The Winter Olympics are here, and before the excitement of the opening ceremonies fade into a reminder that, oh right, there are a lot fewer events in the Winter Olympics than in the Summer Olympics, we’re going to give you an Olympic viewing guide of what sports to look out for, as ranked by dads.
A shocker for sure, beating out such heavyweights as speed skating and all other skiing and snowboarding events, the biathlon has one thing that dads love that no other event has. Guns. Like, guns for no reason. It’s one of those sports that makes no sense to anyone who lives outside of Norway, but that’s part of its charm. Dads love the idea of watching something as goofy as a mix between cross country skiing and a shooting range.
Plus, the United States even has an outside shot at a medal, with Lowell Bailey, a 36-year-old ski-and-shooter who is the only American to ever win a biathlon World Championship. Lots for dads to love.
While some people may prefer the Luge, or its more-metal-sounding cousin, the Skeleton, did any of those sports appear in Cool Runnings? We didn’t think so. That right there is enough for dads to watch it. Also, it is thrilling watching the checkpoints clear and seeing a team start off hot only to lag behind as the race goes on.
All in all, it’s a pretty enjoyable sport to watch. Dads will probably want to check out the 2-Man Women’s event (that’s the name, seriously) where the United States has strong medal contenders in play, including two-time medal winner Elana Meyers Taylor and 2014 bronze winner Jamie Greubel Poser.
3: Figure Skating
Figure Skating is a lot like swimming. Dads don’t even think about it, and when they do they make some sort of joke that involves men shaving their legs, right up until when the Olympics start. Then they can’t get enough of it. Now sure, dads have no idea what any of the skating moves are apart from “that leg up in the air one,” the “spinny in the air one” and “the one where they sort of crouch and spin a bunch,” but that doesn’t matter.
They pretty much are watching it for the same reason many dads watch NASCAR. They’re waiting for the crashes. Figure Skating rarely disappoints on that front. And since we’re making sure to point out what Americans might medal, get your dad used to the name “Nathan Chen” before he becomes the breakout star of the 2018 Games.
Yes, curling. No, this isn’t a typo. On paper it’s the most easily mocked sport in the Olympics.
Just a bunch of people walking on ice with special shows moving stones with a broom. And dads will think that too…at first. And then they’ll start watching it and find that it is, surprisingly, one of the most enjoyable sports to watch out there. It’s basically shuffleboard meets darts, but on ice.
And once a dad figures that out, he’s going to be hooked. Just don’t look for too much from America. This sport pretty much belongs to Canada, with Switzerland and Sweden along for the ride. Though the U.S. Men’s Team might be able to pull off a bronze.
1: Ice Hockey
Of course, nothing can top the grandaddy of dad-approved Olympic sports. Not only do dads already watch ice hockey, but the elevated stakes of a world stage can lead to some truly heroic moments.
There’s a reason why your dad still has a DVD of Miracle that he watches a few times a year. This year might be a bit of a letdown, since the NHL decided not to allow its players to participate, which also pretty much takes away America’s chance for a medal on the men’s side, but look for the U.S. Women’s Team to go for gold while your dad watches a lot of fast paced international hockey this winter.
But really, any Olympic sport is going to be dad approved. Just so long as the United States’ team is any good.