Sunday, August 24, 2008

2008 Olympics

I'm gonna miss the Olympics. I've watched more of these than past years, it's nice to have something that brings the country together. That's been missing for awhile. I enjoyed rooting for: the 'Thin Beast' & 'The Professor'; Dara Torres & Michael Phelps; Kobe & Lebron; May & Walsh; Serena & Venus; Nastia & Shawn; all the Domers. Although it was often on as 'background noise', I did catch snippets of many sports I've never watched before. And even with the 'enhanced' parts, the Opening Ceremony was pretty awesome.

That is not to say there were not negative aspects by any means - the 70+ year old women who were arrested for requesting protest permits; the bulldozing of poor neighborhoods to put in roads for the traffic; the exceptional level of pollution (the green slime story was particularly bothersome to watch); the murder of the Volleyball coach's father-in-law; the continuous commentary across numerous sports that gave the impression that if one didn't win a gold medal they had failed (that REALLy got old); the tapes of various teams pulling their eyes back at the corners as a joke (this was shown several times, apparently it is not seen as inappropriate in several cultures); inconsistent and at times inept judging/refereeing in various sports (boxing and women's gymnastics in particular); the utter lack of demonstrations shown (or allowed??); the relentless "America's Got Talent" commercials; Bush hobnobbing with athletes...

But in the end, it'll be Michael Phelps, the number of athletes over 35 winning medals, the story of the swimmer who lost her leg yet still came in 4th in open water swimming, the weight-lifting gold medalist who held up the picture of his recently deceased wife, the grace & athleticism of the participants, etc. that made these games worth watching.

And did I mention that male gymnasts are really cute?? ;-) Plus, the Manning brothers' commercials were great!

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