August 11, 2008

The Olympics are finally here

Four years is too long to wait. In 2004 I spent so much of the Olympic fortnight glued to my TV, watching anything that NBC would show me. Swimming, track, basketball, and so on. Now that the world's greatest sports showcase is back, I'll be doing much of the same for the next 13 days.

There's some element that is rarely captured by the sports we get on a regular basis, but the Olympics thrives on it. I can't really say what it is. But there is something about competition in its purest form that I really love. It's a welcome break from the multi-millionaire athletes we're so used to.

Something else I love about the Olympics is the variety of sports that are almost never televised otherwise. Here's some that I find most entertaining:

Water Polo - It's a lot like basketball or soccer at a tenth of the speed.
Team Handball - Water Polo without the water. A very bizarre sport to watch.
Volleyball - Beach Volleyball is good too, but I find the indoor version to be much more captivating because of the possibility of long volleys.
Shooting - I have to appreciate the difficulty of shooting a six inch wide target traveling at around 60-80 mph.

There are a lot more sports worth watching, and I'm excited.

Also, before I go, I can't help but mention the finals in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay. When Jason Lezak touched out France for the gold, after being behind with 10m to go, I literally jumped out of my seat.

In short, watch the Olympics. It's the best thing on TV for the next two weeks.


illmas said...

I missed all weekend programming while camping but saw an online replay of that relay and it was awesome.

The Olympics are definitely great for the spirit of sport and raw competition. A far cry from popular American "commercial" sporting and Favre/Manny/Owens drama.

But me loves Buccaneer football taking the Dolphins in pre-season!

North Carolina come on and raise up!
This ones for you!

JSoup said...

I gotta give an amen to this one. Maybe two weeks ago the last thing on my mind was caring about the olympics. I knew I wanted to watch Dream Team New, and the whole Michael Phelps going for 8 golds intrigued me at best, but the draw wasn't there. ESPN did a pretty good job of anti-hyping the olympics, which, in hind-site was another sickening blow at how backward and not what it used to be ESPN is now. They suck the NFL's dick 13 months a year, it's all very very old. The olympics have been a really big breathe of fresh air.

You hit it on the head when you said that there's something about watching these rarely seen athletes competing for the sport of it (and some endorsement deals, but we all gotta pay the bills I guess). That 4x100 relay took me out of my seat as well, I was captivated by something I never really thought I would ever be. Now I find myself needing to see this kid get all those golds, and Christ he beat another world record tonight.

Good post.