I’ve never been much of an Olympics watcher. I skipped the 2008 Summer Olympics altogether, actually, with the exception of watching Michael Phelps’ amazing run. But for some reason, the 2010 Winter Olympics have obsessed me, from the Opening Ceremonies (which were stunning) to the Men’s Curling match I’m watching right now. A few thoughts…
1. These people are amazing. I knew that a lot of the sports were incredibly physically demanding, but I don’t think I’d ever watched any of the Nordic events before…so I didn’t know that collapsing as soon as they were clear of the finish line was the standard. And then there’s the athletes performing injured, like one woman’s moguls skiier who was skiing with a torn ACL. I couldn’t walk with a torn ACL…at least not without a lot of pain.
2. I’ve also enjoyed the fact that we’re actually getting to see some of the lower finishers perform–like the one female Brazilian biathlete (cross-country skiing and sharp shooting) who finished in (I think) the 40s. The announcers mentioned that she hadn’t expected to be anywhere near the podium; she was just excited to be competing for her country and hoping to challenge herself. We got a great shot of her mom jumping up and down and screaming in the stands, waving a large Brazilian flag.
3. I love curling. I just love watching the strategy and the chance to see a game I only see every 4 years…and it’s good I love it for the game, because the Skips on both US teams have been blowing stone placement in the house on their draws even on ends when we’ve got the hammer; they’re not giving the sweeps enough to work with, throwing with too much weight and not enough curl. (And if you think I just switched from English to the Greek of the original games, go here.) In fact, I just watched the Men’s Skip throw away our 4th straight game.
4. I get a real kick out of the fact that there are sports in the Olympics that can trace their ancestry back to those original Greek games, and then there’s sports like the halfpipe. And ohmyGod, how about Shaun White?
5. I was so happy to see Canada finally get that home gold. The crowd’s reaction was great, but the medal ceremony was amazing. Hearing the crowd sing along to “O, Canada,” especially with that crescendo at the end…I’m tearing up just typing about it.
6. Speaking of tearing up…the Olympic Mom commercial still makes me cry, but none of the commercials have touched me as much as the one with Dan Jansen. Hearing Morgan Freeman intone, “Then, he skated a victory lap with his daughter…Jane”… Darn it, now I’m crying again.
The funny thing is that I started watching the Olympics mostly because I’m once again completing in the Ravelry version, the Ravelympics. I took part 2 years ago for the Summer Olympics and had a blast. I even managed 4 medals: for a hat, a felted project (the hat, actually), a scarf, and for being a volunteer. In addition to the hat and the scarf, I also came out of the experience with a set of matching mitts, although when the flame was extinguished I still had about half of the last mitt to go. Still, it was an awesome experience.
I joined 2 teams again this year: Team Sheepnuts (with my fellow Three Irish Girls fans) and Team Fast Girls Knit Left (a play on our Ravelry NASCAR group’s name, “go fast. knit left.”…which is in turn a play on the NASCAR tagline “go fast. turn left.”). But knowing that I was going to have surgery in the middle of the Olympics, I decided to enter just three simple projects:
- For Team Fast Girls Knit Left, a Not-Just-For-Chemo Reversible Cloche, for the event Hat Halfpipe. The name is a little depressing, but it really isn’t just for chemo and I’d liked the look of it since I’d first seen it linked in the forums. I adore cloches (unfortunately, Steve thinks they’re ridiculous looking…but fortunately, he doesn’t have to wear it!) and have always wanted one. In fact, the pattern that I used last Ravelympics was a cloche pattern, although I’d extended the brim because I wanted a roll brim hat. This was my first project, being knit with some Malabrigo Worsted in Emerald Blue.
- For Team Sheepnuts (the name comes from a running joke in the group), I had 2 projects. Originally, my intent was to knit a My So Called Scarf for event Scarf Super G, and a Stirling Cloche (the same pattern I used 2 years ago, only actually making it a cloche this time) for events Hat Halfpipe and Felting Freestyle. Both projects will use the special Sheepn… colorway (based up a picture of a beautiful multi-colored sheep) Sharon of Three Irish Girls designed just for us just for the Olympics.
However, my plans for the Sheepnuts hat project have changed, as a result of my Fast Girls hat project. I’ve completed my first Hat Halfpipe (haven’t been called to the podium yet to accept my medal, but I should be soon), and I loved the reversible cloche pattern…even if the brim kicked. My. Butt. Linen stitch shouldn’t be that hard, but for me it was, especially the decreases; it took me 2 days to knit the 22 row brim (and, to be honest, my Olympics TV watching didn’t help, ’cause a lot of what I was watching needed to be seen, not just heard. Still, I’m loving my Not Just for the Olympics Cloche:
So I’m going to switch my planned Sheepnuts hat to the same pattern…which means withdrawing from the Felting Freestyle event. But on the plus side, the Not-Just-For-Chemo Reversible Cloche takes less then a skein, while the Stirling Cloche takes nearly 2…so I’ll have enough yarn left for a matching set of mittens. Mitten Moguls, here I come!