This is Not a Post About the Olympics

In case you have been living in a happy place for the past seven hours, you may not have heard that the US Olympic Committee has decided to go the way of French skating judges.  They have decided that the Ravelympics, and knitting by extension, denegrate the accomplishments of the athletes and infringe upon the rights of corporate sponsors.  I am not going to rehash the details (you can read all about it here), and instead will move on to happier things.

I am was a huge fan of the Olympics, but in the past several years I have found it harder and harder to appreciate the community aspect when there is so much corporate craziness.  Now that we as knitters are relieved of this obligation on our time, I present to you my top ten things to do instead of watching the olympics:

1) Learn to cook and cook well.  For two weeks you could focus all that time you would spend sitting and watching on cooking properly.  If you live in the northern hemisphere, check out a farmers market.  If you live in the southern, maybe make some hearty soups.  Either way you will be eating better than McDonalds (official sponsor).

2) Take up a new fiber craft.  Spending a small amount of time every day on learning to spin, crochet, or needle felt will be in the olympic spirit of practice and determination -- particularly if you are like me and are decidedly uncoordinated.

3) Go to the movies.  No one will be there because they will be too busy watching table tennis, so you can even take your Ravelympic project.  Bring your headlamp and enjoy the latest block buster while working on an intricate cable detail.

4) Spend time outside.  Ever notice that so many olympic events are held outside and they all require physical exertion, yet to enjoy them you have to sit indoors.  Take that spinning wheel out to the park.  Clip your sock-in-progress to your belt and take a walk around the neighborhood.  You'll be getting much needed fresh air and physical activity that you would have missed out on.

5) Finally finish that book you have been meaning to read.  You know, that one you have had on your shelf forever and keep meaning to get to?  Get it out, go to the pool, and enjoy.

6) Knit for charity.  So you are no longer allowed to affiliate your sock knitting with your olympic viewing?  Challenge yourself to knit a pair for the homeless shelter.  Or for a friend you know is in need.  Knit hats for chemo patients, or washcloths for soldiers.  I guarantee that this will be a more fulfilling community experience than watching beach volleyball.

7) Spend time with your family with the tv off.  Play a board game, go for a hike, or just hang out and laugh.  You will make a greater impact on those you love than any professional athlete, no matter how celebrated.

8) Volunteer.  So many soup kitchens and charitable organizations need help every day of the year.  What better way to celebrate the ideals of the olympic spirit than to help those in need rather than watching tv?

9) Organize your own "olympics".  If you live with children, organize an outdoor day of crazy events that are all about having fun with no concern for getting dirty.  Have a tournament for your favorite card game.  Get your buddies together and have a long-distance relay.  Whatever it is you love to do, do it.  Do it with others and do it to have fun.

10) Knit.  Despite what the USOC may think, knitters are a serious force of good in this world.  Do not, I repeat, do not let anyone make you think you are worth less because of it.  I have great respect for the athletes and participants in the Olympics.  I have watched and loved them for as long as I can remember.  But there is no way I believe that I am "denigrating" the accomplishments of any athlete by knitting while I cheer them on.

As for me?  I'm going to try to knit a shawl for Team Feministy and stop being concerned that I scheduled my wedding during one of my favorite events of the year.

ETA (06.21.12):  The USOC has released an apology to the Ravelry community for the use of "insensitive terms".  Thank you Mr. Sandusky.  I probably will still not watch much of the Olympics this year, but we fiber artists are classy people and an apology was all we really wanted.  I will enjoy whatever we will now call our knitting event.

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