The Winter Olympics have begun and I once again find myself captivated by numerous sports that I don’t understand at all. There’s just something so fundamentally interesting about assembling the best in the world for fair competition, no matter the sport or event.
Relative to the Winter Olympics of 2006, these games have more meaning for me. Of course I cheer for the USA, as I always have, and for Italy, as I always have. But now I also cheer for Switzerland and a host of other countries where I now have dear friends, classmates, and colleagues. For example, when the Czech Republic won gold, I smiled broadly as I knew my Czech friends would be celebrating intensely–especially as seriously as they take winter sports!
As there is still debate among countries about the proper way to “score” Olympic medal counts (See my post from the Summer Olympics of 2008.), I continue to use my weighted medal system (See my follow-up post from the Summer Olympics of 2008.) in which golds receive 5 points, silvers 3 points, and bronzes 1 point. By this account, the current standings are:
USA and Germany tied for first (14 points), France (11), South Korea (8), Canada (6), Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Slovakia tied (5), Italy (2)
Note that if the Czech Republic and Slovakia are combined (as I know my good friend, Martin Najzr, would want), they’re in fourth place, just behind France. Russia is conspicuously missing from the list so far, but I know our comrades will pick up the pace soon.
Let the Games begin; I look forward to following the events over the next two weeks!