Shani Shani Shani

Sir Monkeypants and I agree that the men’s 100 metre dash is the premiere event of the Summer Olympics. It’s appointment television, and if you miss it, you’ll be completely out of the water cooler loop the next day. The winner is made famous by the race and earns respect and endorsement deals that the fencing champion and archery competitors can only dream of.

Do you think the Winter Olympics have a parallel event?

In Canada, I think the hockey gold medal is considered the most important thing — heaven knows there is plenty of hockey coverage on my TV every night. But I don’t think that it produces a star player, necessarily. And I’m not sure the rest of the world cares as much, but I could be doing a wee bit of projecting there.

I don’t suppose it’s the curling gold medal that is the most coveted. Although I did see Jenny Jones in a commercial for Scotties tissues during the Tournament of Hearts this year. Now she can quit her day job!

I think the top contenders to the throne are the downhill skiing event (the pure downhill, not the super-G or the slaalom, although all three events seem the same to me and have the exact same competitors, so I don’t get it), or possibly the long-track speed skating.

I keep hearing Shani Davis’ name being thrown around, even on Canadian TV coverage (he’s American), so I guess he’s cashing in as the biggest name-brand athlete to come out of these games. I always think of the long-track skating as more akin to the swimming in the summer games, though — I guess it’s because of the dedicated location and the athletes competing at many different lengths. So in my mind, Shani is more the Michael Phelps of the games, rather than the Usain Bolt.

Aside: it’s so weird for us to hear Shani Davis being said every thirty seconds on our TV, as “shani” is one of our nicknames for Gal Smiley, spelled exactly that way. It’s just odd.

Anyway. What do you think? What’s the big, must-see, famous-making event for the Winter Games?

4 thoughts on “Shani Shani Shani

  1. for canadians i think the athlete of the games should be alexandre. what an awesome story, very articulate, so gracious. and cute to boot. i hope he carries the flag for the clsing ceremonies.

    i agree that the shani davis is the name on most people’s lips. sort of like appolo ono was 4 yrs ago. and crap, the little bugger is doing it again. ahem, i digress.

    but must see for us, women’s and men’s hockey. i’ll watch the final match of curling too. and of course all of the speed skating. short track makes me so nervous!

    oh, heck, just say all of them!

  2. I agree with smothermother – Alexandre for sure!!

    I am a hockey fan and I watch Olympic hockey and I cheer on the men’s team. But I can’t get my head around the fact that these are professional athletes who get paid BIG BUCKS to play hockey when they are not in the Olympics. It makes me respect them a bit less, although I know they are very talented. I cheer the women on more, and feel more national pride when the women’s team wins.

    As a former figure skater and coach for ten years, I am all about the figure skating 🙂 I know the sport lost a lot of respect in 2002 with Jame Sale and David Pelletier and the whole judging fiasco, but I still love the sport and those winners are real “heros” to me. And as someone who tried speed skating and really sucked at it, I truly admire those skaters. You have to be a machine to do that – it is the most physically demanding sport in which I have ever participated in.

    Aside from lifting this wine glass. It is really heavy. 🙂

  3. Hmmm that’s a tough one. I like all the events, but I keep coming back to speed skating. On the other hand… the moguls, but I think that had a lot more to do with the back story than the actual event. Even though I love it. Oh and the snowboard cross. That was pretty awesome too.

  4. I think Figure Skating tends to be quite big too. Remember the Brian Orser / Brian Boitano years? That was huge.

    I’d also argue that swimming was just as big at the 100m dash at the 2008 summer games, but maybe that was just because Michael Freak…er…Phelps was there.

Comments are closed.