Sunday, August 10, 2008

The 2008 Olympics

Some early reactions and observations on the Beijing Olympics and NBC's coverage.

1. Spectacular opening ceremonies Friday, and Bob Costas provided his usual excellent commentary. Unfortunately, the next day when the competition started we got stuck with that no-talent-bum Jim Lampley as the host.

2. Women's volleyball game between Japan and the US. The announcer said the Japan team was "a joy to watch", which gave me some hope that the coverage would be less US-centric than in past years. The same announcer later stubbed his toe when he ungrammatically said that the venue, which was the site of the "ping-pong diplomacy" games in the early '70's, "looked a lot differently now than it did back then".

3. Some fencing was shown, apparently only because the US won all 3 medals, as fencing proved to be impossible to watch.

4. Cycling events are interesting, in that they start in Beijing and go to the Great Wall, one of the most intriguing routes ever I would think.

5. I have found the rowing events interesting. Seeing the way the rowers turn their oars sideways when in the air brings back memories of Boy Scout camp, when the canoeing/rowing instructor would constantly yell, "Feather them oars!". I've never seen anybody "feathering" in real life until this weekend.

6. The swimming events are always interesting. The way records are constantly being broken is a neverending source of wonder to me. Training techniques must be constantly improving. In one event a new Olympic record was set in one heat, only to be immediately broken again in the next heat!

7. Water polo. No doubt a very hard and strenuous sport, but not very interesting to watch.

8. Beach volleyball. Pretty interesting to watch, especially when the competitors are women!

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