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The Winter Olympics started today. Does anyone have a favorite sport?

I'm curious to see what they do in the opening ceremonies tomorrow.
 
Sheriff
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Don't wait for the opening ceremonies. There are already things happening -- the figure skating team competition is on our TV as I type, and the mixed curling was already happening yesterday.

Time zones make it sort of confusing -- it's Thursday evening here but in Korea it's already Friday morning. So (if I have it right) the opening ceremonies start at 5 am my time tomorrow, which is 8 am your time. I can tell you that we won't be watching the opening ceremonies live! But these days everything is On Demand and it can be found somewhere on the web.

(Okay... I see things on the web which say the opening ceremonies start at 6 am Eastern. Shows how easy it is to mess up time zone calculations. And we definitely won't be up at 3 am!)
 
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Personally speaking, I think they did a fantastic job with Opening Ceremonies. I won't give out details and spoil it for others who will probably watch the replay of those ceremonies in different time zones.

I like watching the bobsledding, short and long track speed skating, and of course, being Canadian, I have a keen interest in the hockey. Another opinion on hockey: I think it was only right that the Olympic Organizing Committee (or whichever body makes the decision) changed it so no NHLers are allowed. People forget that the Olympics are for amateur athletes, not the pros. Some may disagree with me, however...
 
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Another lot of sports invented by Englishmen which we now lose at....
 
Randy Maddocks
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Another lot of sports invented by Englishmen which we now lose at



In many cases, that includes Canada as well.   

I give credit to countries like China and Russia - they excel at a lot of the sports. Oh, and the Norwegians - the way they rip through cross country skiing races I swear those guys/girls have an extra set of lungs.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Randy Maddocks wrote:. . . the Norwegians - the way they rip through cross country skiing . . . .

Isn't that how they used to go to primary school?
 
Randy Maddocks
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Isn't that how they used to go to primary school?



I think they were skiing before they even learned how to walk.
 
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Hum, I'm sure that we have all heard something like:

It's not whether you win or loose, it's how you play or the game.

Or this:

Winning isn't everything.


Then we have competitions like this.

Personally, I suspect that there are some better ways to spend government (tax) money.
 
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It is ice skating for the Dutch of course. It is the only thing in the Winter Olympics we are good at. We should even consider letting the others win from time to time, otherwise it might be taken off the program.
 
Jan de Boer
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Randy Maddocks wrote:Oh, and the Norwegians ...



Considering the population of just 5 million people, they are performing the best always I think. Same goes for Australia in the Summer Olympics.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Paul Clapham wrote:Time zones make it sort of confusing -- it's Thursday evening here but in Korea it's already Friday morning. So (if I have it right) the opening ceremonies start at 5 am my time tomorrow, which is 8 am your time. I can tell you that we won't be watching the opening ceremonies live! But these days everything is On Demand and it can be found somewhere on the web.


And it was broadcast on tv in prime time (local time.) I DVR'd it so I could fast forward. While I want to see parts, I don't want to watch the whole thing.
 
Paul Clapham
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Jan de Boer wrote:It is ice skating for the Dutch of course. It is the only thing in the Winter Olympics we are good at. We should even consider letting the others win from time to time, otherwise it might be taken off the program.



Yes, it's like the Ethiopians and the Kenyans in distance running. And like those countries, the Dutch are now exporting their talent to other countries. Canada has a skater called Ted-Jan Bloemen (yes, he's a Canadian now) who just pinched one of the Netherlands' medals.
 
Randy Maddocks
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Jan de Boer wrote:It is ice skating for the Dutch of course



The Dutch are phenomenal speed skaters! Over the weekend I watched Sven Kramer blaze through the 5000 meter in record time (5000m speed skating)

I played a lot of hockey growing up, but was always fascinated with speed skating. It is one sport I really like to watch.
 
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Some interesting goings-on for visitors of these forums: Internet Security Threats at the Olympics.

And some not-so-nice goings-on on part of one of the technical organizations: The moral abomination of the Olympics and how money and TV put women's snowboarders at risk
 
Randy Maddocks
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Building on the articles posted by Tim, it got me to thinking of the purpose of the Olympic games, the spirit in which they were initially designed.

I found the following quote from this article that, I think, nicely summarizes what the Olympic games are about, but which have become too political, commercial and competitive. ("competitive" in the sense of "win at all costs"):

OLYMPISM IS A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE, EXALTING AND COMBINING IN A BALANCED WHOLE THE QUALITIES OF BODY, WILL AND MIND. BLENDING SPORT WITH CULTURE AND EDUCATION, OLYMPISM SEEKS TO CREATE A WAY OF LIFE BASED ON THE JOY FOUND IN EFFORT, THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF GOOD EXAMPLE AND RESPECT FOR UNIVERSAL FUNDAMENTAL ETHICAL PRINCIPLES.

Sadly, as demonstrated in countless stories, like the ones posted by Tim, this wonderful ideology has basically gone by the way-side. Athletes cheating in order to get an edge and win a medal, Olympic committees having corrupt members, countries boycotting the games because of world events that have absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics itself (e.g. U.S. boycotting 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union boycotting 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles).

This is one of the reasons I try to watch the Olympics without prejudice, instead focusing on athletes who have honestly and cleanly trained hard to get to the games, tried their best, and been an inspiration especially to the youngsters coming up behind them hoping to have the same opportunity to compete at the games.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:(...) Canada has a skater called Ted-Jan Bloemen (yes, he's a Canadian now) who just pinched one of the Netherlands' medals.


We call him now T J Flowers.
 
Jan de Boer
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Randy Maddocks wrote:The Dutch are phenomenal speed skaters!



We literally won all the 400 meter track distances so far, men and women. This is not going good. Next Olympics they will take it off the schedule, saying it is a Dutchmen only sport anyway!
 
Paul Clapham
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Jan de Boer wrote:We literally won all the 400 meter track distances so far, men and women. This is not going good. Next Olympics they will take it off the schedule, saying it is a Dutchmen only sport anyway!



I don't think so... cyclocross competitions are still happening even though the Belgians win almost everything almost all the time. On the other hand, cyclocross isn't yet an Olympic sport.
 
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Randy Maddocks wrote:The Dutch are phenomenal speed skaters!


Of course they are - according to Katie Couric in the winter the Dutch get practice daily using the frozen canals as their mode of transportation ... 

Katie Couric wrote:It is probably not a news flash to tell you the Dutch are really, really good at speed skating. All but five of the 110 medals they've won have been on the speed skating oval. Now, 'Why are they so good?' you may be asking yourselves. Because skating is an important mode of transportation in a city like Amsterdam which sits at sea level. As you all know, it has lots of canals that can freeze in the winters. So, for as long as those canals have existed, the Dutch have skated on them to get from place to place, to race each other, and also to have fun.


Katie Couric is being mocked for saying the Netherlands dominates speed skating because it's 'an important mode of transportation' in Amsterdam

 
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I welcome the widespread TV coverage of the Olympics because the 'lads' at work take a break from watching the monotonous drivel that is football (soccer) on the kitchen TV.
 
Jan de Boer
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Paul Clapham wrote:I don't think so... cyclocross competitions are still happening even though the Belgians win almost everything almost all the time. On the other hand, cyclocross isn't yet an Olympic sport.



That is exactly my point. Baseball was taken off also since it is only popular in the USA. Then worse things would happen to ice speed skating that is only popular in the Netherlands!
 
Randy Maddocks
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Jan de Boer wrote:Next Olympics they will take it off the schedule, saying it is a Dutchmen only sport anyway!



If that's true it would be both unfair and childish. I use the following analogy to explain why I think it's childish:

Suppose you have 2 groups of children who like to play games, like soccer (or football, depending on where you live). Let's say, hypothetically, that they decide they will always break up into the same teams (sounds odd, but it helps me in making my point). But, one team always wins, game after game after game. The losing team, not being gracious losers, decides that, since they never win, soccer will be pulled from their list of games to play. It's the "well, since there always seems to be one particular winner, we'll just end that" kind of attitude.

The Dutch are good at speed skating, period. In the spirit of the Olympics they should be congratulated for effectively developing their athletes' skating abilities, not frowned upon just because they are good at it.

Further, if that is true, then what's to say they wouldn't decide to expand it to dropping cross country skiing because Scandinavian countries like Norway seem to dominate the sport? Or, how about diving for the summer Olympics, which China tends to dominate? Is it fair to remove those sports just because those countries dominate?

Anyway, I digress, just thought I would add my 2 cents on that particular post...  
 
Randy Maddocks
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Randy Maddocks wrote:The Dutch are phenomenal speed skaters!

Ron McLeod wrote:Of course they are - according to Katie Couric in the winter the Dutch get practice daily using the frozen canals as their mode of transportation ... 



One would hope she did her homework and got her facts straight before making that statement...   

Somewhat along those same lines, I was always fascinated with how Kenyans in particular were able to run long distance marathons with apparent ease. The theory was that they spend their lives in Kenya running (mainly), or walking, everywhere. If you look at the low ratio of personal vehicles to people in that country it would stand to reason that walking/running would be the primary mode of transportation (as well as cycling and public transit [where available, notwithstanding]). I came across the following article that discussed the theories behind their running abilities: Kenyan Study and found it had some interesting findings.
 
Piet Souris
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To the Canadians among us: TeeJay Flowers is still much more Dutch than Canadian!      
 
Paul Clapham
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Piet Souris wrote:To the Canadians among us: TeeJay Flowers is still much more Dutch than Canadian!      



Yes, ain't dual citizenship great! Canada has so many of them, some people are trying to redefine it as a virtue. At least it's better than grumbling about immigrants.
 
Jan de Boer
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Paul Clapham wrote:

Piet Souris wrote:To the Canadians among us: TeeJay Flowers is still much more Dutch than Canadian!      



Yes, ain't dual citizenship great! Canada has so many of them, some people are trying to redefine it as a virtue. At least it's better than grumbling about immigrants.



I don't agree and don't put politics in please.
 
Paul Clapham
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Sorry to be a political football. Okay, back to the Olympics. I notice in the television coverage that the Koreans are spelling the name of the venue in camel-case: "PyeongChang". Does anybody know why they do that?
 
Tim Moores
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Sometime sports seems to bring out the worst in people: https://sports.yahoo.com/lindsey-vonns-timeline-filled-hate-tweets-following-super-g-loss-070732673.html
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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