Let’s be Olympic champions, you and me.
It isn’t that difficult.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking. That Michael Phelps devoted his entire life to winning all those swimming medals. That we could never run as fast as Usain Bolt. That most people can’t even imagine the athletic ability it takes to perform a gymnastics routine or do those twisting dives that Olympians can make look easy.
But hey, in just two years the winter games will be held, and the bobsled competition will once again dominate headlines.
A few years ago, one of the gold-medal-winning members of the U. S. women’s team in that event didn’t even know what a bobsled looked like until a couple years before the games. After trying for years and failing to make the team as a track athlete, she answered a newspaper ad -- a freaking newspaper ad -- for bobsled contestants and poof! Next thing she knew, she was standing on top of the Olympic podium while the Star Spangled Banner played.
How hard can it be? And whoa, what fun! Sliding down an ice-covered gully going a hundred miles an hour? It’s the dream of every kid who’s ever swerved down a snowy hill on a trashcan lid.
Being the second person on a bobsled team requires you to push a sled for a few feet, jump in, tuck your head down so you offer no wind resistance and don’t get the bejeebers scared out of you, and then hang on for dear life. Compare that to nailing a sextuple axel on an ice rink or whizzing off a ski jump and doing a three-sixty on your way down. There’s nothing to it.
Even old geezers like me could do this, and I would promise to behave myself on the podium during the medal ceremony, not to boast or jump up and down during the national anthem. I’d be happy to become the oldest Olympic competitor since Euripides and Pythagorus squared off in the sumo wrestling competition.
And speaking of old, I’ve got an idea for a whole new series of Olympic events. They’d be way more exciting than curling, and all of us who are in Geezerdom would know that maybe, just maybe, we could be in the next games.
Here are a few of the events I envision for the Senior Olympics:
• Endurance driving in the left lane of an interstate highway with your blinker on.
• Speed-clicking trials with a television remote control device.
• Bowel regularity discussions; most imaginative complaining about constipation wins gold.
• False teeth changing.
• Calling someone on the telephone, hearing them say “hello” and being unable to remember who it was you were calling. Most creative response will be judged by an international team of forgetful judges.
• Weather recall from years past -- coldest winter, hottest summer, longest drought… you get the message.
• Grandparent bragging contest.
So start training. By 2014, we should be ready for the Geezer Olympics. And if you see a bobsled headed down Broad Street in Camden, that’ll be me hunkered down in the back.