How Do You Milk The Salchow?

salchowWith the 2018 Winter Olympic games going on in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we all have to brush up on the terms and events of the games.  To begin with, we have to try to pronounce the name of where the games are being played.  If you are from the South, this can be quite an entertaining event in itself.  I have pronounced this several different ways and even something close to P.F. Chang.  I’m not sure I’m going to get it right.

Then there are terms such as the triple salchow and McTwist which aren’t really desserts you can order at McDonald’s.   The slachow term is used in the figure skating events.  It’s one of those jumps they do when we take a breath to see if they are going to fall when they land.  I have to admit that when I Googled it that I tried the Southern way of spelling by looking for “Sow Cow”.  Contrary to my spelling, it has nothing at all to do with a cow.

A McTwist isn’t something you can order at McDonald’s.   We have learned that this is one of those snowboarding tricks that we oooo and aaaaah about when we see it.  Yeah, I won’t even try to attempt anything like that at home.  Just hand me a McTwist with sprinkles on top.

I don’t know about you but when the Olympics come around, I have to brush up on the terms and the events.  Like asking, “What is curling again?”   Here I go to Google.  Okay, that’s the thing with the huge iron looking rock with people who use brooms and yell really loud for a game that looks a lot like shuffleboard.   This is a sport?  Can you imagine having a professional league in that?

My favorite event is probably the bobsled.  I like watching the Jamaican bobsled team and the excitement and energy they have before they turn their bobsled over on the track or finish with a record low time.  It doesn’t matter to me.  I still like to watch them.    I also like the short track speed skating.  It’s a lot like roller derby on ice.  The luge and skeleton events are pretty strange.  No way I’m going to lay flat on a skid and go 60mph and try to steer with my legs.   Where is the snow tubing event?  Give me that one.

Of course, the most popular event is the figure skating.  I still get dizzy watching them spinning around.  I have read that they one way they learn to do it is to practice it endlessly until they don’t get sick anymore.  Don’t even get me started on the jumps.  The spinning things would certainly wipe me out.   Figure skating is where we get that salchow term.   In a few days we will be acting like we know all the terms such as triple axle and salchow.  “Oh, that was an awesome slachow!”  And we’re still saying it “sow cow”.

A new term in this Olympics is OAR which stands for the Olympic Athletes from Russia.  Russia is suspended from participating in the Olympics because of drug doping violations so only athletes from Russia who have qualified and passed the International Olympic Committee can compete but not for their country.  Confusing?  Yep.  Remember the “Miracle on Ice” back in the 80s?  Well, it won’t be the same this time when Team USA plays OAR.   Yeah, it doesn’t have the same ring to it.  “Let’s beat OAR!  Let’s beat OAR!”

Another confusing issue is with North and South Korea.  In some events they are competing together as Korea but in other events they are not.  I’m not sure what’s going on with that.  Apparently, under an agreement with North Korea, its qualified athletes are allowed to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone into South Korea and compete in the games. The two nations marched together under the Korean Unification Flag during the opening ceremony.  A Unified Korea women’s ice hockey team is also competing under a separate IOC country code designation (COR); in all other sports, there is a separate North Korea team and a separate South Korea team.

Speaking of women’s ice hockey, they don’t tend to throw down and fight like the men do.  We also wondered how they able to play since there aren’t any women’s leagues and most colleges do not have a women’s team.  That’s pretty amazing that they can do it.

We also have to get familiar with the “stars” in each event.  I honestly don’t ever follow any of these unless it is the Olympics.  So we have to forget past Olympic athletes and get caught up on the new batch.  Okay, so it’s not Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan anymore right?

A total of 95 teams have qualified at least one athlete so far, with 92 of them expected to compete. Six nations are scheduled to make their Winter Olympics debut: Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore.

Well, just when I am adjusted to the Winter Olympics again it will be over and I will think nothing about these events for another four years.

I think if I can say Pyeonchang right that it will be a success.


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