I know I’ve been on a serious hiatus, but I suppose I couldn’t help myself. I became seriously addicted to the Olympics and found myself up every single night until 1 or 2 am glued to that darn thing that flickers in your face called the TV. AND, we don’t even have cable (by choice – not big TV watchers)! God help me if we had five NBC related channels of the Olympics. It’s only two weeks every four years, I could do it (or so I thought)! By day four I was exhausted but I ‘sucked it up’ (as my husband kept telling met to do) and watched as if I were a newborn viewing its surroundings for the first time.
I enjoy sports in general, but I love the Olympics for the triumphant personal stories, and to watch the incredible athleticism of the top 1% in the world is truly special. Yes, I know it’s been over commercialized since the ’90’s and there’s too much focus on the medal count and how the USA dominates over the rest of the world (except China), however, I try to overlook those things by living in the moment enjoying each game and its athletes!
One of my favorite stories was Oscar Pistorius from South Africa. The first (double) amputee to compete in track did the sport some good. Aside from an incredible story, what a tremendously humble and grateful human being he is.
Watching Michael Phelps personal transformation from his first Olympics to his last was wonderful. He’s really come into himself, becoming comfortable with his role in the sport, the history he’s made, and understanding the gravity of what he means and will mean to future swimmers for generations to come.
Then, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes with stories like this one:
Fabien Gilot, a member of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100 team raised his arm in triumph to reveal a tattoo in Hebrew reading: אני כלום בלעדיהם -in English: I am nothing without them.
He found his own way to remember the Israeli athletes massacred during the Munich Games 40 years ago. We remember too. His grandfather survived Auschwitz and we remember the Holocaust today. We hope for peace and understanding and swimming and the
Olympics brings us closer to each other. We come from all over the world, no matter what are the politics of each country…. these weeks, this time, we are all equal and free.
How many of you found yourself watching things you aren’t even remotely interested in? For me, one of those things was Table Tennis. Personally, I find it to be fun 20 minute entertainment with the kids, but that’s as far as I take my ping pong expertise. However, there I was glued to the gold medal match watching the two athletes from China sweating their pants off, duking it out to the end. By the way, either those guys are giants or the table got much smaller. I’m assuming it’s the latter.
How excited were you for these girls to win gold? What a great night that was!!
And how about this rock star? Who cares (well, she does) if she sat down her second vault? Her first vault was THAT good she still earned a silver medal. Mckayla Maroney is a gymnastics vaulting machine!
I could go on and on with my favorite moments, but I won’t. What were some of your favorite stories or moments?
On another note, sometimes I think the International Olympic Committee should eliminate the sports that have professional leagues. For example, soccer, tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball. As thrilling as it was watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh win another gold, I’m not sure I feel professional sports should be in the Olympics. Those athletes had the opportunity while in college, before turning pro, to earn their way. There’s plenty of amateur Olympic sports to highlight that we don’t need to watch a professional sport during that two week period. I would think this would also reduce costs for the cities hosting the Olympics. Instead of spending billions on venues, etc., maybe it could be in the millions. Then, in turn, the cost savings could be filtered down to us regular folk who would love to purchase an affordable ticket to watch an event live. For example, according to an article on Forbes.com swimming was the most expensive of all athletic events (not including the Opening Ceremonies), going on the secondary market for an average of $713.80, a 242 percent premium over their average face value of $208.64. Even if a family of four were able to get their hands on face value tickets, they’d spend over $800 (on average) viewing one 2 hour event. Prices me out of the market quickly! How about you?
Enough of my chatter on overhauling the Olympics. I’m not going to boycott. I’m still going to watch with just as much enthusiasm the next time around. I L.O.V.E. the Olympics!
P.S. While I was glued to the TV, we were also working on freshening up the kitchen. Check it out in my next post!