Simpleton’s Guide To The Winter Olympics (Curling and Ski Jumping)
With the Winter Olympics in South Korea fast approaching it is time for me to furnish you with my expert knowledge of all sports blighted by ice and snow.
From spandex to snow boots, I will give you and in depth guide to each individual sport so that you can entertain your fellow passengers whilst stood in slush at a Barnsley bus stop or slipping on ice in Ipswich.
Where possible, I will give instructions on how you can recreate these sports in your own home, street or workplace and phrases to use to dazzle your colleagues.
The schedule kicks off on February 8th in Pyeongchang with two sports that epitomise the extremes that come with the Winter Olympics. One is akin to doing a little bit of housework, the other replicates the measures you would go to avoid said housework if your partner asked you to do it.
Invented in Scotland in the sixteenth century, curling was originally a way of a wife passing the teapot to her husband without getting off her arse and moving away from the warmth of the fire.
She would skim the pot across the frosty floor whilst her children would sweep away any dead mice, dropped food or donkey droppings that would get in the pot’s way. The aim being to get it as close to her husband’s sporran as possible.
The sport hasn’t changed much over the years and the Scots have dominated; the whole of the British team being Scottish this year. The only real accommodation to modern times is the abolition of Scots wearing kilts following the ‘ginger hair scandal’ of 2010 where Russia complained of foreign objects on the ice after the Scots in the GB team had squatted down to sweep.
What to say: That ice is keen.
What not to say: Donald where’s ya troosers?
Can it be recreated? Yes. All you need is a laminate floor, a teapot, some WD40, a couple of brooms and some willing children.
If ever madness was a signifier for how good you would be at a sport, then ski jumping is that sport.
The Norwegians always come across as a bit bland. Their food is bland, their music is bland and 79% of their teenagers dress like rock fans in 1980s Eastern Europe yet they were the first to get involved with throwing themselves off mountains for fun.
Marks are given for both distance and style and with style counting for up to twenty points, the early days saw a lot of jumpers sporting top hats and monocles.
The health and safety brigade put paid to that and now they all have to wear brightly coloured spandex and helmets.
Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is the sport’s most famous son despite his path to stardom being unconventional. He originally rocked up in Lillehammer stalking Nordic pop stars, A-Ha. In a bid to get rid of him and his dreadful repeat renditions of Take On Me on the karaoke, it is alleged that Morten Harket and pals tied Eddie’s feet to two planks and pushed him down the mountain.
He miraculously survived this attempt on his life leading him to believe that he had a future in the sport. After his appearance in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, the rest of the world realised that he didn’t. The sport’s leaders changing both the rules and their phone numbers in the hope that he didn’t compete again.
What to say: Keep your chin up Eddie.
What not to say: Since the introduction of spandex and women into the sport, it is inappropriate to mention anything about wings or flaps when discussing the athletes flying through the air.
Little known fact: Roger Moore was lined up to join the GB Ski Jumping team in the 1980 Winter Olympics following his dramatic jump in the film, The Spy Who Loved Me. He only declined when he was finally convinced that his insistence on using his iconic Union Flag parachute was not allowed in the rules.