August 25, 2008

Zai Jian (Goodbye), Olympics

After 16 days, the Beijing Olympics are over. It's tough to believe that we have to wait another four years for the next Summer Olympics. After the Super Bowl, it's bad enough knowing that you have to wait 7 months for the NFL to start back up again, with the Olympics, the gap seems like an eternity. The fact that they only happen every four years is part of what makes the Olympics so special, though.

No one had a "Free Tibet" t-shirt?

For all the worrying about what would go wrong in Beijing, things went smoothly. I expected to see a lot more political protests and some Mexico City style athlete protests on the medal stand. While there were some issues with protesting and the horrible tragedy of the stabbing, I think there was much less drama than people expected.

I could quibble with some of the minor points of NBC's coverage of the games (I think the Gold Medal Soccer game was shown at least 5 times Saturday), but they showed more events than ever before and still managed to leave me wanting more. They cut out most of the human interest stories and showed sports that you rarely see without compromising the swimming, gymnastics, and track coverage that everyone loves. The time difference sucked, and I would have preferred to see them handle it differently, but NBC was in a tough position and tried to make the best of it.

NBC also lucked out with some of the surprise performances by the US teams (indoor volleyball and water polo, particularly). With very few events contested in the final day of the games, NBC was able to show two events featuring US teams. And how great was it to end the Olympics with a story like the men's volleyball team? Hugh McCutcheon suffers an awful tragedy to start the Olympics, and then he ends the games with a gold medal. You can't make that stuff up, but it always seems to happen at the Olympics.

Four years is a long time, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

2 Responses:

michael said...

Yep...they could only have been better if they were not in China!

Stephen said...

Maris and I watched every night. The magic of DVR made sure I could fast forward through the boring stuff (even though I somehow still watched both the women's and men's marathon in their entirety, something I'm sure I'll never do again) and catch all the great moments. the swimming was awesome. The gymnastics was typical with just enough contorversy to keep people talking, even though it ended up with less real substance than a Saved By The Bell plot. The track was unbelievable, with the Jamaicans kicking all kinds of ass and the Americans providing all the heartbreak I ever needed.

Great games, and I can't wait for the next ones in London. The Brits might want to work on their logo, however. Have you seen that pink monstorsity? It looks like they hired the graphic designer from Nickelodeon c. 1991.

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