Every four years, the world comes together in a global show of unity and goodwill, touting the universal ideals of sportsmanship, talent and hard work…before quickly devolving into a contest for who can get the most Shiny Round Gold Thingys.
I speak, of course, of the Winter Olympics.
(I do realize that the use of Drago and boxing makes little sense in a Winter Olympic context, but this is overruled by my general philosophy that one can never go wrong with a Rocky reference.)
Despite the polite rhetoric, the Olympics are just a nice way for first world countries to have a war now and then without the nasty little side effects that come with a war, such as casualties. It’s a way to see who’s staying in shape and working out, and who’s letting themselves go watching “Duck Dynasty” on the couch. In other words, every time America fails to medal, it means Putin is a little more assured that all he needs to conquer the country are some missiles and reruns of “Charles in Charge.”
And every time we win gold, it makes Russia a little more likely to shake their heads and say, “well, clearly they’re still the best. Let’s postpone the invasion.”
In this Winter World War of Who’s Got the Biggest Biceps, smaller countries like Slovenia and Botswana don’t stand a chance. And let’s not forget Luxembourg. Actually, wait, let’s. Is Luxembourg even a real country? When was the last time you heard about Luxembourg in the news? Have they ever showed up for an Olympic event? Have you ever met anyone from Luxembourg?
But I digress.
And just how are these Battles of Who’s Got the Grandest Cojones in All the Tundra decided? Well, it’s important that we don’t ignore the battle terms of the Winter Olympics which, quite simply, are “Let’s See Who Can Get Down The Giant Mountain the Fastest and, In Some Cases, With a Backflip.”
You have the events where people jump into a human-sized bullet sled and shoot off in a tube down the mountain. Events where people zoom down a mountain with skis or boards, some over bumps, others past flags, and others still having to execute a series of jackknifes and twists.
And then there’s this:
How does one even practice whatever the hell that is? You get maybe one shot at it. And if you don’t make the 100-foot jump on Saturday, then don’t bother to show up on Sunday — because you’re dead. (In which case, that’s probably a valid excuse for missing practice, assuming you have a note from your doctor.)
There’s also speed skating, where people with thighs as big as toddlers race around in an oval for a short while, proving…something. There’s curling, understood by only 3 of America’s 50 states. And I’m not quite sure where this fits into the greater pantheon of World Dominance.
Let us not ignore the true badass event that involves cross-country snow skiing and shooting a rifle at a target. A test of skill, strength and endurance, and a show of which country has the best special forces agents to really mess some shiz up in another country.
(America, keep an eye on Norway, they did waaaaay too well in the Biathlon.)
In the end, there are winners and there are losers, those who won gold and those who didn’t make the podium. But despite our differences, the world can agree that all we’ll collectively remember from this 2014 show was Bob Costas’s pink eye, wolves in the Sochi hotels, the USA team uniforms that looked like something my grandmother sewed after a few apple brandys, and the fact that John Candy was once in a movie about a Jamaican bobsled team.
Or maybe that last one’s just yours truly. Anyway, farewell Winter Games. Now, is it spring yet? I, for one, am ready for some golf.
Be the ball,