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Ash & Fern: My Olympic Obsession

I realize there is sometimes an attitude out there that “real geeks” don’t like sports. I can promise you that’s not always true because this geek LOVES sports. In a previous life I was even semi-athletic myself. Unfortunately I’m also incredibly clumsy and while I used to bounce back with no problem, I’m now out of commission for a full week when I fall over trying to do yoga. So for the sake of my overall health I generally leave the sports to other people now.

I do like the normal American sports. I was one of the few people who actually made it all the way through the Super Bowl on Sunday. In fact the only play I missed was the kickoff when the rewind button on my remote got stuck immediately following the David Beckham H&M commercial.

Don't worry, it's fixed now.

Don’t worry, it’s fixed now.

Also I’m an Indiana girl, so I’ve watched my share of basketball over the years. Even won a few March Madness office pools.

But what I really love are the more random sports. Soccer is my first love. You’ll hear a lot more about it from both Ash and I as we get closer to our June adventures in Brazil. (I’m currently working on perfecting my Portuguese. I know how to order a beer, say thank you, and tell the ref to get his head out of his ass. Obviously I’m good to go.) My obsession with tennis got me up at 3am several times over the last few weeks to watch the Australian Open before work. And I once spent an entire day in a pub in London trying to understand cricket. It was a miserable failure but I got to say sticky wicket a lot. That’s even more fun after a few pints.

I’m bringing this up now because it is finally time for one of my favorite things EVER, the Olympics. Why do I love them so much you ask? It’s simple really. The Olympics combine two of my great loves in life: marathon TV viewing and really ridiculous sports. There’s nothing better than spending hours on end watching people ski and stop to shoot at things. Yep that’s a sport. I’m also a huge fan of the Nordic Combined, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and ski jumping.  In other words, this is the sport I perfected last time I went skiing when I got lost on the trail and accidentally went over a jump.  Pretty sure I would have medaled.


This is DEFINITELY a real photo of me in action.

And bobsledding?! The fact that we have a Jamaican bobsled team to root for again this year only adds to my excitement. I’ve already watched Cool Runnings 3 times in preparation. And I may or may not be wandering around the office singing “Jamaica we have a bobsled team.” Frankly this seems like a sport I could do. Run a few steps and then jump into a sled that someone else is steering? Actually forget that, I’d probably fall out.

I’m a person who generally chooses staying at home and watching TV over doing anything social anyway, and this tendency is magnified tenfold during the Olympics. No I don’t want to go to dinner, there are speed-skating preliminaries on! This is when I get to learn about the skater from some random country I’ve never heard of who was almost eaten by a bear as a child but has gone on to become his country’s first winter Olympian! He will finish last, but I will cry anyway.

And at some point I will become irrationally angry at my parents for not forcing me to practice figure skating for 8 hours a day my entire childhood.  Thanks guys. It’s like you don’t even love me. I could have been an Olympian!


“Mom, Dad, I coulda been a contender!”

Like most viewers, I have some very strict rules about who I root for in a given Olympics. They are:

1) America. I probably put too much stock in the medal count, but it is what it is.

2) Anyone from a country that has absolutely no business being there.  Example (other than Jamaican bobsledding), there was a swimmer in the last summer Olympics that came from a country without a full size swimming pool.  Seriously?  I’m in.

3) Whoever looks like they are having the most fun. There’s always that one athlete that clearly knows they aren’t going to win a medal, but is having the time of their life. It’s infectious, even on TV.

I was never going to be an Olympian myself. It would have involved an amount of dedication and natural ability that I simply don’t have. But for a couple of weeks every few years, I get to be excited for the people who have dedicated their entire lives to skiing around tiny flags. And then I take a moment to feel a little bad for them because they’ve been so busy being awesome at something that they probably haven’t had time to memorize every episode of Firefly.

Anyone else excited for the Olympics?! Maybe I should live tweet curling…