Last week I tweeted that “The Winter Olympics are very much the Linkedin of major sporting events”.
Last night I was up until 2am watching the snowboarding.
These events occurred 72 hours apart, in which time I had gone from taking the piss out of the Games to anyone who would listen (not many) to becoming borderline obsessed. Granted, it’s not quite the same as the Summer Olympics - there are no long, balmy nights spent getting buzzed off fruit cider and watching Usain Bolt make every other athlete look like hopeless fools, or losing your voice cheering on Mo Farah and hugging strangers in the park - but it’s getting there.
Think more along the lines of layering up in bed with the heating on and watching people you’d never heard of until 10 minutes ago look a lot colder than you are (it’s been -20C in South Korea at the Games at some points. Minus 20). Plus, a lot of people are falling over on slippy surfaces, which is fun to watch, AND there’s people who seemingly have a death wish doing quite honestly irresponsible things on snowboards. You might think you’re not interested by these these niche snowy games, but I assure you, you soon will be, and the stages of your addiction will ensue as follows:
Winter Olympics? Who even watches that? Who caaaares?! You’ll say to anyone who tries to tell you about the short-track speed skating. You’ll change the subject to ‘real sport’ - the Six Nations or the Premier League. But then, out of nowhere, you’ll hear someone talking about how good the womens’ snowboarding was last night, and that they carried on despite 60km winds, and you’ll think, “Maybe… maybe I should give it a go tonight, I won’t tell anyone. I’ll just see how it is….”
And just like that. You’re hooked.
Why didn’t your favourite couple win at the figure skating? Why are they still letting people compete in these conditions? Where are the Brits in all of this? WHY DON’T WE INVEST LOTTERY MONEY IN MORE WINTER SPORTS. Where is my nearest skeleton track? I reckon I could give this a go.
What if we got more snow every year in the UK? Could we be better? Please just give us worse weather!
When you realise Pyeongchang is nine hours ahead of us and from the hours of midday to midnight there’s nothing on live. Prepare your sick note. And when you find out Team GB have only won 34 medals in the Winter Olympics ever since 1923, your heart sinks. Kazakhstan are ahead of us on the medal table at these games, in that they have any medals at all.
These other countries are good aren’t they? And actually, now that I’ve come to accept we don’t really have any Jessica Ennises in this climate, I’ll just pick my favourites of the best and cheer them on instead. I’ll give up the next ten days to weird sleeping schedules, watching people on slippy surfaces blow my mind, and revelling in the fact that I like ice skating now. Plus you never know how we might fare in the curling.
Welcome to your new life (for another week or so).