Saturday, February 13, 2010

Summer vs. Winter Olympics

Yay! The Winter Olympics are underway! Nothing but figure skating in prime time for 2 weeks!!  Anyway, I got thinking (I know, dangerous) and it occured to me that the Summer Games are for normal people and Winter Games are for lunatics.

Here's what I mean. Most of the Summer Games events are events that normal, everyday people could participate in. Not at an elite level, but in some capacity. We all did Track & Field in public school. Everybody (able-bodied) can run, jump, throw, cycle, swim, play tennis, basketball, badminton, or volleyball, etc. All without huge risk of serious injury. There are exceptions, don't get me wrong. Like Pole Vault, lots of the gymnastics stuff and diving for example. But even so, the risk of serious (I mean like KILL YOU) injury is appreciably low compared to the Winter Games.

The majority of the Winter Games events carry a huge risk. Like luge/skeleton/bobsled. Hurtling yourself down a giant ice slide at well over 100kph is not something you do in Phys. Ed. or at the local YMCA. Ski-jumping! Are you nuts!! That's like skydiving without a parachute! Downhill skiing is dangerous too. They are going FAST! Some of those wipeouts are pretty horrific. Even aerials and snowboarding carry a decent risk. In the Winter Games you have to look for exceptions for events that don't entail the possibility of breaking your neck. Like Cross-country skiing/biathalon. Even speedskating requires a helmet.  Don't think figure skating is immune either. A bad landing could thwap your head pretty hard on that ice.

So basically, like I said, any normal person with enough training and good genes could do Summer Games. Even high(er) risk ones. But Winter Olympians (at least ski jumping and luge etc) have to be stone cold crazy to even try it!

Also, may the Georgian luger who died during training this week rest in peace or be granted a pleasant rebirth. (Depending on your beliefs)

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