I’m writing this post after watching the mostly-awesome Beatles 50th anniversary special Sunday night, which was really cool except for the fact that Katy Perry (Katy Perry!) sung “Yesterday.” Not sure if McCartney and Ringo were throwing up while watching that, but I sure was. I could live 1,000 years and not get the appeal of Katy Perry. But let’s move on…
With all the problems that Russia has had getting ready for these Winter Olympics, the bar in my mind was set pretty low for success.
Like, if none of the venues blew up, the Games were a big hit. So far, so good.
From the Opening Ceremonies Friday night, which had some cool moments (certainly not those hideous Team USA sweaters, but I did feel sorry for the countries that had only one or two athletes in their parade; they looked so lonely!) to the first weekend of action, the Games got off to a great start.
I know there are people out there who don’t care about the Olympics, who just want to stick to their basketball and soccer and football and all that. But I love them, and get excited for them every time they come around.
I mean, where else do you get to see the Russian Police Choir sing Daft Punk? How great was this?
Some quick-hit thoughts from the first few days of action:
— One reason I love the Winter Olympics is because you watch some of these bizarre events and wonder how someone practiced them when they first started out. I mean, take ski jumping: Were these men and women at age 9 skiing off the roofs of their houses? And how many broken bones occur during training for ski jumping, a few hundred?
— Was watching some of the slopestyle snowboarding highlights where American Sage Kostenburg won his first gold, and he was described by the announcers as a “free spirit.” NBC, he’s doing quadruple flips in the air while basically on a skateboard. I think we pretty much figured he’s a free spirit.
— I know we’re all supposed to think ice dancing is a sport, but I’m not really buying it. It’s beautiful and takes a lot of coordination and timing and all that, but isn’t it really just two people skating around? I mean, the two great Americans, Davis and White, are wonderful to watch, but is this really a sport?
— And speaking of things I don’t understand, have you seen the ski-athlon (above)? Tons of competitors on skis, going really slowly but still racing to the finish line. It looks hilarious, like race-walking on skis.
— Curling starts today. And if you don’t think I’m excited, you’re wrong. Already looking forward to watching (and blogging about it for ThriveSports.com) while I eat breakfast Monday morning before work.
— Finally, as an ex-newspaper scribe this is one of those columns I would read and go “Man, that’s a fantastic angle, I wish I’d thought of that.” Steve Politi of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger decided to watch the Opening Ceremonies Friday night at a gay bar in Sochi (kinda pokes holes in Putin’s stance about there being no gay people in Russia, huh?)
**Next up, these Olympics commercials get to me every two years. Procter and Gamble’s continuing their excellent ads with these “Thank You Mom” spots, and this one has been my favorite so far. Just so awesome…
**And finally, from the slightly less warm and fuzzy department, Jimmy Kimmel did the latest round of one of his great bits last week, allowing celebrities to come on the air and read the meanest Tweets written to them, or about them, lately.
This edition stars George Clooney, Jennifer Garner, and John Goodman, among others. Warning: This is definitely NSFW (not safe for work). But it’s hilarious.