olympic ringIn general, I’m not a big fan of any Olympic opening or closing ceremonies, so will not even tip a toe into discussions about last night’s ceremony. Honestly, the highlight for me is always the parade of athletes.

However, I am a huge fan of many Olympic sports, and have been looking forward to the start of the Olympics for quite a few days. I tend to like more sports in the Summer Olympics than the Winter Olympics, but there are still a number of events I will be watching. I’m a big figure skating fan, so plan to watch as much of it as possible. I’m still trying to figure out the new scoring methods being used. It seems as if they’re rewarding tricks far more than artistry.

I also enjoy watching speed skating, so will be glued to my TV for many of the races. After all, it’s a chance to see Apolo Ohno outside of Dancing With the Stars.

The death of the luge athlete from Georgia served as a reminder of just how dangerous many of these sports really are. I’ve been fascinated by the luge for years, but am not sure if I’ll be able to watch it in quite the same way, or at all.

Setting aside the sports, I was reminded last night of one of the other things I really enjoy about the Olympics, the chance to get to learn more about another country and city.  Last night before the opening ceremony began, NBC did a brief introductory feature on Vancouver and Canada. As I watched, I found myself surprisingly moved by the photos and words.

We were reminded that Canada is the second largest physical country in the world, that 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S.  border, and that we share a continent, and so much more. I was touched by much of it, including the quote from John F. Kennedy, “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends.”

Two of my favorite foreign visits in recent years have been to Montreal and Toronto. Exotic? No, definitely not. But memorable and wonderful? Oh, very much so. I’ve never been to Vancouver (well, except for brief stops in the airport, but I’m thinking that doesn’t really count). But I’ve always been curious about Vancouver, and after watching films on just the first night of the Olympics, it’s moved way up on my list of cities to visit.

So how about you? Will you be watching any of the Winter Olympics? If so, what are your favorite sports?

LinnieGayl