I don’t know what it feels like to whiz over 80mph over ice on what is effectively a tray. I don’t know what it feels like to be airborne on a snowboard, pulling off all kinds of crazy tricks. I don’t know what it feels like to jump over 100m on a pair of skis. I don’t know what it feels like to slide a stone down to a house, in curling.
In fact, I’m not familiar first-hand with many of the Olympic events; my snow sport ‘career’ currently stands at a few weeks skiing in Switzerland, an hour’s ice skating, and the obligatory sliding down a local English hill on a sledge, or anything else that could be found, on the rare (but oh, so beautiful) occasion school was cancelled because of an inch or two of snow.
But, that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine what it feels like to get involved in these events. Our brains are incredible, and the ability to picture how something would feel, and to dream is something truly to be treasured. And for now, that is one of the reasons I love watching the Winter Olympics. As someone naturally curious, and constantly desiring new experiences, it is a way of feeding that need, the need for exhilaration, living vicariously through the experiences of others.
Of course, I don’t mean to detract from the fact that I would love to, and sincerely hope to try these various events at some point in the future. That way I will know how it feels. There will suddenly be a comparison for my dreaming, and something to remember into old age.
Having said that, I think going 80mph in the luge, or sending a 100 meter ski jump will be pushing it, and if that does ever happen, I imagine something will have gone seriously wrong!
So, enjoy the Winter Olympics over the coming weeks!