Maybe botching the lighting of the Olympic torch was a worse omen than it seemed at the time? You would certainly think so after watching what has become of these Olympics for my home country. So one of the four arms of the torch didn’t raise out of the stadium floor during the opening ceremonies. I mean, they were still able to light the main cauldron, right? Well, that little bit of early Olympic impotence has proven to be a huge harbinger of Olympic trouble for Canada. To say these Olympics haven’t gone that well for Canada would be a bit of an understatement. You have the torch snafu at the opening ceremonies. Before that, you had a Georgian luge competitor getting killed after flying off the track. You had scores of people criticizing the safety of the luge track — so much so that officials built a retaining wall where the Georgian went off AND shortened the men’s course to take difficulty out. On the subject of courses and apparent danger, you had skiers criticizing snow conditions and people wiping out and flailing limbs all over the place because the weather hasn’t cooperated. Then you have the Canadian athletes. Leading up to the games, Canadians were running rampant in speed skating and downhill skiing competitions. What happens when the games start? Either the Canadians are cursed, are trying to hard or just forgot to show up and compete. The Canadians have won a few golds, but they also started a program called “Own the Podium,” which was supposed to indicate some sort of dominance in the medal count. Well, they’re clearly not owning the podium. Mostly they’re just gazing longingly at it while driving buy the neighborhood where the podium lives. Take the 1500-meter short track speed skating final, for example. We had two guys in a field of five. So where did they finish? Fourth and fifth, of course. And then you have the hockey team. Dear lord, don’t the players know that if they don’t win the gold an entire country will self-destruct? Hockey gold was the only thing that was going to salvage these Olympics for Canada. Now? The men’s team barely got by Switzerland and obviously came up short against the United States (which, by the way, is not as big an upset as people are making it out to be). Now they’ll have to win four games in six days if they want the gold, but that may be irrelevant since they’re probably not that good anyway. Crap!
Anyway, there are a lot of things about the Olympics that I don’t like right now, but there’s definitely one thing that’s a huge plus for me. It’s the “controversy” in men’s figure skating. I say “controversy” in quote marks because, 1) what’s Olympic figure skating without a controversy? and 2) any controversy that comes after the 2002 pairs skating controversy where two golds were handed out after the Russian and French judges made side deals about who they were going to score higher just doesn’t measure up as that big of an ordeal. So this deal with the Russian skater Plushenko criticizing the American gold medalist because he didn’t try any quad jumps? Just the best. You’ve got a Russian figure skater essentially complaining that an American skater isn’t manly enough, or is more interested in dancing than competing in the sport of figure skating. Need I remind anyone that the Russian performed his finals routine wearing a skin-tight spandex outfit lined with sequin and rhinestone made to look like a vest and tie?
Russian skater: “You’re not manly enough! And further, oh wait, hold on, one of my rhinestones is coming loose.”
At least there’s some humor in an otherwise bleak Olympic experience.