Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In Which I Suffer from Olympic Fever...

I make no excuses. I absolutely and unabashedly adore the Olympic Games. Every two years the nations of the world - for the most part - set aside their petty differences (nuclear threats, bioterrorism, child slavery, &c.) and do silly thinks like throw spiky sticks, strap planks of wood to their feet and jump from terrifying heights, strategically slide rocks down ice, and, in China's case, compel 10-year old slave girls to steal medals from the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. How do I treat these games? Religiously. Rarely does my television change from any of NBC's networks of affiliates. In 1996, we procured tickets to several sporting events during the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia. Those events included Football (Men's Korea v. Ghana and Women's Norway v. Brazil), Judo, Indoor Volleyball, Women's Basketball (USA v. Either Japan or Australia), and Baseball (Italy v. United States). Now I look back on a horrible photograph of my sister and myself standing in front of the OLYMPIC FLAME, in our finest finery the Nineties could offer (PHOTO NOT AVAILABLE), and I shed a tear. Truly the Olympics have been a part of the OLSEN-HOEK way of life for at least two decades now.I struggled to share just how I feel about the Olympics with other people. Normal human beings crave to watch ACTUAL sporting events like Gymnastics, Hockey, Track & Field, Football, and (GOD FORBID) Dick Button's sport of Figure Skating. I enjoy these events (figure skating excluded), but the mania that is my Olympic obsession will see me actively watching and rooting for teams in Biathlon (affectionately called the Norwegian Drive-By), Badminton, Water Polo, Archery, &c.. No person in his or her right mind should enjoy watching these events. And I'm sure if there were a sport called Wheelchair-bound Octogenarian Lawn Croquet, I would stare agape at the television, eyes as wide as the Olympic Rings. It was not until this year that Stephen Colbert truly encapsulated how I feel about the Olympics:

I do not hide my affection and adoration of THE AMERICAN EMPIRE. Shaw said, "Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." This is true, though it does not apply to any human being born outside of THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA. Scientists* have concluded** that THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA is indeed the GREATEST COUNTRY on PLANET EARTH. And as such, it is our civic duty to crush as many other countries' dreams and aspirations towards medal contention as is humanly possible. Indeed, an original draft of the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE states, in Jefferson's own meticulous hand, "...that we are endowed by our Poffibly Exiftant CREATOR with certain un- or in-alienable TRUTHS, that among thefe are the Rightf to LIFE, LIBERTY, and DECIDEDLY MORE OLYMPIC MEDALS THAN CHINA and THE SOVIET UNION." Hey, you can't make this stuff up. And we have held fast to Jefferson's lofty dream. BEHOLD:
Combined Olympic Medal Leaders (Accurate as of 5:17 Eastern Time 23 February 2010)
  2. Союз Советских Социалистических Республик - 1,204
  3. 中華人民共和國 - 419
Thanks to Mr. Jefferson (himself a member of the 1904 American Roque Team and the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" American Hockey Team) we have DOUBLE the medal count of our nearest rival! God Bless the USA!
What Red-White-and-Blue-Blooded American doesn't dream of one day standing atop the podium, a solid pound of gold and silk adorning his or her neck, forgetting the lyrics of the NATIONAL ANTHEM? Maria tells me she had such a dream... possibly of outperforming Dick Button and receiving THREE consecutive Gold Medals in Figure Skating. And I have no doubt that with her gumption and magic that she could achieve it. As for myself, I can only imagine myself as a Luger or a Curler. My father had a suggestion:
"Y'know, you and Derek should form your own Luge Pairs team."
Anyone who knows the both of us should laugh about now. BUT LAUGH NOT! With my girth and Derek's terrifying countenance that would strike fear in even the most frozen German or Norwegian heart, I confidently aver that we could be in medal contention were we to participate in the 2014 Sochi Olympics (which we would not, instead boycotting the event being that it is located in the former Soviet Union). Still, Derek's father came up with an even better idea via Facebook:
" U and Derek should enter the combined curling-luge or cluge. In it one contestant pushes the other downhill on a sled hoping to displace some rocks with him."
I was immediately struck with the elegant brilliance of this beautiful new sport of Cluge. What better way than to combine Luge's suicidal danger of going down a sloped sheet of ice at horrifying speeds with the obesity-friendly thinkin' sport of Curling. I picture myself enjoying good Brandy out of a snifter, then strategically kicking Derek down a Luge course as he lets out a piercing, terrifying scream, curdling even the sturdiest Swiss or Austrian's blood. I'd take the stairs to the bottom of the course in time to sweep the way clear so that he could move some Canadian's rock off the button for a double take out. I only wish my artistic skills could render what this event would looks like, but rest assured, our uniforms would not be mistaken. I picture blue shawl cardigans (something like Paul Gross wore in Men With Brooms) with enormous American flags on the back, Chuck Taylors converted to curling shoes, a luge designed by the reanimated corpse of Frank Lloyd Wright, our non-Human curling rocks fashioned of genuine Tiffany Pearl-studded Black Hills Gold with Stained Glass Embellishments. Hell, even if we somehow lost (WHICH, given Derek's and my own divine Cluge skill, I DOUBT ENTIRELY) we could melt-down our rocks and make even BETTER medals out of them. Indeed, Cluge had the capacity to oust Baseball as THE GREAT AMERICAN PASTIME...
I think I need to telephone Coca-Cola and McDonald's for some sponsorship... that is after I declare myself President of the IOCC. THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS - another title for me!
Until Derek and I receive our Platinum Medals by gallantly defeating the Former Soviet Union in Cluge on their Home Turf in Sochi, Boycotting It All the While...
I am forever...
IOCC PRESIDENT-Commissioner the Reverend Doctor Mayor William C. Olsen-Hoek, Esq, BTT
Stay tuned next time when we examine SKY MALL.

* - i.e. ME
** - read: Strongly Believe