01 March 2010

Why I don't like the Winter Olympics

So I guess the Winter Olympics are probably over - at least that's what I see on my friends' Facebook stati. See, I don't care much for these Games, not even when many others who normally don't care about hockey or skiing or curling get caught up in a patriotic fervor and find themselves hoping Bode Miller gets a gold medal in something.

I didn't really have a good reason to dislike the Winter Olympics, until two or three days ago, when it hit me.

The Winter Olympics are all about being the best in the world at a sport no one plays.

Think about it: how many people, worldwide, would you say curl? Even in Canada, where the sport is definitely the most popular, only 80,000 citizens play. Can we place the number anywhere near 1 million, worldwide? And even if we can, that's still only 0.000142857143 of the Earth's population.

So essentially, the curling gold medal winners are the best in entire world at a sport around one ten-thousandth of the world plays.

Forgive me for not being impressed.

Same problem in women's hockey. Apparently there are three nations capable of fielding a decent women's hockey team: Canada, the United States and Finland. The rest of the countries that competed in Vancouver were essentially happy to be there. So congratulations, Canadian women's hockey team! You're the best of three teams, worldwide, at what you do!

This can be applied to pretty much every event at the Winter Olympics. Bobsled? Check. Short track ice skating? Check. Ski jumping? Check. The biathlon? Check.

Now on the other hand, the Summer Olympics have a ton of events that everyone on earth can do. Sprinting? Everyone not in a wheelchair has done that at some time or another. Jumping? Same. Swimming? I'm willing to bet 80% of the world knows how to swim. And the number of soccer players the world over is staggering.

To get a gold at the Summer Olympics impresses me.

Not so much on the Winter side of things.

So now you know why this blog has had a distinct lack of Vancouver Olympics coverage.

Well, that, and general laziness.


Jessie said...

Whatever. How many millions ski, or snowboard, or go ice skating? And those cross-country skiers have way more endurance than I ever hope to have. While curling seems a joke to me, so many of the other events require a lot more dedication than I have ever put into anything.

I think you just have something against the cold. :)

Joseph S. said...

Not as many people compete in these sports, because they're just what you said, harder to do. Not everyone can do this stuff.

I'm not disagreeing with you completely though.

I agree that the Winter Olympics aren't really Olympics. Bobsled, Luge, and the Skeleton are essentially wannabe Olympians trying to make gravity faster. Curling is like bowling or golf, a game, not a sport.

Snowboarding, Skiing, Biathlon, and even Hockey are completely legitimate competitions though. That is only four events/types of events though. Which could easily be combined into the Summer Olympics, and we could just call them the Olympics.