This past Friday the 2010 Winter Olympics opened. I watched most of the opening ceremony, and between Saturday and today I watched several hours of coverage. The winter games are just as interesting as the summer games to me. In fact, the Winter Olympics contains my two favorite events.
While watching biathlon coverage this afternoon I compiled a list of my ten favorite Olympic events. Since this list applies solely to the Olympics, it is not a list of my favorite sports. Rather it is a list of sporting novelties that I enjoy seeing once every four years.
10. Basketball – Olympic basketball is enjoyable to watch because some countries are so bad the games become comical. Olympic basketball falls well below NCAA and NBA games.
9. Ice Hockey – This applies to men’s hockey. I rate NHL hockey above Olympic hockey, but I do enjoy seeing the Canadians and Swedes play.
8. Tennis – Even though I love tennis it only makes it to #8 on my list as an Olympic sport. That’s because I enjoy ITF events much more, especially Grand Slam events. Tennis competition between nations is not unique to the Olympics, for the ITF holds the Davis Cup every year.
7. Sliding – This category includes bobsleigh (which sounds 5x cooler than bobsled), luge, and skeleton. It is a novelty I don;t mind seeing once every four years, but it does not hold my interest long.
6. Strange Racquet Sports – This category includes table tennis and badminton.
5. Fencing – If I ever take up fencing I will begin every match by saying “My name in Inigo Montoya. . .”
4. Volleyball – I don’t watch much volleyball, so I enjoy seeing it at the Olympics.
3. Track & Field – The largest category, highlights include the sprints, hurdles, high jump, long jump, pole vault, javelin throw, hammer throw, shot put, and decathlon. My appetite for these sports is limited, so variety is key.
2. Speed Skating – I particularly like short track speed skating and the 500m and 1000m speed skating events (translation, I like the shorter and faster races). I actually look forward to watching these events, for I only see them every four years.
1. Skiing and Snowboarding – It’s ironic that I enjoy watching Olympic skiing so much since I am not a skier. Of all the Olympic events skiing events hold my attention for the longest period of time. I really like freestyle skiing and alpine skiing.
Honorable Mention: Biking, Diving, Canoeing/Kayaking, Biathlon
You might have noticed I left three major Olympic events off my list: figure skating, swimming, and gymnastics. I’ll watch them, but they are definitely not my favorite events. Sadly, they all seem to get a considerable amount of prime time coverage.
As I type this pairs figure skating is beginning. Hmmm, maybe I’ve watched enough Olympic coverage today.