Summer Medal Moments
It’s official: I’ve gone into Olympics withdrawals. Granted, I’m probably not as depressed as the London cleanup crews or vendors stuck with shelves of historically unpopular official souveniers, but now that the 2012 Summer Olympics have come and gone, I’ll have to wait two whole years until the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
With the bizarrely boring spectacle of the 2012 closing ceremonies still on my mind, some closing thoughts of my own:
Baseball and softball were both eliminated from this year’s summer games. Did you miss them? Me either. And how cool was it to watch South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius running on carbon blade legs alongside other world-class athletes? I don’t understand, however, why all the commentators kept comparing him to his “able bodied” competitors. Mr. Pistorius seems mightily abled to me.
All total, there were 10,500 athletes from 204 countries in these Summer Olympics. Watching the opening ceremony, I wanted an atlas nearby to see where some of these countries are on the map. I mean, Benin? Burkina Faso? Kiribat? They made those up, right?
On the other hand, I had no trouble recognizing where a whopping 128 members of Team USA came from – right here in California. In fact, I read somewhere that if California had entered its own Olympic team, the Golden State would have had a larger presence at the London Games than Mexico, Turkey, Switzerland and many other countries. Maybe next Olympics we could have a smaller “California” flag for in the opening ceremony? Probably not.
Speaking of that weird opening ceremony, the producers could have saluted the British National Health Service without the thousands of dancing nurses, patients and hospital beds and simply wheeled out a humongous set of British teeth. Ta da!!: the nation’s health system in one image. I thought the closing ceremonies were just dull and uninspired, until NBC cut them short for a preview of their new show, Animal Practice, which showed me what truly dull and uninspired looks like.
Watching the Games these past two weeks, I did have a few questions. Like, can swimmers sweat in the pool? And, if the women beach volleyball players have to wear barely-there-bikinis, why don’t the men have to wear Speedos? (On second thought, never mind. Men’s diving was already difficult enough to watch for reasons I won’t go into. Then again, NBC’s “splash-o-meter” was kinda cool.)
But back to beach volleyball; being held outdoors and all, the popular competition saw its share of classically bad British weather. From pouring rain and soggy sand, to sand that was so cold one of our Team USA women needed a medical time-out due to loss of feeling in her toes. So here’s a thought: why not hold events that can be affected by bad weather indoors and move things like swimming outdoors? I mean, what swimmer is going to be upset if it rains? Just wondering.
Watching both the men’s and women’s runners as they stood waiting to start their respective races reminded me of the way frighteningly powerful dragsters vibrate with pent up speed as they wait in the staging area for the green light. The sprinters seem to quiver with the same barely restrained energy just waiting to be unleashed. Impressive. Like the phenomenal Usain Bolt. Who may be the fastest man alive, but certainly not the most humble. Just sayin’.
Not necessarily impressive but kinda funny were the slow-motion replays of the runners’ faces as they ran towards the camera. You don’t realize how elastic the human face is until you see it in super-slo-mo under great exertion.
One last Olympic thought; I’m certainly glad that us mere mortals don’t have that bright yellow line constantly moving out in front of us to show how close or far away we are to breaking records with our performance. That dang line would always be several Zip codes away from me. I’ll see you ‘round town.