Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Winter Games

Describe Feeling

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The winter Olympic Games are underway again. Skaters and skiers, sledders, curlers, and boarders will be competing for that pinnacle moment when a broadcast journalist points a microphone at their face in search of the next version of what it feels like to win.

Before we even get to that, during last night’s US taped broadcast of the opening ceremony, NBC provided appetizers in the form of athletes trying to describe their feelings before stepping into the stadium for the parade of nations.

I love watching athletic competition. Seeing people struggle for words to describe how they feel isn’t as entertaining for me.

Sometimes I wonder more about the broadcast journalist who is popping the question. Think of the effort they put in to reach the subject of greatest interest, battling camera-yielding athletes in their own right who are jostling for position with all the other microphone-holding reporters eager to ask.

What must the journalists be feeling at the moment they try to concisely summarize what just happened for the athlete, setting up the big question? How did the journalist train for this? How long have they wanted to be the person to ask an athlete how it feels in the seconds after victory? What is the journalist feeling right after they hear the answer and offer a closing tidbit to send the broadcast back to the booth?

The NFL Super Bowl just happened in the Twin Cities, and of course, the de rigueur post game athlete interviews were right on schedule. With team sports, the journalists have multiple chances to mine for that elusive articulation of the winning feeling.

While that was happening, the fans in the stands were breaking the seats.

I want to hear the vandal-fans put their feelings into words.

“Your team just won the championship and you are destroying property. Describe how it feels to break things when you are this happy.”

Last night, I would have been happy to watch the struggle for feeling-descriptors from the person who was piloting the world-record 1,218 Shooting Star drones that were electronically added to the ceremony. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t able to do it live during the cold and windy opening event, the feelings were probably still awesome.

Amazing. Probably hard to put into words. Unbelievable.

The biggest question in life isn’t, “Will you marry me?” More important than that is, “How does it feel?”

Maybe there should be college courses where athletes can enhance their perception of what winning feels like and hone the art of assembling mere words to convey the ethereal essence of unspeakable emotions.

Competitions could be created where the interview to describe how winning feels is the event.

Imagine trying to describe what it would feel like to win that medal.

Enjoy the PyeongChang winter games and winning athlete interviews.

I will. It will be amazing.



Written by johnwhays

February 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

Winter Olympics

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Among the too-many-to-count moments of my life thus far when I have found myself in the midst of something that my wildest dreams never imagined possible, attending the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, was off the charts.

That Fred & Marie were able to consider this a viable option for a family vacation, and then pull it off with such incredible results, is enough to leave me at a loss for words to adequately describe.

I love sports. Olympic competitions are some of the best. Winter is my favorite. A trip to Lillehammer, Norway? A bonus on top of a bonus and a bonus, and another bonus.

This trip was spectacular! To be able to do this with family was wonderful (although we left our young children at home with a nanny). The other family (Friswold friends) traveling with us were precious. The authentic accommodations were priceless. Obviously, the Winter Games were world-class. And Norway did a fantastic job as host country.

We were able to stay in the home of a farm family. The boys gave up their rooms and slept somewhere else, but they still had to come home to do chores, so we saw them at breakfast.

Through the Friswold connections, we ended up attending a black-tie dinner event heavily themed with Norwegian culture. We had an opportunity to do some nordic skiing in a gorgeous mountain forested landscape blanketed with deep snow. We attended a hockey game, a downhill skiing event, saw the luge up close –nothing like it with the roar of speeding blades grinding against ice as sleds rocketed past our heads– and watched moguls freestyle skiing.









This trip was so much fun that the experience lingered for a long, long time as one of the best things I had ever done.

Other than the week Cyndie and I spent learning winter survival skills from Will Steger at his homestead property in Ely, Minnesota, and the lodge-to-lodge dogsledding adventure vacation we took our kids on with Sue and Paul Schurke, the trip to Norway for the Winter Olympic Games fulfilled my snow-season passions better than I thought possible.

The success of this family trip went a long way toward showing me how much fun was possible, traveling with this clan.

Even if the next excursions weren’t likely to be headed to a cold weather climate zone, it was pretty easy to talk me into going along with whatever wild idea the family was plotting next.



Written by johnwhays

December 26, 2017 at 7:00 am