Humor: Winter Olympics 2002 – Waffle irons on ice, racing skeletons and other observations

I’m not the biggest fan of the Winter Olympics. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what the athletes go through to perform at such a high level, it’s just that I don’t like to pretend I care all that much about often obscure sports that I’ve ignored – or didn’t even know existed – for the past four years.
For example, like many Americans, the sport of curling baffles me. Even more baffling is why anybody watches curling, which I’ve heard described as shuffleboard on ice. That doesn’t help me much, because I don’t know how to play shuffleboard. As near as I can figure it, curling involves sliding what looks like a futuristic waffle iron you might find in the Sharper Image catalog along the ice while a group of people with brooms feverishly sweep the path in front of the traveling waffle iron. My attempt to understand how curling is scored met with disaster when I slipped into a coma after the first few minutes of watching the competition and woke up to Jay Leno’s monologue.
An Olympic sport that is a little more exciting in my humble opinion is racing skeletons…I mean skeleton racing, although I think we can all agree that “Racing Skeletons” would make an excellent name for a rock band. Simply put, the skeleton is an event where a person – preferably insane – shoots down an ice track head first on a sled at speeds up to 80 mph. The sport is considered so dangerous it hasn’t been an Olympic event until now since 1948. The winner is the person who completes the course in the fastest time, although I think you should get a medal if you survive and/or don’t soil yourself.
Of course, one of the most-watched Olympic events is the women’s ice skating competition. Personally, I miss the professional wrestling-like atmosphere generated by the Tonya “White Trash” Harding-Nancy “All Teeth” Kerrigan rivalry at the 1994 Winter Olympics. This time, there’s virtually no chance that one of the competitors will be hit in the leg with a lead pipe, which is something referees in professional wrestling always seem to miss for some reason. Maybe suspended French pairs figure skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne should consider a career as a professional wrestling referee.
Even though I suspect watching some of the events – even the ones I understand – at the Winter Olympics would put hard-core insomniacs who don’t respond to strong medication asleep, it’s great to see that everybody seems to legitimately be having a good time after recent unsettling world events.