Inside Sports for Wednesday — February 15, 2006

I don’t know about you, but I could care less about the Winter Olympics, especially since Michelle Kwan decided that her leg injury was just too tough to overcome.

I used to be an avid watcher of the cold contests, but the games are as important to me as the type of socks I wear.

And it’s not that I don’t like the events or think that they aren’t exciting. Instead I just don’t think it’s worth my time to keep up with so-called athletes who hardly compete at a professional level throughout the year.

The only highlight for me at this year’s installment of the snow show, is the rise of former Kaua’i resident Elena Hight, who is a 16-year-old snowboarding phenom.

The Princeville-born girl moved away from the Garden Isle at a young age, but she remains the only tie Kaua’i has to the games.

Hight recently finished up in sixth-place in the women’s halfpipe and seems to be picking up momentum with her confident style.

The Britney Spears look-alike is the youngest individual on the United States snow-boarding squad.

At a young age, Hight is getting used to being in the spotlight with appearances in ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated.

In fact, the first time that I was paging through Sports Illustrated’s Olympic Edition, Hight caught my eye in the photo because she looked so young, amongst a group of older boarders.

But at any rate, after her competition was completed, I think that’s where I lost total interest of the Winter Olympics.

I used to enjoy watching the likes of Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skating), Bonnie Blair (speed skating), Nancy Kerrigan (figure skating), Picabo Street (skiing), Tommy Moe (skiing), and Bode Miller (skiing), whose controversial approach is bringing many fans back to their television sets to see him either fail or succeed.

Miller, who admitted in a 60 Minutes interview that he has skied drunk before, is probably the most marketable individual for the United States, since Kwan’s exit.

And not because he’s sometimes under the influence when skiing, instead it’s the fact that he backs up what he says with medals.

But it’s still not enough to get me to move my thumb two centimeters to change my TV to what channel the Olympics are boring people on.

I’ll admit it.

I do care if the U.S. wins more medals than any other country (which won’t happen), but that may be the extent of my attention span to the cold cases of Turin, or is it Torino?

So with as much interest in the games as a rock band has in elevator music, I’ll keep my cold notions out in the cold, just like the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

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