Alterations could help Olympic viewing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Throw an extra log on the fire or snuggle up in a warm blanket. It’s time for the Winter Olympics.

Sure, the Summer Olympics get all the fanfare and attention, and they usually have the biggest star quality, but there is nothing like the Winter Olympics.

And you can take that any way you want.

Email newsletter signup

You see, the Winter Olympics are just misunderstood because no one understands or even knows what the events are all about.

If the Winter Olympics really want to arouse our interest and grab our viewing attention, maybe they just need to make a few adjustments to the events.

Take for instance curling. It’s on the rink because it’s like a giant outdoor shuffleboard game. They actually use a broom to clear away the debris so that a team has its 42-pound granite “stone” closest to the tee.

Since each team gets 16 stones, why not randomly insert some of the stones with a light load of dynamite. Talk about trying to speed up your turn.

And because this is like giant shuffleboard, they might consider serving giant mugs of beer to the players just like in the local taverns. Now that would be something to watch.

One race that is coming back is the skeleton. I thought maybe it had something to do with racing ancient dead bodies, but is just a special steel sled. The racers wear spiked shoes and they steel by shifting their weight or dragging their toes. I say run several sleds at a time and raise your spikes at each other like Ty Cobb.

There are some other events that could use spicing up. Ski jumping would be more exciting if skiers would jump an alligator pit.

Freestyle mogul has the skiers going over bumps almost four feet high and they use their knees like shock absorbers. There’s no truth that the USA tried to hire Monica Lewinsky as an assistant coach.

My favorite sport is the biathlon that combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting. There’s two things that don’t go together.

Imagine if they would race them all at one time. It would stay bunched up for a long time because if someone got too far ahead, they would risk an unsportmanlike opponent becoming angry and picking off the competition.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the luge run on a course made like the King’s Island Beast rollercoaster. Going up and down and loop-the-loop on that kind of course would be much more exciting.

I don’t expect the Olympic committee to listen to my suggestions, but I’ll bet there’s a TV executive planning a new reality show for next fall’s lineup.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.