What is best about the Winter Olympics?

Leading Off: Olympics: Imperfect, but worth watching

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 10:57 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 - 8:58 am

Here’s why we follow the Olympic Winter Games:

Some events are pure electricity: downhill skiers making ridiculously fast runs down sheets of ice (or melting ice in the case of the Sochi Games), snowboarders attempting jumps so big that it makes one fear for their safety and sanity, and sliders (bobsled, skeleton, luge) taking their skills and nerves to the very edge.

Then there’s hockey. We get behind our teams, recall the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” and look to beat (and maybe drop the gloves with) all comers. Especially Canada. Same with the women’s team.

We look in on figure skating, because what they do on the ice is a marvel of physics, let alone stone-cold courage. Tell me that a 100-pound young woman being thrown through the air backwards while spinning and preparing to land in one piece on a narrow strip of steel strapped to her foot is any less amazing than a receiver laying out for a pass over the middle.

OK, there’s no linebacker waiting to get in the way, true enough. But it’s still a guts-and-skill combination to be admired.

However, it’s a stretch to claim much interest in biathlon. Or curling, though the uniforms can be colorfully compelling, and honestly, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition has nothing – nada – on the Women of Curling calendars.

It’s a lot of variety to jam into two weeks on an imperfect stage, but we do get drawn in. And every four years seems just about right.

– Brian Blomster


Today’s poll

What is best about the Winter Olympics ?

• Dance/figure skating

• Unique sports like curling, biathlon

• Skiing, snowboarding

• Men’s, women’s hockey

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Tuesday’s results

Why isn’t the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins an All-Star?

• He’s not good enough: 6%

• He has a bad reputation: 50%

• He plays on a last-place team: 30%

• He has little national exposure: 14%

Total votes: 249

Read more articles by Brian Blomster

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