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Winter is Coming

By Alasdair McClintock on February 5, 2018 in Sport

Possibly the greatest sporting moment of all time.

Nothing brings the world together like a big sporting event, and the 2018 Winter Olympics, being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from February 9-25 may just be the solvent the world needs right now. In fact, it may be the only thing that saves us all from nuclear annihilation.
With Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un, otherwise known as That Evil Idiot, intimating North Korea might send a team over (at the time of writing), there could be hope that those big red buttons don’t get pushed just yet.
The cynics among us will assume these ‘athletes’ are all spies – operatives trained to slip away mid-contest and sabotage South Korea’s power grid, military defence systems or, worst case scenario, kidnap PSY – but I’m choosing to remain positive. If only because, with That Other Evil Idiot also in charge, positivity on a global scale is something we all desperately need right now. Accuse me of sticking my head in the snow, if you must, but if my life is going to end painfully tomorrow, I choose to spend today as giddy and carefree as a puppy in a park.
But then, of course, there are the Russians. Banned from the games following a systematic, state-supported doping scheme, Russia really isn’t doing much to dispel the stereotypes perpetuated by ‘80s Hollywood action movies, now are they? Some of the athletes can still compete if they can prove themselves to be clean, but it’s a bit like asking me to prove I didn’t just pass wind; if the air still stinks, who’s going to believe me?
The Russians came out on top in the last Winter Olympics with 33 medals (because they were full of drugs, obviously), so smaller countries like Australia now have a chance to steal the spotlight. Are we ready for a new winter sporting hero? I certainly think so.
Like most Australians, I can only name two Aussie winter athletes. I bet nearly 75% of Aussies reading this would name the same two. Go on, test yourself… Steven Bradbury and Torah Bright. Told you!
I daresay, come February 25, we will all know a few more of our winter athletes though. The wonderful thing about these Winter Olympics is the time difference. Pyeongchang is only two hours behind Sydney so, for us in the eastern states, they’re basically holding them in Perth. It’ll be like a WACA test match; we’ll come home from work and be able to switch on the TV, switch ourselves off, and watch people far fitter than us live out their dreams.
Sadly, however, we won’t learn the names of our national curling team, because they didn’t qualify. That news hit me like a cold fish to the face when I read it. The idea that a glorified janitor on ice won’t become a national hero is seriously challenging my determination to be positive.