De iarnă

Alone on the Ice in Sochi by Adam Gopnik

And that’s what winter sports still give us: a carved out social space in which we can find, or imagine, ourselves alone. As I said in those lectures, there is no alone so alone as that of the downhill skier or the luger—the long-distance runner may be lonely, but, with someone over his shoulder all the time, he is not alone. It takes an impulse to make a summer sport; you run or throw or catch in a meadow made by God. It takes work to make a winter one: you and your gang clear off the ice or ice up the track, build a ski lift or grab a blanket.

And here, I think, lies the real magic of watching the Winter Games to those of us who love them. Some small residual note, or aura, of privacy still persists in them, some idea of the solitary skater or skier is still evident even in their overorchestrated and microscopically documented form. That glum Norwegian guy on cross-country skis carrying his rifle slung across his back, steam rising from his mouth; the kid on the snowboard doing tricks; even the figure skater, out cutting lines in the ice in the darkness—for all the crowds and cameras that follow them, the special winter note of solitude is possible to discern in their determination, the difficulty of what they’re doing, the sense of lonely, focussed purpose they exude, even if that note rises from nothing more than the muffling snows that surround them. The biathlon is certainly a sport, but it is as far from being a spectator sport as any can be, even when we watch it. When poor Lindsey Jacobellis paused to do one last trick on her snowboard in 2006, costing her the gold medal as she fell from the excess, there was, surely, something foolishly private, a thing overseen, about it. That was the joke, and the error. “Snowboarding is meant to be fun,” she said, plaintively but truthfully, afterward. She was doing it by and for herself, and we were watching. Had she been left alone to fall, it would have been just fine.

 

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Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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