winter Olympics

I don't really like sports, so probably my judgment on this point is of no value, but it seems to me that the Winter Olympics is too niche to be an Olympics. There are so many events, and yet so few actual sports involved. In fact, there only seem to be really three sports - skiing, sledding, and skating - which are then subdivided into like 100 different competitive events. Some of these events are activities engaged in by normal people outside the Olympics - that is, they are sports, like ice hockey and cross-country and downhill skiing - but most of them seem to be activities that are done exclusively by Olympians competing against one another during the Olympics, like all the varieties of luge and speed skating. In fact, none of the sledding-type events even appear to be possible on actual snow during an actual winter. They all require a custom-built structure.

Maybe this is not really true and, in places of perpetual winter like Norway and Canada, luge is a weekend activity and there are even high school leagues? But even if that were true, the Winter Olympics would still not be a truly international sporting competition so much as a specialized meetup of the handful of ice-bound nations technologically advanced enough to develop highly niche uses for skates, sleds, and skis that only 20 people in each country will ever master. And the only one that is fun to watch is figure skating.

The Summer Olympics is not like this. It consists of sports that regular people all over the world actually play. Even the highly technical ones that require lots of specialized equipment, like gymnastics and the equestrian competitions, are things that real people everywhere do at amateur levels. The Summer Olympics is a genuine international athletic competition. The Winter Olympics is just a place to passive-aggressively hash out diplomatic conflicts among nations where it snows.

Also, Goomba, upon viewing figure skating for the first time, had the following to say: "Why her naked?"


Anonymous said...

Next you're going to hate on the Spring Olympics, aren't you?

Just because you think brooms are for quidditch, not for curling, doesn't mean the best players from the Pan-African Hockey League won't take gold in 2022.

Miss Self-Important said...

I commend the spirit behind it though. A lot of the summer sports are actually played indoors, so why not shift them over to the winter games, so that they have more legitimate sports in proportion?

educatedwhinge said...

There is a speed skating club in my town, and curling is a popular drinking/social activity in Canada...