By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®
Welp, the XXIII Winter Olympics have come and gone. Some grumbled the competitions were too long: too many events over too many days. Bah humbug I say! And speaking on behalf of my family, we disagree wholeheartedly. In fact we’d be tickled pink if they added an extra week. The only reason why it felt like such a long time was because we all stayed up too late at night to watch the awesome events and cheer on our home team athletes.
There’s no question the 14 hour time difference created some challenges for the TV viewers. In the old days when Jim McKay was the ultimate Olympic host, they could pre-record all the highlights and present it to us during prime time as if it were happening live. We wouldn’t even know the difference because without the internet at your fingertips, it was too difficult to determine the winners prior to the delayed broadcast. Now of course all that has changed.
I don’t know about you, but two events really got me pumped up: the women’s hockey final and the women’s team sprint cross country skiing, which in both cases resulted in gold medals for the US. I seriously had to watch the replays of the final minutes four or five times to soak it all in. It never seemed to get old. I was also really impressed with Lindsey Vonn and the way she comported herself in light of her disappointing results. I think we can all learn a sportsmanship teachable moment based on that.
The other highlight for me was of course the curling. Our family would enjoy having dinner with the broadcast on in the background. We’d try to guess (or second guess) the strategy we’d employ as to how to win each end, then marvel at the skill of the “athletes” throwing the curling stones and also how they seemed to tiptoe over the rocks without a collision as they swept the ice with their brooms. Good shot, eh? The mute button on the TV remote was for the most part an indispensable tool for us, as it helped to eliminate the seemingly endless yelling and screaming at the sweepers that was taking place on the rink. Curling job description: ability to YELL!
I wished the US won more medals, but it also made me realize with largest contingent of athletes at the games, how difficult it can be to win one. Looking ahead, I think it’s not too late for me to start training for the curling team at the next Winter Olympics. I’m working on getting my lungs and vocal cords into condition now. I’ll keep you posted...