Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Olympic Winter Games

Being a couch potato means, it seems, relaxing in front of the telly while others run around. Well, right now, I am potatoing quite a lot, looking at sports activities I rarely see in real life.

The vast majority of the athletes have friendly, open faces, a pleasure to look at. In this they differ markedly from other people in show business like singers, artists, celebs or fashion workers who feature several layers of paint to hide wrinkle inducing life style......

The time lag between Vancouver and here is terrible. When they start to get going, let's say around 10 a.m. it is 7 o'clock over here, supper time. Thus I record the events on tape and look at it next day.

I am German though living in France and this gives me a split personality, these days. I like to see the French win against anyone except against the Germans. When my wife feels differently I have to make a mental effort to understand. That's particularly strong and irritating like in Biathlon/Nordic skiing where athletes from the two countries compete against each other.

Unlike F1 car racing or professional football (soccer) where the players feature brazenly brand names like Samsung, Siemens, Toyota etc. etc. on their clothes, the olympic athletes are probably forbidden to do so. But all is not lost. Their gloves come from somewhere, someone made them and thus I see with pleasure the camera dwelling for some seconds on those gloves to show the manufacturer's name printed on them in huge black letters. Same for the shoes and helmets, the lower parts of skate boards the riders insist on showing.

Downhill racing is one of my favorites. Maria Riesch and Lindsay Vonn. You need tremendous courage to do this at over 100 km/h (70 miles/h), especially when the slope is partially iced over. Normal people hesitate even to hit the side walk when some snow is falling.............

I wonder if the winter games are being shown in Muslim countries like Egypt, Yemen, Iran or Pakistan. I'll try to find out. In these hot countries women are frequently dressed in black curtain stuff (obituary quality) with a piece of cloth hanging over her nose. There is a slit for the eyes: they must have a vision similar to a tank driver or a submarine operator in WWII, looking through the snorkel.....

As the days pass by I come to dislike journalists more and more. They talk and talk and talk, say what I see anyway, make corny jokes and have a marked tendency to fake turning hysterical with high-speed talking when a beloved national approaches the finishing line.

Sometimes, assisting those know-everything-journalists, there is a person who has done the activity herself or himself. What a difference: more facts, more humility, no digressions, no lame-brain language.

When the Games started, there was a lot of talking about the "First Nation" people, meaning those Indians who lived in the Americas before Christobal Columbo (ha, ha, ha) hit the place five hundred years ago. Well, I don't like this First Nation word. Must have been coined by some communications wizard because it sounds like a publicity stunt.

Anyway, looking at some of these FN-people being interviewed is was somehow flabbergasted; they look like people over here in Central France, like you and me. I remember well those black and white photos made in the second part of the 19th Century showing Indians in North America. They looked like Mongols, people from Central Asia. Nothing to do with those Sally this and Johnny that, McDo-fed European looking people. Maybe there is some relation to the US habit who call everyone black who is not rosy-white. Or the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese who are called yellow though they have exactly the same skin color as I have. Another interesting riddle to humanity to find out. Some explaining comments from my readers would be welcome.