I watched the pretty much the entire Olympics (Except the opening and closing ceremonies. Later for those.)

Yeah, I’ve seen almost every last minute of the Olympics, not counting the garish, over-indulgent opening ceremony nonsense. Give me the pomp nor the circumstance and skip straight to the competin’ and whatnot.

Most of these are sports we’ll go back to not caring about for the next four years but for now, I’ll enjoy the hell out of whatever obscure event you put in front of me because it features the best players of it in the entire world. I’m not gonna sit in your backyard and watch you battle your cousin in Ping Pong but I’ll watch Zhang Jike because he’s really fucking good.

That’s the Olympics in a nutshell: people competing at the highest level in events that might not matter for most of us, but will matter for 16 days every four years. Some of the athletes will spend their entire lives in preparation, dedicating everything they have to a moment that may or may not ever come. Quite of few of them will be essentially forced into servitude by their country in pursuit of some sort of perceived superiority. If you know anything about China’s methods of training their athletes for the games, or the Story of Chinese Diver Wu Minxia, you’re probably wondering aloud whether any of this is worth it.

Sorry for the moment of cynicism there.

Really, the Olympics are the ultimate competitive gathering, an impossibly grand spectacle, and as luck would have it, the perfect relief for this, the most un-sporting time of the calendar, at least in this country.

So, for 16 days I’ll drink from it’s cup until the cup is empty and I’ll enjoy every last drop and in four years when it comes back, I’ll be back as well. Works for me.

Far as these games go, I’ve got more than a few thoughts, or ideas, or notions, to share about them.

In no particular order, starting with…

YEAH, I WATCHED THE POLE VAULT JUST TO SEE YELENA “CRAZY EYES RACHEL WEISZ” ISINBAYEVA

So what? I make no apologies.

Everybody has their thing. Mine happens to be women with wild eyes.

I WISH THERE WAS A “PATRIOTISM FREE TV COVERAGE ” BUTTON ON MY REMOTE CONTROL

Look, you don’t have to tell me that almost every sports broadcast (at least in the U S of A)is done with a home team vibe, but that’s more for local or regional broadcasts than national ones. I look forward to Al Trautwig’s overly-dramatic Gymnastics play-by-play as much as everyone else does, and I want to be drawn into these stories of sacrifice and glory just like you do, but can’t we do it without all the Jingoism?

JUST TOO MUCH DAMN SWIMMING

But first, did you see Michael Phelps’ mom do the premature celebration? Check it here. It was rather glorious.

OK, so who was it that decided it was fine to award medals for people who could swim backwards the fastest or imitate frogs or best of all, swim in four different styles in the same race? More importantly, why is it only limited to the pool?

Tell me watching Usain Bolt run backwards would be any less exciting than the 100 M backstroke? Not to me, it wouldn’t. How about some company picnic sack race type shit while we’re at it?

Check it out. If you really want to justify having that many different ways to swim to and fro, let’s raise the stakes. I mean, if the Track & Field events include jumping over water hazards and hurdles and shit, why not do the same for the swimmers.

I mean, sit there with a straight face and tell me you wouldn’t watch the women’s 200 Meter Piranha evasion medley or the 4 x 100 Electric-Eel infested relay?

Hey, I’d never complain about there being too many swimming events again. Promise.


THERE’S JUST NO WAY I WAS THE ONLY PERSON WHO SAW US HURDLER LASHINDA DEMUS AND PROMPTLY STARTED HUMMING…

“murderrrrr she wrote, murder she wrote!”.

 

I also may or may not haven spent a half an hour trying to come up with a suitable joke inolving, by any means available to me, Pliers.

I failed.

USAIN BOLT RUN TINGS, TINGS NO RUN HE

You see, winning is one thing. Setting the world record when everyone says you are going to lose? Well, that’s pretty cool. Taking the moments before the race of your life to pantomime your intentions to break said world record is actually somewhere between genius and impossibly ballsy, especially when opponents as formidable as former Gold medalist Justin Gatlin looks like they were on a walk to the gallows.

His record, indeed.

On it’s own merits, holding the distinction of being the “world’s fastest man” has to be pretty fucking nice . Being as calm and collected as Bolt was while accomplishing that pretty much puts you in some whole other badass stratosphere.

In this country, we more or less only hear about these guys once every four years, but for the rest of the world the big time sprinters are basically rock stars. I know it’s nothing more than a matter of personal opinion, but there aren’t too many sporting events in all of creation I’d rather watch than a 100 meter dash final featuring this level of competition, and Usian won it the way it should be won: decisively, and with style.

Oh, Bolt won the 200 finals, too. Again. Easily. Same for the 4 X 100 relay. Shattered the world record.

Bad motherfucker that he is, he actually eased up at the tape.

Get that dude his own action movie franchise or something.

NICK MANGOLD’S “LITTLE SISTER” WAS GETTIN HER WEIGHTLIFT ON.

The picture says it all, really. The resemblance is staggering, no?

WATER POLO AIN’T NO JOKE

Yeah, maybe I’m reminded of this every 4 years or so and I just forget. I don’t know. Point is, this game is no joke. Have you ever tried wading in a pool for a half an hour while someone more or less tries to drown you?

This shit almost gave me an anxiety attack, like when I spend to much time staring at skyscrapers or crying children. For me, the idea of drowning ranks right at the top of my “worst way to go” list.

Anyway, it’s from the Soccer/Hockey mold or whatever, only the elements present a whole other kind of challenge and really, the people who play are laying alot on the line for not so much in the way of glory or notoriety.

And if that ain’t bad enough, somebody might try to pull your boob out if things get chippy.

 

THOSE REALLY, REALLY SLOOOOW TRACK REPLAYS WERE MORE THAN A LITTLE AWKWARD

Stick with me on this one here, because it’s a little out there.

Look, I’m all for technology and how much it’s made the games better. The Fencing stuff, for example, looks like some futuristic Tron-type shit, and all the frame-by-frame replays are killer.

Still, watching the endless super slo-mo’s of all the sprinters and their bouncing facial features is just, I dunno, weird.

What exactly are we being shown here, and why? I’ve watched just about every race they’ve run in London, and after every single one I get treated to stuff like this:

Hey, I’m not inferring anything racial, political or otherwise. Trust me, if I was, I’d say so. Just saying it’s fucking creepy.

EZEKIEL KEMBOI WON THE OLYMPICS. LIKE, THE WHOLE THING.

I don’t even wanna hear any argument.

-JH

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