I have a daughter who is crazy about figure skating. She actually has memorized the standings for every figure skater in the top 20 in the world for the last 10 years. She knows who won the Olympics in each figure skating category for at least the last 20. She skates herself, and she loves watching it.
So we've let her stay up late and watch the men's figure skating so far, and the ice dancing. She found the men's mildly disturbing, since I think she misses dear Canadian Elvis Stojko, who definitely was a "man's" figure skater.
But as excited as she is about the Olympics, I always have mixed feelings. I absolutely HATE watching skating because I'm so afraid they might fall. Imagine, you've worked your entire life for this one three minute program, and then you fall. I feel so badly for them! Perhaps they're mature about it and they're just happy to be there, but I find it absolutely nerve-wracking!
Olympics bother me in other ways, too. In the 100 m dash, for instance, it seems as if Canada's Jamaican is going up against America's Jamaican and Britain's Jamaican and maybe, at times, Jamaica's Jamaican. They're all of Jamaican origin, and it seems like Jamaica should just win. But it's always Canada or the States because they've trained here and grew up here. I'm not saying they're not Canadian--of course they are, since we are all a nation of immigrants. But somehow I always feel badly for Jamaica, because they just don't have as much money to pour into training and infrastructure and tracks, etc. It's obviously genetics that makes people fast, or it wouldn't always be the same genetic make-up that wins the 100 m dash or all the relays. So why should we win just because he moved to Canada?
It's amazing to see what the human body can do, and that's what the Olympics are marvelous for. I just find it difficult to get behind the whole thing because to make it to that level of competition, you've had to devote your whole life to it. It's so intense. And then what if you don't win?
I suppose I'm just a sourpuss. I really do believe that all the athletes are impressive. It's just that you can't really win anymore without major training, and that costs money. It's not just pure athletic skill anymore; it's what infrastructure is behind you.
At least in winter sports, though, most competitors are adults. In summer sports, the gymnasts always bother me. They're just so young, and it seems almost exploitative. Where is their childhood? At least the female skaters seem slightly older this year. I was always somewhat put off by Tara Lipinsky's win years ago. She was what--14? How can a girl win a woman's event? I think you should at least have to look like a woman to win.
And gymnasts never look like women. They look like little girls. If it's a sport you can no longer do once you're mature and past puberty, then there's something wrong with that sport.
Okay, so maybe I am a fuddy-duddy. But I do let my daughter watch the Olympics! I just can't bear to watch it with her!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.