Let’s tackle the hard question. Of all the events going on in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, how many do any of us really relate to? I say few to none. For example, what about the many varieties of ski jumping where the participants are flying through the air, twisting around like corkscrews, and landing on a crazy downhill slope so steep they could never walk up it? Or skeleton racing where competitors lie on sleds so small their heads stick out in front, hurling down an ice-packed track at ninety miles-an-hour. Or cross-country skiing where contestants frequently collapse at the end due to complete exhaustion. Nobody I know identifies with any of these. So why don’t Olympic leaders start migrating toward activities we all understand, and millions actually participate in each winter?
Do I have a suggestion? Of course. I’m talking about shoveling snow. Here is what I’m proposing. The Suburban Driveway Snow Shoveling competition. Beautiful. Here’s how it would work. Dozens of 100-foot-long concrete driveways would be constructed on a hillside. Each would be covered in three-foot-deep wet snow blown in before the completion. Monster electric fans would provide the necessary 35 mph wind and resulting snow drifts. Competition would consist of teams of men and women in four age groups: teens, twenty to forty, forty-one to sixty, and seniors. To make it more lifelike, at the end of each driveway as the competition is underway, an actual snowplow would traverse a simulated street shoving mounds of street snow and ice up onto the driveways. At the timed shoveling conclusion, a team member would attempt to drive a rear wheel drive, 1980’s vintage station wagon with bald tires from the street to the top of the drive. Cars making it to the finish line, grill forward, would earn the highest scores. Style points would be deducted for spinning and smoking tires in route, autos swerving violently back and forth, vehicles sliding over the finish line sideways or backwards, cars ending up in a neighboring driveway, and participant or fan fatalities.
There you have it. Talk about a huge hit with TV audiences, an event both exciting and relatable.