Monday, February 8, 2010

Fearless endurance pt. 1

Five days to go and we're about to see a truly fun sporting showcase of endurance and certain life-defying craziness. That's why I prefer the winter Olympics... and not for hockey I assure you. The winter Olympics is filled with the some of the most FEARLESS athletes who do some pretty crazy stuff. Nordic combined, Luge, Skeleton, bobsled, downhill skiing, ski jumping...

Here's my first three to start with...

The Biathalon may look strange, and when I describe it to people they certainly think so, but when you consider it's origins it makes sense. Based on a northern European form of hunting, it also took form during the mid 16th century as a way of military defence. If you think of running, archery, javelin and wrestling as a few of the original Olympian sports, the biathalon showcases a human survival capability.

Split into ten separate events that involve cross-country skiing and target shooting, it's no different from a gruelling military competition. A bunch of top notch James Bond-esque athletes trying to one up one another.

The Luge is another favourite, because... well frankly... it's sounds kind of nutty. Just looking at a picture of it you sort of think, um, how exactly does a person fall into a sport like that? Grow up thinking... I've always wanted to do an extremely dangerous sport where I'll move faster than a car (up to 95 miles/hr or 153 km/hr for us metric users), with no protection whatsoever, and where any human error can be fatal... in the freezing cold winter no less.
Now that is a kick ass sport.

When I was first asked to curl by a friend I thought... tossing rocks on ice... uh... I'll pass. Curling is probably the most cerebral of all the winter sports. I call it chess on ice. It's certainly not the most physically taxing sport but one that requires a great deal of strategy. I'm not even sure which country dominates this category, because it looks to be a pretty open field this year.