I thought I could quit you, Olympics. Everyone did. Ratings were down, and you were getting killed by "Desperate Housewives" and "American Idol." Sure, we tuned in for the curling, because that's what the cool kids watch, and my son really liked the men's and women's "finger skating." You let us ogle the
Hookers On Ice ice dancers and then cringe as so many fell on their fannies. And you put on one helluva hockey final.
For the most part, though, I drew strength from aloofness and judgment. Big Bad Bode took an oh-fer. That blonde chick in all the adverts hotdogged it, then denied she hotdogged it, then admitted she hotdogged it. Speedskaters squabbled. Americans won 25 medals, but 7 of them were for snowboarding, a concession made by a reluctant IOC to rope in the stoner crowd that's so ape-crazy over the X Games.
"Feh," I said. "Feh" and "double-feh."
But then you got me. You rigged it so that Italian guy won the last race, the 50-billion-meter cross country, and he got his gold medal from his sister in the middle of the home crowd at the closing ceremonies. Tens of thousands sang along with his anthem, which sounded an awful lot like the inspiration for "Bohemian Rhapsody."
You taunted me for a while, when a bunch of Pagliaccis sang "Y-M-C-A" for no apparent reason. But then came the topper, when the mayor of Vancouver, a quadriplegic, took the Olympic flag and waved it 8 times with that special waving gizmo attached to his wheelchair. Arrgh! My heart is stirring! I am moved by the triumph of the human spirit!
You've won this round, Olympics. Once again I weep at your spectacle, and you leave me wanting more. I feel so ... dirty.