Olympic Fever

Olympic fever

Wednesday night, after I got home from doing desk duty here at the Daily Globe, I sat and watched — with tears in my eyes — skier Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic gold medal ceremony.

Yep, the tears are a sure sign I’m all caught up in the drama of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Earlier, I sat and whooped as Shaun White snowboarded his way to a second Olympic Gold Medal and tried to figure out the method behind the madness of some sort of tag-team speed skating event. I held my breath as each of the lugers made their way down a track that earlier claimed a life.

The Olympics are a welcome distraction in our household during the winter that never seems to end. It gives Hubby Bryan and me something to think about beside the ever-growing piles of snow that surround our abode. And for these couple of weeks, we can’t complain about there being nothing on TV, because the Olympics are almost always on.

But there’s something about the coverage of this world sporting event that baffles me. At any other point in time, I would never dream of sitting and watching as women sweated their way through a cross country skiing course, stopping periodically to take a rifle off their back and take aim at targets. But there I was a couple of days ago, glued to the TV and cheering the German biathloner on to victory.

Normally, I wouldn’t even pause on a channel showing a figure-skating competition; instead, I would continue to flip channels, probably eventually landing on HGTV or the Food Network. But during the Olympics, the figure skating competitions are the most compelling of all the events.

I recall a similar phenomenon during the last Summer Olympics. Swimming is hardly a scintillating worthy of TV viewing — at least in my opinion — but put Michael Phelps in a swimming pool for an Olympic competition, and I became transfixed.

I guess the Olympics just eclipse normal sporting coverage. There are so many feel-good stories, stories that make us wish we’d had the ability to ascend to Olympic greatness and be part of the Olympic brotherhood. And then there are a few tragedies, too, of those who aren’t able to see their Olympic dream come to fruition. It’s engaging television.

Stay tuned. I know I will.