Watching the Olympics is a little bit like being on safari. Suddenly so immersed in a very specific subject, such as elephant gestation periods or triple axles, you have no choice but to care immensely until it's over and you forget everything you learned.
Last night, my brother and I took over our folks' house, brought Indian burritos up to the TV Room and watched the 2010 Winter Olympics until midnight. We started with women's snowboarding, and my only observation was that I'm not wild about the United States' uniform. Come on, ladies. You're cuter than THIS. The whole ensemble struck me as a little...Deliverance. I confessed to Alex that I hadn't watched any of the Olympics thus far.
"That's ridiculous!" He said. "Why?"
"I have other shit going on. Jeez. But I figured people were going to start talking about it. So I'm starting."
Alex admitted he'd already been sucked in. A lifelong lover of sports, Alex can instantly get on board with any competition. It all comes very naturally to him, figuring out the rules and quickly getting the jist. Right away, he's screaming at the television.
"Dude." He laughed. "I've been super into curling."
"Yeah. I just started watching. There was all this drama with the US Curling Team and the next thing I knew, I was screaming, 'BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH!.' Curling is surprisingly awesome."
Then we started watched the Men's Figure Skating.
Turns out, I decided to tune into the Olympics just in time. I had a front row seat for Priscilla, Queen of the Ice Rink. If there's ever a sport I can get behind, it's bitchy men expressing themselves in sequins.
And my brother, true to form, took 30 seconds to find his comfort in his masculinity before screaming, "Oooooooohhhhhhh!!!" at the first icy fall.
I've followed that sassy Johnny Weir here and there, mainly because he talked trash in a full length fur. Johnny Weir was, in my passing opinion, the Bobby Trendy of men's figure skating. But as we learned last night, Johnny's struggled the last two years, suffering a series of professional setbacks (I just watched ALL of them on the Sundance Channels' flawless 'Be Good Johnny Weir') that have instantly endeared him to me.
I have a permanent soft spot for the talented but obnoxious diva who suffers an embarrassing, humbling and public failure but then gets up, brushes the dust off her ass and tries again.
They called him "Johhny Weird." How could I not love him?
Johnny was hanging out around 6th place. We saw him warming up, tying up his laces, zipping a lip for the cameras.
The lights dimmed.
Johnny took to the ice.
The costume, the make-up, the hair...I ate it up.
Suddenly, the announcer came up with some bullshit introduction, "And now Johnny Weir, after two years of personal and professional disgrace, has entitled his performance, 'Fallen Angel' and claims it reflects his struggle."
I have never been a particular aficionado of ice dancing, but Alex and I were rapt. Perhaps it wasn't technically flawless or worthy of growing Scott Hamilton another magical ball, but my GOD, you could just see this athlete be all, "Fuck it. This is who I am."
It's very rare, but you can always tell when someone has let go of everything else in the world, and simply does whatever it is they are meant to do. The greatest triumphs come from the greatest risks. Johnny Weir's performance could have been at the Olympics, last night, or it could have been on a frozen lake somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
My girl danced like no one was watching.
The crowd went nuts. They lept to their feet. My phone glowed with ecstatic texts from Brock. Johnny was crying. They crowned him with roses.
And he still lost.
I have loads to say about the other contenders, particularly Evan "Professor Snape" Lysacek and the Russian Villain from 80's movies who (surprise, surprise) is a dick in real life. But they've stolen enough thunder.
Who cares about a stupid accessory when we get to see a real live comeback.