I read something yesterday about concerns over T.V. viewership of the Olympics if Lindsey Vonn ends up not being able to ski. According to the article, the US generally watches the Summer Olympics and ignores the Winter Olympics. Of course, just the opposite of what my family does.
During the Summer Olympics, we watch the gymnastics and some swimming but that’s about it. We will watch track and field if there is a good story (like the runner in 2008 that was winning everything). But we don’t really watch the other stuff. What other stuff is there? Basketball… what else? I don’t even know. Oh, I guess we watch a little bit of the bicycling, too.
But for the Winter Olympics we watch the ice skating, the ice dancing, the short track speed skating, the regular speed skating, the downhill, the ski jumping, the luge, the bobsled, the nordic skiing. We even (sometimes) watch the biathon, curling, and hockey. I can’t think of any event in the Winter Olympics that we haven’t watched at least once over the last 2-3 Olympics.
So this evening we will sit down as a family and watch all the athletes from all different countries compete in all sorts of Olympic events. If Lindsey Vonn is able to ski when the time comes, we will definitely root for her to get gold. But if she isn’t able to ski, we will still watch the races she would have been in and we will root for the other US skiers, and we’ll root for the Italian skiers (since that’s our heritage), and we’ll root for any underdogs the commentators bring to our attention (like the first female Iranian Winter Olympian). Because, in the end, to us the Olympics are about the triumph of the human spirit, with little to no regard for the ethnicity, nationality or gender of the athletes.