For the last two weeks we have been gripped on the edges of our seats for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that were hosted in Sochi, Russia. It's these kinds of events that bring the nation together, wherever we are in the world, as we encourage and applaud the efforts of our home team.This year Team GB completed the games with a total of four Olympic medals: one gold, one silver and two bronzes - the same amount won in 1924!
The games was not only a great way to show support for our competing team, but also watch sports that may have been completely new to some. Read on for a complete round up of all the things that we learnt from Sochi 2014.
If we are serious about a sport, chances are we are good at it!
Like many others, I was totally glued to the television set when the curling came on. Curling is played a bit like the old fashioned game of marbles, but on ice. Stones are pushed along a long rink of ice, sliding fast towards a circular scoreboard outlined on the floor. The idea of the game is to get your stone as close to the middle of the scoreboard as possible, often knocking out your opponent's stones in the process.
It's a sporting event that cannot be compared in likeness to any other of the Winter Olympic sports - one that I had seen being played before but the UK team's enthusiasm, skill and dedication made these games in particular so compelling to watch.
You could be a future Olympian.
One of the most exciting and inspirational things to take away from Sochi 2014 is that anyone can be a future Olympian. Many competitors including Jenny Jones and Katie Summerhayes learned to ski on an indoor ski slope in the UK; Sheffield Ski Village and Bristol Ski to be exact. There are many ski slopes across the UK and these are a great way to practice if you are an amateur, or learn from scratch if you are a beginner. Lots of practice and time is needed, but remember it can be done.
We may not have a fresh layer of snow readily available to practice on in the UK, but our ski and snowboard teams were fast, consistent and stood out particularly in the freestyle events. If they can do it, so can you!
The commentary can be more entertaining than the sport.
Commentary - you either love it or hate it. For some, having someone constantly telling you the ins and outs of the action unfolding on your screen can be a nightmare... we just want to watch the sport! For others, the commentary adds another layer of interest and heightens our involvement with the game.
If we could award gold stars, the commentary for Sochi 2014 would have got one. Ed Leigh and Tim Warwood in particular were unpredictable with their comments such as "œShe's got a smile that could make bread rise" or "œOlyunin wouldn't have been faster in that race if he was dressed in a bacon suit, being chased by a pack of jackals."
_ _ _
What did you think of the Winter Olympics? Did you watch it at home or were you lucky enough to be there and watch it in person - you can let us know in the comments or alternatively join in with the conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages, the links can be found in the sidebar.
Live life to the full, with Alpha Travel Insurance!
Alpha Travel Insurance and alphatravelinsurance.co.uk are trading names of Infinity Insurance Solutions Ltd which is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority: FRN 528912 © Infinity Insurance Solutions. 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. ME19 4UY. All rights reserved