Olympics Recap Part 2: Last Random Thoughts

The National Anthems

How awesome is it to hear all the different national anthems? While just like hearing a song on the radio, too often some anthems wear down their appeal after awhile, but I admit that after a special event the American national anthem can still send a chill up my spine. I continue to believe the Canada anthem is one of the nicest and most listenable. Several like Austria and Czech Republic and Swiss are nice orchestral pieces. And then Finland and Estonia and Belarus have more ‘power’ orchestral things. Anyway. It makes the medal podium thing a little more interesting particularly when some country you just don’t hear of that often gets there. Oh. And I guess I was surprised by China and South Korea anthems. (I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t what they had. It’s like there is a Chinese Mozart hovering somewhere in the Ming dynasty who wrote some crap for them).

And how would you like the music guy’s job? I am sure nowadays they have everything on computer (but could you imagine when some guy in a booth was scrambling with some plastic LP or even a cassette tape to get it right?).


What’s up with all the crashes? Ok. It is a 4,800 foot track with a 500 foot vertical drop and they get to just above 90 miles per hour but, c’mon dudes, you train all year round for one of the most random events in the world so you won’t crash the only time every 4 years anyone even watches this stupid event. After four-man bobsleds from Croatia and Latvia crashed during training on Monday, officials from the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (I just wanted to type that out because I am awestruck there is a “Bobsleigh & Skeleton” Federation) postponed the remainder of the practice sessions and now they plan to shave an inch or more of ice from that curve and in a few other areas. (on a separate note Gillette Fusion has negotiated the rights to shave the ice). Coaches say the changes are relatively minor and will make the track more navigable. WTF. It is supposed to be the world’s most difficult isn’t it?

And just as I was starting to think these guys were tough because after some crashes and they stood around comparing rug burns (oops. ice burns), where most of them look like they could give The Rock a run for his money (some of these dudes are big slabs of guys), their tough guy image took a huge fucking hit today when The Netherlands’ four-man bobsled team withdrew from the event because pilot Edwin van Calker is not confident driving his sled on the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Say what? Not confident? WTF. He is fucking scared. Once again. You train nonstop for this one event and you get scared?

“This is a personal decision on Edwin’s part,” bobsled coach Tom de la Hunty said. “From a buildup of numerous factors, including his crash in two-man bobsleigh, the tragic accident in men’s luge and external family pressures, all of which resulted in Edwin not having confidence in piloting.”

So. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall with the other three guys who just got screwed in participating in the Olympics? (While I assume there were massive amounts of Heineken involved, I am hoping for Edwin’s sake the biathlon guns reside in a different wing of the complex).

Logos & Mascots

Probably because I haven’t figured out what the mascot of the Vancouver Olympics is (which is probably good seeing as I personally had to live through Izzy – the idiot – logo mascot for the Atlanta Olympics so I am scarred) I think I will write something about the Olympic rings (just because I was curious and looked some information up).

It was after the 1912 Stockholm Games (the first Games featuring athletes from all five inhabited parts of the world) a design of five interlocked rings, drawn and colored by hand, appeared at the top of a letter. The ring design was used as the emblem of the IOC’s 20th anniversary celebration in 1914 and a year later, it became the official Olympic symbol.

The rings have been explained as “A white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red…is symbolic; it represents the five inhabited continents of the world, united by Olympics, while the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time.” The original designer used a loose interpretation of “continent” that included Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. No specific ring represents a specific continent.

Written by Bruce