~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2006-02-10 - 8:58 a.m.

Citius. Altius. Fortius.

I knew they were coming, but I didn't realize, until NPR informed me this morning, that the Turin Winter Olympics were opening today.

I haven't earnestly watched in years, and the American TV networks' coverage has grated on my nerves more and more as time has gone on, but I really love the Olympics.

For a gay boy who was never very athletically inclined (no comments, please), I really love watching sports. Let's make this clear: certain sports. (However, I've been cable-less for a long time, so I don't really watch anything frequently.)
~ Football: can't be bothered and still have only the vaguest sense of the rules. Further proof of my un-americanness.
~ Baseball: pretty boring, and those uniforms sure look nice, but no, I don't watch.
~ Basketball: we're getting warmer; it can be fun, but still nothing I'm addicted to.
~ Tennis: ok, we're in my zone. There was a time (we're talking the Ivan Lendl/Boris Becker era, to give you a sense of history) when I followed all the Grand Slam events on television. Which reminds me: it would be nice to start up lessons again one of these days.
~ Figure Skating: do you need to even ask?

This all brings us to the Olympics: I can vividly remember school snow days spent watching the 1980 games in Lake Placid. Everything from biathlon to curling (curling, for g-d's sakes!) fascinated me. I think the international component was also one of the big draws for me. This was the start of my Germano-Scandophilia, I think. Finland, Sweden, Norway. DDR! Ingemar Stenmark. Hanni Wenzel. Anett P÷tzsch. Raisa Smetanina. Rodnina & Zaytsev. Eric Heiden. Ahhhh...

This love affair lasted a decade. I seriously entertained my own fantasies--to a soundtrack of Whitney Houston's One Moment in Time--of being a cycling time-trialist or speedskater with thighs that could crush bowling balls. Calgary 1988 and Barcelona 1992 were probably the last times I watched in earnest. By the era of Albertville & Lillehammer, I either had spotty access to cable-TV, or was just busy with other things.

I still harbor my old love of all things Olympic. I may need to figure out a way to get myself in front of a television for at least a little while during the next two weeks.

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