Watching the Winter Olympics (or as Dave put it, 'the celebration of how many different ways you can slide about of some form of frozen water') has become the new favourite pastime in the Brit household. Mainly because watching the female speed skaters makes me feel a lot better about the size of my thighs, which is no mean feat, but it is also the one show in which my husband will join in the 'what on earth are they wearing?!?' conversation. We're finding it compulsive. For the record, the Canadian female speed skating outfit with the cling film effect around the tops of their legs was unanimously voted NOT GOOD.
As a Brit there is really only one defining winter Olympic moment. It might, in fact, be our only Winter Olympic moment, but it is a great one. In 1984 the ice dancers, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, clad in purple floated their way through their Bolero routine and to a perfect score for artistic impression, a feat yet to be equalled. I just watched it again, it is still wonderful.
The 1984 Olympics were considered to be a great triumph. They were feted for their diversity, their encompassing nature and lived up to the Olympic ideals of competition without politics, religion or racism. The residents of the host city were celebrated for their kindness and generosity.
8 years later the city was under seige, the Olympic venues were destroyed, the ski slopes and luge runs were mined, the seats in the stadiums used to make coffins for those killed during the conflict.
So much for a lasting Olympic spirit.