My Mom was a big fan of the Olympics-she especially liked the Gymnastics and would watch the tiny girls bounce around the floor in fascination. I still find the Gymnastics to be my favorite part of the Summer games, though I do have a great love of Cycling as well. I’ve never been a big fan of the Track and Field events. For a couple of weeks, we would stare at the TV and pretend that we understood what we were watching. I remember when the Thomas Flare was introduced into the Horse routine and I also remember being outraged that they decided to drop Thomas’s name from it and just call ‘flare work’ the last time I watched the Olympics. I also watched Nadia Cominici get a perfect 10-several times.
But this year, well, I seem to be busy these days. Today is the start of the Summer Olympics and the boys and girls from the Today Show are hanging out in China. But they will never be able to match that great year CBS had when Dave’s Mom interviewed stuck up ice skater Nancy Carrigan and totally confused her. That same year Bill Geist was marveling that you could buy beer in Japan from a vending machine-What a Country! And so, it has pretty much has been downhill for the Olympics and me ever since then. The coverage was great and there was the bizzaro world events with Nancy Carrigan and Tonya Harding-well, the Olympics has never been the same since. Just watching people compete to the World’s Fastest, Strongest, and Best isn’t all that interesting any more.
Maybe it’s an age thing. Just two or three Olympics ago I could be found out riding a bicycle for fifty or sixty miles at a go. I had the fancy bike and the cool togs and the fingerless gloves and I had less fat on my body than a Subway sandwich. Now I am a bit closer to a Big Mac and my cycling days are pretty much behind me. I still think about riding, but I don’t. Does this mean that I can’t watch someone else ride a bike with great skill and speed because I no longer do? Maybe a bit. I was never going to win the Tour de France anyway, but I didn’t even notice when it running this year.
So I will likely watch a few things when I have the odd spare moment, but I am not planning my life around it. There isn’t even that good old rivalry between the Good Americas and the Bad Russians any more. Like the Presidential Race, it seems like one more thing that used to matter- but doesn’t really matter now.
A commenter has told me I should have a link to the Beijing 2008 Olympics-though the title of the post might suggest it isn’t really about the 2008 Beijing Olympics.