Despite the geopolitics, the host nations’ human rights record, the circus around Kamila Valieva, the spot Peng Shaui competitions, the fake snow, the arid landscapes, Covid restrictions and the whole ROC farce the Beijing Winter Olympics was well watched in our house.
My daughter is 12 and was completely engulfed in some of the dramatic sport and competitions. Although I’ve always enjoyed the alpine and downhill skiing (think David Vine on Ski Sunday), the freestyle and slopestyle events plus a myriad of seemingly new team competitions brought a whole new excitement to the games for me.
Add the crazies in the skeleton and bobsleigh and we were often glued to the television day and night even though we were never sure if events were live or on a looped repeat due to the time difference, 12 hours from here.
My daughter was less thrilled by the curling, but what a fantastic achievement by the GB teams to bring a gold and silver home for the nation. Loving the stones and brooms, oh and those shoes! Sporting heroes all.
The Olympics like any world sporting event should always be about the sport and not the politics. These men and women make so many sacrifices to get to the pinnacle of their sports and there were some amazing young athletes on show here to admire.
Absolute admiration too watching Shaun White with tears in his eyes knowing he had done his last run, and 36-year old Lindsey Jacobellis winning two snowboard golds.
Hopefully the IOC grow a pair and get to the bottom of the ROC farce and their serial dopers and Valieva, possibly the greatest female skater the world has ever seen, is able to move on and compete in Italy in 2026.
China has always been a country I’ve longed to visit (my more-travelled-other-half has been) but through the lens of my TV, China looked even more like a faraway and isolated world to the one most of us live in.