The Olympics are well underway. Olympians are doing Olympic things, getting bronze, silver, and gold medals (that they will be able to melt down and trade once the economy collapses thanks to you freeloading poors! Sorry, I’m still on about that — but seriously, you guys grind my gears!). And sure, it’s impressive to see these elite athletes with all their athletics and stuff. And sure, to most of the world, those guys are the true Olympians (what with them actually competing in the Olympics), but most of the world is wrong (classic most of the world).
The true Olympians are guys like you and me (and girls … which I have to say or you’ll make nasty comments). And I’ll tell you why.
None of us really care about any of these sports. Seriously, who cares about curling, cross-country skiing, or the Nordic combined. Sure, maybe when the Olympics aren’t happening you care about hockey (men’s hockey, not women’s hockey — obviously. Although, I did just mention women’s hockey, so no nasty comments please). But when the Olympics aren’t happening, most of us could give a rat’s ass about figure skating.
So why does that make us the true Olympians? Why does not caring about Olympic sports make us the true Olympians? Because we have to spend two-and-a-half weeks pretending that any of this matters. When it doesn’t. None of this matters. But we all pretend that it does, and that’s a lot of hard work.
And, just like the Olympics, there are levels of winning at pretending to like the Olympics.
There’s the gold level (which I obtain, because I excel at literally everything I do).
To reach the gold level of pretending to care about the Olympics takes a lot of care and training. You have to learn all the athlete’s names. (“Oh, man, did you hear how Bilodeau and Kingsbury did at the moguls?”) You have to learn what moguls are. (“Yeah, man, they’re like little ski jumps”.) And you actually have to read about the Olympics and know how many medals have been awarded.
It takes a lot of practice and training, but can be lost in just a split-second by not knowing a name, a sport, or a rule.
To win gold in pretending to care about the Olympics you have to care the most you possibly can about the Olympics while still not caring about them.
Next up you have silver.
Winning the silver medal in pretending to care about the Olympics, doesn’t necessarily mean knowing the names of athletes. You just need to know what country won what event. (“Oh, did you hear that Canada won gold in moguls?”)
You’ll still need to know what moguls are, but less nitty-gritty. Essentially, if you want to win the silver, you have to do almost as much work as someone who wins the gold medal does, but just care a little less about pretending to care more.
Lastly there’s bronze.
To win bronze, you really just need to know how many medals your country has won. (“Oh, yeah. Canada has won seven medals in total.”) People are a little let down by you, you know, because you don’t really seem to care. But at least you care enough to know how your country is doing in the Olympics.
The bronze medal in pretending to care about the Olympics is the level that most people can aspire to achieve.
So, sure, it might seem like these “actual” Olympians, who train their entire lives to compete in the actual Olympics, would be the actual Olympians. But just think about it, they probably only have one shot to compete at the Olympics, so they only have to do it once. We have to pretend we care about them every four years.
And it takes a lot of work to win the gold medal in pretending to care about the Olympics.
Nathaniel Moher is a television writer living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.