I love the long-distance ski races and both yesterday's men's 50km** and today's 30km were terrific; connoisseurs' events, perhaps, in the way that they unfolded through individual brilliance rather than the fun of a big pack racing together through the distance, but delivering a great combination of individual grit in going it alone and the fun of hot contention for the other medals. I actually found myself yesterday evening looking up cheap flights to Oslo for the Holmenkollen races in a fortnight's time - before I remembered that I'm going to Hamilton with my parents. Standing in the cold for two days probably isn't the greatest idea right now anyway.
Amidst the victory celebrations spare a thought for poor Teresa Stadlober of Austria, who managed to take herself from a good chance of a silver medal to ninth place through going in the wrong direction. Twice. Sometimes it just isn't your day.
And now it is all over for another four years and I can spend my time on something other than watching television and activities that can be done while watching television (finally I have ironed the summer T-shirts at the bottom of the laundry basket). Well, except when I'm watching repeats. Inspired by watching other people working really hard I even took my (kick) scooter out for a spin. Only 3km rather than 30, but a start after an utterly dreadful few months as far as any exercise has been concerned. I can balance again! Always a good thing.
*As a friend who learned Russian through the medium of post-match interviews in football and ice hockey put it, context gives you great clues. You are always going to get "the ref was blind,", "the boys done good", or "we were robbed". Likewise by halfway through the races of today and yesterday we were guaranteed to get "en maktdemonstrajon" and "ensom majestet" in the first two sentences.
** Iivo Niskanen, Finland.
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