Tuesday, February 23, 2010

... ... continued

This post will be a smattering of thoughts and impressions. Guess I'll start with sponsorships.

Outside of the Mexican (I think! Don't remember for sure.) luge competitor who has his one and only (to my understanding) original sled, and at the age of 47 is still competing in the Olympics and loving every second of it, many many thousands of dollars are normally spent yearly in each sport.

Just think of the actual costs that must be involved ... ... the equipment (apparel/costumes, skates/skis/sleds/boards), the training (costs for trainer, not to mention hours and hours away from work/school/home), the travel (required to get to the training/practice sites), not to mention the costs involved just to get to the Olympics and have a place to stay and something to eat.

It's almost unimaginable to me, really! I have never been an official Olympic sponsor, although Coca Cola says in their commercials, "If you have drunk a coke in the last ---- years, you have been an Olympic sponsor." And so, if I pay strict heed to that, I guess I could consider myself an Olympic sponsor. :)

I remember years ago, when I was much more of a purist, thinking how horrible it was that an athlete born in one country was representing another in the Olympic games. Nowadays it's a much more common occurrence. I hate to say that it is all for $$, but that possibility certainly exists. I mean, who can afford (except for the very wealthy) the expenses that will be incurred, not to mention the hours and hours of training, dedication and abdication of any sort of personal life for who knows how long?

[In addition to the above-mentioned expenses, the top athletes in the world must now pay for body-guards. Can you imagine such a thing? In fact, some have even resorted to living in other countries and obscure places rather than be subjected to the seemingly never-ending barrage of people, cameras and questions. Sounds a whole lot like Hollywood, doesn't it? Grrr!]

I had no objection to the Michigan gal who competed for Georgia in pairs skating. She and her partner did not do very well, but I was glad that her partner had found a willing competitor and fellow skater. I didn't even care that her Georgian citizenship had been 'rushed through', according to the announcers.

I also had no objection to the young Japanese gal, who was forced to renounce her Japanese citizenship (Harsh!!!) in order to become eligible to compete in the pairs skating (for Russia, wasn't it?). The fact that she might never again be able to return to her homeland - criticism of her in that country has been loud and long, I understand - makes me very sad. I've tried to put myself in her place, tried to imagine having to give up my citizenship and having my name re-spelled in order to compete in a desired event, but have been unable to do so.

The only one that caused my eyebrows to rise was the native-born Canadian who was competing for Australia in the moguls. Why?!? Nothing against Australia, I hope you understand (I hope!), but that one got to me. I doubt very much that his decision had anything to do with money, and when the Canadian beat him out for Canada's first gold, I cheered like crazy!

OK. Let's move away from sponsorships, and go back to the Olympic schedule for just a moment. We are still involved in round robin sessions of the curling events, if you can believe such a thing. In a response I made to this post, I made mention of the fact that I HATE round robins! These round robin sessions (#s 11 & 12 coming up for the women ... they'll be playing against China and Switzerland) will mercifully end toDAY! Do I hear a hurrah? Hope so!

Semi-finals will be coming up for both men and women Thursday. (It'll take the officials at least that long to figure out who is advancing!) The medal games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. However, as of this writing, it is anybody's guess who will be there. You'll just have to check your local schedules, huh?

I watched all three events in the ice dancing competition. My personal favorites (thought they had the most flair) did not win - came in second, but - all in all - I was not displeased with the results. I love pair dancing, do you? Mention was made of my personal favorites of all time - Torvill and Dean (Great Britain) - and hoped for a moment that I would be treated to a replay of their gold medal-winning performance of Ravel's "Bolero" from the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo.

It was not forthcoming, so I have spent more than just a few moments viewing various YouTube offerings, and would like to show you this one ... ...

It's not as good as what is in my memory banks, but we take what we can get, right? As you might have noted, "twizzles" (What a name!) and side by side steps were not included in the judging back then, but could you see what a pair they were? How they skated as one? Absolute and utter perfection, imo!

[I just finished reading about the current whereabouts of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, and was pleased to note that they are both still with us. They're now in their 50's. Kind of an interesting side note to this is that they were not allowed to perform again in the Olympics until 1994 in Lillehammer, after the rules for professionals competing in the Olympic games were relaxed. Do you remember those controversies? Oh, my!]

So what else am I watching? Well, I'm not watching - sorry, guys, but hockey is not one of my main interests - but have been very interested in following the progress of the US (both men's and women's) hockey teams. I see that a gold medal championship game has already been set up for the US vs. Canada (women) this Thursday. I would be surprised - shocked, actually! - if this game is not shown in its entirety on NBC. Our team and theirs have met going on twenty times this past year, and this ought to be a REALLY good game!!

The men's? Let's see, what's going on with them? Well, their gold medal game is not scheduled until Sunday. Playoffs - you're on your own for following who's still in the race and who isn't - are ongoing. Just not my 'thing', sorry about that.

Talk atcha in another couple of days, ok? Am still trying to decide whether or not I want to leave the (relatively) warm confines of my house and trudge over to McDonald's - there are two of them less than a mile from where I live - to partake "for free" (with the purchase of a large drink) one of their latest sandwich offerings ... either a turkey/bacon/cheddar cheese offering, or salami/turkey/provolone. Which do you think I should choose? Hmm?


2/25 ... morning ... Have just checked NBC's schedule of what's being shown today, and that gold medal game (women's hockey) isn't listed. (No mention of its being included in tonight's programming, either.) Women's cross country skiing will be aired this afternoon instead. Boo!

Also, a most peculiar thing happened Tuesday when I left the house (finally!) to get my 'free' sandwich. I went to both McDonald's. At the first one, the manager told me he had never heard of the offering and at the second - after I thought to ask the manager if those two sandwiches were new additions to their menu, he answered in the negative. You don't suppose I had not been paying close enough "attention" to the commercials, do you? My, my! Some other restaurant? Jack in the Box, maybe? Wrong date? And I advertised it wrong in this post, too. Shame, shame! How many of you did I send astray and were just too polite to tell me about it? :(

A little sidenote to the Torvill/Dean writeup. I watched a few more YouTube videos of their 1984 performance, and none is as good as the one I included above. However, there is a video of their medal ceremonies from 1984, and that quality is VERY good. You can find it easily by clicking on that selection at the bottom.

They last performed Bolero together in 2006. You can watch this abbreviated version - as above - by clicking on that selection at the bottom. After you watch this, I think you'll agree with me that you'll want to go back and enjoy once more their 1984 performance. Video quality is not as good, but you'll now have a much better informed opinion of how outstanding that performance in Sarajevo was.


Craig Peihopa said...

Im enjoying your olympic thoughts and musings. You are a scream sometimes Goldenrod. Cheering at the canadian beating the ozzie, too funny. I must admit what fleeting moments I see, I am loving the universal commitment to a craft, the penniless days and nights for many and the thrill of being able to represent a country, any country is a thrill I am not sure I will ever have. Wonderful potpourri of experiences and sights.

Goldenrod said...

Wonderful to hear from you, Craig! WONderful!!

Am tickled that you are enjoying my 'thoughts and musings' from the Olympic games.

I've tried to pay particular attention - ever since the Canadian eclipsed the Aussie in the moguls - to whether or not an Australian captured a gold medal in the Olympics, and it seems to me that one (or more!) DID, except that my memory banks cannot now immediately recall the actual event/s in which this/these achievement/s occurred.

As always, your unique phrasing ... "the universal commitment to craft" ... "the penniless days and nights" ... "the thrill of being able to represent a country" ... lends its own particularly keen awareness of what these games are all about.

Craig Peihopa said...

For me dear lady, my heart breaks when for whatever reason an athlete is disqualified or deleted because they missed the jump or fell or tripped or simply were too slow. For every person who wins my hjeart extends to the many who didnt. The many sleepless nights and support from families and friends who now have to wait ANOTHER 4 years before they can try again. Such commitment and resilience is worthy of my highest respect for effort and trying. I can honestly say that I have not ever watched an olympics thru these eyes previously and I musty say I have teared up on more than one occasion. This does represent the highest forum where we can meet on a level playing field. No money, no power or influence matters one the starters siren sounds, it is ALL preparation, commitment and focus.

I think I would enjoy having a meal with you Goldenrod, I would love to chat with you, I think we would have a lot of fun!. You are definitely humorous and engaging.

Take care dear lady, oh, and remember just because I dont comment, NEVER assume I am not reading you. Almost every day I visit here as my morning round up of news and information!!!!! it's true!

The Bug said...

I think that the Canadian who skiied for the Australians felt like he was hemmed in by the Canadian training rules - but I don't really remember. Some controversy involving the Canadian Olympic committee I think.

Goldenrod said...

"Wait ANOTHER four years" says it all, doesn't it? Btw, I watched the Aussie win gold in the free style skiing yesterday. Those people are insane!!

Did you really understand what that one commentor (my sp.) said, Craig? What was it, anyway? I've been deleting his/her comments from my posts ... ... figured they were SPAM-type stuff, but if they're real, I'll leave them in.

Bug, I hadn't heard that about the Canadian/Australian, but it certainly sounds plausible to me.

I sure hope you have found other sources for your morning roundups of news and information, Craig. I'm not posting nearly as often now as I used to.

PS. Dinner invitation accepted. I'd like it to be a place where they will make me a margarita from scratch. I know you're not a drinker, but I am!

Goldenrod said...

Hi, guys!

I just wanted you to know that I added a few paragraphs to this post ... just scroll down to below the asterisks and you've got it!

Craig Peihopa said...

Great added paragraphs, and great for the meal at a place that makes margaritas from scratch. Done!

As for understanding the asian script, No I didnt, I think its spam, I just thought it was a poor attempt at humor!

Goldenrod said...

I removed the aforementioned comments, Craig. Later!