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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cool Runnings

I love the winter Olympics. Seriously love. There's only one sport in the whole thing that I can't stand watching--curling--but I enjoy everything else. In fact, I'm watching figure skating as I write this. Or attempt to write. There are a lot of typos I'm fixing. :-)

Just before the Olympics began, I read an article online about Eddie the Eagle who was a ski jumper for the United Kingdom. The article said that after he competed, the ski jumping federation set some kind of bar that made it impossible for someone like him to ever be part of the Olympics again. His theory--and who knows if this is true or not--is that the other jumpers didn't like all the publicity he got.

This year, the Jamaican bobsled team is racing again, the first time in years, because they didn't qualify for the Olympics. Apparently there's a bar in bobsled too.

Now granted no one would enjoy the field being overrun by amateurs. Part of what makes the Olympics fun is watching the best in the world, but I also think that competitors like the Jamaican bobsled team make the games more fun to watch because we root for the underdog (at least I do).

It's like the Miracle on Ice from the 1980 Olympics. There will never be another hockey miracle like that, not now that the teams are populated with NHL stars. Part of what made the miracle was how outclassed the college kids on the US team were compared to the Soviets who were professional in all but name.

Anyway, I love seeing the occasional underdog, the everyman, in there competing at the Olympics. Now there are people who are truly pursuing their dreams.