The 2010 Olympic Mascots

I admit it. I totally love watching the Olympics; and particularly the Winter Games. Oh, don’t get me wrong … I love the Summer Games, too (particularly any of the swimming events). However, there’s something about the danger of any of the Winter events that makes it more … thrilling.

I mean, even Pairs Figure Skating can be dangerous; as I’ve imagined various scenarios of ice blades or toe picks landing on places that they shouldn’t be. Especially as one of the pairs actually had such a nasty incident back in 2007.

And take a look at the Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili. Even though I don’t endorse looking at any of the videos of the crash … for those that have seen it, it’s just simply horrific. I just feel for his family and for his fellow competing countrymen.

Anyway, last night I watched the beginning of the Men’s Figure Skating competition. And as Hubby & I listened to some of the commentary while watching the French skater, Florent Amodio and the Canadian skater, Vaughn Chipeur perform, both of us could not stop giggling. Simply because it reminded us so much of some of the “commentary” done on the movie “Blades of Glory.”

Let me explain.

Jon Heder’s character is Jimmy MacElroy. He’s a very … for lack of better description … “feminine” male skater. And in the movie, “video interview” goes a little something like this:

“He’s a child of privilege. A classic skater, defined by elegance, precision, and the ability to endure great pain. He was plucked from an orphanage at age 4 by billionaire champion-maker, Darren MacElroy. Once a breeder of some of the most successful racehorses in the world, Darren had turned his attention to nurturing athletically advanced human orphans. His ultimate find came in the form of skating wonderkid, Jimmy.”

Uh huh; incredibly cheesy. And then there’s Amodio. As he skated, the commentator gave us his biography:

“… found on the streets of Brazil and eventually adopted as a young infant by a French couple. He started skating at age four when long-time coach Bernard Glesser discovered him in a public skating session.”

Then there’s Will Ferrell’s character, Chazz Michael Michaels. He’s a very skilled skater, but too much of a rebel. Chazz’s biography in the movie goes a little like this:

“At age twelve, Chazz escaped a life of running cigarettes and illegal fireworks by becoming a star in Detroit’s underground sewer skating scene. The only skater to win four national championships and an adult film award, which is not to say this ruffian heartthrob doesn’t have a softer side. He recently published a book of poetry, ‘Let Me Put My Poems In You.'”

Uh yeah. Too frickin’ funny … I especially enjoyed the whole “nod” to Detroit. Then the commentary on Vaughn Chipeur:

“He likes cars. He likes loud music and rock ‘n’ roll. And he’s got the same style on the ice. He’s strong, athletic and macho, which is a refreshing. He’s found a style that suits what he likes. The audience really responds to it, and now the judges are responding to it, which is great.”

Oh … come on . Y’all have to see a little similarity there, don’t you?!

Anyway, the whole point of this post wasn’t to poke at Men’s Figure Skating. Quite honestly, I do enjoy watching the men skate as well. I just simply enjoy a male figure skater who is athletic, yet graceful. But not so graceful that it looks too … dainty.

No, the point of this post is more about how much I love the concept of the Olympic Games. I love how all these various nations can gather together in the spirit of comraderie and competition. How individuals who represent their country can still cheer for their fellow athlete. And really, isn’t that what sports are supposed to be about? Competing for a title, yet still respecting the sport?

Yami cuddles with Quatchi, one of the Olympic Mascots

In US sports today, I can’t say that’s a 100% true. Especially when we live in a country obsessed with “superstars.” Not saying that all super-athletes have no respect for their game … in fact, there are some professional sports out there, like Hockey, that still seem to respect the game. I’m just saying that sometimes other material things (<cough>money <cough>) get in the way of that respect.

So that’s what’s refreshing about the Olympics for me. Sometimes it’s not even about cheering for my country (although, with that said … Go USA!), it’s about cheering for everyone that has even made it to the games.

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Oh, and sorry … I have just one more dig at Men’s Figure Skating. Some of these costumes are ridiculous! Foremost is Johnny Weir’s “Rock the Tassle” black unitard with pink trim.

But the one that *got* me the most was the outfit AND music used by the Italian skater, Samuel Contesti. Not only was he dressed in jean overalls (conveniently “shaped” in the “right spots), but he skated to a very rockabilly-blues song by the J. Geils Band.

It just seems odd that an Italian man should be wearing a very “hillbilly outfit” while skating to a very American song. Very truly a “Starbust Contradiction” …