Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Winter Olympic Games Matrix

Here we go again. By popular demand (don’t ask who just go along with it) here is the Winter Olympics version of the highly educational “Summer Olympic Games Matrix.” Lets run through why certain sports made it to certain places on the matrix shall we?

The way I see it anything above the center horizon line is worth watching on TV – and there’s a lot to watch during the winter Olympics. The most entertaining sport, to me, is virtually a tie between short track speed skating and ice hockey. If you’ve ever watched short track then you know how nerve-wracking it can be watching the athletes pass each other while skating at ridiculously tilted angles. It’s also quite dangerous; J.R. Celski almost killed himself with one of his blades last year! Then again hockey is also very exciting, especially at the Olympics – considering the caliber of players that are on the ice. Lots of aggression and lots of action but we forget that it’s also a dangerous sport: anyone remember this guy?
Other sports, like the snowboard half-pipe are entertaining but mostly because of the star-power associated with ‘em – Shuan White anyone? Alpine skiing definitely has some star-power behind it but generally speaking it really is a dangerous and entertaining sport to watch. Other snow-related sports, at least the ones involving turning on the ground tend to be pretty entertaining – mostly because of the simultaneous competitive nature of them. The air-based snow sports like ski jump and aerials, though dangerous, are kinda boring; nothing really happens and everyone’s run looks the same.
What about the other ice-themed sports like figure skating and luge/bobsled? Well, ice skating is definitely more entertaining because of the celebrity aspect of the sport – and a bit by the rivalries. Luge, skeleton, and bobsled are seemingly safe but as we know now no sport is foolproof. Even if an accident like the one from Vancouver has never happened before it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But generally they are entertaining to watch because of the speed and, well, the speed!
What’s left? Ski-jumping is, as mentioned above, boring and the cross-country isn’t supposed to be exciting. The biathlon (the one with rifles) is only a bit more exciting because of the virtually nonexistent but possible death that could occur from one athlete perhaps pointing their rifle the wrong way and blowing their own head off. Has it ever happened? No. Could it? You never know.
For help deciphering the pictograms check out the official Vancouver Olympics page here.

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