The Olympic winter games are currently on in Torino. Google Maps used the opportunity to add actual maps to that region of Northern Italy – the first outside the US and UK as far as I can tell. In addition it means that there is a constant stream of mindless sports television programming which some of my flatmates consume ruthlessly. And by ruthlessly I mean watching the events live, then watching the summaries and the repeats of the summaries until five in the morning just to be back in front of the telly at nine or ten to indulge in the next day of madness.
I couldn’t help thinking that Winter Olympics are a mainly white event – not just for the snow but also for the skin colour of the participants. Then I wondered whether they were specifically invented with that in mind. Browsing around the net did reveal, though, that there are a few of participating countries from Africa or other region. Reading about those athletes and how they got into it is quite funny. As funny as the story about the Greek sled riding team currently making the rounds. Apparently they’re just a group of German Greeks who wanted to participate at the Olympics and figured out that just being able to ride the sled would be good enough to go to the Olympics for Greece… ah that Olympic spirit!
As I am not a big fan of sports, I am not too impressed by what is going on. And I will invariably tell my flatmates that ‘our’ latest medal actually isn’t as I did exactly nothing for getting it. While this may be slightly untrue as most of the sportspeople seem to be members of, i.e. paid for by, the army and thus by everyone of us, that national sports spirit completely evades me. And what makes things worse is that the winter sportspeople usually are from the south of the country. Which in turn means that they speak silly accents. If you’re trying to learn German, don’t listen to those people!
And to fully establish that Olympic spirit and patriotic fandom in our kitchen, people made a German flag and attached it to the telly. Horray. Go Germany go!
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