All That Glitters Is Gold

by Rich on February 12, 2018

Gold, baby, GOLD! Sweet, American Olympic gold!

I don’t care that the winter Olympics are in PyeongChang, South Korea (“Come for the Bibimbap, stay for the curling!”), you can still smell the fragrant aroma from the games all across the globe. And do you know what that smell is? FREEDOM!

Just kidding. It’s the bibimbap. But still…

I love the Olympics, and out of all of them (last count: 2), the winter Olympics are far and away my favorite. Having lived my entire life in the Southeast of the good ol’ U. S. of A., I can do without the heat of the summer games. I fantasize about snow and parkas and rosy cheeks and ski lodges with cocktails and LL Bean furniture and there’s this gorgeous blond in a sweater, and she’s looking at me and… oh. Sorry. Wrong fantasy. You get my drift, though.

The winter Olympics are picturesque. There’s all that snow and ice and games and sports that I really don’t know a whole about, but I am instantly infatuated with. The bobsled, the luge, the skiing… it’s all so exotic! It just pulls me in! I mean, there’s a competition where people ski, sling a rifle off their backs, shoot a target, chop down a tree, build a cabin and fight a bear! Ok, that’s an exaggeration…but only a little. I’m sorry, water polo, but as interesting as you are, you just don’t come close to some dude going 100mph headfirst down a frozen drainage ditch on a lunch tray. That’s just insane!

To be fair, I like any form of competition where my country is represented against other countries. I like the shared experience of it all. The patriotism (I’m old fashioned enough to still think that’s a good thing. Apparently it upsets some people, or so I have been told). I feel the same way about the World Cup, certain golf tournaments, and BBQ competitions. I also like the fact that, for at least this short amount of time, most of the country, and the world, will be focused on something that doesn’t involve a natural disaster or a war zone (the athlete’s village notwithstanding). The Olympics just do this on a bigger scale and I think it’s amazing.

Don’t get me wrong… the Olympics bring with it its own set of controversies. Athletes competing under some made up flag because their country of origin is a known hotbed of state sponsored cheating (looking at you, Putin), countries that probably shouldn’t be allowed to compete at all because of their human rights records (N. Korea, China), and the constant battle against P.E.D.s all provide drama outside the competitive arena. But we’ve come to expect that. Embrace it, even. It’s like a world-wide “Bachelor” episode on skis!

I also like that for the next 2 weeks, I know without question there will be something on TV to watch. Sure, we have a gazillion channels and Netflix, but this is so compelling! Competition at it’s best! And while we could be all cynical about all that other stuff I was just talking about, I think the best thing to do is focus on all the great stories of underdogs and hard workers who have sacrificed for a sport they love, and are representing their country while they do it. That’s just some good stuff right there.

Plus, who doesn’t like seeing the U.S. stick it to some Euro-trash country that INVENTED THE VERY SPORT WE ARE DOMINATING THEM IN!? That’s the smell of Olympic gold. Sweet, American Olympic gold. The smell of freedom!

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