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    Winter Olympics Are More American

    People like to makes jokes that the Winter Olympics are just a bunch of sliding games.  Well, for the most part that is true.  In fact, it may be totally true.  It is also true that most of the events require quite a bit of money to make happen.  Lets face it, there are not very many natural bobsled runs or half-pipes.  And getting to the top of a mountain isn’t exactly an every day sort of event.  But none of these things are the reason that I think the winter games are more American than their summer counterpart.

    No, the reason is that you and I could be there if we wanted to be there.  If we worked hard, practiced hard, and then rinsed and repeated, we could get there.  This is, in my opinion, in stark contrast to the summer games.  For many of the keystone events of the summer Olympics you are either born with it or not.  You could 100% optimize your body and will still lose every single time in the marathon.  You just cannot do it.  Same with sprinting.  You screwed from the onset.

    Take Michael Phelps.  Good swimmer?  Sure, but it is all in the genes.  He has Marfan Syndrome which, if it doesn’t kill you, makes you an ideally proportioned swimmer.  Here is an article explaining it a bit more.  Or another way is to look at this graphic that explains him a bit more:

    Here’s what it says:

    1. He is 6-4 but has a 6-7 wing span
    2. His lactate levels are the lowest ever recorded for a swimmer (he’s really good at producing energy)
    3. Not only are his arms long, but he has short legs allowing him “to plane in the water”
    4. He can hyperextend his elbows, knees, and ankles giving him an extremely unique ability in his stroke

    So again, he was born for it.  There is simply nothing that you can do to match it.  Make no mistake, I am not saying that the Winter Olympics don’t take athleticism.  That would be absurd.  I’m just saying there just isn’t the same level of genetic predisposition for the sports.  At the very least it is clear that genetics are a much lesser impact for the winter games.  Which also probably cuts down on the whole drug thing because it is so much more about the perfection of a skill set than about raw, athletic (and genetic) ability to compete.

    I acknowledge that there are certainly sports in the summer games that are much more skill based.  Rowing, for one.  Shooting events.  Volleyball.  I am just saying that, as a whole, the winter games are less dependent on innate ability and more about a honed skill.  The pinnacle of a “you too can make it” mentality.  And, to me, that just seems so darn American.

    Or do you guys think it is Canadian?

    This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.

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