“Ultimately, that’s why we’ll bear through the horrific NBC schmaltz, set up the shady streams, DVR overnight action, and even just suck it up and actually watch what we’re handed.  Because once you dig down and drill through the weepy interviews and the Ryan Secrest horseshit and the pious blatherings of Pinkeye Costas, and get through the politics and the geopolitical nightmares and the unsettling corruption and legal horror, it’s still that magical winter village that only appears every four years.  Dreams of racing down a bobsled run at breakneck speed, or cresting a rail on a snowboard and being seventy feet off the ground, flying, or just the whole spectacle of speed and snow…more even than the summer games, the Winter Olympics have that magical dreamlike quality that no amount of autocratic dictatorship or network malfeasance can bury.”

-7 Feb 2014

As always, there’s a sort of taking stock of where you’ve been in the last four years. Winter of 2014 wasn’t great, certainly, and the shady cloud around a Winter Olympics in a Russian beach resort is more on the nose than ever before, the way things worked out. But it was a little different this year – NBC put more sportscasters in the mix, and ultimately jettisoned their recycled-morning-host and dodgy-cultural-expert in time to just let Tara and Johnny call the closing ceremonies (which, if they aren’t calling the opening in Tokyo in two years we riot). A lot of the Americans that NBC really wanted to push on us turned out to be flops (like, for instance, the entire contingent of solo figure skaters) but a lot of Americans turned up all right (like the redemption tour of John Shuster, or the youth-will-be-served antics of Chloe Kim and Red Gerard, or just the American women’s hockey team getting the job done the menfolk couldn’t). And it’s just fun to see things like snow, or things you wish you could do like bobsled or snowboard cross. (Seriously, if I could successfully do any Olympic sport – not compete, just do successfully without killing myself, snow cross is number one with a bullet and nothing is a close second. That looks amazing.)

Likewise for me, since 2014. Yes, the world is a worse place, but if you cut the toxicity out and send the cheaters away rather than let them into your playground, you can still piece together a good time. Be happy for the rest of the world instead of assuming that the only happiness comes from getting gold yourself. Take the wins where you can find them. And be cognizant of the fact that you, personally, are in a better spot than four years ago, and try not to let the wider world negate that.

Of which.

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