One good thing about being married to a German sports freak is that he indulges my fascination with the Olympics. I am not a sports freak, but I am very competitive. I also love to get teary eyed about feel-good stories involving fighting adversity and then becoming an Olympic champion. Seriously, smaltz is good and I eat it up. Unfortunately, German smaltz is not as good as NBC smaltz. I miss Bob Costas.
Over the past two weeks the German and I have watched a lot of random sports stuff. Turns out . . . Germans are really good at skiing for long stretches and then shooting at things with an accuracy that makes you wonder why they lost WWII. We sat watching biathlon for HOURS last weekend. Another thing Germans are good at - sliding down the icy side of a mountain.
The Germans have done really well this year. I got this email from dad, who is a Michigan sports freak: "If Germany gets one more medal I will be really mad (smiling)."
Last night the Ladies Figure Skating final was on the tube. I have been watching figure skating since the days of Nancy Karrigan and Tonya Harding. Now, I am not as big a fan as my friend Liz who has been blogging about figure skating for weeks. Her favorites are Torville and Dean. She even has old video tapes. Although I don't have any videos, I did have the book that pairs skater Katerina Gordeeva wrote about her husband, Sergi. I also remember when Michelle Kwan was just a wee thing caught in the middle the 1994 Olympic mess. I was really sad when she pulled out of the Olympics this year. It would have been so great to see her win a gold medal.
When I was watching the final group of ladies in their warm-up I had a funny feeling that Sasha Cohen was going to pull a well . . . Michelle Kwan. I immediately spotted the Japanese girl, Shizuka Arakawa. "Wow! Who's that?"
When Cohen took the ice, she looked like a deer caught in headlights. Uh-oh. This is not going to be good I told the German. And it wasn't. Well the first minute anyway. After Arakawa skated, both the German and I agreed that she was the best and I was really hoping she would win. I have never been a big fan of Irina Slutskaya, and I was not all that surprised when she fell. However, I really felt a stab of sympathy as I saw her cast-fallen face when she realized she would only win bronze.
Who needs soaps and reality TV when you can watch the Olympics? Too bad they are not every year.