The Lure of the Olympics

We hadn’t planned to but we spent all weekend watching the Olympics.

The opening ceremony was amazing – all that red and gold, so opulent, so grand. I enjoyed it, but I wish there’d been a dragon.

The boys had a whole bookmaking thing going on – betting on every single event with poker chips and Freddo Frogs (Aussie chocolate in the shape of frogs). I have discovered that Nick is either very lucky or a hustler. Either way, I am going to use him to pick a winner in this year’s Melbourne Cup.

I was astounded by –

* the women cyclists who rode 126KM in the rain

* the Chinese weightlifter (a tiny, tiny, girl) who lifted 117KG (almost three times her body weight)

* how skimpy the outfits are in beach volleyball

* how hunky the French male swim team is (ooh la laΒ΄)

* how unfit I am in comparison to all those athletes. I wonder if sitting on the couch with my laptop on my knee blogging and watching TV at the same time will ever qualify as an Olympic event.

* the smog. The air is grey. What is the incidence of respiratory illness in Beijing?

* the fact that 3 billion people watched the opening ceremony. Half the population of the world. Does that mean the other half didn’t watch it because they have no access to televisions or the internet due to poverty? Or did they not watch it due to disinterest?

I feel for the family of the man who was killed. What an awful thing to happen. I hope there is no more violence.Β  It has cast a pall over the whole thing. It would be a shame if it turned out to be someone’s way of making a political statement. Politics and sport – it usually ends up in tears.

It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out.



21 thoughts on “The Lure of the Olympics

  1. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Summer Games but I too am glued to my TV while doing other things. I think my favorite is the diving…mmm, men in speedos.


  2. I’m with the other half of the world who have no interest in the Olympics. I also don’t think Beijing was a good choice for a city to host the event. There are so many other countries with a better track record in terms of human rights. To me, a massive event like this should showcase more than just sports. It could also make people stop and think about some important issues in the world too.

    There’s my rant….;)

    Happy Sunday, G


  3. HILLY – oh yeah. I can’t go past those Speedos either. I think I am turning into a dirty old woman. Ha ha.

    GERALDINE – there are so many touchy issues surrounding Beijing. Tibet alone should be enough to make us all turn away. I know a couple of Chinese journalists who now live in Sydney who were persecuted for stories they wrote while in China which apparently were ‘anti-government.’ There is so much going on in China that we just don’t know about. It really is shocking. Now I feel bad for watching.

    MELEAH – your father is probably the same as my husband and son. Boy, do those two get into it. Talk about excited. I actually have more fun watching them than I do the games. Glad you’re enjoying it.


  4. I do love watching the gymnastics, diving, and, um… some track and field stuff. But if I don’t watch it, I won’t fuss.

    To be honest, the parade of nations bored me to absolute TEARS. Mind you, the outfits worn by many of the African nations were breathtaking, so I was glad I kept watching. But, there was one group from a European country wearing white and poke-in-the-eye green outfits. Startling.

    Unfortunately, the cameras kept flashing over to our elected village idiot in order to “get his reactions” to some of the countries as they entered the stadium. I will give the man some credit, he applauded all the teams, even the ones with political thorns in his side. He may be an idiot and one of the worst presidents ever, but he is a gentleman. Sorry about the off-topic part.

    The torch-lighting ceremony is always my favorite, and this one blew me away! The scroll, the photographs…oh, so awesome.

    And that little boy who got to walk with Yo Ming? Wow, what an amazing kid.

    Speaking of amazing kids, could I borrow Nick next summer when the ponies run at the Downs? LOL


  5. KAREN – I can’t type for laughing about your poor elected village idiot. LMAO. I will agree with you that he is a gentleman and I am probably going to get things thrown at me by all the Democrats for saying this, but I quite like his wife. Am I wrong in feeling that way?

    That little boy was amazing. And the little girl who sang in the red dress. She was so cute.

    You can borrow Nick any time. Hey, this could turn out to be a bit of a lucrative sideline. πŸ˜‰


  6. We didn’t watch the opening ceremony because we were watching The Spiderwick Chronicles on DVD instead. Not because we didn’t want to watch the opening ceremony, but just because Friday nights are DVD and pizza night. Hubby felt he missed out, though, so he went looking for clips on YouTube, and together with the clips on the news reports we sort of feel we got a small idea of what it was like. We would have watched the repeat on Saturday morning had we opened the TV guide two hours earlier than we did and realised it was on.

    But I love the swimming and beach volleyball, especially, and I’ll probably be semi-glued to many of the events over the next few days.


  7. Hi Selma,
    To respond a bit to a coupla items:
    I don’t like it being held in China, either. The Human Rights record, and their horrific treatment of animals– check out Peta’s update on China’s Fur industry
    (hint: they use dogs & cats, then “re-label” it for sale elsewhere! This is absolutely true, and documented!).
    Laura Bush: A dear friend of mine has met and even worked alongside Laura Bush, and told me she truly is kind and hard-working. (My pal, Coral worked with her on overseas arts events. Laura Bush is well-known for her efforts for Literacy, too.(dear Lord, I could make an awful joke here, at her husband’s expense, but I won’t take the incredibly easy shot.)
    And hey–enjoy the French Men’s Swim Team. And their Speedo’s.


  8. DAOINE – I can’t blame you for sticking to your pizza and movie routine. Those nights are sacred. I love the swimming too. Shame Grant Hackett lost, but I guess he is getting on a bit in swimming terms. I absolutely love the weightlifting. I don’t know why really. It just freaks me out that those small people can lift such heavy things. Incredible!

    LISA – oh, don’t. I can’t bear to think about what happens to those poor animals. It really is horrific. Wow. I’m glad you said that about Laura Bush. I had heard she was a pretty classy lady. It is so ironic that she is driving a push for Literacy considering the trouble her hubby has with the word ‘nuclear.’ You’re right, it is far too easy a shot. Ha ha. I will definitely enjoy those French men in their Speedos. Sacre bleu!


  9. Not really disinterest … it’s just that I’ve been unable to open a newspaper, turn on TV or radio or even log on to the Internet without being subjected to ‘Olympics Overload’

    I think what makes me … less than angry, more than sad … is the way the events in Georgia got shoved so far down the running order, it almost qualified as an ‘and finally’ item.

    Oh, except Virgin Media … they led with a story that the world was coming to an end on Saturday, thanks to the activation of something called the Hadron Collider in Geneva. If anyone took it seriously, I hope your Boss has a sense of humour, and will give you your job back this morning!


  10. I said to myself I wouldn’t watch it,as a protest of course,but like you found myself in front of the TV.

    The London Olympic organisers are going to have problem.I hope they see that nobody will be able to bring another show like the one in Beijing,and maybe it’s time to get back to the main issue which is Sport.


  11. TRAVELRAT – the world was coming to an end and I didn’t know about it? Oh, that’s right – I was watching the Olympics. Knowing my boss she’s already sold up and bought a plot of land on the moon.

    I agree with you, the events in Georgia have definitely been overshadowed by the Olympics. It’s dreadful. The other thing that gets me about the Olympics is the bias of the presenters. We only ever get to hear things from the Aussie side. Even if an Aussie didn’t win the event and came 345th, we still get an interview from them. Call me difficult or pedantic, but I wouldn’t mind hearing from the winner!

    DIAMONDS – oh absolutely. That’s what it should be all about. SPORT. And gorgeous young men in Speedos. πŸ˜‰


  12. Selma, I like Laura Bush, too. She seems to be the only decent thing in the White House these days (and I don’t think she’s there very often). But I don’t care much for her political choices…


  13. We watched the opening ceremony and it was truly amazing. I normally don’t watch, but after hearing about the fireworks and seeing some pictures online (It didn’t air live in the US due to the time difference), I knew I had to watch…and I’m glad I did.


  14. But Libby was phenomenal! Yay! I love the weightlifting too. No matter who is lifting I always feel I have to hold my breath for them to get that final jerk and keep it up. It’s such a feat.


  15. “how unfit I am in comparison to all those athletes. I wonder if sitting on the couch with my laptop on my knee blogging and watching TV at the same time will ever qualify as an Olympic event.” I hear ya, believe me.

    The water polo guys from pretty much any country are usually awfully cute!


  16. KAREN – I know what you’re saying. It would be so interesting to know what she really thinks about her husband’s politics, wouldn’t it?

    LINDA – so far I’ve really enjoyed it. Nick loves your swimmer, Michael Phelps. And I have to say – he is a phenomenal swimmer. Not so bad on the eye, either!

    DAOINE – Libby was amazing. Stephanie too. I wish she hadn’t posed for FHM though. However, I’m sure thousands of males would disagree with me. Weightlifting rules. YAY!

    EPIPHANY – I wonder how those water polo guys manage to tread water all that time. My other sister (not the one with the crazy husband) used to represent Sydney in water polo and talked me into playing a practice game with the team one day. You have to tread water the entire time. I actually thought I was going to die. Those guys must be superfit!


  17. >> I wonder how those water polo guys manage to tread water all that time.<<

    I want to know how they do it without drowning the horses! πŸ˜€


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