Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beijing 2008, The Events

I am a sports junkie. Since I have been a wee lad I have loved sports and followed them. Watching them on TV has a somewhat calming effect on me, or lets me blow off steam. I get to escape the realities of my world for a few hours.

Since I have been alive I have enjoyed the Olympics, Summer and Winter. The drug scandals and other controversies such as fixed judging and other things like that piss me off, but I always end up coming back. I just love sports.

I would like to take you on a tour of the events that are featured at the Summer Olympics this year, and make a comment or two on them.

Aquatics

Aquatics include swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo. I like watching swimming. I have never been able to swim worth a damn, but like seeing others who can. Diving includes 3m springboard, and 10m platform. Also included are the 3m synchronized and 10m synchronized. I saw some 3m springboard women's synchronized this evening. It is stupid. Two people do a dive at the same time next to each other and try to mirror themselves. Who came up with this? Water polo is a great sport and extremely hard to do. Synchronized swimming...well...no.

Archery

I would like to see some of this competition on TV, but think it will be pretty much impossible to find here in the States. I have thought about getting a bow, but don't have time to shoot my guns properly so don't need to pick up another hobby at this time.

Athletics

This is just a fancy word for the track and field events, which I enjoy. Too bad so many of the sprinters appear to be on 'roids. There have been many medals over the years taken away from those using illegal substances. I like the hammer throw and some of the distance running events. Also, we gain from Athletics the person considered the greatest all around athlete in the world, the winner of the decathlon.

Badminton

This isn't the little birdie net you set up in your back yard. If you have never seen competitive badminton you are missing out. It is like nothing you have ever seen. Don't believe me? Check this out. Sadly we will not be seeing too much of this here in the US either.

Baseball

This is one where I wish the US wouldn't compete. Our baseball season is going on right now here in the States, so we are clearly sending some second best players. This situation reminds me of when we used to send our college kids to play international pro players in basketball.

Basketball

I won't watch too much Olympic hoops. It is good that we are finally sending our best from the US to compete. I expect a gold from our boys this year.

Boxing

Olympic sport since 1904, as it should be. I saw some boxing on TV today and they have an interesting scoring system. When one boxer hits another, the judges hit a button and a certain amount of judges have to hit their buttons at the same time for the boxer to score a point. Interesting stuff, but I still like the traditional 10 point must system better.

Canoe/Kayak

I don't really have much interest in these, although the whitewater events are good for interesting viewing occasionally.

Cycling

Velodrome racing is insane, and I hope I can catch some of it. I have never rode in a velodrome but want to someday. There will also be distance road cycling events on top of the sprints in the velodrome. One of the best sports featured in the Olympics. As a side note I am disappointed that they included BMX in the Games now. Do we really need a medal in everything?

Equestrian

My wife is nuts about horses so will be trying to catch some coverage of the equestrian events. I don't care about them.

Fencing

I like fencing. I have considered taking a fencing class in the past, but have my hands full with other things right now. Hope we see some of this on the coverage here in the States.

Football

Could you imagine if real football - that is, American Football - was played in the Olympics? We Yanks would win 100-0 every game. Alas, this is the 'world' football, what I call soccer. I am a closet soccer fan so will try to watch some, but in general it will be 'kicked' to the curb here in the USA.

Gymnastics

I think the pimping of the little girls in these international gymnastics competitions is disgusting. As I sit here writing this I am watching the Chinese team, whose girls look to be fourteen and under, competing. I have heard horror stories of these girls (all countries, not just China) having terrible injuries and higher rates of osteoporosis later in life. It makes me sick. At least the guys are a bit older.

Handball

This sport is not very popular here in the US, but is a blast to watch. Check it out. I would like to play someday - it looks like a great workout.

Hockey

Not ice hockey, Field Hockey. Another entertaining sport that is only popular in the Northeast section of the US. We will not see this on too much coverage here either.

Judo

I like Judo and the mastery of leverage and strategy it requires. We will also not see any coverage of this here in the States unless you can stream it. Believe it or not it has been an Olympic event since 1964.

Modern Pentathlon

This one is kind of crazy. These athletes compete in air pistol, fencing, swimming, show jumping on a horse, then a 3000 meter run. How do you train for something like that? Weird.

Rowing

I would like to see a lot of this. Rowing is a great workout and these athletes are top notch.

Sailing

I am not really into sailing, but may watch if it was on. I watch the America's Cup when that is going on, and like it, and may develop a rooting interest if I could see some sailing on TV. I imagine I won't though, since sailing is a long and slow event, not made well for TV.

Shooting

Since picking up air pistol I have developed an immense interest in the shooting sports. Events under shooting include air pistol from 10 meters and many other events including shooting .22 and skeet and trap. Again, we won't be seeing too much coverage (none) of this on TV here in the States.

Softball

Eh, not much interest from me here. Go USA though.

Table Tennis

Hey, this isn't your normal ping pong game in grandma's basement. If there were one sport that I could pick to watch more of it would be this one. Check it out.

Taekwondo

Seriously? Really? This almost gets me mad, as I can think of a different martial art that is so much more interesting that could replace this one in the Olympics. And I have heard of a movement to get MT into the next games, although I think it will probably falter.

Tennis

Eh, I don't really care about this one. Again, go USA.

Triathlon

I didn't know that this one was an Olympic event. Crazy athletes doing crazy things. I would like to do a triathlon someday, but would have to practice swimming in a huge way.

Volleyball

The way these men and women play volleyball is absolutely incredible. I can't even see the ball sometimes when they spike it because it is moving so fast. One better, how do they come up with some of those digs? I played volleyball in a rec league for a while and enjoyed the sport a lot. Hopefully we will see some volleyball coverage here as the Olympics move along. I like the court volleyball better than the beach stuff.

Weightlifting

The weight that these men and women lift is insane. I don't know how the human body can do it.

Wrestling

A great sport. I particularly like Greco Roman wrestling, which is only the upper body.

Cross posted at Chicago Boyz.

7 comments:

Carl from Chicago said...

glad to see you back. Gerry and I kept up the pace while you were gone. I don't know where you have time for watching TV with your business and fighting and all, though...

probably because you don't sleep much :)

Dan from Madison said...

I was able to take in some events on vacation, and will have it on in the background when I am home. Insomnia does, in fact, help with some things.

Gerry from Valpo said...

Sorry I cannot share your enthusiasm. Olympics are nothing more than media hype. What was once a noble attempt at an international amateur athletic competition is now nothing more than a corporate money grab with juiced-up participants. We already have the NBA so WTF?

It features competition you would not walk across the street to watch for free. And I ran track (lettered) in high school (sprints, relays and hurdles).

Do you think the MSM would feature shooting? How about fencing? Good luck with that. I might watch. Instead they spoon feed us lifestyle crap and that "he/she is following their dream" nonsense. Parallel Bars good. .22 rifles bad. Yawn.

We have two pennant races going on in town and track & field just don't cut it. I am even watching the Cubs game tonight. Dayum, they're winning too.

Annie said...

Gotta side with Gerry on this one. I might start watching if they have competitive potato sack races or a whiffle ball tourney. Nah...probably not then either.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has an Old Town canoe, I can't imagine how canoeing/kayaking could have ever been considered for Olympic competition. So, here are some of my future Olympic event predictions...

Farming - tell your grandkids someday about the bronze medal you won for sugar beets. Those hours behind the plough really can pay off.

Home Brewing - how do I become a judge?

Antique Collecting - they better have rigid drug tests in place for these competitors.

Crossword Puzzles - hey, might as well have a hand-help poker game event too.

On-the-spot Song Writing - I can already see Barry Manilow crying when accepting a silver (me too, from laughing my ass off).

Remembering Important Dates - knowing birthdays of celebrities, start/end dates of wars and when things got invented would surely attract future 'Wheaties' box people.

And how about a new Pentathlon consisting of Knot Tying, Lawn Mowing, Dress Hemming, Oil Changing and Imitating a President.

And lastly, why not combine house painting and paintball. Who can cover an entire house with paint shot at 50 yards with a paintball gun.

johnnyj said...

Welcome back Dfm, great post.

I'm a fan of the olympics and when I have time I will end up watching most of the events. I'm a huge fan of swimming and the track and field events.

The swimming events so far have been spectacular...Any time we can stick-it to the frogs I smile. I'm surprised they haven't thrown-up a white flag yet.

Dan from Madison said...

NOTHING is better than when a bunch of trashtalkers get humbled. Especially when they are frogs.