I consider these Winter Olympics to be a success. Not in the way that the athletes, the IOC or, for some reason, the organisers might think. Instead I deem the success to be that I actually got to see some of the goddamn events this time around.
It was 2am, and I had been lying wide awake for what seemed like an hour already. I decided to get up and play some video games (because visual stimulation from brightly coloured blinking electronics is bound to make me sleepy). As it turns out, deep in the middle of the night was when Prime TV showed the winter Olympics, live and free to air.
On screen was Skeleton, one of my favourite events. Sliders - which is not just a type of small hamburger - reach speeds of roughly 130kph, while blasting downhill on what is basically a high-tech version of a purloined real estate sign. I don't feel safe driving in a car at 130kph, let alone with my face inches from the road, as sliders do on their way down the course.
As a bonus, New Zealander Ben Sanford was in action (he ended up in 20th, between Austria's Raphael Maier and America's Kyle Tress). But who cares about placing, his moko-inspired helmet and uniform was easily one of the coolest there, and there were a few to choose from.
Next night at 4am, the insomnia is back. I decide to see what's on at Sochi. Oh, only the USA vs Russia in ice hockey.
Ice hockey, I'm told, looks much faster in real life. I'm not sure how. On my large HDTV I was only just able to track the puck and the changes of direction in play were astonihsingly fast, not to mention the shots and (usually) saves. I still have no idea what is going on at most times, but damn it's a fun sport to watch.
I could only watch two periods of play before I finally fell asleep. The Russians would go on to lose in any case (far more entertaining was the bronze medal match between the US and Finland: Suomi voitti).
I thought my Olympic viewing was over as I regained the ability to sleep through the night. But I managed to catch the four man bobsled while having drinks at the pub, another favourite of mine. (The event not the pub).
As I watched, a crew from (I believe) Canada crashed. When you are travelling well about 100kph the last thing you want to do is to suddenly flip on your side and slide along on your head with the wight of a four man bobsled on your neck.
This last weekend, after a productive morning tearing down a fence, my partner and I watched the figure skating gala. It's awesome; so, so awesome. The comedy mixed with grace and agility is amazing then you realsie they're doing it on skates, usually backwards.
Which brings me to the sound recording. You may already have listened to it, if so I apologise. My friend Dom and I were waiting to watch the Chiefs play the Crusaders (and as it turns out, beat them, which was nice). We were watching snowboarding highlights and had been drinking, when we began discussing whether snowboarding, slope style and other "judged" sports should be in the Olympics. That's when I thought: "Hey, if I record this then I don't have to write it down!" You join us as we discuss whether the Winter Olympics is "any good".
Enjoy (unless it's terrible, then I'm sorry).