Monday, February 24, 2014

Blame it on Eruzione

The Olympic flame has been extinguished, and another page in sports history has been written by athletes from around the world who competed in Sochi Winter Olympics.

Throughout the 17 days of competition, I was glued to the television, laptop, and iPhone to catch everything from the opening and closing ceremonies including the Jamaican bobsled and another epic battle between the United States and Russia.

Some may call this an addiction, or an obsession. I blame "The Miracle on Ice" for my extensive Olympics viewing habits.

Back in 1980, I was 6-years-old and my mom sat me down in front of small cathode ray tube television - the one you needed to get up and change the knob to switch channels between the three VHF Detroit stations and Channel 9 from Windsor - to watch the American hockey team make history against the Soviet Union.

Ever since Al Michaels uttered "Do You Believe in Miracles" in Lake Placid, I have been glued to the television every Olympiad for 17 days to catch the next amazing athletic feat.

From Los Angeles to Seoul to Vancouver, I have been drawn to the games. While I enjoy the behind-the-scenes stories about the athletes, the competition between the best athletes from around world draws me in every four years. Track-and-field, bobsled and speed skating. It doesn't matter if it is marquee, or minor, I watch.

Looking back, I should have invested in an industrial size bottle of Visine to keep my eyes moist as I switched between screens on Comcast. Between cable, Internet, broadcast channels, there was nearly 1,700 hours of content available through Xfinity according to The Detroit News,

Additionally, for those of us who can see Canada from Jefferson, the Olympics returned to CBC-TV after losing the rights to the Vancouver and London games. Throughout the games I was able to get the games with a Canadian angle. And instead of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night, I was able to join other Red Wings fans who may have been up early Sunday for Hockey Morning in Canada and cheer on team Canada - which was led by General Manager Steve Yzerman and Coach Mike Babcock - to the gold medal.

While Sochi had a number of great moments, I don't know if any will stand the test of time like that of the victory over the USSR. Only time will tell, but thanks to members of the men's 1980 hockey team, I am an Olympic fan for life.

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