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The Olympics are a spectacle I look forward to each and every time they come around. Growing up and still living in Maine, I am particularly drawn to the winter Olympics. With the exception of the 47 hours’ worth of televised figure skating and ice dancing, the Winter Olympics get me all horned up. It’s incredible to watch these psychos traveling in excess of 80mph down treacherous mountains or icy tunnels of death or shoot up 20ft in the air and attempt enough spins and flips to make me dizzy just watching it from my couch. These athletes are the best in the world and are all out there doing their country proud on the world’s stage.
Seeing all of these people, some of them still in their teen years, make such incredible feats looks routine is what draws all of our attention every time the Olympics come around. However, it never fails that seemingly every single spectator transforms from being in shock and awe that someone can spin 900 degrees at 12ft above a half pipe into Olympic judges scoffing at that same talent when they miss a grab on their last rotation. An occurrence during yesterday’s coverage, however, was able to put things in perspective for all of us couch critics.
Elizabeth Swaney shocked the world as she represented Hungary in the women’s freestyle skiing contest, throwing down the most unimpressive performance in Olympic history.
You may be asking yourself, “How the hell did this average Jane make it to the Olympics?!” Well, the long and short of it is she just showed up. The Denver Post has a detailed write up explaining the technicalities of it all. Due to the lack of depth in the Women’s pipe contest at the World Cup level, Swaney’s persistence in just showing up to these events, even with finishing dead last or within a few spots of dead last at each and every event, she was able to meet the point quota required for a trip to Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics to represent Hungary.
Now, I am not totally sold that this isn’t some elaborate troll, or if she is lacking even a morsel of self-awareness because when interviewed the day before that lack-luster qualifying run, Swaney stated:
I’m just trying to do the best for myself and represent Hungary as best I can. I really hope to inspire others in Hungary to take up freestyle skiing and I hope that contributes to a great number of people out there freestyle skiing.
Honestly, we thrive on total transparency: I have never been more uninspired by an athletic performance than I was when watching that half-pipe run. I have taken to riding since I was 11, so it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been up on skis, but I am confident that I could throw down at least a grab or two after a few runs down the half-pipe. Swaney’s best trick was a backside 180, a notch above the bare-minimum to just make it down the wall. You don’t see people like me trying to make the Olympic circuit for a reason. I AM NOT A WORLD CLASS ATHLETE. But thanks to a clearly faulty qualification system and fucking crowd funding, this casual skier was able to go all the way to the Olympics.
Honestly, I am probably just a bit salty that someone so undeserving got air time on National TV because I think the perspective of a common plebe compared to the best in the world keeps things fresh for those of us at home on our couch pounding Miller Lites wearing red, white and blue and screaming at our television screens. Therefore, I hereby declare myself an eligible contestant for the biathlon in Beijing come 2022. Stay tuned in to my twitter for my crowd funding efforts..
Image via YouTube