Monday, January 30, 2006

Cave Needed

Oh dear, the stupid Winter Olympics are almost upon us, and it's time to get heavily into reruns of poor sitcoms and poor shows from the 80s instead. I'm not hugely, unduly proud of being a limey, but the Brits' poor showing in winter pursuits is one of those things that makes my breast swell with pride. Skiing performs a valuable social function in the UK, hoovering up entire pools of obnoxious rich people, depositing them in cold locations at least one country away, and sometimes even injuring a few in the process.

What's even more amusing, as I was noting somewhat tipsy to one of Cutesome's colleagues this weekend, is that US dominance of the Winter Olympics is almost entirely procedural. This compares rather poorly with the US approach to the Summer Games, a slightly larger, more established bag of fun.

it's fairly easy to draw up statistics that show that the US' per capita Summer medal haul, while better than those of India and China, is behind those of Europe. But by and large, the US performance during the Summer games is down to hard work and technical superiority, with a small assist from drugs and made-up sports.

Not so the winter games, which were until recently a Scandinavian and Alpine love-fest. In this, the British gamely sent their most quixotic nutjobs along, and subsequently largely ignored the spectacle.

America, with its more can-do attitude, shoe-horned bunch of more modern winter sports into the line-up, turned it into an offshoot of the Winter X-Games, and then sat back as the fizzy-drink bucks rolled in. Yes, for someone raised on Ski Sunday, there is something unbelievably tawdry about NBC's round of promotional clips for the Winter Games.

I'm with Gilliard on this - unleash the World Cup.


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