Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stepping up to the podium

It's hard to hate on the Olympics.

The Games showcase amazing athletes, who put in the time and hard work to show us just what the human body is capable of. They provide hours upon hours of entertainment in the summer drought of network television. Our Redbox expenditures have dropped significantly, and Mark has stopped putting on headphones to watch "The Wire" on his laptop.

For all its good, though, I've found myself spouting obscenities on a regular basis as I watch the night-time network coverage. Maybe I'm a bitter old hag, jealous that I can't run a 50-second 400 but I'd like to think I have good reason to rant.

Ohmygod, the butt slapping. I do not get it. At all. It's one thing to give your partner a congratulatory high-five after winning a set but to slap her bum after every point is a bit excessive. And, in my world, you slap the butt then score - not the other way around.

Just jump. Swimming and diving are great, and as I see athletes take graceful, strong strokes, my body fills with envy. But - and this is a big but (and they do not lie) - I'm sick of the pool. I've seen so much swimming and diving that my hands are like raisins and my feet are shriveled. The only thing that made the coverage this week even remotely bearable was when a Chinese diver practically belly-flopped. I don't care who you are - that's funny.

Just say nay. I under stand there's some sport to horse jumping but I don't get the athleticism. Even more confusing is why I've been able to catch this on TV and not the women's triathlon. (Note: This comment also goes to shooting, archery and table tennis.)

The flip side. I love me some track and field. And I like swimming, diving, gymnastics and the other popular sports but it would be nice to see some prime-time coverage devoted to, let's say, weight lifting. And don't say it's because there's no drama - a German weightlifter dropped a 432-pound bar on his head. Sort of makes my 12 kilo bar at BODYPUMP look pathetic.

The editing. I'm an editor so I get it - you have to tell a story. It makes people feel warm and fuzzy. But let's cut to the chase - we all know that these events (for the most part) are not airing live. I don't need to see Gabby Douglas jumping in nervous anticipation; I want to see her jumping on the balance beam. Furthermore, these scenes, so to speak, only serve to let people who like to hear themselves talk, well, talk. If they knew any better, they'd get a blog.

Pageantry. I refrained from commenting on the Opening Ceremonies, mostly because my comments would not be family friendly. Even when talking about the random arrival of Lord Voldemort. Don't get me wrong - I like a good show - but the Olympics are about the athletes and it wouldn't hurt the IOC and planning committee to celebrate them a little bit. Preferably in a way where people shut the fig up.

Now excuse me, I have to step off the podium and practice my 400 meter hurdles.


  1. So I went to the Opening Ceremony and I can say with full confidence that the editing that was done to capture it on TV was nothing like the show that I saw. To be fair, the following 2 weeks are about the athletes, the opening ceremony is about the host country.

  2. They should probably just show more of all of the athletes' faces in slow-mo. I mean, what's more exciting: the women's 100m hurdles, where the gold medal was decided by hundredths of a second, or the way their lips and cheeks flapped in the wind?

    I would've given the gold to Lolo Jones's cheeks for sure.

  3. I love it! I am right there with you on most of your points! LOL The Opening Ceremonies LOL

  4. Maybe you should watch it on mute! I have been tempted to do that at times. My husband and I just resort to making fun of them and yelling, "I want to see you do it!" at the TV.

    I was getting tired of the little stories they did about the gymnasts. I liked to see them the first time, but after the 10th... I just wanted to see the event!

  5. I love the Olympics and was watching table tennis the other day. Or as I like to call it..Ping Pong. It had me laughing hysterically. How is Ping Pong sport? Did you see some of their fancy serving techniques? Awesome in a tragic way. I am so sick of the womens gymnastics intro. We don't need to hear them say all that junk a bazillion times, once is totally enough.