Skimming the surface

Here in Vancouver, Canucks fans are thrilled. Their team made the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years. Me? I’m a sporadic and superficial sports watcher. I might half-watch Olympic events, Wimbledon finals, NCAA playoffs, Tour de France stages, hockey games. I might enjoy the drama and athleticism. But I am rather clueless about the actual sports. Watching a hockey game, I know I’m catching only the gist, barely keeping my eye on the puck. When I moved to Canada, I had to Google “hat trick,” “penalty box,” “power play,” and “Don Cherry.” I can’t recall who won the Cup … Continue reading Skimming the surface

Know yourself

Tomorrow Canada faces Slovakia in the men’s hockey semifinals at the Winter Olympic Games. The USA faces Finland. Of course, all Canadians are eager for a Canada-USA final—for redemption after the Americans’ upset win last Sunday. (USA goalie Ryan Miller stood on his head! You must be a madman to want to be a goalie.) Watching the Olympics exemplifies the variety of athleticism among humans. You’ve got to pick a sport that matches your body, your natural talents, and your personality. Hockey is king in Canada and I’m sure that all little boys grow up idolizing their city’s NHL stars. … Continue reading Know yourself

Olympic fever

I’ve lived mostly in balmy climates, from Hawaii to California, so winter sports are quite foreign to me. Luge? Biathlon? Curling? But I’ve also made Canada my home, and I’m riveted by the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The snowboarding and alpine skiing events blow my mind, the way they require utter fearlessness about big air and breakneck speed. I’m also waiting for a Canada-Russia showdown in men’s hockey, the Canadian national obsession and a sport that requires every athletic skill known to mankind. Sports competition is a fascinating display of mind-body control. Besides warfare and other life-or-death crises, few situations … Continue reading Olympic fever