Monday, February 15, 2010

I [Heart] The Olympics

I misplaced the Valentine I vaguely remember buying at the grocery store for my husband and haven't bothered to look for it. My husband gave me a card at breakfast Monday. Our romantic dinner February 14th consisted of potstickers and onion cakes shared with our children off styrofoam plates. Lunch was hot dogs and Klondike bars. That added up to the absolutely best Valentine's Day ever. Ever ever ever.

This week isn't about hearts, flowers, or chocolate in the Richland household. It's about - and I need to yell this at the top of my lungs - the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics! We spent Valentine's Day in Vancouver sitting on a metal bench watching USA vs. China women's hockey. True love, Olympic-fan style.

I believe winter sports and romance go hand in hand. Did you see the kiss between Canada's Alex Bilodeau and his girlfriend when he won Canada's first goal medal of the games? Or the amazing skating of husband and wife Chinese pair Shen and Zhao? She supposedly laid down the law, "no wedding, no Olympics." And while we're okay skipping cards and flowers here, I admit Mr. Richland's romance prospects would not be improved if he rhapsodized over my "quadzilla thighs" like cross-country skier Sara Renner does over her alpine skier husband.

For those few still missing the connection between the fleece and goretex-clad crowd and romance, I present my final evidence: Rob Fagan, Canadian Olympic snowboarder, age 33. He competes today (Feb 15) so watch and cheer. You can see several of his teammates here. Well worth a cheer.

Over the years we've taken our children ice-skating, skiing, tubing, sledding and curling. Watching Big Boy make a slow wedge turn on skis, watching my husband skate backwards in a crouch while pulling Miss Bossy Boots, watching both kids play street hockey with full-size sticks twice their height, watching them act out curling matches with Playmobil toys, this all fills me with love. And that's so much more Valentine's Day than some dorky grocery store greeting card I can't find anyway.

Does anyone else love the Winter Olympics like I do? Or have any Olympic-themed romances they can share? Post a comment and then go cheer for Lindsey Jacobellis in Women's Snowboard Cross on Tuesday, Feb. 16. She's looking for a second chance, like so many romance characters. Here's to her happy ending!


Kate Diamond said...

I love the IDEA of the Olympics. Winter, summer--doesn't matter. The idea of international competition and fellowship makes me happy.

I also love the history of the Olympics, and I think my favorite Olympian of all time would have to be Jesse Owens.

What about you?

Anonymous said...

Right there with you. I have a distant sort-of relative (step-cousin twice removed? my cousin's partner's niece) on the women's hockey team, so we're particularly following hockey this year.

I only wish curling would get more airtime. You really get to watch the drama on the athletes' faces - the determination, the intense concentration, the stoic chagrin when a shot goes wrong - much more than in any other W.Olympic sport.

Plus you get to listen right in on their strategic conferences, in flat Midwestern accents, or Scottish brogue, or some language you can't understand a word of. Love it!

Amanda Forester said...

I'm sooo jealous you get to be at the olympics. I'm totally hooked, glued to the TV screen, jumping up and down cheering for competitions I'd never heard of before that moment (don't know what nordic combined is--but wasn't the ending super cool!). Have yourself a great time!


Anna Richland said...

Amanda - I love nordic combined and I'm trying to scam my in-laws' tix next week. We've been watching streaming curling here b/c the NBC coverage is not sufficient. Brian Martin (the Canadian skip) ROCKS. He's the oldest Olympian - 51 - and he's the man. We'll be in the The House for him soon and it will be a rock concert of rocks, basically.

Sadly, Lindsey Jacobellis, a chick with great aplomb, didn't make it to her snowboard cross finals. And Rob Fagan, of the blog photo, didn't medal either.

Is anybody else getting tired of the Lindsey Vonn coverage? I'm sure she's a great & classy lady, but I'm tired of the breathless crush from the media - there are so many amazing athletes up there, I want to tell the media to give LV her space and find someone else.

So, to answer Kate's question about favorite Olympians - I couldn't pick just one person, and I don't know much about the Summer Olympics, but Brian Martin's right up there b/c he is thirty years at the pinnacle of his sport. That's sustained devotion. Like marriage. Or writing.

Anna Richland said...

Further comment for all you Greater Seattle area readers - if you have valid passports, get in your car and drive north Sunday at 6:30 am. You'll hit the border at 8:30 or 9:30, depending on where you live, and you'll be through in minutes. Took us less than three minutes (zero cars in front of us) last Sunday. Park a couple blocks from a Sky Train or Canada Line station in the suburbs - street parking is free most places on Sunday. Take the train downtown. All the center of the city stops are rocking. It's a huge street party, totally family friendly and happy. Even if you don't have tickets, there's free music, buskers, food stands, people from all over the world. You can go into the "liveCity" sites for free and they have giant TVs and music. Careful about buying scalped tickets - make the seller go up to a bar code reader at the venue entrance and prove it's a good ticket before you give him money - but there are lots of people selling tickets too. Looks like the weather is going to be superb so DO IT. It's truly once in a lifetime.

kruk said...

Where did you park in the suburbs? Along what line? Just looking for some info to make this happen. thanks!

Anna Richland said...

We parked west of the Canada Line - we were there on a Sunday, and parking was regulated M-Sat.

The papers in Seattle are saying there are tons of tickets still for sale from scalpers (although they expect that to not be the case for figure skating in week two), and no problems with fraud - it's a name your price thing, and cheaper the closer you go to the venue. Scalping is LEGAL in BC so don't worry about bargaining.