Well, they’re over.
The 2010 Vancouver Games ended on Sunday night not with a dull whisper but with The Marriage Ref a boisterous, nonsensical roar — the most fitting capper possible to a two-week competition that, at every turn, proved more weird and entertaining than it had any right to be. Lifting Fog spent a few days during those two weeks celebrating the people and events that made this happen — see here, here, here, and here — but the Olympics being a HUGE INTERNATIONAL affair, we only really scratched the surface. What did we miss while we were doing keg stands at the Holland Heineken House?
– Shaun White’s Double McTwist 1260, basically a real-life version of something DJ Steve and I and other decidedly non-athletic kids spent hours trying to perfect in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
– Ryan Miller. That incredible hockey game.
– Kim Yu-Na. That amazing figure skating program.
– The general anti-Taylor Swift-ness of competitors’ emotions, which were GENUINE and EARNED rather than forced and born of a casual indifference to feminism.
–Curling. Debatable as a sport (right? I mean, you can wear a watch); undeniably fashion-forward.
– Tanith Belbin, a pairs figure skater who is at once accomplished, beautiful, and — it doesn’t bother me anymore — of Canadian descent. And who once dated Evan Lysacek? Who I assumed was gay? These Olympics have really changed my perspective on a lot of things.
– And finally, the closing ceremonies: ending on a (possibly) drunk William Shatner and Catherine O’Hara making fun of Canadians’ politeness. Needless to say, Russia will not be so self-deprecating.
I think the reason the Olympics — Winter or Summer, it no longer matters! — bring such warmth to people’s hearts is the fact that they’re REAL, especially when compared to what passes for “culture” these days in the world of popular entertainment. Gone for two weeks is the bullshit of American Idol, or Oscar campaigning, or anything to do with Shia LaBeouf. Instead we get something sincere, an international canvas of hard-earned exceptionality and a true example of what it means to have talent and guts and determination. GO WORLD, GO!