Sunday, April 26, 2009

SPORTS: Are You Watching the Olympics?

*Posted August 14, 2008*

That seems a fair question, considering how boring the Olympics usually are. However, I've been tuning in daily and I find a lot of these sports fairly compelling. As of publishing this article, the medal count stands as this.
1. U.S. 65
2. China 61
3. Who cares, they are way off
Even though it looks close, the Chinese are destroying the Americans with a 35-19 gold medal count. Here are my thoughts on the events I've been watching (events that I don't give a damn about outside the Games).

Swimming: MICHAEL PHELPS MANIA WOOOOOO!! Even though the coverage on him has been suffocating, it's worth it to see an American dominate the international field with such ease. Right now he has 5 Gold Medals (setting 5 new world records), and is the most decorated Olympian ever. He still has 3 events to go to surpass Mark Spitz. Outside of Phelps, it's still entertaining to watch other men's and women's matches where 2 seconds can separate gold medal winners and last place finishers. Coolest event: Men's 100m Freestyle (fastest swimmer alive competition, where Phelp's is a no-show.)

Women's Gymnastics: If you can get past the unnattractive aspects of this sports (ugly, calloused feet), you're in for a treat. I've been a fan ever since Kerry Strug and the Magnificent 7 in 96. I guess the fun comes from the humiliation when someone falls. Screwing up in front of hundreds of millions of viewers on the highest stage on something you've practiced thousands of times has a way of bringing out the tears. This year the U.S. choked on the final day and handed the gold to the Chinese. But there's a lot of controversy over the ages of Chinese gymnasts. You have to be 16, but some are accused of being as young as 13 (it doesn't help when you're not even 70 pounds). Oh, and in case you are wondering, men's gymnastic's is for pansies. Coolest Event: Floor Exercise
Beach Volleyball: It wasn't a medal match, but the contest between the U.S.'s Youngs/Branagh vs. two Cubans was exciting. First of all, beach volleyball is hot (see side photo), but second of all we also dominate at it. Misty May and Kerri Walsh have owned the sport for about 6 years now. POINT! U.S.

Water Polo: I've never seen water polo before this week, and I have to say, it's one of the most boring sports out there. It's lacrosse in a swimming pool, except you're treading water the whole time, so there's little energy for anything beyond passing and shooting. In the match I saw, the U.S. beat China, but nobody really cares.

Weightlifting: Seeing a guy dislocate his elbow while trying to lift 325 pounds above his head is both gruesome and awesome.

Rowing: Boring.

Synchronized Diving: Impressive, but not as cool as swimming.

Just for the record, I also watched a little tennis, but tennis is always interesting so it doesn't count.

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