Well, the Winter Olympics this year gave us quite a few surprises and also some disappointments. I tried to watch everything that was shown on TV even though it cost me quite a few hours of sleep.

One of the best parts of being an unemployed senior is the freedom it gives me to stay up later than normal. I can't remember the Olympics ever being shown on TV as late as they were this year, but maybe my memory is faulty on that. In any case, I did enjoy most of what I saw, even if I didn't understand the scoring all the time.

What did surprise me the most is the amount of people who really don't care at all about the Olympics. I guess I'm a bit naive on some things and I really thought that every American wanted to watch them and cheer for our teams. Although I can no longer support them financially, I did the best I could by trying to help each athlete give a flawless performance.

I knew that the show was tape-delayed and that my holding my breath or other physical movements had no effect at all on the results. But, I sure tried to assist our members while watching them on TV.

It was sad to watch the Russian Olympic champion male figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko retire from the games. His ability to land his jumps with such seemingly effortless smoothness was a joy to watch over the years.

Watching the ski jumpers this year reminded me of the famous "Eddie the Eagle"' jumper from the UK in the Calgary Olympics of 1988. Michael Edwards made us laugh at his antics and even though he finished last in all his competitions, he kept a smile on his face and ours. Since his performance that year, the UK has changed its rules for entering as a contestant in the Olympics.

The sound of the two female contestants' helmets breaking when their heads hit the snow was frightening. I guess that some of the helmets are just not as strong as they look. At least neither lady had a concussion and they were able to ski away from their heart stopping falls.

It's just too bad that even our vice president couldn't attend any part of the Olympics. Other countries with only one or two contestants entered had their president in attendance. Here we had the second-most number of athletes competing, outdone by only two Russian entries. Yet no one from the White House was there to honor and cheer on our teams. Our president instead decided to send some of our former Olympic medalists to represent him for the opening ceremonies there.

In case you missed it, the brake man from our bobsled team got stuck in their bathroom when the door refused to open. He knocked and then pounded to get one of his roommate's attention.

One of the members of the team did hear all the pounding and decided to put on his headset to eliminate the noise. The poor brakeman continued to pound until he actually pounded a hole in the door big enough to escape through.

Our team laughingly explained that the hotel did replace the bathroom door with one that would open up when the handle was turned. Way to go .... USA.

In my younger years I always planned to be in the Senior Olympic Games. Little did I know then, that my body would be in such terrible shape when I did become a senior. My plans have been dashed by the years of abuse my body has gone through, but there's still hope out there for some of the rest of you.

A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at carolleeolson@aol.com.