' ' Cinema Romantico: A Digression: What I Loved About The Vancouver Olympics

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Digression: What I Loved About The Vancouver Olympics

Thank your lucky stars I haven't been filling this cinematic blog with Olympian sized and inspired rants for the last two weeks. And I suppose I could join the greek chorus whining about the monstrosity of tape delay or some such thing but to paraphrase Vince Vaughn, I don't feel like taking a turn to negative town. Not in the face of the always-transcendent Olympic Games.

Instead I have been compiling a list of my favorite moments and people and events of the XXI Olympiad and will now share them and/or shove them down your throat. Deal with it. (And then check back all week for a daily festive Countdown To The Most Boring Oscars In History!!!)

1. The pink-haired U.S. moguls skiier who doubles as a coffee mogul. Why can't I meet a pink-haired U.S. moguls skiier who doubles as a coffee mogul? (Never mind the fact the only time I've been skiing I fell down so often - occasionally when not even moving - that my ski instructor openly became angry at me.

2. The fact U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir put a poster of Lady Gaga up in his room in the Olympic Village and said that it would be "watching over us, protecting us." (Note: Johnny Weir never fell in competition. Beware all ye who doubt the power of the Gaga.)

3. The skip of the German women's curling team is also a professor at the University of Munich who continued getting emails from her students while competing in the Olympics. (In a related story, Vince "I've Got A Bunyon, Guys, I Think I'll Sit This Game Out" Carter of the Orlando Magic is set to earn a cool $16 million this season.)

4. The end of the nordic combined. I had no idea cross country skiing could be so thrilling.

5. Golden girl Lindsey Vonn coming within half-a-second of dropping the s-bomb on camera in wake of her historic win in the downhill. "Oh shhhhhhhhh........."

6. The women's curling match between Canada and Denmark in which the valiant Danes nearly pulled an epic upset. It had all the sport's finest hallmarks: remarkable shots, numerous momentum shifts, different strategy employed in every end, and all capped off in the final end, with Denmark down by a point, with back-to-back-to-back unbelievable shots by Denmark and Canada and Denmark wherein each time the respective skip threaded her stone through two stones at the top of the house and directly onto the button. (Need an anaology? Sure! How about this? Remember in "Robin Hood" when the one archer hits the bullseye and then Robin Hood splits the arrow? Well, imagine if then just for kicks Robin Hood split the arrow that had split the arrow. That's what it was like!) And at that point my friend and fellow curling enthusiast Dave - and admittedly we'd each imbibed a few adult beverages - completely freaked out. Sure, the extra end, as Canada finally sealed the deal, was routine but nevertheless....so, so, so much fun to watch.

6(A). Maybe the best part of the whole thing was the moment when the Danes called timeout to consult with their coach and when they were done, Madeleine DuPont, Denmark's courageous third, said: "Thanks." Thanks! She thanked her coach! I mean, can you imagine Randy Moss thanking Bill Belichik when he runs a play for him? I still can't get over the awesome politeness of it! God, I love curling.

7. Norweigans: for celebrating the biathlon competition like this and for wearing curling pants like these.

8. The last three minutes of that U.S./Canada hockey game, and I'm a person who can't stand hockey (and its fourteen-and-a-half month season)! At one point the U.S. goalie - Ryan Miller - stopped (by my count) 153 shots in a 90 second span.

9. NBC's curling color commentators. Bad situations were a "pickle". Poor ice was "fudgy." Starting from scratch in relation to strategy was "re-stringing the hammock." When a heated discussion broke out between the U.S. men regarding a particular shot the commentators hoped there wouldn't be any "fisticuffs". You just don't get that kinda folksy wisdom from the blowhards on ESPN. Did I mention I love curling?

10. Morgan Freeman's Visa ad for the Jamaican bobsled team.

11. Liudmila and the girls' behemothic 10-1 curling beatdown of Sweden. No, Russia didn't make the medal round, but you revel in the joy when you find it.

12. Medal ceremonies. I love 'em. Can't get enough of 'em. If everyone's day started with a bowl of cereal and a medal ceremony I think the world would be a better place.

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