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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MURPHY: Winter Olympics Disappoint

Al Gore undoubtedly has a smile the size of the Prime Meridian on his face right now. Much like America’s failure to heed the stern warnings in former Oscar snubs like “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Deep Impact,” many of us disregarded Gore’s global warming theories.

But then the Winter Olympics in Vancouver happened.

For starters, I don’t think anyone ever expects the Winter Olympics to be must see TV. The Summer Olympics is simply more applicable than the Winter Olympics because more people recognize and play the participating sports.

When was the last time you and your buddies went bobsledding? How about curling? I know my friends and I never consider winter a success until we throw on a pair of cross-country skis with our favorite rifle slung around our shoulder for a pleasant biathlon.

All jokes aside, the Winter Olympics inevitably runs a distant second behind the summer games.

That was before global warming happened.

What would you consider the most essential element to hosting a successful Winter Olympics?

Funding is essential, but I am going to have to say snow will take the gold in that argument, with dancing Canadian Indians taking the bronze.

It’s raining in Vancouver. Water skiing is looking more realistic than downhill skiing. Even when it does snow, warm temperatures make the hill look like a big Slurpee. While pot-smokers everywhere salivate at this notion, aspiring medalists do not (unless you’re a snowboarder).

Olympics officials probably thought things couldn’t get any worse. They were sorely mistaken.

In a tragic turn of events that will forever cast a shadow on the 2010 Olympics, a Georgian luger died when he crashed at speeds near 90 miles per hour. Numerous videos streaming across the Internet spare no details in showing what happened was nauseating, shocking and — unfortunately for Vancouver — avoidable.

There had already been complaints about the ludicrous track speeds and nothing was done to correct the matter. It’s now being reported that the late luger stated on the day of his run that he was scared of the exact turn on which he crashed.

Speaking of nauseating, I would cross-country ski before I watch the opening ceremonies again. Indigenous Canadians with boundless vigor danced in their finest feathers and bear skins as all 82 countries were slowly introduced. No offense to the Canadian culture, but it was dull.

Matt Lauer and Bob Costas, who both must have been sleep deprived, even sounded uninterested. Sarcasm and boredom projected from their monotonous voices, eventually becoming indiscernible from one another.

The light show was pretty cool, but then there was a torch malfunction. The sole reason millions endured the painful hours leading up to the lighting of the cauldron was a let down.

Even “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, whose cool demeanor and ineffaceable confidence allowed him to light up goalies in the NHL for years, looked visibly distraught.

What was supposed to be the ultimate climax was more like watching your inebriated mother finish karaoke during parents weekend: uncomfortable, embarrassing and a relief when it’s over.

While failure has been prevalent so far in these Winter Olympics, there is still hope. For the past year we have all witnessed the sudden reemergence of the National Hockey League in North America. This reemergence can be taken to the next level in Vancouver as long as two things happen.

The United States must reach the gold medal game and its opponent must be Canada. The neighboring country match-up will garner interest not just on this continent, but throughout the world as well.

If that scenario plays out, then the Olympics can be saved and I will consider it a success. In the likely case that it does not, Al Gore will continue to gloat and ride off into the melting atmosphere a happy man.

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