2018 Winter Olympics Drinking/ Exercise Game

There’s nothing like the Winter Olympics to remind you that you are not, in fact, an elite athlete. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun… or work on your fitness. If you’re having a raucous Olympics party, A) invite us and B) feel free to play the drinking game version (responsibly, and without driving, and you can use water). If you’re feeling a little less-than fit watching all of these grade A humans, dip into our exercise game instead!

One Sip OR One Set of Mountain Climbers (* A set is what you say is a set!)

You wouldn’t know what the event was called if they didn’t tell you, but it could be described as going down a mountain.

You wouldn’t know what the event was called if they didn’t tell you, but it could be described as doing tricks on snow.

You wouldn’t know what the event was called if they didn’t tell you, but it could be described as doing tricks on ice.

NBC kindly lets us know about The Grinch, a movie coming out in a year, or Mamma Mia, a movie coming out in some months.

You find yourself trying to do what the athlete just did in your living room (turns out I can only land a single lutz in my socks)

You spy an athlete’s parent or significant other.

You cry.

 

One Huge Gulp OR One Set Of Bicep Curls

An Olympian is tenuously connected to your hometown (e.g., grandparents live there, went to college for a few semesters, etc).

Rachel Platten and/or Fight Song.

Image result for rachel platten olympics

You see the Korean Handmaid Cheerleaders.

Image result for korean cheerleaders

An Olympian has a personal mascot (e.g., Hanyu with Pooh),

Image result for hanyu olympics pooh

An athlete collapses to the earth after finishing.

Johnny Weir’s outfit is extra even for him.

You see the Olympic mascotImage result for pyeongchang mascot

You ship it.

Image result for virtue moir olympics 2018

Take a Shot OR One Set Of Bicycle Crunches

An Olympian is from your hometown, for real.

A Russian is of such a higher caliber than the other athletes that it feels like they’re doing a different sport.

Image result for medvedeva

A competitor has what you, personally, consider a baby name. So all those toddlers named Mikaela grew up over the past twenty years?

Image result for mikaela shiffrin

Yep. Definitely a grownup.

The announcer is so fired up that they’re shouting like their house just exploded.

There’s innuendo about the Olympic Village.

You see the Korean Handmaid Cheerleaders’ minder.

You’re watching at a time that you consider totally bonkers.

 

Pour A Little Out For Your Favorite Team/Athlete Who Was Robbed OR Sun Salute

An Olympian is over age 30.

An Olympian who’s roughly your peer is now the commentator.

Image result for tara lipinski johnny weir olympics

Leslie Jones sighting

A commentator says the exact opposite of whatever you just said about the event.

The human interest footage includes clips of the athlete doing their sport as an adorable little tot.

Image result for adam rippon childhood

A competitor has a sibling who is also competing in the games.

Image result for shibutani olympics 2018

The human interest footage tries to make the athlete seem like just a normal person (like an average teen, family man, grad student, etc).

An Olympian is not actually from the country they represent.

Scandinavian Olympians and coaches are knitting.

Chug OR Two Sets Of Burpees

An Olympian is over age 40

The commentators repeat whatever you just said

An Olympian has a sibling who is also competing in the games… for a different country.

Image result for sisters hockey olympics

An Olympian is not actually from the country they represent AND their connection to the country is something you, personally, consider pretty weak (e.g, it’s where their husband is from).

There’s a team from a counter-intuitive country (e.g., Jamaican bobsled)

There’s a competitor who clearly isn’t qualified to be there (this “Hungarian” “skiier”)

 

Advertisements

The Proper Age To Give Up Your Winter Olympic Dream

Remember watching the Olympics when you were a kid? There was a whole world of possibility! You could watch any sport and wonder whether maybe you had some innate gift for it and would be competing for your country in 20 years.

As you moved through your later childhood and teen years, your dreams had to die bit by bit. You’d realize that you weren’t even the best hockey player on your school’s team, or you’d fail to qualify for regionals in track. Maybe you shot up to a stocky 5’10 and realized you wouldn’t be much of a gymnast. Or maybe you didn’t get that far — maybe, by age 12 or so, you came to realize that you’re just … not athletic.

And yet, every two years – at the summer and winter Olympics – I start to get a little ahead of myself. Just like when I was five years old, I watch the events and wonder if maybe it’s not too late.

Well, friends, I’m here to kill those dreams. I’ve done a little research, and it looks like if you haven’t started most Winter Olympics events by a certain (usually young) age, you’ll never be using “next-level Tinder” in the Olympic village or wearing your country’s weird Cosby/teacher sweater in the Parade of Nations.

Obviously, there are exceptions to all of these. There really are savants who can take up a sport and be at a competitive level right away. There are also some people who are so preternaturally athletic that they’ll excel in any sport you throw at them. Of course, if you’re already skilled in a closely related sport, it’s also not that hard to take up a new one. Generally, though, there are timelines for these things:

Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping

I guess with most downhill and … I don’t know, fancy, jump-y?… skiing events, it’s less the exact age that you start, and more that (1) you begin fairly young, and most importantly (2) you ski regularly when you’re young, not just on a once-annual ski vacation. Most Olympians started skiing – at least regular, bunny hill skiing – by the time they were six or seven. A skier could theoretically start later, but most Olympians came from skiing families and their parents weren’t going to wait until they were 11 to put them on the slopes.  Coming from a family that skis means that you got to ski regularly during your childhood – and definitely teen – years. A kid whose parents maybe took them to the slopes in sixth grade, then went once a year or so after that, just isn’t going to develop the necessary skills.

Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon, Nordic Combined

The great thing about cross-country skiing is that even very young children can start. It’s tougher than it looks, and competitive-level cross country skiing has massive energy demands and uses pretty much every muscle group. That being said, a very athletically inclined, very fit person could probably begin cross country skiing and move up the competitive ranks even if he or she started in early adulthood – if they were the very rare case, and put a ton of time and effort into it. If you’re interested, the US Ski Team website can point you to USSA Clubs that will introduce you to recreational and competitive Nordic skiing. At the very least, you’ll pick up a fun hobby and work on your fitness.

Bobsleigh

If you’ve followed the US bobsled team this year, you know that track star Lolo Jones joined the team after beginning training just last year. Of course, she falls into the “preternaturally athletic” category, so … you know. But I bet you’ve also seen Cool Runnings, right? If not, what were you doing in the 90s? Find it on Netflix or get it at your local library. Please. Those guys were from Jamaica – so, you know, not the snowiest – and began practicing on dry land. However, like Miss Jones, these fellas were pretty athletic to start with. The real problem with bobsled (bobsleigh, I guess?) is opportunity. You probably don’t have the equipment, training, climate, or local interest to start. But if you can get together all of those things, and are already a strong, fast person, and ideally have citizenship in a country that’s not very competitive about winter sports, you just might make it.

Curling

Curling is the one sport that all of us can look at and think “yep, I can do it.” Truly, you could start curling at a pretty advanced age and make it to the Olympics. It’s not a sport that relies on the sprightliness of youth, and the physical demands don’t require years of conditioning. Nevertheless, there is a certain skill to curling, and it will take a while to develop the knack for it. If you join a local curling club and get serious about it, curling is a sport that doesn’t necessitate childhood training. That doesn’t mean that anyone can do it – just that if you’re going to be good at it, you can start as a grown-up.

Figure Skatingtumblr_n0sqxsYNw41rtfj70o4_400

Are you old enough to be reading this post? Like, your mom isn’t reading it aloud to you because you’re still getting Hooked on Phonics? Then you’re probably too old for this one. Most figure skaters took to the ice by – at the latest – upper elementary school (and that’s only if they’re really, naturally good at it). It’s a sport that can put a lot of wear on you, which is why you don’t see a lot of figure skaters competing after their late 20s or early 30s. By their teens, most serious figure skaters are putting in early mornings on the rink, and possibly getting home schooled. True story: when both my sister and I expressed interest in figure skating, my dad brushed us off with “okay, but you’d have to move to Texas to do it.” Why Texas? Who knows. We only wanted to skate for fun, but if you’re a serious competitor, you could easily move cities or states for the sport once you’re in high school. The only scenario I could see where someone could start figure skating in late childhood or early teens is if they already were already a very solid regular skater, and were skilled in dance, acrobatics, or gymnastics besides. And frankly, even that is a stretch.

Ice Hockeytumblr_mjc9a6Ttru1qzlfumo1_500

Take it from someone who lives in the cold, white north: most competitive hockey players get really serious, really young. Most hockey players start to skate when they’re really little, and are on teams by the late-single digits. Frequently, hockey players will join competitive regional club teams rather than their high school team. Of course, there can be exceptions. A very good team athlete – maybe at field hockey or soccer – who also knows how to skate very well could maybe join their high school team and get pretty good. That would be a rare case indeed, though. A kid will usually be competing pretty seriously by junior high. However, most of those rag-tag kiddos in The Mighty Ducks hadn’t put on skates before, and they were competing against the best hockey teens in the world, so who knows?

Luge and Skeleton

Sad yet true sign of my misspent college years: while watching the luge competition, I thought to myself “hey, this is just like an ice luge! But with humans!” Then I realized that I’m an idiot. According to the United States Luge Association, there are many levels of team participation, with hundreds of athletes trying out every year. It is best for kids to start luge by age 10, and it generally takes about 8-10 years to develop skills to compete at the international level. British athlete Lizzy Yarnold recently said that you cant start bobsleigh or skeleton until age 16. Evidently skeleton star Amy Williams didn’t begin until she was 19 or 20. The skill set just isn’t as fine-tuned as that for luge.

Snowboard

What I said of skiing is basically true for snowboard. Most athletes start young and practice regularly. The only difference here is that, at least in the past, a lot of snowboarders would start with skiing as kids, then go into snowboard later in their teens, already having developed the center of gravity to, um, get down a mountain okay. That’s changed a bit, and more and more people have begun snowboarding in childhood. Still, a very talented skier could begin boarding as a teen, turn out to have a gift for it, and be at international level by their 20s. In theory. Sometimes. Once again, hitting the slopes twice a year will not get you there.

Speed Skating

In countries where speed skating is a big deal (Hello, Netherlands. You’re made of canals), kids start on the ice practically right after they learn how to walk. If you’re from a less speed skating-heavy country, and are already a darn good skater thanks to figure skating, hockey, or just lots of practice and natural talent, you could put off competing until a little later. Speed skating is a sport of the young, though – the “masters” level starts at age 30. Ouch.

In conclusion, at least there’s still curling, right?