How do you watch the Olympics?

Mostly I watch through the tears. I cry at the mom commercials. I cry when someone wins. I cry when someone loses. I cry when athletes cheer for each other. And when I’m not crying, I’m probably sitting in the corner of a bar muttering, “I could do that,” to myself.

I just love sports, and I love America, and I love drama, and I love to believe that I could do all the events. I mean, I can ice skate, snowboard, cross-country ski and shoot guns. So, if I had just put my mind to it, I probably could have been an Olympian.

My inflated self-confidence is matched only by my inflated sense of reality, so I will spend the next two weeks oscillating wildly between, “I could do that,” and, “How do they do that? No one can do that!” It’s a fucking roller-coaster to be this viewer.

It’s really the drama that keeps people tuned in to sports, everything from the Super Bowl to the World Bowling Championships has some dramatic narrative outside of the sport itself. And no one does drama better than the Olympics. The Olympics combine the drama of nationalism, sibling rivalry, government politics, weather, injuries, world records and teammates who must compete against one another. Already this year we have been treated to a spectacle of sequins, gay rights, triple axels and an armed North Korea.

There is something about the winter Olympics in particular that makes me feel connected to the athletes. I’ve never been able to try the high jump, but I’ve spent many a weekend snowboarding, so I know exactly what it feels like to do a face-plant on the slopes. Watching it happen live on international television means that when the athletes fall, my own ego is bruised as well. And when their defeats become my defeats, I get the added bonus of claiming their victories as well.

I was very proud of the triple axel we did yesterday. My heart soared when our adopted Coloradan won the first gold medal and let an F-bomb fly on live TV. And, although I have never danced on ice before, I was delighted when we perfectly executed the Moulin Rouge routine (yes, I’m also claiming Canadian victories).

So, if you need me in the next two weeks, I’ll probably be in front of the TV, crying, judging and celebrating. It’s only been a few days, and they’ve put on quite a show already. I can’t wait to see what drama awaits!

Read more Marsh:

blog comments powered by Disqus