One of the greatest events in the world, to me, is the Olympics. Watching the best of the best perform something they live, breath, and bleed with such ease is amazing. From the successes to the fails I am always in awe of these athletes. Although I personally like the summer games more, every two years I am excited to catch at least a glimpse of the events.
I really don’t know where my love for the Olympics came about. I remember years ago when it was in Beijing was the first time I actually paid attention to the Olympics. I was at my cousin’s house for the opening ceremony and I only saw a bit of it on TV before I was dragged out of the room. I do remember seeing the little girl in her red dress “singing” her song (later during the games it was reveled that she lip-synced and the little girl who actually sung the song wasn’t pretty enough or whatever to sing in front of the world). Throughout the 2008 games I remember watching a lot. One thing I specifically remember watching was Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal at that games; I was so tense and even hugged a pillow (again, pronounced pallow for me) with nerves, wondering whether he would make it. When he did I jumped and cheered for joy. I also remember watching some reporter lady go around Beijing and trying the local cuisine. Scorpions on a stick, candy roaches, duck feet/bill and much more that reminded me why the only [American] Chinese food I eat is the fortune cookies. The only events that were really shown on TV were gymnastics and diving, probably because China is so far away from New York that they could only show highlights, and also because those events were dominated by the Chinese. I do remember watching Usian “Lightening” Bolt run the 100m dash and SLOW DOWN at the end but still win. My parents looked at each other thinking “What was he doing?!?!” when he slowed down, but it didn’t matter to him.
In 2010 there was the Vancouver Olympics. I completely missed the opening ceremony. What I remember with this one seeing Apollo Ono in interviews and during a couple of his races. I remember at the end of a snowboarding event the camera was on the Finnish team and the reporter said something along the lines of “The Finnish team, they all speak Finnish!!!” as if it was a surprise that they spoke the main language of their country. I remember watching the different skiing events (there are so many and to be honest I don’t know the different names of each). In one of the women’s events it was snowing pretty bad and you couldn’t see too far in front of you but they still had to keep sending skiers down the hill in, let’s say, 30 second time intervals. One of the girls, an American I believe, fell and the girl behind her wasn’t aware of it so she kept going. When she got to the sight of the fall a couple of officials made her stop and wait for them to clear the track of her fallen teammate. The second American girl was allowed to go back to the beginning but she didn’t have as good of a run the second time she went down the hill.
In 2012 on New Year’s Day I remembered at dinnertime that it was an Olympic year. I was so excited that when I finished I rushed to the internet to find out what day it started and counted down the 208 days until July 26th when it began. When it finally came to the day I found out that we were going to the same cousins house from 2008 and I would miss the opening ceremony. Upset, I recorded the show on the DVR and then as we were getting ready to leave my house the power went out. When we got to my cousins house I took over the TV and made everyone watch the ceremony and I loved it. The parade of nations, the whole Shire thing, the Queen supposedly jumping out of the plane with James Bond, it was great! When I got home it turns out because of the power turning off the recording started in the middle of the Parade of Nations. For the next two or so weeks I tried to absorb as much Olympic action as I could. Men’s and women’s indoor and beach volleyball, handball, kayaking, rowing, archery (although I personally didn’t see enough of that), ping-pong, track and field (again, didn’t see enough), basically everything I could. All I wanted to avoid was diving because I saw way too much of that in 2008. I remember when my parents and I watched ping-pong there was an Asian woman on the American team who said “Cho” (it sounded like that at least) which I believe the reporter said means “good shot” after every time she got a point. The Brazilian girl she was playing against started to do something similar after a while. Now my dad always teases my dog by saying Cho! It makes her bark and go crazy. There was so much that I watched in this Olympics that I can’t pick out the top stuff to write about. I just wish that I could have seen more in some of the sports, and at least a little bit in other sports I missed. NBC had a terrible time with the five hour delay between England and the East Coast and they didn’t show everything.
Now it is Olympic time again. I made sure two nights ago to watch the opening ceremony from Sochi and it was also amazing, except for the little glitches that I am sure you have heard about by now even if you didn’t watch it. Being that it is a winter Olympics and I personally don’t feel like there is enough of various sports, I wasn’t too excited this year to watch it but I have gotten glimpses of things. Before typing this I was watching the men’s ski jump on the “normal” hill. That hill is taller than Big Ben, the dudes are flying for over the length of a football field, and there was only one wipeout. My dad and I agreed that those guys are insane. How they got into the sport, I don’t know. And this year there is now women’s ski jumping. Good luck ladies, I don’t know why you want to do that but have fun. I also have seen some figure skating and a little snowboarding. I watched some of the men’s biathlon and I don’t understand how anyone can ski uphill, for that long of a distance and then shot at targets. I do want to see the speed skating, not too interested in the rest. I am getting a kick out of all the Sochi Problems that are on Twitter and the rest of the internet. A bobsledder from America was trapped in the bathroom, some reporter couldn’t get into his hotel room, everything is still being constructed, the water is brown, cameras in the showers. It’s crazy over there right now! Also, my parents and I watched the movie Cool Runners based off of the Jamaican bobsled team, funny movie.
Thankfully in two years the summer Olympics will be in Brazil and the timezone they are in is only one hour ahead of EST so hopefully NBC screws up less. Maybe I will be able to see some of the events I really want to see and possibly even live! The next two after that are taking place in Asian countries so I wont be as lucky then.
As an athlete myself it would be great to be able to partake in the Olympics but I know I will never be up to their standards. I do do many different sports, I just consider them as hobbies, that are in the Olympics. I am not very good at any of them but I have fun while doing them (most of the time) and that’s what matters. A list of them is: Cross country running, golf, archery, ping-pong, cycling (my worst out of all of these), and ice-skating (second worse, can be read about here). I used to also play volleyball (was terrible), badminton (not much better), softball (always played in the dirt but I did have a good throwing arm, if only I had good aim), and even gymnastics. It would be awesome to do any of those spots while representing my country in the biggest sporting event there is but that’s not gonna happen. No, instead I’ll sit on my butt and snack on some chips like most Americans while I watch the elite make their sports seem easy.