Monday, February 13, 2006

The missing event

Last night The Man and I watched the downhill skiing (or was that the night before? I'm losing track), the ski jumping, and the speed skating. The downhill skiing was fun, mostly because a French guy won. This was exciting because he wasn't expected to win. The newspaper had an article about this event that went on and on about various other downhill racers, and the Japanese announcers went on and on about various other racers, but nobody went on about him. He came out of nowhere and made all the experts look silly. I like it when experts are made to look silly.

The men's speed skating was hilarious. I know it wasn't meant to be funny, but it was. I think it's the posture the skaters use. They look so SNEAKY, like spies stealing furtively past a window all hunched over. And they all look like they're holding something secretly behind their backs. Also, their actual movements are kind of slow (if you don't notice how fast the background is whizzing by) which adds to the sneakiness factor. You kind of expect them to be on tiptoe. And then when they suddenly burst into a flurry of movement and whiz past someone, they do that sneakily, too. They sneak up behind, and then - HA HA! You weren't expecting THAT, were you? - pass them.

I enjoyed that.

We watched a tiny bit of skateboarding but it was boring. It looked like a bunch of kids playing in a park. Why is it an Olympic sport? I'm sure it is difficult, but it isn't interesting to watch, at least for me. Perhaps it's the baggy clothes. It looks like a bunch of wanna-be rappers with baggy clothes doing tricks meant to impress. Even the accidents weren't interesting. I was not impressed. Sorry.

We also watched something called, in Japanese, a paashuuto. We couldn't figure out what this meant at first, and expected something with parachutes. How exciting! But it turned out to be 'pursuit,' and while it was interesting, no parachutes were involved. For the first part of the race the skiers had to use a traditional method of skiing where they followed tracks and their skis were in straight lines even for uphill (I'm sure there's a proper vocabulary for this but I don't know it and can't be bothered looking it up), and the second part was freestyle. It all looked terrifically strenuous. Plus there was a crash at the beginning and the guy who had the accident came up from behind and got a silver medal anyway. How wonderful!

But I started thinking when the announcers talked about the 'traditional' part of this sport, and wondered whether there was any event for what is probably the oldest and most traditional winter sport. I asked The Man, and he didn't think so. I checked it out on the Internet later, and he was right. There is no Olympic Snowball Fight.

Why on earth not?

We think this would be a fabulous event, and can't imagine why they left it out. While we were talking about it we refined the idea a little further. We think the Olympic Snowball Fight should have very few rules, since that is the tradition, and that all world leaders should be obliged to compete. Also, it should be an interactive spectator event, with the audience encouraged to participate from behind the sidelines. That would be the only rule - spectators would be behind lines and not allowed to cross. Aside from that, anything goes. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be? Players and spectators would be body searched before the match, but if someone managed to sneak a rock into a snowball, say, or a tiny nuclear bomb, then good for them.

We think it would be fabulously popular, and the Olympic Committee should embrace the idea as it would attract an enormous amount of media attention and HUGE live audiences. Who wouldn't welcome the chance to throw a snowball with a particularly sharp surprise enclosed at (insert the world leader of your choice here). And, as a side benefit, international political problems could be sorted out every four years in a civilized and traditional way. (Civilized compared to how it's done now, I mean.)

I think we're on to something. All we need now is a scoring system.


Wendy said...

My boys and I watched a lot of that stuff as well and we decided that the mens pursuit event was actually done by spiders in human disguise...all those long thin legs and sticks and they way they moved so weirdly...I just perved at all the tight bottoms and muscular legs.

Radioactive Jam said...

Competition might include construction of snow forts, scored for technical merit and style.

The concept lends itself to one-on-one events and special "melee" rounds, with color-coded snowballs. I suppose yellow would be excluded; too much negative association.

I'd definitely watch snowball throwing events.

tinyhands said...

You'll have to come up with another name, as I'm sure the Olympic Committee would never condone something called a 'fight' in the spirit of brotherly competition. Heck, they don't even call Boxing a fight, it's called, well...boxing.