Sunday, August 17, 2008

Random thoughts about the Olympics... so far

If you have been watching the Olympics in Beijing, then perhaps you have also taken note of some of the following observations:
  • Were you at all creeped out by the opening ceremonies? I was especially disturbed by the hundreds of drummers beating in unison. I understand that during practice sessions, the performance was coming off as being so menacing, that the drummers were instructed to smile during the actual performance.
  • In the future, the International Olympic Committee should ponder their decision a bit more before handing over the Olympics to a human rights-violating, human organ-stealing, baby-killing totalitarian communist oligarchy. Off the top of my head, I can think of more deserving countries who could host the Olympics.
  • I have an innocent crush on Nastia Liukin, the American of Russian ancestry who won the Gold in the womens' gymnastics all-around competition. She was the perfect blend of athleticism, beauty, and grace. Nastia didn't just stick her landings; she stuck them with balletic beauty that seemed effortless. I actually remember watching Nastia's gymnast father compete in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he won a couple of golds while competing for the Soviet Union.
  • Nastia's teammate, Shawn Johnson, who was actually the favorite to win the gold medal, is a waddling ball of muscle who is built like a tree stump. Johnson is so laden down with said muscle that she can't even walk normally. You know gymnasts are short when the long and lithe Nastia Liukin looks tall compared to Johnson and most of the other competitors, but Liukin is only 5' 3".
  • I was watching womens' diving and noticed a difference between the Chinese divers and the rest of the field. The ladies from the various countries looked like women - they had curves, they had hips, they had femininity. The Chinese women (girls) were thin, shapeless, and amorphous. They did their dives with technical superiority, but the dives were bereft of style or soul.
  • Speaking of Chinese women, did you check out the so-called "16 year-old" gymnasts who are more likely 13 or 14? What is it about Communist countries that possesses them to practice institutional cheating?
  • Watching Jamaica's Usain Bolt set a new world record of 9.69 in the men's 100 meter final was impressive. What I found even more impressive were his performances in the qualifying rounds where he jogged - and I mean jogged - a 9.92 in the quarter-final and a 9.85 in the semi-final. Those two times would have won gold in all but a couple Olympic finals.
  • One more thing about Usain Bolt: He is a showboating jackass. Like NBC color commentator Ato Bolden told the audience, had Bolt not started celebrating 20 meters before the end of the race, he probably would have run a time more like 9.59. I don't think I have ever seen mid-distance or distance runners celebrate in the ridiculous and embarrassing fashion that sprinters sometimes do.
  • Also in the mens' 100m final was American Walter Dix, who took the bronze medal. In one of the qualifying rounds, Dix was wearing these white, skin-tight sleeves on his forearms. Apparently, the sleeves were for aerodynamic purposes. That's all well in good, but if Dix was so worried about being aerodynamic, perhaps he should shave off his dreadlocks that flapped in the breeze in his every race!
  • It seems like quite a travesty that so many non-American medalists compete for their home country, yet attended and competed for a university in the United States. Not only that, many of these "foreign" athletes continue to live and train in the United States as well. I'm sorry, but that's a bunch of bullshit!
  • Speaking of foreigners, I noticed that all the swimmers who competed for African countries were white. Meanwhile, out at the track and field venue, many sprinters who competed for European countries were black and many had African-sounding surnames. Were you aware that the current world record-holder in the men's 800 meters (1:41.11) is Wilson Kipketer of... wait for it... Denmark? The Olympics truly are an international event!
  • I find most, if not all, post-race interviews to be awkward, useless, and unnecessary. If I were in charge, I would put a stop to them immediately.
  • I keep smiling when I watch the NBC talking head in the Beijing studio. Perched on a building right outside the big studio window is a huge portrait of Mao Tse Tung which hovers over the broadcaster's left shoulder. Hmmm, NBC... Mao... how appropriate.
  • When I see a gold medalist begin crying after realizing he or she has won, my tears start rolling down right along with the winner's.
  • I usually prefer Olympic events whose medalists are decided by time and distance (track and field, swimming), or points (basketball, volleyball), rather than scores awarded by subjective and sometimes idiotic judges (gymnastics, diving).
That's all I have for now. I'm confident that I will have accrued a new list of observations by the conclusion of the Games in Beijing. If you have any other comments about what you have seen at the Games so far, please feel free to chime in.

Good Day to You, Sir


Anonymous said...

If you want to see androgynous women, watch the heavy class women's weightlifting. Whoa!

Law and Order Teacher said...

Nicely done. I too, hate that some of these events are subjectively scored by judges, who are surely free of bias. Sure. Nastia is a great gymnast who is very much different from Shawn. What I don't like is that I think Shawn was penalized for her athleticism. She lost because of her lack of "beauty." As for the Chinese, we are teachers, we see children, these are children. They are in no way sixteen. As for Commie cheating, they have to because history has proved it is a bankrupt system that has been discredited everywhere but college campuses and the Dem party.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Quite honestly...I haven't watched one second of the Olympic coverage. For one, I'm not a fan of most of the sports during the summer games. (I'm eagerly awaiting the beginning of the NHL season and SEC football). And secondly, it's my own little private boycott of China. Hubby and I do our best to avoid Chinese made products (which is tough, I assure you), and this is just another way to say, "no thanks"......the whole thing reminds me too much of the '36 Olympics where Hitler trotted out his masses. And no, I wasn't around during the '36 Olympics but I do read history.

Don, American said...

I liked the 38-year-old Romanian marathon lady. I found myself cheering her on, and I'm not watching much.

Anonymous said...

Every time I turn it on, there is something I cannot even relate to such as team handball? I didn't even know, or care, that it existed.

Donalbain said...

1) I thought the opening ceremony was great. I loved the drummers. It was no creepier than watching Trooping of the Colours or any other military style drilling.

2) Not so sure on this one, if we start using politics as a guide to where the Olympics should go, this could lead to much nastiness. What if the USA was denied the hosting because of how the international community feels about Iraq..

3) Gymnastics bores me so I have no idea who you are talking about!

4) See above.

5) Women from China (and the far east in general) are less curvy than women from the west in general. Not that I doubt there was cheating going on in the gymnastics (I saw the competitors if not the competition), but this should be borne in mind

6) See 5!

7) Just. Wow.

8) He just anihilated the opposition in the most blue ribband event at the most important sporting event in the world. He can celebrate however he pleases as far as I am concerned. And remember, he just won Olympic Gold. That is more important than the world record.

9) There was a swimmer with a beard.. that was wierd!

10) No more of a travesty than American footballers who travel abroad to play for European teams and then compete for the USA. Sport is an international business these days, and if the athletes can get paid well in the US college system good luck to them, and if the US colleges want to spend money on that, then good luck to them as well.

11) Gasp! Danish people at the Olympics! Seriously, I dont understand your point here..

12) Yes. I agree. The questions are pointless "So, you won? That must be great.." or "You lost. You must feel sad."

13) Not watching NBC, so have no idea.

14) I cried when the GB rowing four women got their silver. That was so sad for them.

15) Faster. Higher. Stronger. NOT Faster. Higher. More prettily! I would get rid of ALL the judged events. I would also get rid of all the events where the Olympics is not the pinnacle of an athelete's career, so goodbye diving, gymnastics and sychronised swimming, but ALSO goodbye football and tennis.

Donalbain said...

You cant be most blue ribband. That is a typo. Ignore the "most"

Donalbain said...

Also, riband. Not ribBand. Done now!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Only that my 4 year old loves the olympics! Especially basketball. He'll sit there and shout USA while wearing his pjs and eating pancakes. And no we didn't teach him the chant either...