Every two years there are Olympic Games. If you hadn’t noticed, this year we’re enjoying the Winter Olympics, which involves mostly sports that very few people ever participate in. That may not be true, but I think it is.
Today I’d like to answer some questions about the Winter Olympics.
Q: Where do people go to become bobsledders?
A: This is a mystery. Have you ever seen a neighborhood bobsledding club? Do you know anyone who has gone to college on a bobsledding scholarship? And, for that matter, who is this “Bob?”
Q: Why do biathlon participants carry guns?
A: It is a little known fact that the biathlon used to be a means of reducing the number of cross-country skiers on congested Scandinavian ski trails. Skiers would stop now and then and take pot-shots at other skiers – usually aiming to wing them in a non-fatal way. But, when skiers became endangered, guns were fired only at non-human targets on the course.
Q: What’s the deal with curling?
A: In the far north, people tend to run out of things to do. One year, some Canadians who had gone to Florida decided to play shuffleboard on a frozen lake when they got home. The pucks kept blowing away, so they used stones. And, since it kept snowing, they had to sweep the snow away to see the bulls’ eyes, or something like that.
Q: Do hockey players ever participate in ice dancing?
A: Yes, several men’s hockey players competed in ice dancing pairs a few years ago, but in the heat of competition they became confused and threw their partners against the boards, leaving the fans in the ice arena stunned – not to mention the women ice dancers.
Q: What Olympic sport is no longer included in the winter games?
A: The multi-national snowball fight had been a traditional event at the close of the Winter Olympics until the Russians – then Soviets – were accused of throwing slush balls, sending the French athletes back to their quarters sniffling that it was unfair.
Q: Has social media impacted the Olympics in any way?
A: Texting while skiing has resulted in a number of runaway downhill skiers, two of which ended up in Chechnya, where they had to pay roaming charges.
Q: Could the speed skating and cross-country ski uniforms be any tighter?
Q: Has there ever been a figure skating disaster?
A: Yes. A Swedish skater once went into a spin that was so intense he drilled through the ice and hit a gas line. That was the origin of the term “going out in a blaze of glory.”
Of course, none of the above is true, as far as I know. I do know that my winter sport involves getting from here to there without crashing or falling on the ice. So far so good. I’m still in the medal round!