I have thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Olympics. Quite possibly, that I am on a research month where I control my schedule has a lot to do with it. The result – I am so tired from staying up late to catch NBC’s prime-time “live” coverage and waking up early to really catch live events online.
From the opening ceremony which I watched with friends at a bar, I was pumped up! It was so beautiful. I do believe that NBC actually showed each country pass by (though they rushed through “the non-significant ones”), but I think that’s a big improvement over my first Olympics in the US – the 1996 Atlanta Games – where countries were just skipped when they went to commercials. That was one of the string of events that put me off NBC’s coverage of Olympic games. That, and the narcissistic nature of the coverage. But I do digress.
I watched everything, well almost everything, from my beloved gymnastics, track & field, and football, to the so-so swimming and diving which this year was magnificent (which might have been because NBC made the Water Cube it’s raison d’etre), to new things like mountain bike cycling (treacherous), BMX cycling, synchronized dancing (I didn’t see the sport in that), trampolining, and even rowing! I didn’t catch a single game of tennis though, schade.
Michael Phelps, well what can I say that hasn’t already been said. Usain Bolt was amazing though a bit cocky – I’ll chalk that up to age and immaturity – he must have been the class clown. To the sour losers at gymnastics (I won’t say who), to the dropped batons at the relay (USA what happened this year?), the hoopla over the age of the Chinese girl gymnasts (they keep calling them women, I’m sorry, these are not women yet!), the upsets and the disappointments, just so much fun!
And then there were the Africans. Vida Anim of Ghana boycotted the Games because of lack of support from her country in her words or maybe because she did so poorly in the 100 heats and didn’t want to embarrass herself in the 200s as well? But I sympathize. If there was support from her country – and I’m not just talking of the people sending their prayers, and sitting around talking and strategizing, but the officials really making athletics (and not just track & field, soccer and boxing which happens to be Ghana’s big three though we didn’t medal in any this year) a priority, maybe we could also have stars too. What else did they expect? You get nothing from nothing.
Of course China is China, and if anyone thought that these games were going “to open them up” or stop human rights violations, then they will be sorely disappointed, but I will say I was impressed. I don’t think London 2012 can surpass this. But I’ll be there!!!!
Now on to the Democratic National Convention. I half forgot that there was an election going on in the US this year. It has been so tiring and drawn out. It needs to be over already!