I don’t think I have moved from my 'Barcalounger' parked in front of the TV since the Olympics started. I have my computer on my lap, my snack table to my right, visitors from time to time, and the fridge within viewing range from the TV. I'm set. I’ll admit, I’ve taken bathroom breaks, (although I have considered investing in a porta-potty); took a little time for work (hence...I have kept my job); gone to the gym during the break between the afternoon events and prime time; and have taken a few hours off for some shut eye between 12AM and 6AM (while DVR'ing anything that was new). Other than that…I’m glued to every single event going on.
No…that’s not true. There are some on the other NBC Networks that I’m not watching. For instance…Skeet shooting…or whatever that ‘sport’ is called that the woman from the U.S., who won gold in the last 5 Olympics, was in…I couldn’t give a shit…although I'm happy that she's shooting at clay and not ducks or deer. I’m really happy for her that she set a record. In that respect, I get pleasure. The personal goals that people set and achieve, I find fascinating and awe inspiring. But there are just some sports that are not made for spectating.
Road Cycling (not to be confused with Track cycling)...I don't understand how anyone could sit and watch road cycling. It's got to be the most boring sport to see on TV. I'm sure it's not boring to those who partake in that as an extra-curricular activity...but to those of us who could never find comfort on a banana seat...it's torturous to sit through, physically and mentally. You can almost get sympathy crotch pains while snoozing...oops...I mean watching...and waiting for each cyclist to reach the finish line. I like to see side-by-side competition to know exactly where everyone is. Not each person being timed one at a time. BOOORRRIIINNGGG.
Archery is almost like watching someone peel paint off a wall. Unless you're participating, watching it is a snore-fest. (Not that participating in paint peeling is something you want to mark down in your calendar.) I had never felt more uncoordinated years ago when I tried to shoot the arrow at the target. There I stood…feet apart at an archery stance…whatever that may be…bow and arrow in hand. I pulled back on the bow, attempting to keep the arrow steady between my fingers, aimed at the target with one eye closed (which may have been my problem right there), released…and whoosh…it hit the person behind me. Yes...that's right...backfired over my shoulder at the person waiting to go next. I would have made the worst cupid. Archery is a dangerous sport.
And what good is fencing if you can't actually penetrate the person you are dueling? Do they wear armor under their outfits? I don't think I’ve encountered one person who knows the first thing about fencing. Who fences? Do you know anyone? Have you ever seen it offered in any venue or area where you live? Who does that? I wouldn't know one rule to follow if I witnessed a duel. [I'm assuming it's called a duel.] I have no clue what makes a winner in fencing…whoever gets the most slashes? So honestly...who gives a shit? Is the U.S. even in the competition at the Olympics or is it other countries that partake in this weapon toting sport?
Boxing is a sport that I will never understand...EVER. What pleasure can you possibly get from being punched in the face over and over and over? You know your nose will eventually be broken, and inevitably a concussion is waiting in the wings (or the ring)…a no brainer. Literally. I like to keep my facial features in the same vicinity they started out in when I was born and my brain cells unscrambled…although it may be too late for the latter.
So…aside from the few agonizing, death defying, ho hum, mundane events, I LOVE the Olympics. I love everything about them. Seeing the athleticism that some of these people display is incomprehensible to me. And I was a decent athlete at one point in my life. I was never great at any one sport, but I was above average in most. But when I look at these men and women competing…it’s just mind boggling to think they can achieve some of the feats they attempt.
Yeah…I’m going to walk across a 4 inch piece of wood 4 feet off the ground without falling flat on my face. I can’t even walk across my kitchen floor on flat feet without losing my balance.
And who says to themselves that they are going to jump so high in the air giving them enough time up there to do a back handspring, into a back somersault, doing a double, double, into a front handspring, into a full twisting double back and so on and so on. Are you f**king kidding me? I can barely do a cartwheel. And I could never do a handstand, so please tell me how those guys can hold up their entire body weight on the rings and the pommel horse. They’re freaks of nature.
I once tried diving off a high platform board when I was a kid. I take that back. I once attempted to jump off a high platform board when I was a kid. I don’t dive. And I guess I shouldn’t say I ‘attempted’ because I actually did jump. Keep in mind I’m not a swimmer at all. I have a fear of water. I am afraid of heights. So WTF was I doing jumping off a high board, you may ask? I would try almost anything when I was a kid…but do you have any idea how far away the water seems when you are 32+ feet in the air? As I was coming down my legs were flailing about, waiting to feel contact with the water under my feet and all of a sudden…a cramp in the arch of my foot. My whole left foot cramped up and when I hit the water, not only could I not pinch my nose closed, like I always did when I went under, but I choked on the water that I sucked up through my nostrils and couldn’t move because of the cramping. It was a wonderfully educational experience. Educational in the sense that I knew I would never attempt anything so stupid again in my entire life. That one incident gave me a great appreciation of the divers in the Olympics. Not only are they graceful and beautiful to watch…they are brave young men and women.
Aside from all the events I absolutely love to watch and admire, there are some things that baffle me and disturb me. For instance…I think they should have left Ryan Seacrest out of the Olympics. This is the world’s greatest sporting event. They have great sports commentators. Leave the commentating to those men and women who have spent their lives doing what they do best and let Ryan keep making his millions doing the reality shows and gossipy things. NBC didn’t need him and it bugs me that they even thought they needed him for ratings. The Olympics speak for themselves…they didn’t need Seacrest to do the job.
When our athletes are on the podium accepting their medals, why are they wearing grey? Seriously? That makes absolutely no sense. Shouldn’t they be in Red, White or Blue? Grey isn’t bold. Grey says blah and we can’t make a decision. Grey is middle of the road…not black or white. And grey is NOT a color of the U.S.A. So who decided on that for the podium outfit? And we won’t even discuss the opening ceremony outfits. Or the opening ceremony itself. Another snooze-fest.
One thing I absolutely do not understand…how do the athletes not let the cameras that are right in their faces, break their concentration? And when they’re upset after they screw up… and the cameras stay focused on them during their time of despair…how do they keep their composure and not want to just yell “Get the f**k out of my face”? The cameras are everywhere…how does that not impinge on their focus?
I would have loved to have gone to London to watch some of the events. I remember when it was in L.A. in 1984. I was so excited I was going to get to see the Olympics in person. I got to go to the Coliseum to see track and field; my apartment was along the marathon route so I stood outside and cheered the runners; but my all time favorite was getting to go to a gymnastics event at UCLA. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. My friends and I talked about it for months before the day came. We dressed in our red, white and blues, made sure we had our tickets and binoculars, and were betting on which gymnasts we would get to see…Bart Conner or Mary Lou Retton. It took us a while to find parking but we went so early to be sure we didn’t miss a thing, that it didn’t matter. We got to our seats, sat there about 45 minutes or so, and then out came the gymnasts. We couldn’t wait to see which ones were competing that day when all of a sudden…….they raised up these sticks with ribbons. Are you f**king kidding me? We got tickets for the first ever Olympic debut of Rhythmic Gymnastics and not one of us noticed that stamped on our tickets.