Field Theory by Hadyn Green

60

And like that, it's gone

"The men's ice hockey final", I thought, "that's an odd thing to have so early in the games". Then a quiet part of my brain showed me a distant memory.

I was in a bar with friends catching up over a beer, and in the background on a small TV over the bar the New Zealand team were walking into a stadium. The grainy image quickly changed to the Norwegians and a wide shot of the arena filled with giant totem poles and native Canadian dancers.

I had missed the Winter Olympics!

What the hell? I watched the sports news every night, the only sports on were cricket and rugby with the occasional story about how a rower was training. I mean there was that sixty seconds or so where they showed some skiing and skating, but that couldn't have been their coverage of the biggest winter sports event in the world that's only held every four years, could it?

Compare and contrast Prime/Sky's coverage of the Winter Olympics with TVNZ's coverage from Beijing and it doesn't look so great for the pay-tv model. And this was the network that was so excited about the Olympics it had the rings logo embossed on the screen since the middle of last year. Sure Sky actually had extra channels running, but TVNZ ran its extra channels online so I could watch all of them at once (and for free).

And Prime's evening coverage seemed to be mainly The Crowd Goes Wild. I'm not sure about you, but I want to see the sport, not some out of their depth "reporters" attempting humour.

I did actually catch some of my favourite sports: luge, skeleton, bobsled, biathlon, figure skating (yes, get fucked, I like figure skating), curling, downhill, and giant slalom. I missed out on the speed skating though, which is my favourite winter sport.

To me speed skaters look like super heroes. Incredible speeds, huge muscles, tight lycra. Just compare these photos to this.

But the games are over and we are sadder for it. We battled adversity and with courage, overcame challenges. With our moms, dads, sons and daughters, we were able to triumph over tragedy and with determination take an emotional journey to reach our dream.

And with that I think I broke the Olympic Sap-O-Meter.

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