By: Robert Jamieson ~Staff Writer~
Welcome, everyone, to your 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics official coverage. Over the next several weeks, we here at the Newswire, like many of you, will pretend to be experts of Olympic sports where we have no idea what the heck is going on.
This, of course, is why we love the Olympics. The athletes, events and ceremonies keep us glued to the television as we wonder over non-commercial sports like the biathlon. With the Olympics just starting this past weekend, we still have ample time to catch up on what has happened so far. In short, you haven’t missed much.
As I stated earlier, I have no shame in admitting that I do not know what is going on in the majority of the events. I strangely think that this makes me love them more.
The scoring system and strategy in curling is over my head; the sanity of the athletes who compete in the skeleton is beyond me. So without further ado, for your reading pleasure, I will list the four must-watch Olympic events and whom to watch in each.
1. Men’s Hockey: Do I really need to explain why you need to be watching the greatest sport ever invented by man? If you aren’t into the NHL, that’s cool. But trust that international hockey is way better. Any motivation you are lacking can be found in the movie “Miracle.” USA wins, Russia loses and every person who has never watched hockey can jump in a conversation and give their best Jack O’Callahan, “Why did you play cawlidge hawkey?” impersonation.
The Favorite: Canada. The defending champs look poised to take home another gold. They are also the only team who can overcome having Roberto Luongo playing in net.
Your favorite: USA. It has an outside chance but won’t sneak up on anyone like it did in 2010.
2. Women’s Curling: Either you hate it or you love it. I have watched curling religiously for the last few Winter Olympics and I still don’t know the rules. It is also the only Olympic sport that you think you could do. Guess what? You can’t.
The favorite: Sweden. It will be going for a three-peat in Sochi with Canada as the only real threat.
Your favorite: All of them. All of them are your favorite.
3. Luge/Skeleton/Bobsled: Why? Because these guys are insane. Go search “crashes” in these three sports on YouTube, and you will see what I mean.
The favorite: Germany for Luge and Bobsled and Latvia for Skeleton, proving that every country really has its own unique sport.
Your favorite: Jamaica, in the spirit of the beloved movie “Cool Runnings.”
4. Short Track Speed Skating: It’s the 100-yard dash of the Winter Olympics, minus the skate parallel to the ice. The event is intense, with the potential for crashes to happen at any moment, yet rarely occurring.
The favorite: Apolo Ohno is my best bet here. Even though he’s only doing commentary this year.
Your favorite: Crashes where no one gets seriously hurt.
An Olympics season is a time of celebrating sport as a unifying force in the world. It’s where we forget our social and political differences to celebrate the intensity of competition and the beauty of sportsmanship. And when all is said and done, hopefully the USA can boast another top medal count.