Figure skating has artistry and camera work, costumes and color. Slope-style has the dizzying heights, brilliant sun, and amazing gyroscoping of the athletes 3, 4, 5 seconds in the air – for TV these and others are the glamor sports – great on film with awesome replays.
Short track, with its standard uniforms, fluorescent lights and indoor location looks a bit flat on TV. But… In the venue it is all action and mayhem, volume and noise in a tightly contained space where athletes trade spaces of inches and travel speeds in excess of 30mph on razor sharp blades making turns harder than jet fighters, crashing, crashing and crashing again until the winner, sometimes ejected from the mayhem emerges.
Anyone who has been to an olympics and pretty much anyone else knows that tomorrow is the one ticket for the games if you want to leave having the penultimate olympic experience: “thrills and chills” and the “agony of defeat.” Is it unpredictable, often unfair, surprising and full of upset? Of course it is and what does all that do for the drama, the excitement and energy? It drives it, it makes the crowd manic, particularly when the home country (Vancouver/Canada ’10) and (Sochi/Russia ’14) is a driving force in the results.
The last few days the Olympic park is abuzz – everyone know knows the spectacle of short track now. In about one hour tomorrow night, the men’s 500m gold medal, womens 1000m gold medal and the men’s 5000m relay gold medal will be decided. There are FIVE teams are in the relay final, 20 men on the ice battling and it will come down to a duel between USA and Russia for the Gold. I expect USA to win but will be close and the Russian fans will WILL Ahn to the victory if they can – he’s the anchor for Russia and JR Celski will be the anchor for USA
I’ll be wearing earplugs this time… After Vancouver my ears rang for 2 days (and I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts with no problem).
Make sure to tune in, or if you are here in Sochi let me know – I MIGHT be able to help you get you a ticket!