Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is a great international event. Approximately b$30 were spent by the Russian Government in developing the area around Sochi and constructing roads, stadia and other facilities. This will hopefully in the future attract some (wealthy) skiers, but not much else. Was it a waste of money? Too soon to give a definitive answer, but the likelihood of recouping a fraction of the cost is extremely small. But, as a PR display for Pres. Putin it was a great success. It puts Russia on the international map, much as the summer Olympics did for China a few years ago. The opening ceremony was appropriately lavish, with amazing special effects, a nice sentimental tone, and in the historical extravaganza the era of Stalin and the Gulags was quickly glossed over. Also, thousands of fireworks, OOhh, AAhhh.

What amazes me about the winter Olympics is that anyone bothers to go at all. After all, who but the most intellectually challenged is going to go out in freezing weather and throw themslves down slopes at great speed. The results are known in advance, with the Norwegians winning all the skiing events, except for a few Europenas or Americans, and the Dutch winning all the skating events. Remember, Norway is very mountainous and is covered with snow most of the year,and Holland is flat and has many canals that are frozen most of the year, so there is not much else to do there except to ski and skate, respectively.

Why do you think the speed skaters have such razor-sharp long skates? It's not for speed as you might think, but they evolved to cut up your opponents. Why do you think in the biathlon they shoot guns? It's not for accuracy, but they used them to eliminate the competition. And you thought it was all friendly and fair play. Of course, the figure skating events are sown up in advance for the Russians, the judges are either bribed or threatened (a nice blond or a knife in the back). The down hill racers are all insane, that's why most of them come from the Alpine area, they need to drink a lot or take a lot of drugs in order to be able to throw themselves down a mountain at breakneck speed. And the upside down skiers and snowboarders, they don't tell you this but they were all recently released from asylums specially for the games.. And the luge, they are all certified suicidal. Give me the summer games, running slowly around a track for no apparent reason.


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