Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Luging Down Stairs to Go for the Gold

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Luging Down Stairs to Go for the Gold

Article excerpt

The In-Home All-Kid Winter Olympics began here on the second school snow day of the year. The opening ceremonies consisted of eating Honey Nut Cheerios out of the box and singing along loudly to the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen anthem from the Ren and Stimpy show.

"You be Nancy," said the representative of the third grade to the representative of the kindergarten. "I'll be Tonya's bodyguard."

The kindergarten representative fled upstairs to don her purple leotard and practice throwing her arms above her head and acknowledging the cheers of a nonexistent crowd. Her opponent was benched for unsportsmanlike conduct and given a long lecture about using "Inside Edition" as a barometer of behavior.

Could there have been a more fortuitous convergence of events than that of the Olympics in Lillehammer and the cursed American winter of 1994? The people of Norway, so snowbound yet so redolent always of good cheer, good complexion and great sweaters, made it seem bad form to carp about our storms, our mud slides, our earthquakes, our buried cars and icy sidewalks.

Winter storm warnings existed always in the shadow of news flashes on whether Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding's former husband, had sold yet another video of his ex-wife playing peekaboo with the top of her clothing, a 3.0 in the artistic-impression category.

But more important, as school snow day gave way to school snow day, the Olympics provided not only an exhibition of athletic prowess, sportsmanship and garish one-piece latex actionwear, but also an opportunity to play along right here at home.

Which is how the All-Kid Olympic team came to be participating in the luge competition on the staircase while, in the kitchen below, the team sponsor read Majesty magazine, ate chocolate chips out of the bag and prayed for the snow to stop.

The luge was followed by bobsled in a box, speed skating in socks on the hardwood floor, and team hockey using Tupperware as a puck. "Reebok," the competitors wrote on their foreheads with indelible pens, which will have to be explained somehow to their grandmother.

"You be Nancy," said the representative of the fifth grade. "I'll be Tonya's bodyguard. …

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