Saturday, February 13, 2010
One Woman's Dream: An Urgent Appeal to the IOC
With awe and wonder, I watched the hologram-tastic Olympic opening ceremonies last night. I thoroughly enjoyed the pageantry, the pomp and the beads of sweat that popped out on Wayne Gretzky's upper lip when there was a glitch in lighting the Olympic cauldron.
No, the winter show wasn't as glitzy as Beijing's opening ceremonies two years ago, but the imagery showcasing Canada's splendor was spectacular, nevertheless. As my friend Eric said, it made me proud to be a Canadian. (Only Eric is not Canadian, and neither am I. But we can dream, eh?)
Speaking of dreams, I, too, have dreamed of competing for Olympic gold.
I fondly recall donning my little pink leotard and flipping around my parents' living room during the summer games, trying my best to emulate the gymnasts. Sadly, Mom and Dad banned me from their living room during the 2008 games because they said my leotard makes them "uncomfortable."
Sure, I'm almost 40, but I don't think it's too late to give up on my Olympic dream. Certainly, there is a way to get a non-athlete like me into the world's greatest competition. No, I don't think I'll be stepping onto the podium for skiing, sprinting, swimming or any of the other traditional contests. But there must be a place for me in the Olympics somewhere.
All I need to do is create an event, be the best at said event and convince the International Olympic Committee to add my event to the games. That can't be too difficult. I'm sure people once scoffed at the trampoliners, race walkers and rhythmic gymnasts, too. But who makes fun of them now? Hmmm?
The following are the events I hope the IOC will consider for my Olympic berth:
After years of fierce competitions with my siblings on my parents' linoleum kitchen floor as a child, sock skating could very well propel me to the podium at the Olympics. I hate to brag, but I have speed, agility and grace. Well, at least I have speed and agility. Well, okay, I have speed. Well, speed-ish. Well, mostly just ish, but I have a lot of that.
Put on fuzzy socks, add a slippery floor and watch me get all early '90s, bad-ass Tonya Harding up in here. In fact, I never walk down the hall anymore. I slide 'cause that's how I roll (into the wall at the end of the hallway).
Don't try to out-sock skate me, or so help me, I will take out your kneecap with a pipe.
Toilet Paper Roll Changing
That's right. I can change a toilet paper roll with the best of them. Get this: I remove the old roll and put it in the trash can. Sounds easy, right? Nope. I then must pick up a new roll of toilet paper and - dunDunDUN - put the new roll on the roll hanger.
Toilet paper roll changing apparently takes incredible skill because no one else in my home ever does it. And I mean EVER. It must be extremely difficult and therefore, an Olympic-worthy event.
Eating Every Potato Chip That Ever Existed
Don't roll your eyes at me. I've seen competitive eaters on ESPN, so this must be considered a sport. There's even an International Federation of Competitive Eating. They have a seal and everything! That sounds pretty darn "Olympic" to me.
The Olympics are all about sports, right? Eating is a sport, according to the IFOCE. And chips are meant to be eaten. Therefore, if a=b and b=c, then I can eat potato chips in the Olympics.
In my never ending quest to find chips as tasty as the bag of taco Doritos I polished off in 1979, I have sampled every new potato chip that makes its way onto the store shelves. I've tried them all: barbecue, cheese, sour cream and onion; Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos; puffs, rings, scoops. Heck, I once even tried a bag of chips that had nothing but a giant question mark on the package, daring me to sample them and name the flavor. As I recall, it was Southwestern ranch meets dill pickle meets dog breath (funny that FritoLay rejected my flavor suggestion). As nasty as those nameless chips were, I ate every single one of them because, like an Olympian, I don't quit when it gets difficult.
I love chips, man. And don't Olympic athletes love what they do? Isn't that why they do it? They push the limits, hoping to be the world's best. I push the chips…into my mouth…hoping to eat the world's best.
Porch Swinging While Sipping Wine
Folks, don’t try this at home unless you're a trained porch swinger/wine drinker. Porch swinging while sipping wine has a high degree of difficulty: the more wine you drink, the more difficult it becomes to stay on the swing.
Points will be deducted for both spilling and sloshing. Still, after years of practice, I think I could be the Nadia Comaneci of swing sipping and score perfect 10s. But if I don't win gold, I won't really care after a couple of glasses of wine.
Cutting Oneself on Objects Previously Considered Harmless
This event practically guarantees me a gold necklace. In an earlier post, I told you how ridiculously clumsy I am. I'm proud to say that like a true Olympian, I've taken my game to a whole notha' level.
Earlier this week, I managed to slice my finger open on a vitamin. Yes, a vitamin. All I wanted to do was snap that One A Day multivitamin in half. After much straining, sweating and swearing, I finally succeeded. I was about to pop half the pill in my mouth, when I noticed my knuckle was bleeding profusely. Somehow, I had sliced it open in my effort. I have no idea how that happened, but I then had to take the entire vitamin to restore the iron I lost bleeding. Go figure. As a friend of mine pointed out, the incident gives all new meaning to the song, "Jagged Little Pill."
I have also cut myself while doing mundane things like vacuuming, making the bed and even washing my face. All this begs the question: Are Olympic athletes like myself born or made?
I think perhaps I was born for cutting oneself on objects previously considered harmless; however, I have perfected my skills through years of abusing myself. If only it could one day bring me Olympic glory!
I can hear Bob Costas announcing my Olympic moment now…
Bob Costas: Jennifer Jenkins Reese from Team USA just entered the arena to wild applause and has taken her place next to the other competitors. As you know, Jenkins Reese has already captured Olympic gold in sock skating, toilet paper roll changing, eating every potato chip that ever existed and porch swinging while sipping wine.
"If she wins gold in cutting oneself on objects previously considered harmless, she will be the only athlete to ever win the gold medal in five brand-new, completely unrelated, somewhat ridiculous Olympic events. There's a rumor going around Olympic Village that Jenkins Reese bitch-slapped Michael Phelps until he cried last night in a hotel bar and told him, and I'm quoting here, 'Suck it, Has-been.'
"Word has it, Phelps is in the arena today to see if Jenkins Reese can pull it off ... and/or possibly to score a little something from the Peruvians.
"Today's competition is about to begin, and they are not making it easy on these athletes, folks. Sure these competitors are naturally clumsy and imminent dangers to themselves, but it will take remarkable effort to cut oneself on a pair of socks, a clump of cotton balls and a down pillow. Let's see if Jenkins Reese has what it takes.
"She's up first. The crowd has grown quiet and it's very intense in here as Jenkins Reese stares down the clump of cotton balls, planning her first move.
"As is required of all athletes in this contest, she must first put on her safety helmet. She is doing that now--
"OH NO! Oh my God! Oh my God! Can you all see that? There is blood gushing everywhere! Jenkins Reese has her hands wrapped around her neck and blood is literally oozing between her fingers. It appears … can it be? Yes, she has sliced open her carotid artery while trying to fasten her helmet's chin strap! This is amazing! What a fierce competitor!
"Let's check in with Scott Hamilton who has rushed to the arena floor to take a closer look. Scott?"
Scott Hamilton: Bob, this is wonderfully fantastic! Jenkins Reese is waving off the paramedics as all the color drains from her face and she turns ghastly pale. It's beyond belief!
"I can tell you by their shocked expressions that the other athletes never saw this coming. It's absolutely brilliant on the part of Jenkins Reese to cut herself with the very safety helmet intended to protect her. Bob, I dare say that if she lives, she is going to clench that fifth gold medal. The Chinese and Russian coaches are shaking their heads. I don't see how anyone can possibly top this."
Bob Costas: Listen, Scott. Can you hear the crowd over Jenkins Reese's bloody neck gurgles? They are erupting into chants of 'U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!' We are witnessing Olympic history.
"Jenkins Reese has made us all so proud…I…I'm sorry. I'm tearing up her a little bit and finding it hard to stay composed in the midst of this awesome hero, this athlete who pushed the envelope, who skated in socks, who ate chips that tasted like pig testicles, who downed three bottles of wine and somehow stayed upright on a porch swing, who changed every roll of toilet paper in the Olympic village, including Team Mexico's, and who now is miraculously, bravely giving the thumbs up from the ambulance stretcher. Astonishing!"
Scott Hamilton: Bob, if I can correct something you said there. Jenkins Reese is indeed raising an appendage, but, umm, that's not a thumb.
"That's her middle finger. It appears she's directing it right at Michael Phelps…."