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More Olympic Comments - RonO's Ramblings

Feb. 16th, 2010 08:08 am More Olympic Comments

I'll put a cut for my LJ friends, just to be nice.

First, while not specifically related to the current games, I do find it interesting that in the Winter Games there are far fewer sports federations represented than in the Summer Games. Of course a lot of this is because there are also a lot fewer sports. But this is also because two federations cover a majority of the sports between them. The International Skating Union (ISU) covers all of the sports that involve people moving on ice with metal blades strapped to their feet, unless a net and a puck is involved; and the International Skiing Federation (FIS) covers all of the sports that involve people moving over snow with wooden (or historically wooden) boards strapped to their feet, unless it also involves guns.

Or in less obscure terms, the ISU deals with Figure and Speed Skating and the FIS deals will Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle skiing and Snowboarding. On top of that a single federation (the name escapes me) deals with two of the three sliding sports: Bobsleigh and Skeleton, but not Luge. Other than that I think all of the other federations cover one each of the spots left: the aforementioned Hockey, Luge and Biathlon, as well as Curling - and any other I might have forgotten.

Second, I am a bit amused that the uniforms for the US snowboarding team -- or at least the snow-cross athletes -- have bottoms that are very obviously made to look like blue jeans. But, based both on how they sit on the legs and the way snow doen't end up clinging to them (and anyone whose played outside in snow in jeans, or tried to teach Boy Scouts about staying warm while out in the snow should know, denimin has a strong affinity for snow and ice), I'm pretty sure that they are really regular snow pants. In one shot it looked like they even included a leather brand patch on the waist, and another looked like there were pockets, or at least pocket patterns.

Third, TiVO (and working from home) can be your friend when NBC decided that it HAS to air the Olympics in local prime time -- then run the coverage to midnight Pacific when the event actually ended a bit before 9:00 local time. Since I couldn't stay awake to watch the end of the figure skating last night (and I'm sure robot_grrl had to go to work before it was over), I was able to watch the last four pairs this morning -- and could skip over the ads and inane chatter between the end of the program and the scores.

Finally, I did hear yesterday at least one more use of the "football field" unit that NBC seems to think is the only measure that Americans understand, this time, I think, during coverage of the 15k Cross Country race.

Now, I can fully understand them reminding Americans that 15k is about nine miles -- except when it comes right down to it, that isn't that important. What is important is that 15k is a short to middle distance race on cross country skis, but it would be a long distance race on skates or running feet, and a seriously long distance swimming, yet a fairly short distance on bicycles or motorized vehicles. My point is that race distance is more important relative to the method of travel than in general. Even with a good understanding of this, I was reminded of this on Thanksgiving when I noticed how long it took me to walk a couple of blocks I normally drive in the mornings - even more noticeable since I was technically in a race so was paying attention to my time.

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