nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

"Ce n’est pas possible – c’est un Anglais!"*

I love the Winter Olympics. I don’t have Sky, and thus don’t have Eurosport, and since Channel 4 stopped showing skiing this is the only opportunity I get to watch winter sports other than ice-skating and shadow-of-its-former-self Ski Sunday. As I love watching all winter sports bar ice hockey and speed skating, I am looking forward to an orgy of television over the next fortnight. I have even purchased a small table to rest drinks/paperwork/mending on for added comfort/justification.

My predictions:

The British will take their Olympic performance in sports that involve sitting down to the next level, with sports that involve lying down. We have world champion athletes in skeleton and bobsleigh. I, however, will be satisfied if anyone wins other than the track-hogging Canadians.

Ole Einar Bjørndalen will win something. Marit Bjørgen ought to win something, but her health will probably let her down. I cheer for the Norwegians in the cross-country. It reduces the possibility of disappointment. The British athletes won’t come near winning anything; they’re good, but too young.

A cross-country skier will break a pole, which will be replaced by the coach of a competitor nation, to adulation for selfless actions from the press who don’t realise that this is damn well expected behaviour (although one has to feel a bit sorry for the Norwegians who handed over a pole to the Canadians in a race in 2006 – who then came in second. Norway was forth).

Lindsey Vonn will win something. However she certainly won’t win five gold medals. Despite the hype she is way down the rankings in slalom and GS, placed 13 and 28 respectively. Bode Millar may win something. On the other hand, he may crash out of everything. He’ll certainly do one or the other.

Chemmy Alcott will get a top-ten position in one of her races. This will still be the highest British ranking in an Olympic Alpine ski event for – well, a very long time – with the exception of Allan Baxter who was third in Salt Lake City in the slalom (I watched it live, it was hysterical. All the top men kept falling over), but made the mistake of assuming that US Vick's was the same as UK Vick's and thus lost it as it contained a banned substance. Alcott is a good British Alpine skier, the best for a long time, but she hasn’t shown herself podium material.

People will fall over the the speed skating. I find speed skating even more boring than ice hockey. Double luge will continue to be the silliest sport.

The BBC commentary of everything bar figure-skating will be very poor, consisting largely of the recitation of biographical details of the athletes, and occasional comment on how fast they are going, and utterly lacking any technical comment on the sport.

* Technically this is not a quote from the Olympics. It’s what the French announcer said in 1981 when Konrad Bartelski came second at Val d’Isere. One can see his point
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