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Despite This We Stay: Olympic Commentary

by Carol Dunn

PYEONGCHANG/ LA VETA — I loved watching the Olympics. I recorded what I could, and watched it at my leisure. I guess I’m just a hick, because I fast-forwarded through everything except the actual competitions. Really, you can save a lot of time that way. Matter of fact, if you cut out all the commercials, introductions, replays, fashion statements, brass and boom-boom symphonic introductions, interviews, people crying, announcers telling you what you’re going to see and then telling you what you just saw, athletes crashing and footage of the Zamboni machine grooming the ice rink, the actual competitions add up to about three hours total – and one of those hours is taken up by cross-country skiing. Think about it, it takes less than two minutes for each skier to make their longest run. And all the events are happening at the same time. So, it ends up taking two weeks just to fit in all that filler.

One sport I had never heard of until the Olympic games was “curling.” Oh sure, I heard some bashing of the sport, so I wasn’t particularly interested. But one evening I tuned in to watch curling, just so I’d understand what the talking smack was about. As any hick raised in Pennsylvania would, I expected to see a row of barber salon chairs and hairdressers poised with their hot irons ready to curl hair better than anyone else on the planet. What I got was something totally NOT that.

First of all, who in the world named this so-called “sport”? The teams compete in tennis shoes and, aside from doing splits on the ice, never break a sweat. Some of them actually wear glasses. And there were no curls anywhere to be seen, except in a couple of the competitors’ hair. What there is, is a shiny, round rock that looks like a teapot gone wrong. There’s a push broom or a sponge mop. There’s ice. No curls.

And don’t you think the Olympic downhill skiers, who travel at speeds of 80-plus miles per hour STRAIGHT DOWN a mountainside covered with SNOWY ICE, to compete in their sport, just look sideways at the curling teams during the closing ceremonies? I guess living in southern Colorado – where we should ALL get a gold medal just for dealing with the WIND – has made me expect a little bit more out of an Olympic-level sport than screaming at a big rock to “GO, GO, GO” as it slides toward other rocks and hopefully hits them. Hey, it’s a ROCK.

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