A Few Thoughts on the Olympics

I did not watch the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics. In fact, I did not watch any of the coverage for the first few days. I heard rumblings about lip synching, fake fireworks, and Michael Phelps. This week I watched some of the games. Here are a few thoughts:

Where are the unique sports? In the hours I have watched I have seen swimming, gymnastics, track, and beach volleyball. Where is kayaking, badminton, shooting, and trampoline? Where are the equestrians and taekwondoians? I guess some sports have bigger followings than others.

Beach volleyball? For some reason beach volleyball just doesn’t feel like a legitimate Olympic sport to me. I realize it is compelling television (at least when the women are playing), but I fail to see its merit. When I think of the summer Olympics I think of running, swimming, throwing a discus, putting a shot, and jumping over bars. If I cannot close my eyes and visualize an ancient Greek athlete competing in the event it fails my “real olympic sport test.”

Who’s in first? I don’t know (who) is in third. I’ve noticed that it is very difficult to follow swimming on television. When the camera angle changes, especially to the angles close to the water, the competitors are tough to tell apart. If the person you are watching isn’t wearing a distinctive cap you’re out of luck. The only swimmer I can identify is Michael Phelps (he’s the one that’s way ahead of everyone else).

Ice cold. The competitors that I saw that showed the least emotion were the female gymnasts. Most of them are ice cold. It is difficult to tell how well or poorly a routine went by looking at their faces. That takes some real toughness.

A carnivorous arthropod on a stick. Fried scorpions on a stick were mentioned two consecutive nights during the Olympic coverage. I have no desire to taste that delicacy. Well . . . maybe if you wrapped it in bacon.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics.

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