During the past week I have endured the delights of the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. These games appear to be made-up of random disciplines - that were probably devised to keep boredom at bay during cold lonely nights of inactivity; anywhere in the world where six months of darkness is followed by six months of daylight – where you can go to bed at night with your partner, only to wake up in the dawn’s early light to see her six months pregnant! These sporting events include the art of sliding rocks on ice, throwing yourself down a bobsleigh run on a tea-tray in skin-tight attire that could reveal your religion - if one choose to look close enough (or had high definition television), and messing around on skateboards without wheels.
Initially, having seen the American coverage of the games, I genuinely believed that only America was competing; it turns out that other countries had decided to join in as well. I am particularly proud to announce that Great Britain had started their medal haul by winning a bronze medal in the women’s half-pipe snowboarding event. This is the first medal Britain has ever won in an alpine Olympic event since the very beginning of time – and can be considered a monumental moment for two reasons. Firstly, we don’t get any snow, and secondly, we have no mountains – I would at this juncture like to take a moment to consider Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Austria, France and Switzerland. All of whom have a mighty abundance of snow and mountains, yet failed to achieve in this sporting arena ahead of the mighty alpine sporting nation of Great Britain.
The United States continues to confound me with its use of Fahrenheit over Celsius, when describing temperatures at the games. America, Belize, the Cayman Islands and Palau are the only nations on the planet that still use the Fahrenheit system of temperature measurement. Why America, why! Is it just out of pure stubbornness or do you have some sort of pact or treaty with Palau and Belize? When American’s travel to any other country than the three mentioned above, they refuse to get of bed because the temperature given is 28 degrees. They are missing out on great opportunities to experience foreign travel and to broaden their minds because they are snuggled up under the hotel quilt – when the rest of the world (outside of Belize, the Cayman Islands and Palau) are stripping off and wearing shorts. Yeah, there's some complicated formula where you take the Celsius number and divide it by the square of the distance of Pluto from the sun, but who is expected to remember this (and it is often easily confused with the formula required for the process of making heavy water - which I believe to be ice).