The Winter Games are by far my favorite sports on television. Forget the Superbowl or World Series or Stanley Cup or whatever you call the big game ender for basketball. I prefer things like skiing and skating and, yes, even curling.
We haven’t been that involved in major television events since we moved almost two years ago because we “gave up” cable TV. We decided to try the on-demand life and see how much we really missed TV. The answer? Not all that much. I’ve mentioned before that now, when we sit down to watch someone, we all have to make a decision on what to watch. I think it’s led to more mindful viewing. And maybe a little bit of binge watching.
In the first week of February this year, we were on vacation in Florida. We missed the Superbowl but soon after, the Olympics started. Every time we stopped somewhere with a television, we were glued. When we got back, we stopped at the neighbor’s house for a quick chat and we were glued. We went to my mom’s house for a quick visit and we were glued. We left her house and went up the block to my sister’s house and we were glued. It was the women’s snowboarding semi-finals, after all.
After all that, I finally suggested to my husband that we get an HD antenna. We didn’t need to hand over our money and be beholden to the cable company. We could still live in our streaming, on-demand world and get to watch the Olympics. So that’s what we did.
Every night as a family, we watched every single sport. Evan got to bed way too late every night because we just had to watch the final bobsled race. Or we had to see the giant slalom. Or we had to see the exciting ice dancing competition.
Wait a minute… ICE DANCING? Who had we become?
We had become a family that enjoyed rallying around a sport together, even if it was ice dancing. Even Evan got into it saying things like, Oh, that wasn’t a very good lift. They weren’t as good as the Canadian team.
And much like me, my son is talking about Olympic aspirations. My inspiration came in 1984 when Debbie Armstrong won the gold medal in Sarajevo. I was going to be the next Debbie Armstrong. Never mind that I didn’t live near mountains and was really kind of afraid of skiing. I was inspired!
As many of you know, I did not turn out to be an Olympic skiier but I won’t dash Evan’s dreams. The other night, I took him swimming and he said, Mommy, too bad there’s no such sport as water dancing.
There is! I told him. It’s called synchronized swimming!
Quickly, I searched the databanks of my mind. Did men do synchronized swimming? It was an Olympic sport, wasn’t it? What would my husband think?
On the way home, I questioned him further. So you think you want to do synchronized swimming?
Yes, Mommy. Either synchronized swimming or snowboarding.
It sounded a lot like my aspirations of downhill skiing. When we got home, I actually did look up men’s synchronized swimming. It DOES exist but it’s not an Olympic sport. Apparently, the IOC only thinks women are fancy enough for “water dancing.” We’ve been watching YouTube videos of it anyway. Fuzzy YouTube videos from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Evan thought the Chinese team was way better than the Japanese team.
I’m sure we’ll continue to watch low resolution, probably illegal video clips of years gone by now that we’ve piqued our interest in the Winter Games again. But we’re also going to rely on our Netflix streaming once again for a little family entertainment.
The Fabulous Ice Age is a new documentary available only on Netflix that tells the never-before-told history of everyone’s favorite Olympic event, figure skating. (I’m kind of wishing we watched this last night instead of a documentary on life before the dinosaurs. I might have fallen asleep during that one).
And if you’re looking to inspire your kids, Netflix has a whole series of both kid-friendly documentaries and movies to keep them in the game. Note: I haven’t watched any of these but I’m kind of curious about the nun with the basketball.
And if you’re kid is motivated by rewards like mine, you can keep them going with their very own medals. I’m not ordinarily the crafty type but I happen to think these are super cute.
Have you streamed anything good lately? Are you surviving the post-Olympic letdown or are you more of a Summer Games kind of family?
I’m part of the Netflix Stream Team which means that I write about them monthly but all opinions are my own.