This week has all been about the Olympics for me.
I know people tend not to like the Winter Olympics as much as the Summer Olympics, but I absolutely love both.
This has been a crazy week for the American competitors, too. (I apologize to international readers; I have to take a moment to brag about our medals.) I don’t even know what my favorite event has been so far. The week started out strong with a win for speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno. If you caught that race, you know it was insane when two Koreans took each other out, putting two Americans in place to win silver and bronze.
Snowboarding has been intense as well. Shaun White makes halfpipe look incredibly easy (which, of course, it’s not). And Naperville, Ill. native Evan Lysacek won gold in figure skating. That’s especially exciting since I live right near Naperville.
The Winter Olympics just has that element of danger in all its events that makes it so exciting to watch. Plus, I think NBC does an amazing job of providing back stories and giving us a real reason to care about these competitors. I had no idea who Chinese pairs skaters Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue were, but I was definitely excited for them when they won gold. That’s the beauty of journalism: You’re not just watching someone run a race or compete in an event. The moment becomes more real once you know the person competing.
It continually amazes me how much time and effort these athletes put into their sports. It’s pretty motivating to help me do the same in my own activities.
I just love everything about the Olympics. I love the little tidbits I pick up about other countries. Who knew Kazakhstan had a Korean minority? Now I know.
I even get really pulled into curling. You know, that sport with the brooms. I’ve met so many people who agree that once you start watching curling, it just sucks you in. There’s something about it.
Plus, it’s great that, this year, figure skater Johnny Weir has his own reality show on the Sundance Channel. “Be Good Johnny Weir” gives you a look into the life of the always-entertaining skater who’s known for his outrageous costumes and very interesting sound bites.
I’m glad there’s still a week to go of Olympic fun. It definitely shapes my evening TV viewing for two weeks.
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Pop Culture Hijabi is a weekly column by Nadia Malik. Malik is a former newspaper reporter based in Chicago who’s now making her way as a freelancer. She spends entirely too much time watching TV and reading pop culture, fashion and TV blogs. She also occasionally consumes serious books and news. No, really. You can reach her at email@example.com with “pop culture hijabi” in the subject line, follow her at www.twitter.com/nadiamalik or simply leave a comment below.