August 9, 2008

Remembering Why I Love the Olympics

In the run-up to the Olympics, I've heard a lot of bloggers say how they really don't like watching the Olympics and how NFL Pre-season is more interesting. Halfway through the first day of competition, I have to say they're crazy. I always like the Olympics, but after 4 years, I wasn't sure if I'd still feel the same way.

It's noon on the East Coast, and so far today I've already watched:

  • Women's Soccer
  • Women's Basketball
  • Women's Indoor Volleyball
  • Women's Beach Volleyball
  • Women's Handball
  • Dressage
  • Men's and Women's Badminton
  • Women's Weightlifting
  • Women's Fencing
How awesome is that? Those are sports that I would never normally care about or watch at all, but because it's the Olympics, every sport is exciting. Some thoughts on the first day:
  • I've watched more women's sports today than I probably will the rest of the year. I normally don't care for a lot of women's sports (other than tennis) but for some reason at the Olympics I don't really care whether it's a men's or women's event.
If beach volleyball is good enough for the President, who am I to argue?
  • Other than the uniforms, why is beach volleyball more popular than indoor? Indoor is faster paced and the players seem to hit the ball a lot harder. The team dynamics also make it much more entertaining. The sand just seems to slow down the beach game too much.
  • Tayyiba Haneef-Park is a beast. She's a 6'7" indoor volleyball player and she makes the other volleyball players (who are all really tall) look short.
  • Logan Tom (indoor volleyball) is cute.
  • I'm a bit surprised at how many of the announcers are reporting from NBC in New York. I guess it makes sense, but I would have assumed that there would be more live coverage.
That's a great way to start the Olympics
  • The US women's saber team swept the medals today, which is pretty awesome. You rarely see a single country win gold, silver, and bronze. Who knew that we were a women's fencing powerhouse?
So after 4 years, I realized that I love the Olympics even more than I remembered. It's a perfect match for my sports ADD and my affinity for weird sports. NBC's coverage so far has been a great mix of the usual sports along with some sports that you never expect to see. The mix of so many different channels really lets you pick what you want to watch. I'm sure the prime-time coverage will be full of sappy back-stories, but for now I'm not complaining.

Edit: I can't believe I forgot to mention a lock for the Unfortunate Names Hall of Fame - Japanese volleyball player Yoshie Takeshita.


Nic said...

I feel you. The Olympics are great.

I never watched handball before until today. It's so similar to lacrosse...

why don't our lacrosse players train for it during Olympic years. I'm sure we could kick some butt in it.

Brien said...

That's a great idea. Handball is a strange sport, but it's fun to watch.

Stephen said...

I watched the whole opening ceremony last night and a bunch of soccer before the open... I NEVER watch soccer!

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