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Let The Games Begin!

by Tom King

ursday, February 06, 2014 3:41 a.m. by Tom King

I've been a fan of the Winter Olympics for a long time. I remember watching them as a youngster on ABC with Jim McKay as the ringmaster and supreme talents like Peggy Fleming and Jean Claude Killy showing their skills...but it was 1976 when I really got into it. The Games were in Innsbruck Austria and I was a freshman at UW-Stevens Point. Stuck in my dorm room at Watson Hall on a snowy February night doing homework I had a small black & white tv tuned into the Games when an Austrian skiier named Franz Klammer forged his name into Olympic history. I'm not a skier...have only tried it a couple of times...but even I could sense the edge that Klammer brought to his downhill run. He was on the brink of falling spectacularly on almost every turn and jump. He teetered on the edge of skis to get every last bit of speed he could and ended up winning gold. It was a run that was re-run numerous times over the years...but right then...it made me a Winter Olympic fan.

I'm not as crusty as Bob Costas who described some of the added sports like snowboarding as "Jackass" style sports but I'm more of a traditionalist...skiing, skating, luge & bobsled and hockey...and alright curling too. Let the games begin and let the stories of some of these great athletes be told. You havent heard of some of these people yet but you will and you will be amazed.