Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An Olympic Question

I LOVE the Olympics. I have been watching them almost every night and then reading all about it online during the day while I should be working. I’m not so crazy about the figure skating and ice dancing stuff but the skiing, snowboarding (Snowboard Cross? Holy shit. I can barely stand on solid ground with two feet but to have your feet strapped on to ONE board on the side of a snow covered mountain and to have the purpose be to get to the bottom the fastest without being tripped up by the other snowboarders at speeds of 35 to 45 miles per hour? That is amazing.), speed skating and “sledding” events have me glued to my TV.

As I sit and watch the athletes I wonder how people get started in some of these sports. Skiing, and even snowboarding seem like no-brainers; lots of people ski and snowboard and becoming competitive seems like an easy enough transition, but the bobsled? I mean, is there some recruiter who walks around neighborhood golf courses during heavy snow falls looking for the big hills and the kids sledding to see who has the most style? Do they look for things like tree missing, small child dodging techniques and who manages to keep their younger sibling on the back and not lose them after hitting a bump? How does one go from backyard tobogganing to bobsledding? Or even better, the Skeleton?

I want to know because if I find out I missed some opportunity and it could have been me in Torino going headfirst down an ice covered track at 80 miles an hour on a board with only a helmet and a skintight outfit on I’m gonna be pissed.


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