So for two weeks all regular programming on NBC (the network I normally watch) was inundated with the London Olympics. The Olympics presented pomp, pageantry, excitement, competition, and fireworks. Lots of fireworks. To have a spectacular nowadays you must blow things up.
The beginning ceremony had the pyrotechnics with winged bicycles, monsters and Mary Poppins, Mike Oldfield (where did they find him) and Sir Paul (always the ham). There were so many countries I had never heard of, but of all the uniformed athletes from all over the globe waving their flags and taking pictures on their smart phones, only 80% or maybe less will be recognized or win a medal.
Cheerleaders? Really? Cheerleaders trying to work up the crowds between matches or sets, but there were not at every occasion. Where were the cheerleaders in the rowing? Where were the cheerleaders in the rasslin? Where were the cheerleaders in the horses jumping over the sticks?
But the “games” as they are called is all about competition. Who will get more medals than the other country? At the end you can say, “ My country is better than yours because we have more ribbons.” What about those who didn’t win anything? Why are they there in the first place?
Watching the games, because you can’t resist, I saw sports or activities I used to participate in like swimming, badminton, shooting, fencing, volleyball and rowing…. But realized a lot has changed. One, I could never compete with these guys and two; many techniques have been changed from back in the day.
The blocks for swimming used to be just flat with a black sandpaper finish on top. There was no dolphin kick. I was good at freestyle and butterfly and crawl but was never a good kicker. Backstroke was all over the place. I didn’t know you had to lose at badminton to win. I also didn’t know girls could shoot that well. The one knee down canoe racing was exhausting but the crew stuff was fascinating. I never did see any archery but would have liked to.
The track and field stuff I will leave to Jo-Jo because he knows more about it than me. I don’t run unless someone with a very heavy object is chasing me.
The water polo looked almost deadly but the beach volleyball made up for it.
My favorite spot in the “games” was the guy running on springs. I know there is the Para-Olympics happening now, but here was a guy who decided to accomplish a goal no one could have realized. That is what the “games” should stand for, just like all those who came to the village, competed and went about with the experience and a flight bill and maybe lost luggage.
I bet they sell a lot of those day-glo yellow shoes.
And why are all the coaches fat?
Then it was time for a final blow up. George Micheals in a skull belt buckle? So many scooters it looked like Quadraphenia with a Goth Annie Lennox? Interesting Victorian themes that were similar to the giant smokestacks from the beginning played out with thousands of costumed folks. Was this the best years of the British Empire? Where were the folks from India? Where were the Zulus? There was a nice plug for Rolls Royce but I didn’t see my favorite Spice Girl. Where was “Oregano” Spice?
And that was about it.