Luge

My favorite sport is baseball, America’s Pastime.

My second favorite sport is luge, which is definitely not America’s pastime. It is a sport that is only on TV during Olympic years, and even then gets less coverage than figure skating.

I’m not really sure how I became a fan of luge. I don’t live in a luge hotbed (such as Lake Placid or … Lake Placid) nor are any of my family or friends big fans of luge. Oddly, I hate winter and cold weather. But I love watching people put themselves in danger by jumping on a tiny sled and flying down a hill – within a tunnel of ice – at breakneck speeds. The perfect run is a difficult goal, with the sled having a mind of its own and often disregards the guidance of the rider. This makes the rare perfect run a sight to behold, and something to celebrate. I love to see a perfect run, and will cheer for that luger, regardless of their nationality.

The Winter Olympics are just a year away, and I’m getting excited for televised luge. I have even begun following luge news on the internet. If you have never watched luge, do yourself a favor and make it appointment viewing in 2010.

Luge is not the only unpopular sport that I follow.

Track

At first glance, track would not appear to be an unpopular sport. Track gets a ton of coverage during the Summer Olympics, and everyone saw Usain Bolt’s record-setting run in the 100 meter dash.

However, I’m really not a fan of the sprints. Sure, I’ll watch them, but I’m a fan of the distance runners. On my fantasy Olympic team last summer, my track athletes consisted of 5K/10K runners and a hammer thrower – and all them won gold medals for me.

My favorite track athlete is Alan Webb, who is best known as the US national record holder in the mile. I received a pre-Olympic disappointment in 2008 when Webb failed to qualify for the Olympics in the 1500 meter run.

My interest in distance running – and the mile in particular – does have a logical basis. I ran track in high school, and my event was the mile. My efforts could best be described as “slow”.

My favorite track event, though, is not the mile. It is the steeplechase. The steeplechase is a 3000 meter (nearly 2 mile) race. The race also features 28 heavy duty hurdles (they don’t topple like the hurdles in shorter races) and 7 water jumps. The water jumps are essentially hurdles with water pit behind them – the further you jump over the hurdle, the shallower the water. You can imagine the athletic skills it takes to excel in the steeplechase (as well as the inevitable failures and people experience splashdowns)

Other weird sports

Really, if someone does a good job of televising any sport, I’ll probably enjoy watching it. I even caught myself watching badminton during the Olympics.

One time, my wife happened to come into the room while I was watching something on TV. “What is that?” she asked. Why, the National Lacrosse League, of course!

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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