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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 8 years ago

Seven reasons to be excited for the 2014 Winter Olympics

by: Nick Friedman Managing Editor of Arts and Culture

Ah. The Winter Olympics are nigh. Not only is it the pinnacle of athletic achievement, it's also a perfect avenue in which to channel all my built-up patriotism. For two weeks, I can say things like, "These colors don't run," or "Love it or leave it, brother," without embodying every terrible American stereotype at once. Sort of.

We're all in it together for this magical period of time — brothers bound by our love of ... skiing ... and ... other types of skiing. Look, anything that unites the country, if only for two weeks, is OK in my book. Here's why we're most excited for this year's games:

  1. One of the best movies of all time is now a reality:

    Feel the rhythm? Jamaica has its own bobsled team competing this year. Finally. We can't stress enough how exciting this is. Can you think of a better Disney movie that could be brought to life? Exactly. After asking for donations online, the internet showed where its collective heart lies and came through to help purchase equipment for the team. After a slight snafu, their gear is finally in Sochi, and driver Winston Watts and his team are able to practice.

  2. Sochi is a complete mess right now:

    The internet has been having a field day compiling all the tweets about the sorry state of affairs in Sochi. Upon arrival, journalists began documenting the less-than-finished and otherwise ridiculous housing provided for them. Despite the billions of dollars spent to prepare the city for the Winter Games, only six of the nine media hotels were completed, and the list of issues is as hilarious as it is worrisome: Half toilets; radiators installed 10 feet off the ground; portraits of Putin; water that resembles apple juice. More here: Okay, so maybe this isn't a reason to be excited, but the trending pictures have at least been entertaining.

  3. Curling:

    Come on. Don't act like a.) You understand it or b.) You don't love it. The Winter Olympics brings out the best in obscure sports, and this entertaining oddity definitely takes the cake, in our opinion. Speaking of which ...

  4. The biathlon exists:

    The James Bond of Olympic games, the biathlon combines cross country skiing with rifle shooting. This simultaneously screams "horrible idea" and "the best idea ever." Started as a training exercise for Norwegian soldiers (seriously), this sport is essentially a race broken up by two to four rounds of shooting in both the prone and standing positions. Amazing.

  5. Jamaica has a bobsled team: Yeah, we're that excited about it.
  6. There's no swimming:

    Nothing personal, but I think we've all had enough Ryan Lochte. You're right. Who am I kidding? Nobody can ever have enough Ryan Lochte.

  7. Women's ski jumping: For the first time in the Winter Olympics' 90 years of competition, women will be able to participate in the ski jump. It's about time. There are certain unalienable rights we're all born with: life, liberty and the pursuit of high speed downhill death plunges, atop two thin planks. In all seriousness, it's great to see female athletes able to compete in this event. Kudos.

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