The Winter Olympics this year are exhausting to watch, aren't they?

OK, before you answer, let's back up. First and foremost, they're exponentially more exhausting for the athletes who have been training several hours a day for several years for what boils down to fractions of inches or seconds.

Next, a shoutout to everyone involved in the production of the Games. More specifically, Star Tribune reporter Rachel Blount, columnist Chip Scoggins and photojournalist Carlos Gonzalez appear to be fitting about a week of productivity into each day.

Back home, we have the easy part: sitting and watching. And it's still wearing me out.

Tuesday night, I was sucked into watching the USA men's hockey team, composed of college players and a ragtag collection of non-NHL pros, in the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic.

All it took was some drama and the unquestioned heart of the players, and suddenly I was all in, through three tense periods, overtime and ultimately a shootout loss that ended about midnight in Minnesota.

Wednesday night was worse, until it was better. I almost didn't stay up for the U.S. women's hockey team's thrilling 3-2 shootout win over Canada in a gold medal game that started around 10 p.m. local time and finished around 1 a.m.

Does this sound familiar? I nodded off after putting my oldest daughter to bed and woke up at the end of the first period in a serious haze. The second period was a sleepy blur — much like it was for the Americans, I suppose, who led 1-0 after one period but trailed 2-1 after two.

But I made it. If social media is any indication, a lot of you made it, too.

Jokingly, before going to bed around 1:30 a.m., this query was posted on Twitter: "Ok, so who is going for the double and also watching curling at 5 a.m. Central?" A few of you grumbled something about a DVR.

But there also were some enthusiastic yes votes and one confirmed person who did it. She reports that it was "100 percent worth it" when the U.S. men upset Canada to reach the gold medal match. Now I regret joking about it, and regret even more not waking up to join everyone else.

Then again, if you've paused to catch your breath at any point there is still time to reacquaint yourself with exhaustion.

The U.S. gold medal match vs. Sweden is slated to start at 12:35 a.m. Saturday on the NBC Sports Network.

The match will last somewhere between 2½ and 3 hours, so don't expect it to end before 3 a.m. If you're in for the long haul, put on a pot of coffee. Or grab some energy drinks. Mix in some vodka if that's your thing. I'm not your dad.

I'm a guy who is happily exhausted, just like the rest of you.