Saturday, February 22, 2014

Olympic reflections

The Olympics are almost over for another 4 years, time to reflect.

1.  Isn't hockey better with no fighting?  True, these are elite players and the stakes are high but just the same, no interruptions for fights, scrums etc.  Many of the players playing in the Olympics occasionally drop the gloves so it is not a matter of non fighters being chosen.  Further the general managers who chose these players are the same GMs who argue that it is necessary to have a least one spot on the roster for a player whose only role is to fight.

2.  Bigger ice doesn't necessarily make for a more exciting game or more goals.  Not that it wouldn't be nice to see a bigger rink in the NHL.

3.  These athletes actually compete in the 3 years between Olympics but nobody watches them.  We have 2 all sports networks in Canada.  Half the time when I turn them on, they are showing Poker.  And lets not forget that many of these athletes we fall in love with and take for ours every four years struggle to support themselves and train for the four years in between Olympics.

4.  Olympic medal standings.  Note how these get manipulated.  If you are leading in gold medals you rank the countries in order of golds.  If you are leading in total medals you rank in order of total medals.  Logically it would be 3 points for gold, 2 for silver and one for bronze.  Or why not include top ten performances.  There are no actual official medal standings so why even post them?  This article has an interesting slant on medal counts.

5.  Are all medals equal?  Some sports like downhill skiing and long track speed skating are a single run against the clock.  Some are multiple heats leading to a final.  Some have back door routes.  Some are tournaments with playoffs.  (In hockey you could lose your first 3 preliminary games, still make the the playoffs and almost upset Canada as Latvia almost did)  Some are invidual, some are team.  Some are in sports that only a few countries excel in or even participate in.  Some are in sports that most countries participate in.

6.  Men (and women) in blazers.  Its about the athletes!

7.  Already talked about judged sports.  They have to go even if it costs Canada medals.  On the other hand by diverting the resources expended on "sports" like ice dancing into real winter sports which Canada being a cold snowy country should excel at we actually might start picking up medals.

8.  Really like seeing the Americans lose in hockey.  It just never gets old.  And we are going to hold you to that:

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