Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympics Fever

Hooray for the Olympics! We can't get enough. Every time it comes back, summer or winter, I always think, why does something this fun happen so infrequently?

We are not a sports-y family. I mean, in the spectator department. We watch the Super Bowl (or, some of us did) and the World Series, the Tour de France, and the occasional soccer or tennis match. We are an active bunch, though. Among us we swim and bike and practice yoga and do gymnastics and snowboard and ski. (I've even, lately, discovered a new and wondrous way to get fit: the exercise videos that come free with Amazon prime membership. Jillian Michaels, you kill me. Sorry about all the jumping, downstairs neighbors.)

Both the summer and the winter Olympics capture our attention, but as downhill enthusiasts, we especially enjoy the skiing. We love watching the skiers fling themselves down the hill, imagining ourselves, of course, in their place. We are full of terror and empathy when they go hurtling off course. And we have nothing but admiration for the incredible athletes who make it to the podium. You can have the best run in the world in practice (poor Bode) but if you don't come through when it counts, you're outta luck.

Bella as Team USA Olympic skier (and Ruby as a pig), Purim 2010

We also, of course, love the perennial winter favorite, figure skating. All that glitter obscuring so much grit and practice and fearlessness. And youth! Did you see the amazing and flawless 15-year-old Russian Julia Lipnitskaia? Barely old enough to remember the last winter Olympics, and now a dominating force. Really makes you appreciate what teenagers are capable of.

Ruby loves the luge and the bobsled. It's like an amusement park ride in the guise of a sport. Except it's a ride that none of us would even want to try.

Sure, the Olympics are full of weird nationalism and posturing, but ultimately, they are a grand stage to display the talents of a group of super-human athletes, who train tirelessly for years to be under the lights for a few minutes. It happens to also be fantastic family entertainment. We can't get enough.

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