Like many, I’m transfixed by the Winter Olympic Games.
I pay little attention to any of these sports as the four years pass between Games. But once the Olympic competition begins, I can’t turn away.
No doubt, our attention is captured by the relentless, slick marketing campaign of NBC and other commercial forces. Media have become very good at telling the tales, in short-story form, of the competing athletes.
Most have surmounted obstacles that would make most people turn away and move on to something easier — something where success is more attainable.
One-hundredth of a second can separate an athlete from achieving the all-encompassing goal of winning a medal. To devote four years (even more) of your life to meeting that goal, knowing all along that you could fall just short, demands uncommon courage and a willingness to risk so much with a high probability of failure staring you in the face.
My favorite Olympic sports are those that do not involve scoring from judges, events like speed skating, snowboard cross, bobsled/luge and the downhill skiing events. These are pure athletic competitions, without the artistic/technical demands that expose the outcome of other Winter Olympics events to human subjectivity.
I do, however, appreciate the artistry of figure skating and the acrobatics of halfpipe and other events that have sprung from the X Games.
The opening ceremonies in Sochi were spectacular, but something about them didn’t quite fit the spirit of the Winter Games. Later, when I saw video snippets of opening ceremonies from past Olympics, I realized what was different about Sochi: The opening festivities were held in an indoor stadium.
The vast majority of Winter Games events are staged outdoors, so it seems to me that the opening ceremonies ought to unfold under an open sky, as well.
To enhance your enjoyment of the Sochi Games and to keep you informed, The Herald Bulletin will include a daily package on our Scoreboard page, including TV listings and medal counts. We’ll also track news stories from the Games on our Nation & World page.
And you can find updated results, videos and other Olympic news on our website, theheraldbulletin.com.
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To cast your votes, visit theheraldbulletin.com and click on the story with the Best of Madison County 2014 logo on the right side of the home page. Voting ends late tonight, so don’t delay.
If you don’t have access to a computer but would still like to vote, call me.
Winners will be announced Feb. 25 in a special section of The Herald Bulletin.
Editor Scott Underwood’s column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at email@example.com or 640-4845.