The torch has been extinguished. The athletes have all gone home, some with metals that testify to their athletic ability and others with newfound canine friends. As the world shifts its attention, Sochi has become a ghost town overnight, with its infamous stray dogs returning to reclaim the streets. There’s no more buzz on social media, no more triumphant tweets. All I find at primetime on NBC are primetime television sitcoms.
The Winter Olympics, which have captivated the world for the past 16 days, are over. And if you’re like me, I’m already asking myself how long until I get to see the beauty of ice dancing, the high flying tricks of freestyle skiing or the precision and skill that is curling again.
Somebody must be wondering the same thing and has posted a countdown to both future Summer and Winter Olympics.
In the meantime, I’m diagnosing myself with the Winter Olympic Blues. And I am prescribing my own medicine: a rundown of my five favorite things from these Games in particular order.
The Stubborn Snowflake
Maybe it speaks to a nation still on the mend from a rocky past. Maybe it sums up the whole record breaking $51 billion Games. Or maybe it is was just a minor glitch in what was otherwise a terrific opening ceremony. Whatever it was, one of the five mammoth snowflakes did not morph into the interlocking Olympic rings. The best is that the Russians made fun of it during the closing ceremony.
When the Internet attacked NBC reporter Christin Cooper for cuasing Miller to cry during a post-race interview, he came to her defense. Cooper asked Miller about his emotions following his Super-G run, which made Miller tear up thinking of his deceased brother, Chelone.
That’s what the Games are all about. When Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth saw Russian Anton Gafarov trying to finish the men’s cross-country skiing sprint with a broken ski, he ran out and replaced the ski with a new one. I wish this kind of cooperation extended beyond the Olympic course.
The costumes. The routines. The duo. The light, quick and lovely American duo Meryl Davis and Charlie White dazzled all with their breathtaking gold medal performance. For me, this event was second only to freestyle skiing.
Before the opening ceremony, the Olympics were all over Twitter. But it wasn’t the coverage event organizers imagined. Journalists were tweeting about unfinished or underprepared hotel rooms in and around the Olympic Games.
As usual, late Sunday night finds me in front of my T.V. absorbed in the newest episode of AMC’s original series “The Walking Dead.” And I’m not alone. The mid-season premiere last Sunday drew a total audience of 15.8 million viewers, more than the Winter Olympics. The zombie apocalypse drama is pretty contagious (pun intended!), to say the least.
The popularity of the show has spread from the living room to the Twitterverse, where hashtags like #TheWalkingDead overrun my newsfeed for hours before and after the show Sunday nights. It’s a part of this trend in social media called “second-screen,” where people tweet or post on Facebook while watching a sports event, political event or T.V. show. Last night, tweets about “The Walking Dead” swamped my Twitter newsfeed, hiding any tweets about the Doug McDermott’s win over Villanova and Bode Miller’s emotional response to winning bronze in the Men’s Super-G. People were tweeting quotes from the episode and pcitures of their viewing parties. Someone even tweeted a picture of his cat scratching at the T.V. during the episode. (That was a winning combination; the Internet loves cats and “The Walking Dead.”) I was easily distracted from my studying and couldn’t wait to get home to watch it.
At the same time, I was a little annoyed that people were spoiling the episode, especially for those who live on the West Coast. One may think that one accepts the risk of spoilers when following twitter accounts of characters from the show, but I follow them more for the entertainment of their in-character jokes and asides. Next Sunday, I’ll think twice about checking my Twitter feed when the episode airs on the East Coast.