Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Love the Olympics

I don't just like the Olympics, I absolutely love the Olympics.  I love everything about the Olympics.  From the earliest one I remember (the tragic 1972) Olympics, I've been hooked.  I remember when I first saw the Olympics thinking "Why don't we do this every year?" (or every month for that matter.

From the opening ceremony last Friday (which I sat glued to the entire four hours it was on) to the closing ceremony next weekend, I have watched and will watch the Olympics just about every possible waking moment.  I watch the "behind the scenes" stories on the athletes.  Yesterday I couldn't watch a lot of the day (but I recorded it from 10AM to 6PM and scanned the whole thing).  So, as I was scanning through, I stopped on the stories.  Wow.  Did you catch the one on the Chinese ping pong player who met the American 19 year old hippy who got on the wrong bus and actually led to the whole Nixon-China visit?  Amazing how a kid like that could literally change history.   I could go on and on. Each one fascinates me.

I loved the pageantry of the opening ceremony.  The drummers were powerful, in perfect and amazing. The painting that was created throughout the ceremony was awe-inspiring.  And, the synchronicity of the people emulating the Chinese printing press was just mind-blowing.  Mr. Engineer here was sitting telling the family how amazing the computer program that was controlling that must have been.  Then, they blew my mind when they showed the blocks were actually being controlled by human beings. The precision just floored me.

I love the way the athletes respect and even cheer for each other and how the crowd appreciates a tremendous effort no matter what country the athlete is from. When Michael Phelps won his 8th medal last night, I watched as swimmers from other teams congratulated him.

My favorite stories of the game so far are, the obvious Michael Phelps.  I mean what is there to say? I'm so happy for him and I hope that he uses his fame well.  Yesterday,  I did cheat on the Olympics a little and during the women's marathon flipped to watch Obama and McCain.  But, the Romanian woman who took the lead early and held on until the end was way cool.  Then, last night I watched the 100m race.  Usain Bolt from Jamaica, ran the most amazing 100m race I've ever seen.  It wasn't his world record that was amazing.  It wasn't the way he ran away from the field that was amazing.  It was that he shut it down about 15m short of the line and could have run faster and blown the field away by even more.  I've never seen a performance like it in the 100m.

As much as I love the Olympics, I'll be glad when they're over.  When I'm away from the house, I wonder what I'm missing.  When I'm working (as I have to do now), I want to be in front of the TV.  Netflix wasn't shipping movies last week?  Who cares?  I haven't watched any of the three I've had since the opening ceremonies and won't until they extinguish the flame.  The earliest I've even thought about going to bed in the last 8 days has been 11:30.  Friday night I discovered I could literally watch until 9AM on Saturday, take a break for an hour and begin watching the USA basketball game at 10AM.  Dangerous stuff for a Olympics-aholic like me.

OK. I took this time to write the article because the bicycle pursuit is on (guess they're giving us die-hards a bit of a break).  I'll watch just about anything.  Watched a little sculling yesterday, some badminton, gymnasts on trampolines (are they nuts!?) oh and did you catch our water polo team being Croatia?  I've got to some shipping labels. Then, it's time to take up my position on the couch until about 12:30 or 1:00 tomorrow morning.


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