Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics 2012 Rant

I have been spending the last three days doing something that is not characteristic of my personality, being glued to the television. Don't get me wrong, I have my favorite television shows and sometimes enjoy the white noise of television in the background, but for the last few days, I have spent maybe 70% of the day with my eyes staring directly at the television, enjoying varieties of Olympic sports.

I have so many good memories of watching the Olympics with my family. I remember watching Mariel Zagunis's scream when she won the gold medal in fencing. I remember Michael Phelps prior to his 8 gold-medal fame. I idiolized Carly Patterson. The memories are my favorite part of the Olympics. The sports themselves are endearing, but the history is what I walk away with. And if you didn't get it already, I am 100% Team USA. (:

(photograph taken from

Sadly, this year I will be unable to sit in the living room with my family during the Women's Gymnastics All-Around Final, much less watch it all. This is the reason behind the 70%. I want to spend all the time I can nurturing this unspoken tradition.

With those nostalgic thoughts aside, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the Olympics so far. Keep in mind, I am not an experienced sports writer, so my normal language will have to suffice.

Opening Ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony, from what I was hearing, was getting a pretty unimpressed response. None of my family members thought it compared with Beijing and texts from my friends demonstrated a dominate "meh" reaction as well. I, for one, actually really enjoyed it. I can agree that it wasn't spectacular like Beijing was, but I enjoyed all the cultural and literature references. Maybe it's the bookworm in me, but the ceremony was like one big literature guessing game. Voldemort looked, to put it gently, far from threatening, and I question why there were so many Mary Poppins, but it was fun nonetheless. Great Britain has a lot of literature to be proud of and they certainly took advantage of it.

My favorite part of opening ceremonies is towards the end when the different countries parade through the arena, when the smell of dreams are fresh. 

Old Favorites.

  • Beach Volleyball. 
    •  I continue to love beach volleyball year after year. I enjoy watching it on the television and at the same time want to go outside and play it. I watched Misty Mae and Kerri Walsh get their two gold medals, so when I heard they were returning for 2012 I was ecstatic.
  • Women's Gymnastics.
    • Women's Gymnastics is one of those Olympics sports that I have watched since I was a little girl. I very much idiolized Carly Patterson back in 2004. It's the sport that when I hear it's time for the Olympics, I automatically catalog in my mind as something to look forward to. 
  • Men's Gymnastics.
    • I am only a slight notch less excited about Men's Gymnastics than I am about women's, but that's mostly because I enjoy how elegant the women are. I find that the men lack that quality in their gymnastics but still love, love, love watching them.

Old Honorable Mentions.

  • Swimming
    • This is probably my fourth year watching Olympic swimming. The only reason I placed this in the "honorable mentions" section is because of the fact that I don't watch all the events. My favorite events are the men and women's free style relays.
  • Diving & Synchronized Diving.
    • Diving is always so much fun to watch. It's one of those sports that doesn't get boring because the broadcasting of it moves at such a rapid pace. 
  • Volleyball.
    • The reason I don't enjoy indoor volleyball as much as I do beach volleyball is also one of the reasons I dislike basketball, the indoor atmosphere is too claustrophobic for me. Either way, I enjoy watching this sport despite the fact that one match can last 2+ hours.

New Favorites.

  • Men's/Women's Archery.
    • I am utterly amazed at how much I love watching this sport, how long I've gone without watching it, and how intense it can be. I will definitely be looking out for archery in the Olympics to come. Go Wukie! 

Lastly, I just wanted to include that I think NBC's coverage of the Olympics is absolutely ridiculous. I won't dwell too much on this but their commentators are ridiculous and their interruptions in broadcasting are ridiculous.

But because I refuse to end this post on a negative note, my favorite part of the entire Olympics is when you get those glimpses of pure joy- those moments when the volleyball player scores the match point and she is too excited celebrating to care how unattractive her screaming expression may be, or when the synchronized diver gets a silver and is overcome with happiness she has to kneel down and cry into her hands. Those moments are what the Olympics are all about.

So, What are your thoughts on the opening ceremony?
What are your old and new favorites Olympic sports to watch?
Do you hate NBC's coverage as much as I do?


  1. I was pretty underwhelmed with the opening, just anticipating more precision and cleaner transitions. The burning Olympic rings & the old passing the torch to the young, the actual "flame" of the Olympics were my highlights.

    Old favs: gymnastics, soccer New: Swimming (have yet to miss a heat/semifinal/competition), possibly track & field (I used to only enjoy the high jump section but I'm really anticipating team USA this year...)

    NBC: UGH. UGH. UGH. UGH. ITS SO TERRIBLE. I won't start a list, there is too many but the top two things that get me

    1) lack of professionalism, they rag unnecessarily on all the athletes and just expect them to fail but take credit when they do well( "I knew she had it in her" when seconds prior "This is not her race, she isn't prepared")

    2) the sheer downplay of the female ability, the female athletes not as intense/competitive/easier to medal in when compared to the men, mainly seen in swimming and gymnastics thus irritating

    1. I haven't noticed 2 as much but I definitely agree with 1. I almost want to mute the tv, but I like hearing the sound of their movements and the crowd cheering.

      How has the soccer been? I've caught a few games, but haven't been following it consistently.

    2. My crap tv can't get the soccer instantly so I have to wait until NBC starts showing the clips (around Friday/Sat), once I steal a PC I'm going to catch up using the BBC website~

  2. Archery was the topic of conversation in every aspect of my life when the Olympics were being broadcast, being, speaking from someone within the sport. I'm personal friends with some of the Paralymipc Archers, so the support for teams USA and GB stemmed from a friendship, rather than a distant respectful, "Oh wow, they are great shots" kind of place inside me.

    Its very intense in all competitions largely due to the fact that it is one of the very few sports wherein you are not only competing against everyone on that line with you, or the other archers in your country, but also yourself.

    My memories of the Archery from London 2012 consist mostly of "Shut up!! I'm trying to watch this!!!" aimed at EVERYONE, and then within my group of shooting friends, questions about how we felt rounds went, be they team, individual, or qualifications.

    Great post!! :D

    1. That's awesome that you partake in archery. I took one class many years ago and I was completely and utterly horrible at it.
      As an archer (if that is the correct term) you must be able to observe them on a more technical side. My viewing mostly consists of a lot of oohing and aahing.