Feb 202006
Authors: Brett Okamoto

I have to admit, two weeks ago I would have been writing on the other end of this topic.

Before the games in Turino started, I wasn't planning on watching them at all. I didn't really see the point. The Cold War is over folks. I figured Americans beating the Russians in figure skating just doesn't mean all that much to our nation's pride these days.

But, for some unknown reason to me, I do now.

With all the intensity thrown into political discussion this year, you have to believe that there is a great sense of nationalism going on in this country. Maybe it doesn't mean as much as when Jesse Owens lit up the Germans with Hitler on the sidelines, but still – when an American leaves the other countries in the dust doesn't a part of you want to jump up and wave a flag around or something?

I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that all the events at the Olympics are exciting or even interesting, for that matter.

Cross country skiing. What are these people doing? It's painful to watch. I saw the relays. After one of the legs finished they showed the skiers all passed out in the snow on the side of the track. I wanted to say, "Hey, while you were killing yourself in negative-degree weather the entire world went into the kitchen to fix a snack."

But that's just one sport. The skeleton event is insane to see. In case you don't know, skeleton riders are basically lugers on drugs. They sled down the track, but they lay on their stomach facing downhill.

The point is that there are more entertaining sports than boring ones if you take the time to see what's going on. Ice hockey, snowboarding, skiing and speed skating are all sports we watch within the United States. So why, when pitted against the entire world, wouldn't we tune in?

In the United States we have gotten into the horrible tendency to celebritize our athletes. That's why we have stories like Terrell Owens and Ron Artest, because so many athletes know that the focus is on them instead of the team.

But in the Olympics you can have guys like the U.S.'s Joe Polo, who is over there to sweep ice in front of a moving rock in a curling match, and can still celebrate and feel like a hero; because over there, the team is your country.

The best sports stories are happening in Italy right now. I hope you're not missing them, like I almost did.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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