Maybe because there’s no Stephanie Rice or Bruce McAveney on screen, but there’s something fairytale-ish about the Winter Olympics. While I’m sweating it out in Sydney humidity, which is the weather equivalent of walking through chicken soup, I can feel myself becoming a few octaves calmer watching uberfit Austrians glide downhill on pavlova-like slopes, listening to cowbells and watching spectators rugged up in the latest outfits from Jenny Craig.
It’s a bit of air-conditioning for the mind, and what’s really good too is that there’s no emotional involvement. Hey it’s not like the Aussies are going to win any actual medals is it? (And a Canadian who’s fallen out with his teammates and a Morman don’t count). Unless there’s another Steve Bradbury lucky dip moment, the Aussies are there as only novelty value, on par with the Jamaican bobsled team, who probably would do just about as well as any other bobsled team the way it’s going. It’s refreshing to watch sport without caring who wins and because there’s no hope of a medal, it means we get to see more of the action instead of enduring rounds of studio interviews with toothy medal winners.
My only regret is that it’s not on in prime television viewing time, so it’s not a viable viewing alternative to Two and a Half Men or Home and Away, but on a day with 93 per cent humidity, and cicadas in stereo in the backyard, it feels like snow falling on cedars zen meditation and I can’t get enough of it.