Friday, February 17, 2006

Ice Dancing, neither sport nor poetry

So . . . have been watching Ice Dancing, just to see what I really think. (I know that it's very 'in' to bash the Olympics right now, but I love it. It was a family activity in my house growing up. We'd watch it all--even whatever that combined X-C skiing/shooting thing was--the biatholon? And NBC's coverage is so good this year--you actually get to watch sports pretty much non-stop, with only 2-3 minute profiles of the atheletes or explanations of the sport. It's much like the old ABC Wide World of Sports coverage--ABC had the Olympic contract for years--that program (WWS) was the one that would open every Saturday with the same montage of great obscure sports moments, culminating in the phrase, "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" and that same ski jump guy would crash so spectacularly you knew he must have died--but he hadn't.)

Ice Dancing is really, really boring. I guess I'm watching some kind of compulsory dance thing, but I'm up here on the blog because it's either that or bang my head against a wall. Look--people are dancing . . . on the ice! It must be in the long program or whatever that they get into all these weird sexual moves. That's what we saw promo'd on TV--so now you know that it's only lurid interest that is getting me to watch this thing.

Ice Dancing strikes me as more of a competition, and not really a sport. I mean, we can have a competition about anything--how many times we can hit a tennis ball against a wall, how loud my daughter can shriek and whether I can shriek any louder, or how many hot dogs someone can eat. And the last one, the hot dog eating competition, is a lot closer to sport than Ice Dancing. Because, in a hot dog eating competition, you really are pushing the body's limits to their breaking point. Ice Dancing largely serves to remind me that Figure Skating is much closer to being a sport than the dancing thing. I mean, what is it with the costumes, anyway? Figure Skating and Ice Dancing costumes are evidently the last half-life of 70s fashion. In what other context do you see that stuff? Drag queen contests? I mean, even drag queens have better taste and fashion sense than this. Really. Truly. Honestly. Being a drag queen is an art. Ice Dancing exists on some Island of the Lost Toys of the sporting world--neither an art, nor a competition, nor a sport, nor even an interesting performance.

BTW, we told my daughter she was invited to join kiddie soccer team, and she started jumping for joy--completely excited. I know nothing about soccer--it was my brother's sport--but, at least, it is a sport. And she won't be wearing a tutu or jumping about with streamers. She may even have to wear a mouth guard at some point.

Is defining sport as elusive as defining poetry? Maybe that's the problem.

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