Itinerant Fan

The power of the rings

Press Pass Collectibles

(Vancouver Sun)

Some random thoughts as I settle in for another day of watching tape-delayed Olympic action:

  • Even though I spent a good amount of space here last week discussing the problems occurring in Vancouver, I still believe the experience is worth any logistical issues you might endure. First off, it’s the freakin’ Olympics. Second, it’s in freakin’ Vancouver! Besides that, any event where the entire world is paying attention, and any place in which the entire world is converging for whatever reason, is an experience worth going through just once. You may not like sports, but name something else in society that can draw so many people to one spot at one time.
  • The closest I ever got to the Olympics was in 1984, when I was a little kid living in Los Angeles. My parents didn’t quite get the Olympic spirit and ignored my pleas to see an event or two, despite the nearest venue being a mere 15 minutes away, but I do still have a little Sam the Eagle toy from those Games (I just wish I knew where it was).
  • Speaking of Olympic mascots, anyone out there not love Quatchi? It seems like the easiest way to create a lovable character is to take a creature that in real life is supposed to be frightening and remodel it into something cute. So Quatchi, the cute sasquatch, certainly falls into the same category as, say, this guy (in fact, here’s a hybrid of those two concepts, brought to my attention by my friend Backstage Girl), and, as far as Olympic mascots go, he’s a decided improvement over things like this.
  • As far as I’m concerned, Winter Olympics > Summer Olympics, at least from a fan’s perspective. I was discussing this with Mrs. Fan the other day. Think about it: The marquee events in the Summer Olympics — track, basketball, swimming, etc. — are all things that most of us have access to and have the ability to pursue if we wanted to, and so while Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are elite athletes for sure, they’re just doing something I can go to my community center and do right now, only much slower. However, not everyone has access to skates, skis, sheets of ice, snowy mountain slopes, bobsleds, etc. So the things that the athletes in the Winter Olympics do are much more of a curiosity, and I believe it’s much harder to become a Winter Olympian than a Summer Olympian. Therefore, the Winter Olympics are much cooler to watch, no pun intended. I’m willing to debate this with anyone who wants to.
  • Since the L.A. Games, I’ve always wanted to experience an Olympics as an adult, and despite many accessible opportunities over the last few years, circumstances have kept me away. Missing Vancouver hurts worse than the rest. Oh well, my friends Duranie and Six-Shooter are headed to Canada this week for some Olympic action. (Six-Shooter, by the way, has chosen this fortnight out of all the fortnights I’ve known him to trumpet the fact he’s of Norwegian descent.) Backstage Girl, who lives in Seattle, is aiming to take a day trip to Vancouver as well. I haven’t decided yet whether I’m happy to live vicariously through them or be eternally jealous, but at least Duranie has promised to supply me with an account of her experience to post on here at the appropriate time. So I guess it’s OK for you guys to have fun — just one of you hook me up with a Quatchi doll, OK?

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