Originally Published: February 26, 2018 6:02 a.m.
Faster. Higher. Stronger.
The Olympics gave us all the chance to watch the world’s best athletes attempt to achieve the incredible. Snowboarders, skiers and ice skaters flying through the air, defying gravity, common sense and physics! It is breath-taking to watch. A thrill to see those snowboarders doing twists, turns and somersaults midair. Is this a sport or suicide?
We have seen athletes do what we can barely imagine is possible and extremely dangerous to achieve. This is why we love the Olympics!
How about a game of Curling? I do not completely understand it, but I have been practicing with a few Olympic dreams of my own.
Just last week I started sweeping with my big broom a large rock that had landed in the middle of the breezeway of the barn. Not sure how it had gotten there, and no horse offering an explanation, I started curling in the breezeway. Hey, that sport is not so easy. It requires strategy! And perfect sweeping skills! Sort of like shuffleboard with a broom. Okay, but it is odd to watch Olympic teams “sweeping” a hunk of granite on ice with such brave determination.
Have you strapped on skis or a snowboard and barreled down a mountain lately? My grandsons go snowboarding all the time and have no fear. Snowboarding is like skateboarding, which one of my grandboys tried to teach me. So you balance on a little board (that is moving) on wheels and this is going to provide the “experience” needed to glide down a mountain?
Dear Readers, do not try this without a helmet! I haven’t had great luck with winter sports. The last time I went skiing I realized that stopping is my problem. You know you are going way too fast when people are screaming for their lives because you are about to plow into them.
It was pretty heartbreaking to see a world-class athlete on her way to winning a skiing event when she tumbled and slid past all of hopes of a medal. Dropping to her knees in utter despair, she watched with horror as a lifetime of practice and sacrifice were gone, and the finalists sailed past her.
Losing is part of the sport, and crying is not just for girls. When winning is so close, defeat causes more than a few athletes to weep. Losing hurts. And it especially hurts if a loss is by a fraction of a second.
It’s always sad to see lost opportunities and highly trained athletes having a “bad day” on the One Day that matters most in their lives. There are skiers slamming into gates and rolling like snowballs, snowboarders crashing into the sides of the halfpipe, and figure skaters tripping and stumbling onto the ice. Ouch!
The tender moments of the Games can also lift our spirits and restore our faith in humanity, like when the Japanese speed skater who won gold consoled the South Korean skater who came in second. Yes, we see athletes pushing their limits, for the love of the sport, the joy of competing and reaching for gold. What defines a champion? A heroic attempt? A medal? Winning? Or trying. You be the judge.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.