Sunday, February 11, 2018

Winter Olympics might be even better in the buff

I don't know of a winter Olympic sport which could not be improved by putting the word “naked” in front of it. 

Naked two-man bobsleigh. What a visual! The sprinting to get up to speed, the jumping into the sleigh, the whooshing down the course, the posing for the Wheaties box.

And when did a bobsled become a bobsleigh? Last I checked, a sleigh involves a horse, some bells, singing, some laughing. I suspect Russian linguistic doping. 

Naked skeleton. Just the name would inspire a generation of children. Kid watching TV:

“Dad, that’s what I want to do when I grow up.” 

“What’s that, son?” 

“Naked skeleton.” 

“You...want to strip down, jump naked on a sled and fly face-first down an ice chute 75 miles an hour?”


“Why not just go into politics?”

Some people only watch car racing to see a crash. I feel safe in asserting that the same would definitely be said for naked ski jumping. 

I think if I were going to be a Winter Olympics athlete, I would choose the biathlon. Any sport that lets you to strap a gun to your back like John McClane in “Die Hard” is my kind of sport. The cross-country skiing would suck, but every sport has a down side. 

I wish they let you choose what shape of target you shoot at. You ski up, drop to your belly and take out a Smurf. Who needs a medal?

Did you know horses once took part in the winter games? As an exhibition sport in 1928, skiers raced each other while being pulled behind horses. Which is to say, horses raced each other in the Olympics. This is called "skijoring," which is a Norwegian word meaning "cheating creatively." Olympic skijoring was never repeated again, but the figure of a riderless horse dragging a guy behind does live on, coincidentally, in my own family crest. 

There are four entirely new events this year, including "mass start" speed skating. Skaters line up six-abreast in four rows and after the first lap it's a free-for-all for position. All while wearing 19 inch razor blades on their feet. In the middle of the race there are four sprints to gain points. So finishing the race in first does not mean you won; you could still lose on points. 

It's like the Olympic version of the electoral college. Well, it's nice to see that a little bit of America is finally rubbing off on the world. 

. . .