Daily Dirt: Reverse mullets, where’s basketball and a Winter Olympics athlete named Winter Vinecki

Winter Vinecki

Winter Vinecki | Photo courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022

Steve’s been enjoying the early days of the Winter Olympics and is seriously contemplating a career as a curler … Welcome to Vol. 207 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Here are a dozen of Steve’s early observations from the Beijing Winter Olympics:

  • 1. Those crazy downhill skiers travel up to 90 mph. I don’t think I have ever even driven 90 mph. (Well, at least not since that one unfortunate day after I got my license in 1970 — and a speeding ticket.)
  • 2. If I were to have been a Winter Olympian, I would have wanted to be a snowboarder. Those guys — and girls — are simply nuts. I mean that in a good way, of course. (One of the snowboarders, American Red Gerard, has what is termed a “reverse mullet.” One of the NBC announcers noted, “Yeah, there’s a definite party going on in the front.”
  • 3. Why isn’t basketball part of the Winter Olympics? Wouldn’t that make quite a bit of sense?
  • 4. Is it just me, or does the Beijing that we get glimpses of on TV seem so-o-o-o depressing?
  • 5. Why do I plan to limit my Olympics viewing to a couple of hours each evening, and yet there I am, five or six hours later still watching?
  • 6. I think I could be a curler. Speaking of curling, why is that “sport” (and the term is used loosely) so addictive? During one of the early nights of the Games, I watched co-ed curling for more than three hours on one of the Olympic satellite feeds. 
  • 7. OK, be honest. Do you secretly root for the ice skaters to fall? When they do, it’s also interesting how well they recover and try to act like nothing ever happened.
  • 8. The most heartwarming story — among many of those Olympic profiles — was of 24-year-old U.S. skier Colby Stevenson, who a few years ago was involved in a horrific crash when he fell asleep at the wheel of the truck he was driving. His road back to being a world-class athlete, which included some frightening skull and brain injuries (not to mention an induced coma) is the stuff of legends. I highly recommend finding it somewhere online. A warning: Some of the pictures are not for the weak of heart.
  • 9. Surprisingly, Iceland has never won an Olympic medal in an event involving ice.
  • 10. The United States has the largest contingent at the Winter Olympics with 224 athletes from 31 states. Canada has 215 and Russia 212.
  • 11. Nineteen countries are represented by one athlete: Albania, American Samoa, Cyprus, East Timor, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Phillipines, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • 12. Out of four seasons, the Olympics only take place during the summer and winter. This year, two U.S. athletes have those seasons in their names: Summer Britcher and Winter Vinecki. Britcher is a 27-year-old luger who’s competing in her third Olympics. Vinecki is a 23-year old aerial skier competing on the freestyle team and is the first person named Winter to compete in the Winter Olympics.

2. Supply-chain issues and worker shortages have helped lead to the lack of some items at the local supermarkets (such as regular Fritos and Styrofoam cups). According to the eatthis.com website, the following products might be next on the endangered species list:

  • Coffee.
  • Dairy products.
  • Various meat products.
  • Wheat-related items.
  • Potatoes

So … just about everything, right?

Alan Ritchson, left, and Tom Cruise

3. I’m about halfway through the new “Reacher” series on Amazon, starring Alan Ritchson. It’s based, of course, on the two Jack Reacher movies starring Tom Cruise. Cruise fit the hero’s role perfectly, but Ritchson has added new elements to the character, mostly from his hulking size. Ritchson is a sculpted 6-foot-2 and resembles an NFL linebacker. Cruise is a diminutive 5-7 and is more along the lines of a junior varsity point guard.

Cruise starred in two Jack Reacher films before retiring from the role. But he left some memorable thoughts with us. The following may be my three favorites:

  • Gold medal: “I’m a man with a rule: People leave me alone, I leave them alone. If they don’t, I don’t.”
  • Silver medal: “I hit them fast, hit them hard, and hit them a lot”.
  • Bronze medal: “I worked 13 years, got me nowhere. I feel like I tried it their way, and to hell with them. Now I’m going to try it my way”.

Steve Thought O’ The Day
Steve had no idea where Eritrea was located but guessed somewhere in South America. Steve was not even close. Eritrea is in northeast Africa, and Steve has no plans whatsoever to visit. 

Steve wanted to be a snowboarder, but he was disqualified because snacks kept flying out of his pockets as he performed his leaps and flips.

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