Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Olympics

Every two years the anticipation of the Olympics sets in, and I’m quite excited to watch the events.  My first memories of the games are 1980’s Winter Olympics in Lake Placid where the US Hockey Team won the gold in the “Miracle on Ice” and of course, the 1984 Summer Games here in Los Angeles where all the events were televised live and the coverage was comprehensive.  Unfortunately since then, I’ve personally been disappointed with the games.  Let me restate that, I’ve been disappointed with the television coverage of the games.  We were probably spoiled in 1984 because for us there wasn’t a time difference.  We were able to watch the events from start to finish without it being tape delayed or edited to fit a shorter period of time. 

Needless to say, this year’s coverage has been a bit frustrating.  There were the controversial incidents like cutting out about 10 minutes of the Opening Ceremonies to show a Ryan Seacrest interview, and due to tape delays, the network’s announcements of the results before the events were even televised.  There was something kind of appalling watching respected newsman Brian Williams saying things like “If you don’t want to know the results yet close your eyes or look away for a moment.”  But in addition to those biggies, I didn’t care for the way the events were edited to show just the highlights, and in some cases only the US’s highlights.  The broadcast would go to a commercial and when they came back the score had doubled in team events or several athletes had there turn and we missed it.  Between the edits and the early announcement of results I’ve constantly felt like I can’t get a handle on what is going on exactly. 

The event that I’ve been most interested in is the Equestrian.  Having been a show jumper myself I just love watching the horses and riders.  Since it’s not as popular of an event as, let’s say, gymnastics or swimming, the coverage was already very limited.  The schedule posted online was not necessarily the schedule on the television.  I can’t tell you how many hours I recorded and fast forwarded only to find the events were shown before or after the time that was scheduled.  The US team ended up having disappointing performances in all the events thus far which limited the coverage even more.  However I really enjoyed seeing Canadian Ian Miller who rode for years and years in grand prixs on his famous horse Big Ben and who holds the record for most Olympic appearances with 10.  He rode a new horse this year who I just fell in love with. 
miller 
The British show jumping team was tremendous  and took the gold in a jump off that I DID get to see.  But I’ve yet to see an equestrian medal ceremony televised.

With those rants being ranted, there have been some great moments this year.  Even though the Opening Ceremonies were very different than 2008, I was impressed.  There was so much pageantry and national pride displayed.  The Bond/Queen clip, the Health Services/Children’s Lit, the Parade of Nations, and the torch lighting were my favorite parts. The US women winning the all arounds in gymnastics was exciting.  I also enjoyed watching the “inquiry” initiated by Béla Károlyi last night which led to Aly Raisman’s bronge medal.  My adrenaline was pumping during that one, but it could have been due to the earthquake we had at the very same time. (We’ve since had 30+ in the last 24 hours).  The women’s beach volleyball final tonight was super fun too with both teams being from Southern California! 

There are just a few days left of 2012’s Summer Olympics.  When it comes down to it, the best part of the Games for me is, while nations’ governments fight and blow each other up, there’s something so symbolic about these athletes from all over the world coming together and playing side-by-side.  They shake hands whether winning or losing.  Our world leaders could certainly learn a thing or two about that.

What’s been your favorite part?

31 comments:

  1. I gotta say that I'm a huge fan of gymnastics and swimming, but I do agree and think the coverage of the event is disappointing and needs to be rethought.

    I missed the opening ceremony because I was out of town and haven't gotten the chance to watch the recording of it, but thanks to your description, I'll be adding that to the top of my to-do list!

    I'm visiting from Mama Kat's! :)
    www.simplybrittany.com

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    1. Oh definitely watch it! The torch lighting alone is worth it. I do love the gymnastics too. The prime time coverage was decent, but still disjointed.

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  2. Loved seeing the guy with two prosthetic legs run. I didn't care who won--the fact that he was out there was so inspiring!

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    1. Oh definitely. I forgot about that one. Very inspiring.

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  3. I thought the gymnastics team was cool!

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  4. The problem I've got is I have 24 channels of live Olympics. So basically I've the attention span of a gnat as I flick through going 'oooooh that's good', only at a lull I flick again and go ooooooh.

    I reckon there should be age restrictions. There is something very wrong when Olympians were born in 1997. But you have to admire the pure hate on the face of McKayly Maroney or Aliyah Mustfina that they are just not old enough to hide behind a fake smile.

    Still got the chin, eh.

    Determined little madam on a horse, weren't you. Why had you the stirrup so short.

    Oh, I don't care but beach volleyball might as well be the outdoor exercise for the workers at Aunty Jo's place out side Reno.

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    1. With all those advertisers spending zillions for spots I would imagine there is a lot of flicking going on with 24 channels. We've only 4 or 5 with the rights and they show more commercials than the games. The DVR has come in quite handy when having to record hours of coverage.
      The stirrups aren't too short! I just am. ;)

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    2. You aren't that short.
      Ha, I did mention that my family in Galway are BIG into breeding Connemara's. My granddad was chair of this for years http://www.cpbs.ie/contents/index.php
      But I'm about normal height here in Tipp for a fella at about 18 hands but when I go to Galway I'm a fricking giant. With people asking me what's the weather like up there.
      What are you about 5'6/7". That and lower would be normal except for that mining town you live in.
      No, what I asking is why you have the leather short so your leg is at almost a right angle. Wasn't in unstable ?.

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    3. No, never unstable. The "rule" is when you drop your leg from the stirrup, the bottom of it hits your ankle bone. It makes it easier to be in the half seat for jumping.
      On a good day I'm 5'4". My dad being 6'1" and my mom being 5'9" the hope was for tall, but I didn't get those genes for some reason.
      I'm going over right now to check out the link. I don't think you had mentioned that.

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    4. Oh don't read anything into the Pony thing. I never met the man. It was only the grey horse thing.

      5'4", well being frank is no giant set of numbers, but then you're not in hobbit country either. Like I said, were you anyplace else except maybe Montenegro -for some reason they grow giants- the height profile would be more gradual and the blondy nordics wouldn't skewing the average range.

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  5. Definitely VB, though it has been great fun hearing some of the athletes praise God for their abilities and giving all glory to Him when doing interviews. We're a VB family though, so its been fun watching. One of the Olympic coaches will return and coach our college team - that's pretty cool
    I'm feelin ya on the broadcasting however.

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    1. I've mostly seen the beach vb which is crazy the way they can cover their court, but actually prefer watching indoor. Disappointing men's game today, but those ladies are on fire!

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  6. Love, love, loving every minute of it! Also digging the #NBCfail criticisms on Twitter. (I'm Canadian and CTV has devoted 5 of its stations to broadcasting events live so we're feeling rather smug about the quality of our Olympic television). But my fave part was watching the Opening Ceremonies with our 6 year old. During the homage to the Children's Hospital, Mary Poppins soared down from the sky.
    "Hey Mom...I know who Mary Poppins is...she was on The Simpsons!" File under #parentfail
    *grin*

    clickin' in from MamaKat

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    1. Ha ha ha! That is pretty funny. But hey, the Simpsons have stood the test of time. I had a teacher in high school show them in an American Lit class I took. :)
      NBC has been a joke.

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  7. The first time we got really caught up in the Olympics were those in Beijing and the winter Olympics in Canada.. so we were looking forward to them this year.. but as things worked out we hardly ever got the time to watch them. But we did catch some of the swimming, gymnastics and volleyball.. enjoyed some tennis and found our self watching rowing too!

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    1. The last few summer games I've been back to school already. For some reason, this year I'm still on break and so am willing and able to watch. If I were working, I could probably care less.
      I don't generally like watching tennis, but the Williams' sisters doubles match was on the other day and I got sucked in.

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  8. I have enjoyed the Olympics and the back stories from the Today show. I especially like the Queen parashuting in from Buckingham Palace.

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    1. I'm not much of a morning show person so haven't caught any of those color stories after the fact. The Bond moment was fun.

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  9. I agree with you on how the coverage has been horrible this go. We haven't watched the news since they started because they always give it away and thanks to social media I knew the gymnastic results before hand....SUCKY! I wish they would show MORE events rather than the swimming, gymnastics and track majority, not to say I don't like them, but it's nice to see the other events too, those athletes work JUST as hard to get there as the rest!!! But none the less we love it and will always watch

    I just joined you blog, I hope you can do the same for me!!! Stopping by via Mama Kat!
    ~Jessica
    http://takeitlikeamommy.blogspot.com/

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    1. I wish they'd show more of a variety too. Thanks for coming by.

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  10. I feel your frustration with the coverage. I don't know anyone who wants to know the results before watching the event. And I also find it amazing that we can have countries from all over the world come together for the Olympics, but we still can't manage world peace. One thing at a time, I guess.

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    1. I read somewhere that they want to put the most popular events (gymnastic, swimming, etc) on at primetime due to advertising which means it could be delayed as much as 15 or more hours. I understand the need to show it on the news, since it is news, but that tape delay is a bummer.

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  11. I have not watched much of the Olympics, nor have I ever. Are you surprised?

    But...I didn't tell you that while we were gone, my niece who was set to compete in the Olympics in BMX crashed during her last practice before they were to fly to London. The accident lacerated her liver and she has been in the hospital for almost two weeks now. Such a sad thing for her and the family.

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    1. I saw that on Claire's FB. Not only disappointing for not being able to compete, but so scary too. Will she try again?

      No, no, Not surprised. :)

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  12. I agree! I don't even know what the Summer Olympic sports are aside from swimming, gymnastics, and track.

    They only air what will bring in some strong primetime ratings...any coincidence it's the sports that show the most skin?? Probably!

    visiting from Mama Kat's.
    annie

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  13. For the next Olympics plan to leave the country...head for Canada, New Zealand, England or Australia and you will get live, uninterrupted coverage of every event....and here on 5 channels! since I am in your tomorrow I get live coverage of some events and yesterday and last nights repeats. Commercial fre and none of that pre recorded bio crap on athletes instead of events. For the first time I watched eve athlete in the decathlon no matter what country they were from and how poorly they performed. And the best part is, I am on holiday! And evywhere I go there is a TV with the Olympics on!

    And if the volcano blows I may not male it back to work for the start of school! There's always hope right?

    Enjoy what's left of your summer!

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    1. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the volcano blows and you get to stay down under for a bit longer. :) You don't want to come back anyways...it's been up to 110 all week long. I just got back from a walk and feel like I got sunburned it was still so hot. It's winter there isn't it? Luck out!
      Enjoy! Enjoy!

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  14. Hi Kimberly, not sure if I popped by after your comment on my 366 (leap year) journal (haven't been on my blog for a couple of weeks) so thought I pay a visit and have read a couple of your recent posts. I really admire the effort you go to at the start of school year to set your classroom up.
    As for the Olympics, a bit late now, but you could've watched events live online. Not as good as watching on TV unless you have a huge monitor or if you hooked your PC up to the TV. For myself, though the BBC coverage over here was very good, that was only if you have Sky or Cable TV which I don't. I only have Freeview so there was less choice - just 3 channels and a fourth in the evenings, I ended up watching some events online myself. Though BBC did have coverage all day till about 11pm or possibly midnight - forgotten so soon :-/
    Anne x

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