I should start by mentioning that I’m not much of an athlete. Never did the swim team thing, or soccer, or basketball. Now, I am an avid runner, but let’s be honest. How much athletic talent does it really take to jog down the street successfully? When I think about my complete lack of athletic ability combined with my severe aversion to cold (I grew up in Houston, capital of the Mosquito Belt), it’s pretty ironic that one of my very favorite television events is the Winter Olympics.
I’m a Winter Olympics junkie. Love to pop the popcorn, throw on the fur-lined moccasins, and curl up on the sofa to watch all those fabulous winter wonderland sports.
Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but my favorite is usually pairs skating. The costumes, the music, the poingnant love stories behind some of the couples. And of course, there’s also the built-in melodrama. (Who doesn’t remember Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding?) With all the rivalries, romance, and conflict, Olympic skating is almost like a good romance novel.
I sat down this year prepared to be swept away by the triple toe loopers, but I quickly realized that this year, women’s downhill skiing is totally where it’s at. Have you been watching?? Do you know what I’m talking about??
First off, how about those stunts? Did anyone see the Swedish skier who rocketed about sixty feet in the air before crashing on the downhill course? This year has been skids, cartwheels, and face-plants all over the place.
Of course, action sequences are fun, but what really makes a great story is the characters, and there is no shortage of interesting ones here. Start with the stunningly beautiful Lindsey Vonn, dubbed by the media as the Olympic Cover Girl after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Some people protested that the magazine ‘sexualized’ her by showing her crouched down on skis and heading down a mountain with her bum in the air, but she’s a skier and that’s what they do, so I don’t really get all the fuss.) At any rate, she captivated audiences all over the world the other night when she beat out childhood rival and fellow American Julia Mancuso as well as her best friend, Maria Riesch of Germany, for a gold medal.
And on the subject of Julia Mancuso, what’s with the tiara? Not that I mind, really. I mean, every good fairy tale needs a tiara. It’s just that it looked a bit weird up there twinkling atop her head while she was standing around after the race. It wasn’t until I Googled her that I discovered why Mancuso (as opposed to Vonn) might be the real face of the New Olympics. Turns out, she has a line of lingerie called “Kiss My Tiara.” (Men across America are discovering a new enthusiasm for women’s skiing.)
Athletic and business savvy, this woman. Her products include thongs and boy shorts. Only problem is, you have to have an Olympic athlete’s body to wear them. Yes, I checked them out. Sizes range from Small to Medium (the thong) and One Size Fits Most (the boy short). Hmm…. Clearly this girl is landlocked and hasn’t been to a public beach in a while. But as she’s tied with Bode Miller for most career Olympic Alpine medals by a U.S. skier, I’m going to let it slide.
What Olympic moments have you loved or hated lately? Please share. And since I always enjoy a good contest, I’m going to give a prize to one lucky commenter. (Don’t worry, it’s not a thong.) I was thinking more along the lines of a signed copy of my latest romantic suspense novel, UNTRACEABLE. Good luck and happy Olympic viewing!