Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's All About the Love Story

Since we’re talking about the Winter Olympics this week, I’ll let you in on a little secret childhood dream of mine: to be half of a pairs figure skating team. I suppose I should also tell you how utterly ridiculous this dream was, considering I can’t skate. At all. The ice is not my friend. In fact, in the few times in my life I’ve been skating, I’ve probably spent nearly 99% of that time in a heap on the ice, after continuously falling. But nevermind that.

When I was 13 or 14, my best friend and I were obsessed with the movie The Cutting Edge. Maybe you’ve seen it – we watched it about a gazillion times until we had every line memorized. It’s the story of a stuck-up figure skater and a washed up hockey player who end up getting stuck as a pairs team, hating each other, going to the Olympics, and oh yeah, falling in love. And that right there is what I always get caught up in with pairs skating, the romance, the love story. In real life, I am sure there is a lot of work, sweat, tears, etc., but in the movies (and in my fantasy world) pairs figure skating plays out like romantic comedy. That’s where it always gets me.

And then there are the real-life stories about the couples in the Olympics. I was capitivated by Jamie Sale and David Pelletier’s story at the 2002 Olympics – both on and off the ice. I may have been shrieking just a little bit when the coverage of pairs skating the other night cut over to them in the announcer’s booth. I may have even Googled them to see if they’re still married.

I guess you can tell that I’m not too much of a sports nut. I’ll skip the luge and the skiing and the speed skating – but give me a good love story, and I’ll watch it every time.

And now to finish up some business from last week – I used to pick the winner of my giveaway, and the winner is Michelle (who commented on Maureen’s post last week.) I’ve sent you an e-mail, so make sure to respond with your info so I can get your book out to you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lindsay, You're My Hero

Since I am deep into the thick of trying to finish my second novel, I can't be as glued to the TV as I normally would be during the Winter Olympics. Actually, I think I enjoy them more than the summer Olympics. The irony is: I can't stand to be cold. And Nashville, Tennessee has had a crazy amount of snow lately. Did y'all hear that 49 states had snow on the ground last weekend? Now that's something to talk about.

So while I love the skaters, I mean I LOVE the skaters, I am in awe of the downhill skiers. And I will be plastered in front of the TV today when Lindsay Vonn makes her way down the slopes. Is anyone else as amazed as I am that the girl has a major shin injury and she's out there going for it? I've been pondering her sheer will to succeed, her superhuman tenacity despite a horrific obstacle. I want what she's got! If I could adopt 1/80th of her inner-fight, I can't imagine what I could accomplish. The girl is in major pain and can take no more than an Advil! Lindsay, you are definitely my hero.

Here's what she had to say about her shin injury.

"I don't know that it's not broken. My physio that was there [in Austria] wanted me to get an X-ray and I refused to get one. I pretty much stuck my fingers in my ear and just pretended like I didn't hear what was going on. I didn't want to hear that my shin was fractured."

Then she goes on to WIN the down-hill training run the other day!

It's easy to say, "Oh I'd do it. Of course I would. I'd go for it, too!" But would you really? When your leg is throbbing, it's freezing outside, and the whole world is watching? What about the possibility that she may re-injure it beyond repair? The pressure must be so great on Lindsay that her head must want to explode. It makes me seriously ponder the phenomenal power of the mind. Miss Lindsay Vonn must be spending some serious time focusing on how to get her mind in shape. She's got to train her brain to concentrate on accomplishing the nearly impossible. Psychologically speaking, our golden girl has a taxing challenge ahead.

I think most everyone would agree. She's one awe-inspiring woman.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Tuesday Already?

A confession: I thought today was Monday until about five minutes ago, when I looked at the calendar and shrieked, "The blog! I have to post on the blog!" In my defense, my husband and I returned late Sunday night from a weekend in Vegas, so I barely know what hour it is, let alone day of the week. But, armed with a strong cup of coffee, I'm just about ready to go.

This week's topic is the Winter Olympics. I didn't get a chance to watch the opening ceremonies, as I was at a piano bar in the Palazzo hotel while they were going on. I did see a brief glimpse of one of the performances while I was ordering a frozen drink. But I'm so, so excited to watch all of the events.

Yesterday, I caught a recap of some of the moguls races, and I honestly have no idea how those skiers have any cartilage left in their knees. I also love the ski jumping, and always hold my breath until the skier is safely on the ground, no injuries in sight. And I'm sure I'll watch a bit of hockey, along with some speed skating.

One event I can't bear to watch is the cross country skiing. I tried to flip it on for a few minutes yesterday, and had to turn it off. The reason is because it makes me exhausted just to watch! I inadvertently start huffing and puffing from my sedentary position on the couch, until my husband reminds me that the only physical activity I did in the last five minutes was adjust the couch pillows. So, no long-distance skiing for me.

I do love all of the figure skating, although my husband can barely take it. It's too stressful for him to watch, as he's always worried someone is going to fall. And, unfortunately, it seemed like a lot of the pairs last night did just that. But I love the over-the-top costumes, the excessive eye makeup, the body glitter not seen since 1990, and the drama of the scoring.

What are you all looking forward to watching?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Figure Skating, Skiing, Luge...Oh, My!

I'm a huge fan of the Winter Olympics, which is kind of funny when you consider I can barely stay upright on ice skates or skis. Okay, that's a lie. There's no barely to it. I cannot stand upright on ice skates or skis, but I love to watch those who can.

Seeing as I've never been an outdoorsy sort of gal, it's mega surprising how much fun I have watching the Olympics. But love it I do. That's not to say that I adore every sport within the Winter Olympics--because I don't. I have my favorites, and yes, at the top of my favorite list is figure skating. I'm not even picky about what type of figure skating...I even like ice dancing.

Figure skating is filled with grace and athleticism (not to mention the really cool outfits!), and I'm always stunned by the pure beauty of this sport. And, unlike some of the other winter sports, I can almost feel the tension of the athletes when they step onto the ice, and I can definitely feel the happiness when a skater completes a nearly perfect routine.

Next on my favorite list is the luge. Why do I love watching luge? Don't know. Maybe it's the speed of the sport. tight outfits on the men? Possibly.

And of course I love downhill skiing. And moguls. Ohhhh! And speed-skating!

I also like that the Olympics only come around every four years. Otherwise, they wouldn't be nearly as special or as exciting.

What about you? Are you a fan of the Winter Olympics? If so, which sports are on your must-see list?