The Russian Olympics: Observations of a Perplexed Spectator


Wow. That long read was worth the time, no question.

And I learned something that no one has ever been able to explain to me. I grew up before Title IX was implemented, plus had a non-normal childhood, so I have never understood the general passion for spectator sports. But here it is:

Something extraordinary was happening, and I realized that I shared their emotion, not because I rooted for the same team or same country, but I could ride the lifting emotion and energy, and its sudden appearance was something we all could enjoy. That was it, I thought at the time. That’s what I came for.
A spectator of sport looks to share in this kind of exuberance with others. It is not something a person can create by or for himself. It depends completely on a ritualistic event that invites our participation. It may or may not happen and its unpredictability only enhances the payoff. It is a raw experience of energy, like a fountain of youth. It is rare but this kind of experience is revitalizing.

That Goggomobil: SQUEEEEEE!

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Maybe a resort town in the middle of an identity crisis while hosting the olympics, isn’t the best place to experience the local culture in a historical context.

Then in some ways it appears to have been a perfect example of modern Russia (in a town in the middle of an identity crisis).

Too bad the event tickets couldn’t have been managed better… I would have expected that to be one of the easier acquisitions.

I’ll bite. What is Title IX?

You beat me to it! I had copied those exact two paragraphs to re-post here. And then I kept reading, and the writing kept getting better.

This is the same reason I go to burning man and SF conventions.

This is the ONLY way I can connect with my sports-fan friends’ love of their preferred form of ritual war. That mob unity thing. I got my fix of that through the early rave scene, but wherever you get it, damn, it’s good.

(IMO, it’s better with Gabber & ecstasy, but whatevs)

I believe the author of that post is saying they are female, and referring to the law.

Prior to this, there was really no problem just never teaching girls about anything considered “not feminine,” which includes a large number of sports. In other words, growing up in an environment where sports are considered something for “the other.”

I think it’s a Zaporozhets not a Goggomobil. It’s also a highway patrol car- or at least that’s what the writing on the door means.

Izzat so? It’s a dead ringer, like. Even down to the canted-in wheels. Not surprising for that era of cars. I’d love a Buick-alike Chaika…

Really? ZAZ copied the design of the FIAT 600 for the Zaporozhets, not the Goggomobil.

And I would also love a Chaika- though what I’d really like is the KGB-special Volga with the V8 engine from the Chaika. Soviet muscle car…


That’s, like, the most deliberately awkward car to pick ever. You’re correct, however.

Yup, exactly. Thanks for helping.

Gym class for girls in my grade school was comprised of tumbling, volleyball, jump rope, 16" softball, and such.

I never even learned the rules to U.S. football, baseball or basketball until I was an adult.

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