The 2014 Winter Olympics – fun for almost all

The 2014 Winter Olympics are over. The host country, Russia, won both the medal count for Gold, Silver and total medals taken home. Or in this case, kept at home.

Second in gold medals was Norway, second in silver was Canada and second in total medals was the United States, which also was first in bronze.

The medals count and it is certain there are a lot of proud people in each of the 26 countries which took at least one medal. But, in my opinion, anyone who has qualified to compete in the Olympics is a winner, medal or not.

Jamaica, not know for its snow, didn’t win any medals, but their Bobsled Team was fun to watch. This year was the eighth time the country has entered the Winter Olympics since its debut appearance in 1988.

Some of the Olympic events are very exciting, such as the Snowboard Cross, at the beginning of which I wondered if a medal was awarded to anyone who managed to survive the event. Or the Snowboard and Ski Halfpipe during which I again wonder how anyone lives through the learning phase.

It must take a special person to see how many spins, flips and twists can be done between takeoff and, hopefully, a safe landing. And how does anyone manage to find enough of those people to actually hold a competition?

What about the Luge, in which the competitor plunges headfirst down an ice track. (Rumor has it that they are actually on a small sled.) A question could be asked about why anyone would enter a competition with the name of “Skeleton.” It doesn’t appear much different that the Luge, but it sounds more dangerous. Some events are not necessarily that exciting, unless, like Mikaela Shiffrin, you careen around a sharp bend in the course with the outside ski in the air. That’s one U.S. Gold that was certainly deserved. She is 18. Do her parents fear what she might take up next?

All of the many Olympic events are probably exciting to the participants and, often that excitement is conveyed to the spectators. Some, not so much. There have been questions about why Curling is an Olympic sport, since it seems to many to be shuffleboard on ice. But the same could be asked about others. Apparently, the International Olympic Committee frequently considers adding a new sport to the games. Sometimes the sport is added as an actual event at the Olympic Games, and sometimes it goes forward as a demonstration of a sport in which one or more countries engage.

My favorite Olympic event is ice dancing and it doesn’t matter who the team is. I enjoy them all. Figure skating and pairs skating are good, but ice dancing is great. The free-style dances are most interesting. The pair who did the ice dancing to Michael Jackson’s music may have not have medalled, but they certainly can’t be criticized for the imagination which went into the choreography for “Thriller.”. It’s the choreography that makes it one of the most exciting Winter Olympic events, at least for me.

The 2014 events are over and many were disappointed that they left without a medal. But they needn’t be. All who qualified to compete are winners. Of course, we can’t end a discussion of the Sochi Winter Olympics without a mention of one of the major stories of the 2014 Games – the pinkeye problems of announcer Bob Costas. There are no medals awarded for what he went through, but perhaps there should be.


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