Normally I write helpful stuff about hot tubs and such, but, if you’re anything like me, you have been essentially glued to the TV during the Olympics in a fascination trance. I started thinking about this and, I admit, I was a little troubled. Last night I caught myself gritting my teeth during the women’s downhill, having been wallowing unproductively on the couch for hours, and I started thinking; this Olympic obsession of mine is a strange phenomenon. I mean when else do I care about short-track speed skating, luge, ice dancing (shudder), biathalon or, yes, that media darling of a “sport,” curling? Yet, for about 2 weeks every 4 years I care. I really care.
Over the last oh hour or so I’ve done some deep thinking, soul searching, and consulted my Facebook newsfeed and then watched some Vine (short attention span). I think I may have come up with some great excuses for my strange Olympic-time enthusiasm.
My highly-scientific (aka. purely speculative and anecdotal) take on my fanatical Olympic fascination is this: the key motivators for it, patriotism, curiosity, and a desire for international goodwill, all in the tone of Bob Costas’ authoritatively smooth timbre, are actually positive influences on me. These are much different influencers from the usual snarky sarcasm and social network potty humor that generally fill my day to day media. When the Winter Olympics are on I find I don’t even care about memes, unless of course, they are Olympic memes and not mean (check out the picture I included, whaaaat? Not even mean.). Holy crap, did I just say I don’t like mean memes?
Yes, unlike almost every other media, Olympic telecasts actually seem to have a positive influence on my world outlook. It’s a strange feeling, almost like a nice RedBull buzz but with red,white, and blue butterflies and Tchaikovsky ice skating music. And this feeling could not be more unexpected or weirdly awesome, sort of like chocolate kittens waving cute little sparkly paws in the air like they just don’t care.
People all over the place are loving the 2014 Sochi Games, and not just hoteliers trying to get ideas for new and exciting trends in interior design and engineering. I hear people around my office almost giggle-talking about the Mormon girl Beyonce-dancing as she’s mentally getting ready for the luge and I saw that the other USA luge girl took third and Bode Miller just tied for third. This is a lot of excitement for a third place these days, I mean think of this in terms of the Windows Phone. Yes, third place, and people are all happy crying. In fact, I seriously get the feeling that I’m not the only one who hopes Bob Costas’ pink eye actually gets better so we can hear more of his melifluously-toned Olympic commentary (usually I would hope for a really gnarly and grotesque pink-eye flair up, you know, for memes).
For once in our cynical lives, Olympic spirit is an energy we can all feel, all warm and fuzzyrific. I think it’s because the Olympics are about all that is great – sportsmanship, triumph of will, physical and mental excellence, healthy competition, national pride, peace, and tight body suits. Skiiers hug their fellow competitors, snowboarders knuckle knock each other for landing that sick 1440 double-corked triple-wedgied Japan-grab trick (pretty sure I made this up), and the hockey games don’t even really have fights. Anyone else emotional here?
All of this awesomnasity makes the Olympics an incredible, even life-changing, event that simply demands our attention. So, don’t text, send Instas or Tweet at me tonight, I’ll be enjoying the warm double rainbow winds of international sporting love that are taking a unicorn courier from the Olympics, to an NBC satellite, and then shooting right out of my TV and straight to my heart.