Some Olympic-Sized Thinking
Like many of you, I’ve stayed up too late every night this week. I’ve raced home from previously scheduled engagements. I’ve unashamedly cut short phone conversations with friends during the evening hours. And it’s possible that I may have missed my weekly Bible study. Then again, I did have a minor case of the sniffles. And my head felt stuffy. ...
So what, you may ask, could have overtaken my priorities this week? Why, the 2008 Olympics, of course!
I am hooked and have loved cheering and shouting at the television, as the world’s top athletes compete against one another in this pinnacle of all sports tournaments. But I’ve also been doing some head-scratching about what I’m seeing in the different events thus far. And, in no particular order, here’s what I’d like to know more about:
- Why do the women beach volleyball players wear almost next to nothing while the male beach volleyball players are clothed? Doesn’t sand in your swimsuit get uncomfortable? Also, if you have (and how can I say this diplomatically) some clothing that gets stuck somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine and it becomes uncomfortable, how are you to remedy this situation while being broadcast from every and any possible angle on international television?
- If members of a French swimming team talk smack about an American swimming team before a race with the American swimming team and if said French team should lose the match to said American team, does that mean we no longer have to boycott French fries? Can we start eating Brie and Camembert again?
- Why are the television cameras ALL up in the business of the male gymnasts while they are changing their athletic garments (shorts to pants and vice versa) between events? Do we need to see this?
- We have overhead shots, underwater shots, slow-mo, stop-mo and whatever else kind of camera-work going on. When, though, will we have head-cam shots? Will we ever get to “go” through a high-bar routine with one of the male gymnasts and see what he sees?
- Does every Olympian have a tattoo? I’m just saying. There’s a lot of ink going on. What’s up with that?
- Why does body style (muscular and bulky vs. lean and toned) translate into different styles for female gymnasts? Shawn Johnson vs. Nastia Liukin, for example. “Powerhouse” vs. “Elegant.”
- Why does NBC sportscaster Bob Costas continue to look like he’s had his eyes done? Over and over again? Is he related to Dick Clark?
- Is it fair that super-swimmer-man Michael Phelps gets to eat 12,000 calories a day while the rest of us are stuck with a maintenance plan of, oh, say around 1,200?
- Why have some former Olympians not aged so well, while Mary Lou Retton looks just about the cute ‘n’ perky same? Are they not eating their Wheaties?
- Is something shady going on if the host nation has more medals than any other country in the competition? (As of this writing, here’s the medal count: China is at 35, the U.S.A. is at 34 and South Korea is at 16).
- Does anyone watch fencing? Or judo? Or curling?
- Are there nightlights in the Olympic Village? What do you do if you need a late-night snack? Is there a hall monitor? What about curfew?
- Should gold medal winners be mic’d on the podium, while they’re singing their countries’ national anthems?
- If track and field has the decathalon (ten T&F events), why doesn’t swimming have an equivalent? Aren’t there that many strokes out there? What about the side stroke?
- Why don’t we see Olympic spectators doing “the wave”? Where’s the face paint? And how about the foam fingers?