Not the most thrilling of things to watch.
Or so I thought.
Until you throw in some Aussie cricket and football commentators whose knowledge of Olympic Winter sports was learned in a "Dummies Guide To..." which they read in the plane going from Australia to Vancouver. And really, why would they know anything about these sports? Luge isn't exactly part of the PE curriculum over here.
Chuck in a few nutty American snowboarders competing in an event called "Men's Halfpipe" (which sounds likes something you'd smoke at a frat party) and my flatmate Kate and I are glued to the TV at 3.15pm on a Thursday afternoon.
Kate's theory is that winter sports are far more enjoyable to watch than say, rowing, due to the potential for crashes, which is much higher and therefore makes it more exciting.
In fact, to quote her directly... "Thing is, if people come a gutser, they're fucked"
Words of wisdom from Commentator Kate.
The other aspect I find fascinating is the lingo. The halfpipe (snowboarding) lingo is bloody hilarious.
Some of the more classic terms heard this afternoon (from James Brayshaw no less... an expert snowboarder in his own right, I'm sure):
- Double cork ten-eighty.
- Landing switch.
- The double McTwist, twelve-sixty.
- Front-side twelve-sixty
- Massive backside air... (otherwise known as a fart?)
Seriously - who comes up with this terminology? Did someone just make it up to have a giggle at James Brayshaw's expense?
And what's with all the rangas? Is it a rule of halfpipe that you must have long, messy, red hair and more facial hair than Joaquin Phoenix at his worst?
Classic stuff indeed.