Dustin Wright, Sentinel Managing Editor
(and son, Jeremy)
Dustin Wright, Sentinel Managing Editor (and son, Jeremy)

It's no secret that I am a fan of all things sport. If it involves some sort of ball, point scoring or competitive battle in general, you'd better believe that I am interested in watching or participating.

Over the past 1 1/2 weeks, I have been glued to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games taking place in Sochi, Russia.

And, over the past several days, I have enjoyed watching a majority of the competitions taking place. I honestly could do without all the prancing around on the ice with figure stating and such, but that's just because I am card carrying member of the "Man Card Club."

Saturday evening, after an afternoon of doing manly duties around the house -- you know, cleaning, folding clothes, picking up my 4-year-old's massive amount of toys -- I settled in for a night of watching the Olympics.

After the opening segments of figure skating, which promptly reminded me I had other things to do for a short time period like wash the dishes, there was a replay of that morning's USA vs. Russia men's hockey game.

A game in which the ol' Stars and Stripes won, 3-2, in an eight-round penalty shot shootout on the Russians' home turf. I enjoyed every minute of it. It made me proud to be an American.

It made me want to be an Olympian!

My mind began to wonder: "What Winter Olympic sport could I participate in and have the highest amount of success in bringing home a gold medal?"

Curious of what was available, and with limited knowledge of what the exact listing of winter sports were available, I turned to my good online friend -- Wikipedia -- to see what was available.

As I was scrolling through my iPad search, I mentally began to cross off, one by one, which Winter Olympic sports I could participate in and bring home a gold metal for the ol' USA.

First on the list -- Alpine skiing.

Nope. I've never had any interest in skiing, so I could probably take off the events of freestyle skiing, and ski jumping. 

I love the mountains. I love snow in the mountains. I have no interest in zig-zagging down the hill on a pair of skis at a speeds of 60 mph and making the tight turns. I could see myself falling almost immediately out of the gate and causing an avalanche on the way down.

With that being said, I guess I ought to cross out anything to do with a snowboard and a lift ride to the top of a mountain.

Next down on the list -- Biathlon.

Now this sport involves some skiing, but not the race down the hill and run the risk of breaking all 206 bones in your body.

However, this sport does involve shooting a gun at targets. I can do that, but the distances some of these events take part in might take me a while to build up on. 

I'll consider it.

Further down the list -- Bobsleigh.

Although I wouldn't consider speeding down the hill on a pair of skis, I would definitely give this sport a try, along with its sister sports -- Luge and Skeleton. 

I do enjoy watching individuals and teams in these Winter sports race off down an icy track, making gut wrenching turns at high speeds and racing against the clock. 

The one draw back -- my last name is Wright and the words "Wright" and "speed" don't commonly come up in the same sentence together.

While I think I would be more than capable of helping push a bobsleigh down the track at the start, I am not sure I'd be able to keep up pace with the three other counterparts.

Off to the next on the list.

Figure skating. 

Nope. I'm not wearing tights and the closest I'd ever came to skating was begging my parents for a pair of rollerblades when I was a pre-teen. After several failed attempts to learn to skate outdoors on those blasted things, they wound up being shoved in the back of the closet, never to be worn again.

So with that said, I can cross off short track speed skating and speed skating, because yet again, "Wright" and "speed" don't belong in the same sentence. Ever.

Guess that rules out hockey too, although it would be fun to go around looking for someone to hit -- much like one of the classic sport movies of all time, "Slap Shot."

So that leaves one sport left on the list -- Curling.


The more I thought about it, the more I thought: "I could do curling."

For those who may not know what the sport of curling is, let me explain it to you -- it's like shuffleboard, on ice, minus the group of retired Octagenarians huddled down at a Boca Raton, Fla. city park arguing over everything from Medicare payments to who was the better president -- FDR or JFK.

Curling, according to Wikipedia is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric rings. It's composed of two teams, each of four players, that take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones and the purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game.

Points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

Ding. Ding. Ding! I have a winner. 

I could definitely see myself participating in Curling for the following reason(s): 1.) I am pretty good at shuffleboard, if I say so myself, and; 2.) I'm not on a pair of skis or having to use my snail-esk pace in a race against the clock.

Only problem with this being, is that I live in the wrong part of the country to participate in Curling, as I don't believe the Music City Mall ice rink in Odessa is properly equipped for Curling. A crushing blow to my Olympic dreams.

Oh well, maybe I can make a trip to an area watering hole sometime soon and hustle some folks on the ol' shuffleboard. I'll be easy to spot if you care to join -- I'll be the guy dressed in red, white and blue with the large American flag patch on my jacket sleeve.