Monday, Feb. 13, 2006
I love the Winter Olympics, which I feel should be sub-titled Stupidly Dangerous or Silly Things You Can Do On Ice And Snow.
I mean, seriously, who thought up the skeleton which is basically hurtling down a chute on a sophisticated version of a child's bobsled? A sled without brakes, might I add.
Being a Canuckistani and all, normally during the Olympics I root for my compatriots. Normally. But there is one sport during which I turn my back on the maple leaf. There is one sport with someone whose greatness transcends national boundaries.
I would, of course, be speaking of the incomparable Dordi Nordby.
As if I had to spell that out.
Let's face it, if there is one universal bond that we all share, it's our mania for the curling. What could be more fascinating that watching people with questionable fashion sense push a 40 pound hunk of granite down a ribbon of ice 146 feet long towards a bull's eye at the far end that they can't really see?
My thoughts, exactly.
My adoration of Dordi began years ago when she was interviewed on Canadian tee vee after an international bonspiel that was hosted in Canuckistan. She peered at the interviewer through her pop bottle bottom glasses, glasses that kept sliding down her nose. As she digested each question, she pushed the glasses back up the bridge of her nose with her index finger.
She could not believe the fervid fans drawn to the sport in my country—she said when she curled in Norway often the only people in the stands would be her mother and the concession people. She talked about doing all sorts of weird jobs so she would have time to work on her curling.
That's when I became her fan. I have a deep and completely inexplicable affection for this wondrously eccentric woman who has done whatever it takes to pursue a sport that was insanely obscure in her country.
She started curling internationally in 1981. Here she is at 42 still showing up with her little thermos of coffee, still pushing those glasses up her nose. Monday she handed the U.S. women's Olympic curling team its butt on a platter.
Tomorrow Dordi plays the Swedes, who beat the Canadian women's team Monday 7 - 5. I think I speak for us all when I say that we'll all be on the edge of our seats because that will be a real nail biter. She also has to play the Swiss. It's going to be a hard day for me.
The day I'm really dreading, though, is the 16th. That's the day Dordi has to play the Canadians.
On the one hand, if there was ever a country where questionable fashion sense, rocks and ice are the national heritage, it's Canada. We are born to curl in this country. We take deep national pride in our curling teams. They are second only to our hockey teams in our heart of hearts.
On the other hand … on the other hand it's Dordi and I have an overwhelming and totally inexplicable adoration of this woman.
I don't think I can watch.
Editted to add: DORDI BEAT THE SWEDES!
For those of you who have had the crippling disadvantage of growing up curling impaired, (and believe me, if I was with you right now I'd be patting your hand sympathetically and saying, "There, there, it will be alright") here's all you need to know to understand curling.
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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