Evan Smith: Winter Olympics Thoughts

Monday, March 1, 2010


I’m sitting here watching the climactic event of the Winter Olympics.

Unfortunately, I had to sit through an ice hockey game while I waited to watch the 50-kilometer cross-country skiing race.

It was worth sitting through the hockey game to get to watch dozens of skiers race shoulder to shoulder for two hours with the top two skiers finishing three-tenths of a second apart.

My favorite winter event shows little of my greatest complaint about the way that NBC shows the Olympics.

Yet, even here, the announcers seem to have to refer to the number of medals an athlete has won.

That’s the wrong way to measure sporting accomplishment.

A skier or a speed skater may have half a dozen chances to win, while a figure skater, curler or hockey player has only one.

Throughout the games, announcers kept comparing the number of medals someone had won to numbers won in the past. It’s a poor comparison because of the proliferation of events. Twenty years ago, there was no freestyle skiing, no snowboarding, no short-track. In the same time, one Nordic combined event has become four and three Alpine skiing events have become five.

Some proliferation has been a needed as women have approached equality with men.

But, I see no reason for four Nordic-combined events, and I liked the games without events like snowboarding and freestyle skiing, activities that would fit better in a circus.


Anonymous,  March 1, 2010 at 12:05 PM  

Personally, I get enough Olympic coverage on EVERY single form of media, and I could not care less about it. I can't get away from it. Is it really necessary to cover it in a blog about Shoreline? A bit far from the purpose of this blog, no?

Anonymous,  March 1, 2010 at 9:35 PM  

The best available athletes were within a couple of hours from here. Athletes said things like, looking back there are things that I would have liked to have changed, but it's in the past." ..I did my best... I'm enjoying myself... I'm just glad to be here...I'm proud to represent my country...I'm concerned about how my dad is going to do (now that my mother has suddenly died)... I'm thankful for my parents who gave up so much so I could be here.
I'm glad to have had the opportunity to sit with my children and have them take in these messages. It was far better than the vulgar, disrespectful, apathetic behavior of the local sports fans and players I've seen.

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