Tag Archives: 2018 Olympics

Say It Ain’t So!

thirtysixIt’s been a long time since I’ve written–a long time since I’ve found any inspiration to write about my beloved Olympics. Perhaps today’s entry isn’t due to any inspiration, but rather to take a moment and open my heart, laying out some of my feelings with which I’m conflicted.

A few months ago I was dismayed to learn that a record number of cities had withdrawn their bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.  Out of the original six cities which bid, only two remain:  Beijing, China and Almaty, Kazakhstan.  Lviv (Ukraine), Krakow (Poland), Oslo (Norway), and Stockholm (Sweden) have all withdrawn their bids.  Didn’t we just have an Olympics in China some eight years ago?  Kazakhstan?  Really?  Never have I seen the selection of an Olympic host city be whittled down by the candidate cities themselves, bailing one by one, leaving the least popular cities as the only two available choices.  It’s already difficult to be excited about a 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.  I’m already frustrated in learning that new medal events will debut at these games:  mixed doubles curling, mass start long track speed skating, snowboard big air, and an Alpine skiing team event.  How much bigger of a circus can these games become?

Let’s see, then there was the report of dead fish filling the harbors near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (host of next year’s Summer Olympics), protests by Brazilians over slum evictions, the growing safety concerns for tourists arriving next year, and yes, the reminder that golf will debut in 2016 as a medal sport.  Yeah, it’s difficult to rally around the excitement which will soon begin building for these next Olympic Games.

Now I’ve learned that in the last few days one of 2012’s great heroes (and a favorite of mine from London) is under investigation for performance enhancing drugs.  Who can forget the gold medal finish by Mo Farah three years ago?  It brought tears to my eyes as he and two other compatriots won gold for the United Kingdom in track and field events.  Now there is suggestion that his win was not earned honestly.    Farah is one of many athletes who continue to fall under scrutiny for alleged cheating.  Some will be cleared of any wrongdoing; others will not, and their Olympic glory will be forever tarnished.  I thought we were past the decade of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs?  Apparently not.  Farah denies all accusations.   I hope his denials are truthful.  Say it ain’t so, Mo!

Sochi’s 2014 Olympics will probably go down in history as one of the most boring and lackluster games of the 21st Century.  The IOC continues to add sports left and right, diluting the value and uniqueness of an Olympic Games and its medals.  In addition, the cost of hosting is leading to potentially great hosts declining or withdrawing from the opportunity to host.  And athletes like Sanya Richards-Ross are demanding compensation in addition to their medals, claiming training costs are too expensive and that IOC members pocket too much money–money that should be given to athletes.

I’m not sure what direction this blog will take from here on.  Imagine how heartbreaking it is for this fanatic to feel so conflicted about the one thing she has loved and revered her entire life!

Say it ain’t so!

Swifter, Higher, Stronger.

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Filed under 2012 London Olympics, 2016 Rio de Janeiro, 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

The Most Forgettable Winter Olympics?

Perhaps some of you noticed that I didn’t blog during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  No, my computer wasn’t broken.  Nor was I tucked away somewhere without

Even I wasn't the only one yawning. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Even I wasn’t the only one yawning. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

electricity.  I just didn’t have anything to say.  And that’s not a common occurrence when it comes to the Olympics.  I love the Olympics.  It’s the most exciting thing that happens in my life every two years.  Some might wonder if this is because I have an uneventful life.  No!  It’s because I love the Olympic Games that much.  That much.

One can imagine, then, how disappointed I am over these Winter Olympics.  Okay, I’ll admit I was never particularly excited about Sochi as the host city.  But I put my feelings aside and tried to throw myself into these Olympics as I normally do.  I took vacation days to stay at home and watch.  I even woke at 2:00 AM (or earlier) to watch events live.  But for the most part, the competition was dull.  The venues were architecturally sound, but not worthy of awe.  And when it’s February but the average temperature at a Winter Olympics is 57 degrees Farenheit, something is off.

Throughout the two weeks I kept trying to find that excitement.  Aside from the pairs competition, ladies ski jumping, and the cross-country skiing, there was no sparkle.  No athletes with whom I really fell in love.  No captivating stories.

The only consistency in Sochi was NBC’s continued terrible coverage.  It’s something the network has mastered.   While it offered more live streaming online, it plastered results all over its website.  And rather than forcing me to watch on my laptop, it could have made more use of the other channels it owns.  Quite often as I watched live Olympic coverage online, USA Network was showing re-runs of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and CNBC was airing infomercials.

The one bright spot in these games was NBC Sports’ choice of analysts for figure skating.  While Tara Lipinski  showed poise and articulated

Screenshots from my TV of Lipinski and Weir.  Oh, Johnny!

Screenshots from my TV of Lipinski and Weir. Oh, Johnny!

herself, her colleague Johnny Weir brought much-needed fun and sparkle.  I predicted Lipinski would be in Sochi, and I’m glad NBC decided to also bring Weir to Sochi.  I felt bad for those who weren’t able to watch skating during the day.  They were stuck with Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic for evening analysis.

Yes, it breaks my heart that these Olympics weren’t memorable.  But like any Olympian, I’m going to persevere and set my sights on the future.  I hope that Rio brings its A-game to the table in 2016.  And to Pyeongchang, let me say this:   I can’t handle another dud of a Winter Olympics.  I expect the next Winter Olympics to be phenomenal.  If you need any advice, e-mail me.  I’ve got some great ideas.

Faster, Higher, Stronger.

 

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Filed under 2014 Sochi Olympics

(Olympic) Information, Please!

I’m gasping for breath like a swimmer after an 800-meter race.  These Summer Olympics have way more events and athletes than the Winter Games.  In addition, live action is happening six hours ahead of me.  I’m struggling to find the time to watch as much of the Olympics as I can, while also holding down a full-time job, keeping up with my blog, and still managing to get some sleep.  Dark circles are starting to form under my eyes.  The delivery/take-out people now recognize me.  My dog looks at me forlornly, wondering when life will go back to normal.  My lawn is starting to grow past the ankles.  The laundry pile is growing.  Tom and Katie could have gotten remarried and I wouldn’t know it.   I’m in a bubble, only occasionally coming up for air.  I’m exhausted.

Which brings me to Question 1 that I’ve been asked:

1.  How are you liking these Olympics? 
I’m also loving, loving, loving these Olympics.  The enjoyment is always worth the stress!

Kind of like the stress under which athletes are placed, all for the chance to be an Olympian.  Athletes like Shawn Johnson or Danell Leyvan.  Which brings me to Questions 2 and 3 that have led readers to my blog:

2.  Shawn Johnson’s boobs?
I don’t know anything about Shawn Johnson’s boobs, breasts, rumored plastic surgery, etc.   Shawn Johnson’s height is 4 feet, 9  inches.  I don’t know what she weighs.  One never should ask a woman how much she weighs.  Gymnasts are under a strict diet when they’re competitive.  After retirement, their bodies are allowed to develop more.  Breasts and hips can get bigger.  It happens.

3.  Does Danell Leyvan have a girlfriend?  Is Danell Leyvan married?
According to his Facebook status, US gymnast Danell Leyvan is interested in women and lists himself as being engaged.  Sorry, girls and boys.

4.  Where are the next Olympics going to be held?
The 2014 Winter Olympics will be in Sochi, Russia.
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
2018 Winter Olympics:  Pyeongchang, South Korea.
2020 Olympics:   The three finalists are Madrid (Spain), Tokyo (Japan), and Istanbul (Turkey).  Tokyo is the front-runner.

NEW:  5.  Why are there cheerleaders at the volleyball matches?

The London Organizing Committee approved the use of cheerleaders during volleyball matches.  Viewers have probably seen them during both the indoor and outdoor matches.  Cheerleaders are part of the culture of beach volleyball, going hand in hand with the scantily clad women and loud music.  Since they’re present at beach volleyball tournaments, someone must have thought it would be good to include them in the indoor games too.  I find it ridiculous and shudder to think that the  British might be accepting this silly feature of American sports.

6.  Are Chinese swimmers taking steroids?
Read my next blog post to learn more about this!

Faster,  Higher, Stronger.

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Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Gymnastics, Olympic Fever