The winter Olympics kicked off yesterday, and I am very excited. As much as I don’t like watching football, basketball, baseball, etc, I do like the Olympics. To a large degree, I don’t think it’s the sports involved – I’ll watch basketball and baseball during the summer Olympics. I think part of my excitement has to do with the fact that the whole series goes so quickly – I can follow the dramas because they only last a couple of weeks at the longest.

But I think the reason I like the Olympics the most is that I really feel there’s a reason for supporting your local team. There’s really no connection between the city of Atlanta and the Atlanta Falcons – few (if any?) of the players are local, few (if any) have any real connection to the city or it’s people – they’re mercenaries who would change affiliation for the right sum of money, and nobody expects otherwise from them. Sometimes the whole team will pack it up and move somewhere else.

In the Olympics, if someone represents Canada – they’re Canadian. You may see a Jamaican cross-country skier who actually lives in Minnesota, but he was born in Jamaica and has dual citizenship, at least. He’s still a Jamaican in part. When the US hockey team took on the Soviet Hockey team, they were like the champions taking the field between two great armies. Lugers don’t change their affiliation when they get a better training run in another country.

There’s also the bit about these athletes representing the peak of physical perfection in their particular event – even more so because they have a very brief moment to shine – not a whole season. While events like hockey or ice skating are similar to American sports, others like the ski jump or speed skating are really about achieving a particular ideal, which can be easily understood and appreciated.

Kim is very nice and lets me watch all the Olympics I can.

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