Creating a smokescreen
A few thoughts about the Winter Olympics:
– That was quite a tap dance that Olympic officials did after a Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, went off the luge course, hit a pole and died last Friday. The International Olympic Committee and officials of the sport basically blamed Kumaritashvili for his own death, citing the 21-year-old's relative inexperience. But his deadly accident came on the same day a veteran slider lost his sled in an accident and had to hang onto it for dear life as he shot down the track. And what did the IOC and luge officials do after telling everyone that the track was perfectly safe? They put up a big wall to prevent anyone else from hitting the pole, and they changed the starting points for the men and women lugers to cut down the speeds. There are also reports that Canadian Olympic officials did what they could to prevent lugers from other nations from practicing at the site until just before the games, in order to give their lugers a home-track advantage. Shameful.
– The missus is a huge Winter Olympics fan, so I've seen nothing else on my television since Friday night. I find some of the sports enjoyable to watch. Speed skating comes quickly to mind. But some of this stuff, like cross-country skiing and the ice dancing part of the figure skating competition, make curling look like “Rollerball.” And would it be too much to ask NBC to show more of the actual competitions, even if the competitors are from Zingzangistan and not in contention for medals, rather than blab, blab, blab for 50 minutes out of every hour? A little less talk, a lot more action would be nice.
– Speaking of figure skating, did anyone else notice that in the pairs and ice dancing competitions, there are a bunch of people who were born in one country but are skating under another country’s flag? Apparently, a guy from the United States can skate for France if his third-cousin’s grandmother’s brother once ate a croissant. Seriously, these rules need to be tightened up so that the competitors have to compete for the country in which they were born and lived all their lives.