Winter Olympics, Part III


A few more Winter Olympics comments; please add yours:

1) I do have immense respect for Shaun White. Frankly, if I ever found myself whooshing down a halfpipe atop a narrow snowboard, the last thing I'd be thinking is: "Maybe when I fly up over top, I can spin around three times and do a somersault."

2) For weeks, NBC has been preaching to us about the talent of White, Lindsey Vonn, Apolo Ohno and Shani Davis. Tonight, they seemed surprised to discover they'd been telling the truth.

3) Standard speedskating is kind of flat and dull, jut like its countries of origin. Random people skate two at a time and the fastest time among all of them gets a medal.

4) Short-track tracing, by comparison, is almost too exciting. Four people keep trying to pass each other in tight quarters, often going splat. In the finals tonight, the French and Italians ended up on the bottom, in what was sort of a re-enactment of World War II.

5) Weirdest of all, however, is the short-track relay. Someone takes over by getting in front of the current skater, then getting a helpful push in the rear. This is not easy in a macho-male world that strenuously discourages pushing other guys' butts.

6) I missed an hour of this, because I was busy watching "American Idol" pick the rest of its top 24. The process was slow, cruel, painful ... and somehow terribly entertaining. Now the performances begin (Feb. 23-24), people vote and the show starts to get interesting.

7) Thursday should be interesting, with the gold-medal for men's figure-skating. There are three guys (from three continents), each talented and showy and separted by a semi-smidgen. No matter what happens, it will be fun.

8) What would it be like if Ronald McDonald had talent, Lucille Ball had a great-grandson, Ty Cobb had a soul? You would have Shaun White, the best thing to happen to winter since God invented show.

9) Speaking of snow, the Olympic weather has been weird. I never thought I'd hear myself saying: "Canada? Couldn't they have put this somewhere cold?"

10) Apparently, the 2014 games could have the same problem. They'll be in a Russian city that tends to be warmer than Vancouver. What, have the Russians suddenly forgotten they have Siberia?