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Move the Olympics to Camden

Posted: February 14, 2014 9:12 a.m.
Updated: February 15, 2014 5:00 a.m.

By the time this comes out in the Chronicle-Independent, our most recent episode of wintry weather should be behind us. I sure hope so and good riddance. As southerners, we’re just not well-equipped or prepared for snow and ice. We don’t get a lot of it, thank God. That’s one of the many benefits of living here.

But, when snow and ice do come our way, it throws everything off kilter. Better safe than sorry, they say, so schools, businesses and government offices close early and stay closed until the threat has passed. Not a bad policy, really, even if it sometimes has the appearance of “overkill.” You just never know what the weather is going to do. You can guess, but even the experts get it wrong quite often, so when the school district decided to close school two Tuesdays ago because bad weather had been predicted and then it didn’t come until later that night, they still made the right call. If they had opened school that day and the snow and ice did come that day, parents would be calling for the school official’s heads on a platter.

When it comes to closing the schools, they really are in a no-win situation, so they are wise to err on the side of extreme caution if that’s what it comes down to. Whatever their decision, someone is going to say it was wrong, so they have to do what they think is best and let the chips fall as they may.

Now, let me shift just a little to a slightly different subject. I have been watching some of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this past week and find it intriguing that the temperatures there have actually been warmer than here in Camden. I don’t want it to be cold here, but over there it’s the Winter Olympics -- it’s supposed to be cold. Some of the competitors are wishing it would be colder because the ski slopes, bobsled tracks and snowboarding “half pipe” have become kind of rough because of the snow and ice melting or at least softening. Not only does it hamper the competition, but it has become downright dangerous on some occasions, with skiers and snowboarders falling because the surface beneath them doesn’t have the consistency it should.

Before this year, I had not watched the Winter Olympics for nearly a decade. My interest was just not there, but now I have a renewed interest in at least some of it. I enjoy the feature stories the TV network does profiling the athletes, the events and the location just as much as the competitions themselves. When I was a kid, those many years ago, Russia was the enemy, with their finger on the button that would launch the nuclear attack that would end the world.

But, times have changed, thanks in part to time itself and also to brave leaders on both sides who worked and compromised some to make the world a safer place. Men like Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. They were difference makers in their time. Now the Russians are not so much our enemies, although we still don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Do you or I see eye-to-eye on everything with our friends? Of course not.

Anyway, back to my point, if I have one. It’s a crazy world when Camden has colder weather than the site of the Winter Olympics. But this latest bout of the cold stuff is gone and soon the Olympics will be, too. I would not mind waiting at least four years before seeing snow in person again. On TV? That’ll be OK. 

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