Ben’s Ten: Olympic overture

Do you enjoy all the fun and pageantry of fervent nationalism, but don’t have the time or energy to go to war? Boy, have we got something for you!

It’s time for the Olympic Games once again, which means the countries of the world will come together in the name of friendly competition, allegations of doping and bribery of judges. The next two weeks will be filled with some touching moments for sports fans and patriots worldwide as figuratively everything else comes to a halt to tune in to the festivities.

Not in the spirit? Follow these 10 tips to augment your Olympic experience. On with the show—this is it!

1toques_or_tanning_oil1. Toques or tanning oil? – If Sochi is better known as a popular summer vacation destination, and they’re hosting the Winter games, can you imagine how cold Russian winters actually are? Bozhe moi!

2practice_safe_jingoism2. Practice safe jingoism – Gentle ribbing in good fun is always good, but tread lightly. Saying “You luge like a Scot!” may get you in trouble in some circles.

3wear_your_national_pride_proudly3. Wear your national pride proudly – Maple leaf mittens will be back, you may even see a hammer or sickle, but there will be a sudden surge in “honourary Norwegians” in the hipster community given the curling squad’s penchant for patterned pantaloons.

4expand_your_sport-folio4.  Expand your sport-folio – There’s more to the Olympics than hockey. Speed-skating, ski jumping and bobsleigh are all cool, but have you heard of the biathlon? Czech that event out.

Torchbearers with the Olympic flame5.  Build your own torch – Step 1: finish reading this article, then roll up this newspaper. Step 2: unhook the fire detector. Step 3: use your imagination. Na zdrovia!

6go_nocturnal6. Go nocturnal – With most events taking place early in the morning, you’re better off overhauling your sleep schedule to maximize your viewing time. Work can wait—three-man skeleton is on.

7reheat_the_cold_war7. Reheat the Cold War – Turn back the clock to the days of arms races and massive East German arms. Plus, after 12 days of ski-cross and figure skating with nothing else on TV, you’ll want to boycott the games for a day in a nod to the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

8dont_try_this_at_home8.  Don’t try this at home – Re-enacting Crosby’s golden goal with mini sticks is safe, but please avoid triple axels on the sidewalk, tobogganing in spandex or whatever Shaun White does in his spare time. You have been warned.

Jamaican delegation headed by bobsleigh athlete Wi9.  Unleash the underdogs – Statistically sunny countries will send smaller delegations to the Winter Olympics, making for cult followings for these athletic outliers. The Jamaican bobsled team is good and all, but I’m throwing my support behind Tongan luger Bruno Banani.

10keep_watching10.  Keep watching, even if Canada loses – It’s still quality entertainment even if our luntzmen are out of it. As a consolation you can cheer against the Americans, Russians and whatever country you feel like directing some frustration towards.

1 Comment

  1. saltandserenity on February 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Great post Benjamin! I loved reading this. You are a very clever and funny guy!

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Benjamin Blum

A lifelong sports fan, Benjamin Blum entered the world of journalism after suffering a concussion playing rugby for the University of King’s College. From that moment, his twin passions for writing and sports motivated the Thornhill, Ont. native to give this journalism thing a try. Having been an athlete, coach and fan for many years, Ben brings his diverse knowledge of sports along with a witty sense of humour to the sports section. Ben was Sports Editor of the Gazette for Volume 146.

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