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The Blogu-lympics (Part II)

It's an Olympic world record post this week from Lady Amy, who takes the gold medal in blogging! And the crowd goes WILD!

As the Olympics continues this week, it's totally taken over my TV...and my life. I see everything in Olympic terms lately. Not only did I win the gold medal in blogging this week, I got the silver medal in an elliptical machine competition against Brigitte at the gym, I took bronze in the race to an office meeting yesterday at work, and I just narrowly missed placing in the search for a parking space showdown outside of my apartment today. Yeah, I'm a dork but I had no idea that I would love watching sports this much. I pray that I never have an Olympic athlete child because he or she will be soooooo incredibly embarrassed when I watch him/her at the stadium. Not to mention all of the television interviews!

This coming Sunday is the final day of the games, so I can finally go back to normal (of course this will only be following a week-long Olympic hangover combined with nervous anticipation for the fall television season). This past week I've seen a lot more Olympic action and as the games are coming to a close, the competition is getting fierce and a lot more exciting.


The good old U.S. of A. is really coming out on top this summer. We've got the most total medals of the Olympics thus far at a whopping 72. And even though China has more gold medals than us, we are certainly not bitter - except perhaps for Nastia Liukin and her coach (Martha Karolyi, wife of famous coach Bela Karolyi) who tied China for first place in uneven bars, but ended up taking silver based on the tie-breaking methods in the new code for scoring. But I think that NBC is the most upset about it (as evidenced by their questioning of whether or not she was "robbed"), which makes sense because they make a crap load of money selling the Olympic dream to you and me. Silver just doesn't have the same ring to it as gold.

Don't feel too bad for NBC, though. They've got plenty to celebrate in the women's beach volleyball team and, of course, their ace in the hole, Michael Phelps. Phelps did the impossible this summer, living up to they hype I talked about last week and winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics, which has never been done before. Watching his final relay race on Saturday night at Elsie's Bar made me, for the first time, really appreciate the American sports bar. Everyone in the entire bar was cheering for Phelps. Tonight was a different story as I watched Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh totally kick Brazil's ass in the semi-final beach volleyball competition while eating ice cream in my pajamas. Both wonderful, but very different ways to enjoy a sports competition. On the one hand you've got the sense of community between yourself and the local drunks, and on the other hand you've got the privacy to laugh a little bit to yourself about the fact that because they only put the first three letters of your country on the screen and on your uniform, Brazil's bikini tops said, "Bra."

Weird sports!

One of the best parts of the Olympics is learning about new "sports" that you never would have thought are part of the games. Take the trampoline competition for example. Apparently it has been around for a long time, but it looks like they simply took a training exercise and turned it into an event. Regardless, it make me nervous how high they jump and how close to the edge they get, just like as a kid I was always nervous that I'd put a leg through the space between springs on my friends' trampolines and painfully break something. The most confusing sport, however, is the speed walking race. Watching speed walking is like being trapping in a horrible nightmare where you're trying to run away from something but can't go very fast. You're yelling at your body to just pick up the pace, but you're so slow! And how do they differentiate between walking and jogging? Cause some of those walkers look like they could actually be just running really slowly. I think it has something to do with having one foot on the ground at all times, but it just seems unnecessarily difficult to judge.

Heart Wrenching Commercials!

The very best part about the games has to be these commercials. Either I am an ad agency's wet dream or these are the best freakin commercials I've ever seen. More than the American sports bar, Olympic trial and victory type commercials really evoke those patriotic pride emotions from you. Boy, I have really been tearing up watching that Visa commercial with the runner who hurt himself and his dad carried him to the finish line.

But Coke is giving Visa a run for their money! Here's the tagline and ONLY line in their new commercial: "If you've had a coke in the last 80 years, you've had a hand in making every Olympic dream come true."

Wow. Bravo, Coke. Bra-vo. It's so sharp, to the point, and incredibly emotionally-loaded. It's hard to watch that and NOT feel something. What do you think, blogu-reader? Have you caught my Olympic fever yet?

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  1. Blogger qualler | 9:05 AM |  

    I'm totally into the Olympics, but only in a "Hey, here's something on that we can all agree upon watching" level. I do, however, love Nastia's name. Nasty Nastia! Get it? And watching Michael Phelps at the bar made me just wish I was watching the Twins, instead. I guess you could say I have no USA spirit.

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 9:11 AM |  

    True story: Morgan Freeman voices half of Olympics commercials.

    Also true: I have "what the f-ed" aloud following at least 3 commercials, pissed off at how hard they were trying to play my emotions without providing any logical link between ethos adspeak and the product.

  3. Blogger DoktorPeace | 9:12 AM |  

    Oh, but I bought all the products. Go USA!

  4. Blogger chris | 9:28 AM |  

    Did I mention last week how sick I am of USA winning everything? It just makes me feel bad. We've already got all these resources; do we really have to shove it in everyone's face that we're the best at volleyball too? That was the only sport I've watched and I was rooting for the Netherlands and Cuba so hard. Yeesh, no wonder everyone hates us. I'm so ready for the Olympics to be over.

  5. Blogger qualler | 10:39 AM |  

    I would say that I actively want other countries to win in sports like gymnastics, or swimming, or synchronized diving, where a big part of why people are good at those sports is because they have the resources to be able to practice and get expensive equipment. I gotta show love for runners, though, because you don't need to be also rich to be able to run.

  6. Blogger Brigitte | 10:45 AM |  

    i have totally caught the olympic fever. and that commercial where the dad helps his son finish the race makes me cry, too. but i also cry sometimes when i see baby ducks, so...yeah. i'm an easy target.

    the trampoline event is the most ridiculous thing i've seen. i'm not even sure how one becomes interested in this...or what you do during training...but they sure jump and spin pretty high up in the air!

  7. Blogger Lady Amy | 11:36 AM |  

    Don't you take pride in your country, Chris? I personally want the volleyball team to win. They are really good and deserve it.

    It shouldn't make you feel bad cause the other teams are also very good and we don't always win or dominate volleyball.

  8. Blogger chris | 11:51 AM |  

    It's like rooting for the Yankees. I don't follow sports, but everyone hates the Yankees even though they always win and are full of themselves, right? And yet everyone hoots and hollers when USA wins like they're some kind of modest underdog. That's like jumping up and yelling "booo!" at the end of Cool Runnings! Let Jamaica win something!


    Oh wait, they already are. Anyone else suspicious of that "electronic touch pad" that made Phelps win by 1/100th of a second?

    I saw Man of the Year! Anything can be rigged!

  9. Blogger qualler | 11:53 AM |  

    C'mon, Chris, get with the times! The Yankees are going to miss the playoffs this year, and Jamaica swept the sprinting events in the Olympics this year!

  10. Blogger Brigitte | 12:03 PM |  

    it's not really like rooting for the yankees, at least not for a lot of sports, since other than the olympic games, who cares about them? they train hard and work really hard, and they get their one moment in the sun, americans as non americans, whereas the yankees have their money etc etc. i kinda feel like if you devote your life to, say, swimming, and you're not that one pseudo celebrity, you're still kind of an underdog in the great world of sports, cause you're never going to be a baseball player, and football player, a basektball player...and in that sense i've always liked the olympics, cause at least it gives other kinds of athletes a place to be important and to finally have their hard work paid off. also, i understand what you mean, qualler, by not wanting americans to win certain sports like gymnastics where a large part of it has to do with how many resources you have, but...most of the other contries who can also compete in those sports have the resources, too...who would you rather win? in the case of gymnastics, i guess i was hoping for china. i get more upset about the american announcers than anything else...they are so biased that it makes my head hurt. having pride in your country is one thing, but dissing the other teams and calling their high scores unfair is just unsportsmanlike. i learned that from playing in a girls' kick ball league.

  11. Blogger Sean | 12:06 PM |  

    pretty sure china is winning the medal race, too. why can't they play fair and give some of those to mozambique?

    i mean, really. no fair.

  12. Blogger Lady Amy | 12:10 PM |  

    1) You don't have to always route for the underdog. Yeah, it makes a great story, but there is something to be said for cheering on someone who could break a world record - ala Michael Phelps.

    2) Jamaica, like Qualler said, won tons of stuff. As did many other countries. China won the most gold medals, etc.

    3)I think it's ridiculous to think the touch pads for swimming were rigged. It would be more probable to believe that say the gymnastics scoring be rigged, as it is a more subjective scoring system.

  13. Blogger Lady Amy | 12:11 PM |  

    And yes, the NBC coverage is the most ridiculous and un-sportsmenlike

  14. Blogger Brigitte | 12:16 PM |  

    i loved cool runnings.

  15. Blogger chris | 12:19 PM |  

    My dear fierce patriots, I know I take crazy stances often, but I would hope no one would actually think I believe that the Olympics are rigged and/or should be rigged. Cuz I don't. Not a lot anyway. Maybe like 30%.

    But the people who win medals don't get notice! They're "famous" for two weeks once every four years and even then, they don't have names. They became representations of countries. We don't say Doug E. Doug won a gold medal, we say Jamaica won a gold medal. Their individualized talents become some kind of notable act of their country.

    Go Jamaica! You win those medals that I didn't see on TV because I honestly don't care that much about the Olympics!

    And go Yankees, now that you're the underdog again, maybe someone will make a heartwarming feature-length film about your trials and tribulations!

  16. Blogger Brigitte | 12:26 PM |  

    the yankees will never be an underdog.

  17. Blogger Lady Amy | 1:08 PM |  

    That's what the Olympics are supposed to do - you represent your country and your team helps foster relationships with other countries. I mean it doesn't always work like that diplomatically, but still.

    Professional sports exist for you to push your name and make a lot of money. The Olympics are for national pride.

  18. Blogger DoktorPeace | 1:22 PM |  

    The US is winning the medal count, as the front page of Yahoo constantly reminds me.

    Also, I believe the Yankees will make the playoffs this year. I also agree that the U.S. is kind of like them. The Yankees do have athletes that are good and try, and sometimes these players are developed within the Yankees system and not stolen from other teams... but that is because way back in the process the Yankees have more money to spend on developing and attracting talent than anyone else (as a result of their early historical success). The U.S. wins a lot because the U.S. is an industrialized country with large pockets of citizens who can afford the time and resources to excel at these sports. Europe does, too, but not on the scale of the U.S. Is this necessarily a bad thing? No. But if you do not share the announcers' jingoism, it doesn't exactly inspire you to cheer for the Americans...unless...

    Thesis: This is why gambling should be legalized.

  19. Blogger qualler | 1:26 PM |  

    Or, if they're the NBA basketball players playing for Team USA, they're for Kobe Bryant showboating more than LeBron James, and for LeBron to drop not-so-subtle hints that he'd rather play in Greece than in Cleveland for another few years, and that he's BFFs with Jay-Z and will totally play for the Brooklyn Nets. But for srrrrs, I still hate the Yankees, even though the underdog Tampa Bay Rays are leading the division.

    Chris, you raise a good point -- and I think the reason why it seems like all America does is win medals and dominate is because naturally NBC is only going to cover the stuff pertaining to the USA doing well. The night that Phelps won his 8th gold medal or whatever was the same night the dude from Jamaica won, and they didn't cover that one live and barely replayed anything. A function of why it seems like the USA is dominating so much is because the media covers when the USA does dominate.

    All I know is I plan to be the gold medalist in the trampoline in 2012.

  20. Blogger qualler | 1:31 PM |  

    Who are the Yankees going to beat to get into the playoffs, 9 games out of the AL East lead, with more games against Boston and Tampa Bay, along with road series against the Angels and home against the White Sox with 40 games to go?

  21. Blogger DoktorPeace | 1:36 PM |  

    Also, I don't believe the Olympics really help diplomacy. Hundreds of thousands of condoms are handed out to the athletes this year, symbolizing the love-em-and-leave-em affair.

    Nor do I believe the Olympics are necessarily for national pride. They are a little bit, sure, but for most of these sports these events simply represent the peak of their 4-year cycle. It is their Super Bowl, and the fact that the teams are divided by nation simply brings that aspect of it to the forefront.

  22. Blogger DoktorPeace | 1:39 PM |  

    @qualler. I don't know. I just know I hate the Yankees which means they will do it. My reason ends when it comes to the team that stole my innocence that fateful, October night...

  23. Blogger Lady Amy | 2:18 PM |  

    I think that seems more true for American athletes that the Olympics are just their day in the sun, but many athletes from other countries take the national pride aspect very very seriously.

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