Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A View of Torino

By: L.A. Kohl
February 27, 2006
(published in the Mar. 1, 2006 edition of the "Bullseye")

As I watched the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics last night, I couldn’t help thinking that having a view of Torino, Italy from my cozy family room in mid-Missouri had been an awesome experience.

I didn’t have to spend a single cent to watch Apollo Ohno finally beat those amazing Korean speed skaters. I didn’t have to stand out in the cold and snow to watch death-defying acrobatics as skiers flew five stories into the air, did perfect flips, spins and turns, and still managed to land upright. I didn’t have to fight the crowds to see the nineteen year old “flaming tomato” Shaun White win his first Olympic gold medal and propel himself into instant stardom.

All in all – it was just a relaxing, fun and cheap way to get to witness some of the best athletes in the world perform for a couple of weeks.

And what a variety of athletic skills! I’ve never been an athlete, nor am I a sports enthusiast; but I found most of these Olympics fascinating to watch. From the grueling, two hour 50k cross-country skiing free stylists, to the speed skaters who could win their medal within a few seconds, and finally to the grace and beauty of the figure skaters…I found it all intriguing.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one in my family who found it inspiring. Several of them had the opportunity to go ice skating in Jefferson City the last day of the Olympics. Nate and a couple of my girls could not resist the opportunity to try out some tricks they had observed during the Olympic figure skating competition, and this morning they had the aches and bruises to show for it. Suffice it to say, those Olympians do a good job of making their sport look a lot easier than what it really is!

Enough said about sports; I best leave that up to the people who enjoy it and know how to report it. But four years from now, when I get a “view” of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics; I’ll warn you now…I may not be able to refrain from sport commentating again.