A Lazy Person's Guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

A few things to know about the Games to become, well, not an expert, but at least well versed.

The Summer Olympics are not designed for the lazy person. It’s hard to feel good about yourself, lounging in a La-Z-Boy and crushing some beers, while nearly-nude specimens are sprinting by in a blur, their muscles rippling and gleaming with sweat.

That’s why the Winter Olympics are so swell. With all the athletes covered up in parkas, ski caps, and goggles, and it being freezing outside in most of the country, being a lazy ass is way more acceptable.  

Of course, the Winter Olympics is more esoteric than the Summer Games. There’s no running, jumping, or throwing shit—the general basis of athletic endeavor. The Winter Games are dominated by sports you’ve never even heard of, can’t believe are real—like, who the hell came up with skeleton?—or can't afford to play anyway. 

There’s no time to learn everything, so you’ll need a lazy person's crash course to the two-week spectacle.

1. It’s being held in South Korea.
That’s the “good” one. (Although host city PyeongChang is just 50 miles from the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.)

2. They’ve hosted once before.


That time it was the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, 78 miles west of PyeongChang. It was the last-ever Olympics to include the Soviet Union and East Germany. That was also the Olympics that a ’roided-up Ben Johnson ran the 100 meters in, like, four seconds. 

3. North Korea is participating. 
The North and South Koreans formed a joint team. That should go smoothly.

4. Russia isn’t competing, though.

That's because of mass doping allegations. Nevertheless, certain (clean) Russian athletes are competing. I know, it’s odd. They’ll march under a flag for OAR, Olympic Athletes of Russia.

5. The one U.S. Olympian you’ve probably heard of is still pretty good. 
Many experts place Lindsey Vonn as the favorite in the women’s downhill, even though since the 2014 Olympics she’s severely fractured her humerus, suffered a major back injury, made Toni Lehren yell on Fox News (but who hasn’t?), and faced typical airlines nonsense to actually get to Korea. 

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6. Oh wait, you’ve heard of Shaun White, too.

Remember the Flying Tomato? He’s still pretty good at snowboarding and a contender in the halfpipe—despite the fact that late last year he crashed so badly he needed 62 stitches. Even if he doesn’t win, he’s worth $40 million, which will buy a lot of Mountain Dew Ice and legalized edibles.

7. Is that Bode Miller guy still around? 


No. Er, yes, but he’s now an NBC analyst. He’ll probably still figure out a way to clip a gate and crash.

8. Who is going to be the previously unknown U.S. darling of this Olympiad?  

Even after a poor start to his Olympics on Thursday night, 18-year-old figure skating prodigy Nathan Chen is your best bet to make it on a Wheaties box.

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Aaron Goldfarb
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