Winter Olympic Sports for Dummies

I haven’t been sleeping much.  This form of insomnia afflicts me once every few years, whenever the Olympic Games are on.  Currently, it is the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games which is the source of my insomnolence.    The time difference means that I need to stay awake from 2 to 4 in the morning to catch the best events live.   Events such as the USA-Canada Gold medal women’s ice hockey match earlier today which incidentally was everything you would want in a game if you were an ice hockey fan and a Canada-phile like me – less so if you were rooting for Team USA.

This was really a heartbreak for the Americans who went 2 – 0 ahead and were generally having a much better game than their rivals.   Victory was within grasp.  But even as the Americans already had one hand on the gold, the Canadians drew one back with just 3 min 36 seconds remaining in regulation time.  Still, USA just needed to keep the Canadians out for just a few minutes.  Ah, but Canada gets another goal with just 55 seconds left, sending the match into sudden death overtime where they sealed their remarkable comeback victory with a goal at the 8 minute 10 second mark.

It had thrills, excitement and drama.  It was great.  It kept me up into the wee hours of the morning and now I walk around with dark rings under my eyes – and them be Olympic sized rings too!

Have you been watching the games?  Many of the events in these Winter Games are strange to a non-skiing tropical squirrel like myself.  Perhaps they may also be strange and unfamiliar to some of you dear readers?

As a public service and after intensive and exhaustive research, the Lone Grey Squirrel presents “Winter Olympic Sports for Dummies” to provide enlightenment and better appreciation for these weird and wonderful sports.  Here I try to give simple and concise descriptions for each sport.

Ice Hockey – A smash and crash, check and deck, slash and dash fest involving a puck, fights and men (and women) with false teeth.

Curling – Stone throwing

Bobsled –  A sport where you jump into a coffin and slide down a frozen Wet n Wild ride at breakneck speed.  Don’t know who Bob is though?

Skeleton – That’s when you do the same thing but can’t afford the coffin.

Ski Jumping – “Oh, I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky” A cruel sport where spectators yell out “Jump! Jump!”

Skiing – The sport is just going downhill all the way.

Speed Skating  (Short Track) – A great sport for watching spills and multi-person pileups.

Speed Skating (Long Track) – a sport that seems to really only involve orange clad Dutchmen standing on the winners’ podium – so it really hasn’t anything to do with the rest of us.

Biathlon – Sport endorsed by the NRA.

Figure Skating  – This genteel and graceful sport involves kneecapping and death threats (see Tonya Harding video).

Well, that’s all folks.  Must try to sleep now.





8 thoughts on “Winter Olympic Sports for Dummies”

  1. Do the hockey women hit each other too, as the menfolk does ? I mean ice hockey is an excuse for a nice pub brawl, just without the pub – why not do the same thing with a little beer in hand and in comfort ? Ah, I don’t get it.
    Anyway, I have seen nothing of it – anything that involves ice, snow, racing downhill, flying (we do NOT have wings, dammit!) is over my head. Biathlon ? Boring – I’ll watch when they use automatic weapons and moving targets – hey !?
    I heard that Hackl’s boys and girls won something, I liked that, George is a bit of a character. What I liked too is that the violinist competed – she became last of course, but (if I got it right) she was the first ever of her nation to do such a downhill race – welldone !. Also the Jamaicans – hey, that’s the spirit !

    On a serious note, I hang around the web for the last few nights and watched what happened in Kiew. For some hours I thought we’d have a nice little war at our (European) doorsteps. The whole thing is not over yet, and I only hope that the next escalation will NOT involve NATO and Russia.

  2. Mago,
    Officially, hockey women are not supposed to hit each other but it still happens sometimes. In Canada, they say “I went to see a fight and a hockey game broke out around it.”

    With all the snow that you’ve been getting, I am surprised that you haven’t taken up a winter sport?

    As for Ukraine, I do pray that justice and peace will prevail.

  3. I could hardly bear to watch the men’s figure skating. I felt personally responsible, somehow, for those falls…

    The ice dancing though was beautiful, and I was not afraid. 🙂


  4. Pearl,
    It’s okay- don’t feel bad. I suspect all those “subjective” scoring by the judges are already fixed. Hence someone who fell can still win if they have the right connections. That’s why squirrels have never won (anti-squirrelism).

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