Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obligatory Olympics entry

I've never had much of a problem going along with the crowd. When I was four and some neighborhood kids were taking turns throwing bricks at a wall while one person stood against the wall and tried to dodge the bricks, with mortar stained hands I willingly participated. In 1987, I was rolling my jeans so tight and so often I'm surprised I don't have long term chronic circulation problems in my feet.

Tie dye, slap bracelets, talk to the hand, 90210 sideburns, the Rachel haircut, you name it. Whatever the crowd was doing, there I would be, following along and trying not to stand out. Just put a numeric neon green pager in my hand and prepare to be amazed by my upside down spelling abilities. So in the spirit of fitting in and going along with the blogging crowd, I now present my obligatory Olympics post.

I wasn't all that excited about the Olympics before they started. I figured I would watch Misty May and Kerri Walsh, maybe some of the basketball, and not a whole lot else. Then Jason Lezak happened. By the time he had smashed the French and I found myself standing up yelling "(non child friendly word) France" all alone in my bedroom, I was hooked.

The past ten days, my TV has been on something other than the Olympics and General Hospital for maybe two hours. I'm watching NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and USA. Men's water polo, team handball, women's double skulls, you name it. Morning, afternoon, evening, and late night. I get very sad when I can't find Olympics on any channel.

A few other thoughts...

Why are they taking softball out of the Olympics? How is BMX a more popular sport than Jennie Finch, I mean, softball? A bunch of twenty-something-year-old guys riding around on dirt bikes? Please.

One sport I truly don't understand is the 3000 meter steeplechase. They run around, there's a hurdle every once in awhile, then once a lap they go completely off the track to jump a wall and land in one or two feet of water. It just seems all really bizarre, and I'm not sure what it determines. Maybe if there was a small flood or water heater disaster and you needed to jump out a window and run thru standing water--but not a lot of standing water, just a couple of steps--to safety, these would be the best people for the task?

Anytime I get a little fed up with Bob Costas, Jim Lampley, or Mary Carillo, I just remind myself, "Hey, at least it's not Joe Buck or Chris Berman."

Why is there no 100 meter doggie paddle?

Here's maybe the oddest fact I've learned during the Olympics: Georgia's men's volleyball team is made up of two Brazilians named Geor and Gia. Seriously? That's an onomatological phenomenon! That'd be like if the US team was made up of two Serbs named Bratislav United and Nikolai States.

But of course, our men's beach volleyball team are the dynamic duo of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the latter of which George Bush affectionately nicknamed Big Fella. I can only imagine how that came about. I'm guessing it was after several failed attempts to pronounce Dalhausser.

I think if I were a diver, and I was way behind going into my last dive with no hope to medal, I'd have to try a cannonball. Oh come on, like you hadn't thought the same thing.

I love Dara Torres. And here's why. When I watch these teenagers and twentysomethings winning medals and representing their country, inevitably I begin to examine my life and how very little I've done with it. Of course, it doesn't help that as I'm watching, I'm lying on the couch trying to lick the last bit of icing out of a cupcake wrapper. But then I watch Dara Torres and I think, "Eh, I've still got time." She's like the Kenny Rogers of the Olympics.

I love Natalie Coughlin, too, but for entirely different reasons.

"When Brian Boitano was in the Olympics skating for the gold, he did two Salchows and a triple Lutz while wearing a blind fold..."


  1. Keep on cracking up at a four year old Bone throwing and/or dodging bricks Have no idea why I found that so hysterical

    You had a Rachel? Pictures please.

  2. I've found it so easy to NOT watch this year...usually I'm tied to it. I think mostly I'm upset with all the changes and cheating in my favorite sport. Our team was ROBBED!!!

    and that's all I'm gonna say about that.

  3. What I don't understand is how Synchronized Swimming is still going, but (as you said) Softball is out. How can this be???

    Now, I am *all* about swimming and diving. These are extremely tough competetive sports which require extreme mental and physical stamina. But Synchronized Swimming??? It's like a bad game of Mother May I.

    Keep Softball! Lose the *cough, cough* sport *cough, cough* of Synchronized Swimming.

  4. I'm guessing they are going to replace softball with nascar.

  5. yeah, I don't get the synchronized swimming thing either ..versus softball. strange.

  6. The Rachel haircut? You had the Rachel haircut? Interesting.

    SO have you seen speedwalking? I'm really asking b/c I haven't seen it, and I've heard lots about it.

  7. the name story isn't that interesting...but since you asked...

  8. Pia - Well, I might have been five. Of course I had a Rachel. Didn't everyone? OK, maybe not. But I did let my hair get a little long around eighth or ninth grade. Girls used to sit behind me in class and play with it. OK, so it was mainly just this one girl.

    Renee - I assume you're talking about table tennis. Just kidding. Our women's gymnastics team was definitely robbed. I hae never, ever seen someone fall on a vault landing and win a medal or even come close to winning a medal. That was terrible. I do enjoy watching Bela, though.

    Avery Laine - I actually had Synchronized Diving in first, then changed it to BMX. But yes, I definitely agree. I mean, for that matter, couldn't you pretty much do that with anything? Synchronized Weightlifting, Synchronized 110 High Hurdles...

    Scarlet Hip - I'd prefer college football. Or bowling. Walter Ray Williams would KILL!

    Shelby - We should start a petition.

    OK Chick - Yes, I did catch speedwalking one day. What is up with that? Some guy got disqualified for running while I was watching.

    Renee - Well, you can always make something up.

  9. Due to poor planning, my summer wilderness trip was during the olympics and not during the conventions... We got back to civilization Sunday afternoon and sitting in a bar in Crane Lake, where we enjoyed greasy food and cold beer, we watched rowing and realized we weren't really were so hot. I haven't seen anything on kayaking--did that happen in my absence?

    Btw, it really wasn't an overstuffed van as I explain--it was one of those Dodge 10 passenger vans--actually it was a very comfortable trip.

  10. Great post! Unfortunately, I've had to forego most olympic coverage viewing this year due to moving. Now I feel like I'm missing something.

  11. I'm beyond addicted to the Olympics. Of course, this isn't really anything new for me. Last time the winter Olympics were on was the only time my TV ever got turned on in my last apartment. Ever.

    Last week I cooked dinner every.single.night and watched the Olympics every.single.night. This week I have forced myself to do a few other things, but I'll admit, it's been tough.

    Mike Dalhausser, the latter of which George Bush affectionately nicknamed Big Fella. I can only imagine how that came about. I'm guessing it was after several failed attempts to pronounce Dalhausser.

    I think if I were a diver, and I was way behind going into my last dive with no hope to medal, I'd have to try a cannonball. Oh come on, like you hadn't thought the same thing.


    You could have skipped the entire rest of the post... those two paragraphs were honestly all that was needed to make this one of the funniest things ever.

  12. This year I have not watched the grand event. But for the fact that I am away from home. All I am doing is sleeping and doing absolutely nothing. Utter bliss, I say!


  13. I didn't have the 'Rachel' but I did say 'Talk to the hand' only to follow it years later with the thumb/pointer finger roll into a 'W' while saying Whatever . As if!

  14. Well, you've been reading my blog so I think you know how I feel about the Olympics in general and what's been going on at this Olympiad.

    BMX is in because it's an exciting sport that's guaranteed to draw in a younger crowd, both men and women (but mainly men), much the way snowboarding did for the Winter Olympics.

    Softball is out because the US Women dominate the sport (even with this year's Silver [instead of Gold] medal) and very few countries particpate in it. Because a lot of the smaller European countries that make up the IOC don't get softball, they voted to take it out.

    As for why Baseball is coming out, I think it had something to do with the fact that, again, the countries mainly doing the playing are North/Central/South American countries, plus Asia, and the small European countries didn't care for it.

    I agree though that it totally sucks that they're getting rid of softball and baseball.

    Really though, I shouldn't knock any event in the Olympics because all those people are phenomenal at what they do. If any of it (even Synchro Swimming) was easy, we'd all do it.

    I'm debating as to whether or not I should let you keep your child-like innocence over the player's names for the Beach Volleyball team from Georgia or if I should tell you the truth.

  15. Wait, you had a Rachel haircut? I know I had a Rachel haircut.

    I too have been watching half-naked women's beach volleyball, probably not for the same reasons you may be watching. I like this event much more than the court vball. I like to watch the diving, swimming too. What's not to love about Michael Phelps? I think I would like to become a mens swim coach, nudge, nudge.

    I believe they are taking women's softball out because there is no team that can compete against the U.S. women. So why bother?? The BMX thing, that's just dumb. Big guys riding around on little bikes. Whatever. I don't like table tennis much either. But, you know what I've not seen at all? Where the heck is synchronized swimming? I know it's in there. It's great to watch and I used to be on several synch swimming teams in high school. I know some people think it's dumb.
    All I have to say is, try it, weakling.

    Miss C.S.P.

  16. Bone, if I may: The Synchro Swimming has been showing on Oxygen Network. They've already done the duet finals (Russia won, quelle surprise). I think the Team finals are being shown today. I think it really sucks that NBC would put Olympic coverage on channels that some folks might not get. I'm also thinking that you might be able to see the synchro swimming online.

  17. I was very disappointed to see that there were no Americans in Rhythmic Gymnastics.

  18. Sage - I was thinking the same thing watching the swimming. There's an Olympic sized pool here. The last time I was there, I swam four lengths--200 meters--and I was DONE. And that probably took me five minutes.

    Jen - Thanks. Oh you did miss something. You missed this.

    Someone - Crap, I don't know why I keep calling him Mike. Had to go and fix that. Thanks.

    Yeah, I'm kinda sad they're over. Now I have to get used to going to bed before 2 AM again.

    Gautami - Hope you're enjoying your vacation. Sleep is one of my favorite things.

    Charlotta - I'm sorry. I'm gonna have to request some video of this, just for clarification purposes.

    Xinh - If that's why they're taking out softball, that seems really weak to me. Several events, maybe even a majority, are dominated by certain countries/regions and have perennial favorites. China has won 9 of 12 all-time gold medals in table tennis, just as an example.

    Haha. You definitely may. I will defer all future Olympic inquiries to you :) I guess NBC couldn't possibly show everything. Though it did take me a few days to realize other networks were showing some of those events.

    Carnealian - Well, there's no doubt I enjoyed watching Misty and Kerri for many assorted reasons. They're truly inspiring. I mean, to play that gold medal match in pouring rain, in bikinis nonetheless. Bless their hearts!

    I'm with you on the BMX. There's a reason I don't watch the X Games.

    Coconut - I was surprised to see trampolining was an Olympic event. What's next, Slip N Sliding?