With the Winter Olympics set to open in two days—though you can catch the first event, doubles curling, at eleven p.m. tonight on NBCSN—we bring you the INDY‘s official Exhausted Coverage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games™, in which newly minted first-time father Michael Venutolo-Mantovani and committed insomniac Elizabeth Nelson attempt to make sense of the games from Pyeongchang, South Korea, while mostly or entirely asleep. With the games taking place God only knows what hour of the day and featuring events ranging from the familiar to the narrowly comprehensible, these two intrepid writers have promised semi-regular updates on the XXIII Olympiad whenever the hell they stumble upon it on television. Read our first installment below, as Mike V. muses on impending fatherhood and curling.
We all have that friend who becomes a soccer expert around the World Cup, a pugilistic savant during a major pay-per-view fight, or an authoritative horse-racing bettor with the inside line as the Triple Crown trudges along.
These folks revel in the Olympics, somehow instantaneously becoming versed in the rules of curling, the strategy of the four-hundred-meter individual medley, or the importance of pace and breathing in the biathlon competition.
Thankfully, I will not be subjected to that insufferable bastard over the course of the next few weeks, as I will be homebound tending to my new baby.
Our son is due to arrive any minute now. He is our first child, and while we are as prepared as possible, my wife and I are hardly ready. I’m not sure anyone is ever ready to have a first child. I don’t know what’s coming, what to expect, what to focus on, or what to let slide. All I know for sure is that my life is about to change and I have no idea how.
I do know that over the next few weeks and months, I’ll be home a lot more than usual (which is saying a lot for a freelance writer who works from home), often couchbound, eyes caked in exhaustion, never more than a few feet from a baby that we yet have no idea how to keep happy.
I also know that taking care of a newborn is a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. He won’t know days or nights, he’ll only know hungry. And hungry means we’re likely to find ourselves awake at all hours of the night and day, mindless programming on the television to occupy our sleepless brains.
Lucky for us, the 2018 Winter Olympics are nigh, and soon we will find ourselves enraptured as a nation by sports we don’t care about and, in some cases, didn’t even know existed.
That the winter games will transpire as my wife and I are more homebound than we have ever been is looking like something of a blessing for myriad reasons, not the least of which being:
- Taped or in real time, Olympic coverage can be found somewhere, be it network or some deep channel, at any hour of the day or night.
- Unless you’re an expert in the Nordic Combined or the aforementioned biathlon event, Olympic games are often the rare breed of completely mindless and incredibly exciting.
- Because if there’s ever a time for a much-needed jolt of feel-good about our country, now is it.
- Only during the Olympics can cross-country skiing be watchable and, dare I say, exciting.
- Who doesn’t love the Olympics?
Our hope is that the Olympics will provide a low-commitment escape with the very real chance for us to become as involved as our fatigue will allow. U-S-A! U-S-A! etc.
Perhaps my exhausted eyes will see these games from an entirely new perspective, and I will for the first time realize that people brushing the ice in front of a smoothed stone are best viewed on forty-five minutes of sleep. Maybe it will provide insight into having a first kid with a heretofore unparalleled, if accidental, lucidity.
I sincerely doubt that last part. But maybe.