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Jenna Conter: Olympics from the armchair, sleepless glory

Who needs sleep? We've got the Olympics!
Who needs sleep? We've got the Olympics!

It’s that time of every-four-years again where we muster up the strength, conviction and dedication to become experts in competitive winter sports we don’t ever really watch. This doesn’t make our dedicated analysis of each event lacking in expert judgment, examination and brutal breakdown of each toe point, landing and costume. I’m sure it’s comparable to that of the play-by-play know-how of any seasoned sports announcer.

Luckily our opinions, though grounded and loosely rooted in movies like “Cool Runnings” and “Blades of Glory”, remain safe from scrutiny.

For me, the Olympics is the reason I have cable. Well, that and my near addiction to the constant news cycle … and “My 600-lb. Life”. Suffice to say, I believe it’s kismet that I have spent my entire adult life building a caffeine addiction that could send the common sipper into outer space or full cardiac arrest.

So having been offered the chance to be paid to watch these Olympic Games, the inevitable soul-crushing time difference (anyone up for 3 a.m. viewing of half-pipe snowboarding qualifiers?) is seen merely as a small hurdle. Or mogul, if you will.

In reference to the individual sports that make up this year’s winter Olympics, I — as a fan of sport in general — am not picky. Due to being Canadian and being brought up all proper, hockey is a must. It plays a nice second fiddle to the regular season games and is really the only sport I fully understand. Score a goal. Get a point. Regardless of the streamline nature of your onesie.

Jenna Conter
Jenna Conter

Picking-and-choosing which sport to watch falls to a number of factors – When is it on? Who’s participating? How much of this sport can one sit through and still remain conscious? Because, I have to tell you, waking up at 4 a.m. for a rip-roaring game of curling will not be a thing for this lady. This proud Maritimer is aware that that perspective on one of our local sporting strongholds may be considered blasphemous. It just doesn’t hold my attention as much as the possibility of seeing a spandex-clad, overly smiley figure skater totally bail out of a quadruple lux jump, full-loop with half twist … I mean, the artistry. Wow.

In short, these Winter Olympics, regardless of the robbery of sleep, come with them another chance to take two weeks to appreciate nationalism, teamwork and the solidification of my beliefs that no one should become a professional luge-ist.

About me

I started competitive swimming back when I was eight years old and though it’s a year-round sport, my parents made several attempts to allow me to be a well-rounded athlete. Thus beginning the deterioration of pride and the emergence of self-deprecating humour.

My introduction to winter sports goes back to the first and only time I set foot on Whistler as a kid. This was where, for some reason, my parents thought it best to allow me to learn how to ski. I remember crying for my mommy, being very cold and tired, and what they served for lunch: macaroni and cheese. Similarly, minus the tears and an added sense of vigour, back home I participated in “Ice Cats”. Essentially, it’s an on-ice lesson in the law of gravity for children.

And that’s how things went for my athletic career above water: we’d go on family ski trips to Quebec, get in a few runs around New Year’s and then head home. Suffice to say, my level and now adult sense of fear of injury, the viewing of the Olympics were always done with a sense of wonder and disbelief. I mean none of those figure skaters use the little red pushcarts. Such pros.

Sometimes in order to be a truly patriotic Canadian, you need to let go of the glory of being well-rested. Here's to cheering on the country and copious amounts of coffee! Bring on the Olympics! Follow Jenna on Twitter: @JennAbouTown

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