Saturday, 20 February 2010

Snow Very Boring??

It comes around once every four years and yet that seems to be far too often for most people. I would not go as far as to say that I hate the Winter Olympics but I find them one of the more boring of world sporting events. For a sporting spectacle of its supposed scale and importance it comes and passes with relatively little coverage and I am grateful for that.

I personally find the majority of the sports in the Winter Olympics very dull. I think a large reason why I, like most of Britain, fail to care about the events that are currently taking place in Vancouver is that these are sports that we have never ourselves taken part in. As I do not ski/snowboard and having never been bob-sleighing it is difficult to enjoy watching such things. If you cannot appreciate the excitement or the technical difficulty of a sport then the spectating of them becomes far less enjoyable.

Compare this with the Summer Olympics. Everyone can appreciate the difficulty and sheer super-human athleticism of what your are witnessing. Watching someone like Usain Bolt run the 100m in 9.6 seconds, Jonathan Edwards jump over 18m or Phelps win 8 gold medals at one games is far more entertaining. This is because you understand just how difficult the things that these individuals are achieving are. Everyone did these events at sports day or in PE and so can better connect to these sports. This is why I believe people just don't care nearly as much about the Winter Olympics because there is no personal connection to, or little experience in. such sports.

No doubt the fact that Britain fails to win medals at the Winter Olympics has also contributed to the fact that the games as a whole in such a negative or nondescript manner. Sports which Britain has no history or success in has generally resulted in their being an inevitable lack of interest in that sport. It also means that the media pays little attention to such sports and so the hype around them is minimal.

Now there are exceptions to this. I find curling very exciting in a bizarre way but I know that I am somewhat unique in that. Now if Britain learnt something from some successful Hollywood films and recruited some Jamaican-British men for our bob-sleigh team, or entered two men into the paired figure skating competition then things may become more interesting. These are, however, the only ways that such events can be exciting, if they are dramatised by comical Hollywood scripts.

Either way in a couple of weeks these sports will be banished back to the shadows of Eurosport and few will complain. Ultimately the Winter Olympics fail to capture the imagination and interest of the nation because the majority of the events are so alien to British people. I think that the fact that the clip of the bob-sleigher's wardrobe malfunction on Youtube is gaining more viewers than the games themselves says it all... it is pretty funny though.

Comments on your feelings towards the Winter Olympics please...


  1. i'd also like to suggest ice hockey as a sport that needs more coverage, you don't need to understand it to appreciate the skill. Plus you get all the players from the NHL, for some reason though when ever i want to watch it all i get to see is the bloddy womans biathlon or the Nordic combined! in my opinion they should put the ice hockey in the real olympics so more people can watch it.

  2. I dont think the winter olympics are that bad. i love watching the figure skating, i actually look forward to watching it when i know the winter olympics are going to be on.

  3. I don't think it's necessarily true that you have to have competed in a sport to be able to appreciate the complexity, for example, watching Sean "would be cooler if he wasn't ginger" White pull off that huge "Tomahawk" was incredible. I myself have never been skiing or snowboarding but still feel any man that can incorporate 3.5 spins and two flips into one piece of air time deserves some respect.

    There are also a lot of sports that have been just generally quite exciting to watch this year like the skiing moguls, superG, and skiing cross.

    I know a lot of that has to do with the high crash rate in the events, but how does that differ from Formula 1 where, lets face it, everyone is always dying to see a high speed collision.


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