the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

As I watched "der vinter" (the winter) 2010 Olympics taking place  in Vancouver, I was so impressed with Hongbo Zhao [of China] and Mark Ladwig [of the USA].  Figure skating is not a dangerous sport, but accidents do happen. According to Wikipedia, "Spins are an element in figure skating, where the skater rotates, centered on a single point of ice, while holding one or more body positions. The skater rotates on the part of the blade just behind the toe pick, with the weight on the ball of the foot...Spins are a required element in most figure skating competitions."

I always thought that women figure skaters suffered the most.  They're the ones being tossed, thrown or spun.  They appear to suffer a "tsunami of tsoris."

Figure skating is a full contact sport for pairs of skaters like Mark Ladwig, who competed with Amanda Evora.  Upon investigation, I read that Ladwig, 29, a native of Fargo, ND, has an impressive "vund" (injury) list in his own right.

"I put [Evora's] elbow into my eye and fractured my orbital maxilla," Ladwig said. He also lacerated a shin, stepped on his "grober finger" (thumb), and spiked his own "litke" (calf).  Just the usual skating injuries...or "Es klept zikh tsu im" (Everything happens to him)?

Another figure skater, Bryce Davidson, accidentally cut "dos ponim" (the face) of his partner, Jessica Dube.  Dube also fell and hit her head on the ice.

France's Isabelle Delobel suffered a "pleytse" (shoulder) injury during the Grand Prix Final...and had surgery.

Benjamin Agosto suffered a "rukn" (back) injury; Maxim Shabalin re-injured a weak knee during the 2008-2009 season.

Canadian Tessa Virtue had surgery on her shins, and Olympic figure skater, Sasha Cohen, had severe injuries to her calves.

OMG, the list goes on and on.

After the death of 21-year-old Georgian Slider Nodar Kumaritashvili, Barbara Walters ("The View") asked, "Is part of the excitement [of the Winter Olympics] the danger?" After Nodar was killed, a "preventive measure" was taken:  they raised the wall in curve 16, changing the ice profile and shortening the track.

This is the voice of the overprotective Jewish mother.  "Yeder morgn brengt zich zorgn" (Every morning brings its own worries.)  This is the Jewish mama who never permitted her three sons to play "fusbol" (football) because it was too "sakonedik" (dangerous).  I strongly suggested that they play "beysbol" (baseball),  golf or tennis.

My sons informed me of all the reasons why they SHOULD play football:

.  Those who do sports, do "besser" in school.  These good grades COULD possibly lead to a scholarship and save me lots of gelt.

.  Athletes keep fit--in shape--without going to a gym.

.  Players tend to take on more "akhrayes" (responsibility)

.  Players learn to work as a team member

.  Players are less likely to be involved in drugs and alcohol.  (That sounds like a   "bobe mayse" in 2010!)

.  Players have higher self esteem

Patricia Babcock MacGraw, Daily Herald columnist, once wrote, "The reason that I enjoy [football] is because I'm watching other people's children.  Not my own."

My final thoughts:  A quote by Frank Gifford:  "Pro football is like nuclear warfare.  There are no winners, only survivors."

F-a-s-t  forward 30 years.  My four grandchildren, ages 13 through 16, are now watching "der vinter" Olympics.  I'm tempted to tell them what David Wallechinsky said, "The Winter Olympics has always had dangerous sports, but it's getting worse."  Why bother?  Why "lektsye" (lecture)?  Nobody listens to "di bobe"!


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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