I know the ratings aren't good, but these Olympics are.
“Olympic Citizenship.” I’m not a big fan of people getting citizenship just so that they can compete in the Olympics for a certain country. Especially when it nets the “new country” a medal. “American” Ice Dancer Tanith Belbin is an example of this…she’s lived in the U.S. since 1998 and became a citizen at the 11th hour on December 31, 2005 thanks to some governmental action.
Funny how so many people were upset with Congress for being involved with the “Steroids in Baseball” issue. This Congressional criticism revolved around the “don’t they have more important things to worry about?” argument. I think all governments at all levels have way more to worry about — including what’s going on in baseball — than to expedite citizenship proceedings so that an individual athlete can compete in the Olympics. Do you think there would have been this last-minute activity if Ms. Belbin hadn’t won the U.S. Championships for the past three years?
Hotheaded and Other Very Emotional Italians. As an Italian, I revel in all public displays of stereotypical Italian behavior. Men kissing men (not that way), people talking with their hands, people swooning over a good marinara sauce, and a hearty “salute” being offered up over glasses of red wine are all fun to see. I don’t care if it's fiction – The Sopranos, Everybody Love Raymond, spaghetti sauce commercials, Olive Garden commercials – or real life – the Gotti family, Ice Dancers, Cross-Country Skiers. I love these displays because they are so NOT my family.
The story of the Italian ice dancers – Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margiglio – is classic. At the time they were leading the competition, they fell while performing a lift. Actually, it looked like the guy screwed up and dropped the girl and then fell on top of her. They went on to have a beautiful finish. But at the finish the pair was facing each other and the girl was staring at her partner with a hateful glare that could have melted the ice if she was looking down. They stood there for what seemed like two minutes. Fusar-Poli was pissed…and all the while they were skating off and then walking to the “kiss and cry” area it looked like she was muttering an Italian curse word. I slo-mo replayed it to read her lips and I’ll guarantee she was calling her partner an unkind thing. Then I read that she didn’t talk to her partner again until after their final skate. Italian temper, old school.