You know your weird Uncle Marty who’s going through a mid-life crisis? He’s completely out of touch with reality and tries to overcompensate by getting a flashy red sports car? That’s exactly what the Winter Olympics are like. They’re like your weird, old relative who comes up to you at a family gathering and asks if you’ve heard of the band “The John Mayers.”

These Olympics are so weird aren’t they? But at the same time I kind of love them, just like my Uncle Marty.

Five days ago, I spent two hours in front of the TV watching the biathlon. For those of you unfamiliar with this incredibly outdated and wacko event, it involves would-be serial killers cross-country skiing with rifles strapped to their backs, which they occasionally pull out to shoot at targets. The weirdest part about watching this event live on television was the enthusiasm the NBC broadcasters had for it. They were discussing the event as if it was the Superbowl. “The biathlon is one of only three events that the United States has never medaled in, which is shocking. Today could be the day that all of that changes. Ladies and gentlemen, you could be witnessing history in the making!”

What I didn’t understand at the time was why is it so “shocking” that the U.S. hasn’t ever medaled in this ridiculous — borderline psychotic — sport? Unlike the Eastern European and former Soviet countries that dominate the biathlon, we have grocery stores and gun control laws. This is how people in Uzbekistan feed their families! They strap on their skis and guns and go out hunting. Can you imagine if I grabbed a rifle and started skiing down State Street after a snowstorm? This would be the interaction:

Crazy evangelist standing on a soap-box: “Oh my God, he’s got a gun! Someone call the police!”

Then 15 to 30 minutes later the police would show up and find me skiing by Zingerman’s, rifle in hand.

Police Officer: “Drop the weapon!”

Me: (Laughing) “Oh no Officer, you see, I’m just training for the biathlon. My dream is to be the first American to win—“

Police Officer: “I said drop the f****ng weapon!”

Then I’d get tased or something.

So at this point in the Olympics, we have incredibly outdated events that look to have been prevalent in third-world countries back in the eighteenth century. Like that weird relative, completely foreign and impossible to relate to… but I love it!

Now, fast forward three days and I’m lying in bed watching snowboarder Shaun White win a gold medal in the Olympics while wearing baggy pants and looking high off his ass. White won the halfpipe competition Wednesday night with a move called the Double-McTwist, which ironically is what I had for lunch.

Over the course of three days, we went from one weird event extreme to another. Now the Olympics are trying way too hard to be “cool” and in touch with young America.

These aren’t the X Games — these are the storied and historic Olympics. I don’t want anyone to be able to win a gold medal while wearing baggy pants. That’s just my rule. I think everyone should have to wear those spandex jump suits that show off their junk. And despite Michael Phelps’s incredible success, there shouldn’t be any Olympic events that you can do just as well in — if not better — while high.

The Olympics adding the halfpipe and all of these crazy snowboarding events to the schedule is just like my uncle coming up to me and asking if I’ve heard of the band “The John Mayers.” He has good intentions, but he should know where and when to stop trying to relate to me.

Know exactly who or what you are, Olympics/Uncle Marty. If you are going to air crazy events like the biathlon and ski-jump — which I love — then you should rightfully market yourself as the Summer Olympics crazy younger brother who collects dead insects. Don’t try to pretend that people take these events as seriously as they do the 100-meter dash or swimming events.

Like my Uncle Marty, the Winter Olympics are weird as shit, but that’s why we love them. I’m sick of this mid-life crisis they’re going through. I just want my weird, rifle-bearing uncle back.

Lincoln Boehm can be reached as lsboehm@umich.edu.

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