Monday, August 11, 2008

Every four years

I love the Olympics. Something about them just reels me in each time. I was too young to remember the 1976 and 1980 Summer Games. But there is something about the pageantry of the Olympics that gets me every time.

But what gets me about the Olympics is that every time, we focus on sports that we normally don’t give a second look to in non-Olympic events. No, not the itty bitty sports like judo, badminton or rhythmic gymnastics. No, I am talking about the “marquis” events of gymnastics, swimming and diving in the summer and figure skating and ski events for the winter games.

I mean, how many times do you sit down and watch swimming on TV when it occurs during non-Olympic years? Or gymnastics? Or figure skating? You don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, there is something about seeing the world’s best on the most visible stage that makes these sports more entertaining. You throw in that they are competing for their country and for the glory of taking home a medal, and you have something special.

So, you can bet Keds and I will be watching the Olympics this year. Watching the video of the Men 400m relay was something quite special. Can’t wait to see more!


Jennifer B said...

There is something about hearing the national anthem played that brings a warm place in my heart. To have our country represented in something amazing is just awesome. I will be joining you in watching this year.

David said...

I agree (with Jennifer, too). It's like the warm fuzzies on a global scale.

For the record, Judo is huge in Japan, and a surprisingly large number of my students count badminton as their favorite sport.

But really when are the other sports you mention actually televised that we might watch them in non-Olympic times?

Ken said...

Jennifer - So that was you I heard chanting USA! USA! USA!

David - That's too funny. I guess different cultures focus on different sports. To answer your other question, they are usually on either Saturday afternoons or evenings when most people are out and about or watching baseball, football or basketball.

Fred said...

I actually attended the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I went for it.

I'm not really into it all that much this year, by my daughters are really enjoying them. Of course, the Michael Phelps story is pretty compelling.

New White Keds said...

Like Fred, I was in LA for the 84 games. But the difference was that I lived there. We spent a lot of time in the Olympic village and I even have an autograph book somewhere with signatures of athletes from places I cannot even remember. But you are right -- these atheltes do not get the attention they deserve, and they really do desserve a lot.

Fred said...

Keds, I remember they were predicting gridlock on the freeways in '84. But, everyone either left town, took mass transit, or took time off from work and driving to the venues was no problem at all.