Well, I've been enjoying watching the olympics (watching the
men's Basketball between NZ vs The Dream team was entertaining)
as much as I can. We have a TV setup in the corner of
our lab (the joys of a post grad lab) which while it hasn't
been on today has been getting a lot of use...
Tonight I have to watch the women's Hockey, NZ vs Spain...
I've been watching while I work. I've got a pretty cool setup, where I have a PC a server and a television all on the same desk at home. Usually, I just listen until something good comes on, then I stop to watch. -Bourgeois_Rage Did anybody else check out women's trampoline? :^0
<laugh> I agree. I was very annoyed at the coverage from NBC in the US. They only show events if Americans are particularly good at them or athlete who has overcome some fantastic difficulty is competing. This left out most of the more interesting events (in my personal opinion) such as fencing and judo.
Perhaps there's no corresponding "mental olympics" because the mental 'sports' that we engage in are more suited to cooperation than competition - and cooperation is bad for ratings. :)
On the topic of mental olympics,
didn't anyone else (in the US only, I think) compete in
'Olympics of the Mind' as a kid? I think they later
changed the name to
of the Mind' (OM).
As for the 'real' Olympics, I haven't really watched them
since '84 (when I was too young to notice a lot of the
things that may well have been present then but are
certainly present now), for a number of reasons:
Splitting the winter and summer games into different
years makes it too frequent to be noteworthy.
I think they are used as an excuse to promote
nationalistic fervor, which I think encourages
viewing other countries as the enemy (I'd prefer
it if people just competed against people, with
country being irrelevant).
Such serious competition isn't good for the
participants anyhow. I seem to recall hearing
reports of them dying a few years later while
still fairly young from the damage caused by
By the time you compete at that level, you don't
have good, balanced health. It
can be argued that anyone who would do that to
her/himself for a medal has the kind of personality
that would do it regardless, but why should such
people be encouraged and admired?
The advertising has become more prevalant and
the 'exclusive' concept further reduces viewers
into not just consumers, but infant consumers who
need protection from the big, bad world.
Watching sports bores me.
The reported corruption of the Olympics committee
in determining location and in reacting towards drug
use just adds to the silliness of the whole thing.
The limitations imposed on coverage don't help to
credit the concept of a world coming together to
celebrate blah blah blah... It just reduces interest
in the event.
The coverage in the US is pathetic, from what I've
heard. I haven't watched any coverage so I can't really
rate it myself. In attempting to pull heartstrings
to increase interest--by telling about someone who
overcame paralysis, cancer, bad breath and ebola
to come in second-to-last in the 800 cm sprint with
a time of 2 hours, 45 minutes and 4.3 seconds, bravely
beating her arch-rival (since the '76
games) due to said arch-rival (who is also the hero's
second-cousin twice removed)
being disqualified because
she fell over the line before the gun went off due
to a drug-induced heart attack--all the network does
is desensitize people to the point that impending
nuclear war wouldn't rouse some from their apathy.
I've never understood why professionals are barred
from participating. Either it should be about the
'best', in which case they should allow professionals,
or it should be about amateurs, in which case it
shouldn't be possible for some countries to put lots
of money into training. Maybe they should just pick
It might be hard to believe that I dislike anything more
than the Olympics, but I vastly prefer them over the
European football games earlier this year, which had the
added disadvantage of 'being in my backyard', which
meant I had to witness the insanity.
Ahh, the CBC, the only thing they are good for is olympics, hockey and This Hour has 22 Minutes ;-) They do sports very well. Not only are they showing the events that have Canadians in them, they also show all the major medal events (meaning, basically no Canadians ;->). I have never been disappointed in there olympic coverage
Americans who want to see actual
competition (instead of endless human-interest stories
and taped highlights of US competitors)
have to resort to watching CBC.
The excellent live coverage from Canada almost makes up for
Ah, how true! It's good to know I'm not the only one to notice.
As an example, during men's gymnastics the other day, they would
only show the U.S. team, even when they weren't competing! They
would show the U.S. team taping their fingers or chatting with
their coach rather than show the other events going on at the
same time. How upsetting!
Oh, they would show other teams, sure - only when they made
I mean, it's one thing (and OK) to vouch for your team, but this is
What little of the Olympics I have watched have been from my Parent's place, or from one of the many local watering holes. My TV still doesn't get any channels and I'm too lazy to buy an antennae of pay for cable. The coverage has been pretty poor too, hardly enough to convince me to get cable or anything. I mean, they didn't televise half the sports, including my favorite: Fencing.
Which especially surprised me since the US did so well. We took 10th place in Individual Men's Foil (out of I'm not sure... but at least 64 competitors, probably more.) He (Cliff Bayer) did remarkably well, and in fact was eliminated in a bout with the eventual gold medalist... by one point. We also took 4th place in the Women's Team Foil (We missed the medal by a mere two points... Thats hard to compare to something like football or baseball, but perhaps a basketball score of 99 to 98 comes close.) And given NBC's pention for Athlete bios and personal stories... two of our competitors were sisters.
But I'm ranting. And I did enjoy watching some of the competitions. (missed the trampolines though...) I guess I'll just have to save up some money and go see the Fencing live in 2004 (Athens or bust... donate to the fund now!)
Update: Ok, I need to vent a little more. I don't like the abuse of the tape delay either. I was watching an Olympic baseball game roughly a week ago, and they edited out an entire inning! I mean, they had just finnished the top of the 12th, went to commercial, came back and it was the bottom of the 13th! Granted, it was overtime, but still...
So I was watching it last night, waiting for my pizza to cook, and my experimental uber-coffee drink to brew (And waiting for Star Trek Voyager to come on) And it showed one of the races. I think it might have been the 500 meter or something. So anyway I noticed that one of the racers was the representative from Mozambique. Now whenever I'm offered a chance to name something, I always pick weird, strange names. I named my plant "Mozambique" a few years ago, and as such, I decided that I'd root for her over the American. My roomate, a non-geek who watches incessantly is American through and through. She says she LIKES NBC's coverage. (I pointed her here)
Anyway, the race got started, and for a while the Mozambique runner was in fourth. She then dropped back to sixth, and I despaired. But then I kept cheering her on, and my roomate kept cheering the American. She pulled ahead and won the gold! I had never felt better! My roomate asked me why I wanted Mozambique to win so badly, and didn't seem to accept the answer of "Because I named my plant after their country, and have always liked that name". The announcer then came on to say that this person had competed in four olympics before this, but hadn't won anything. They also went on to say that this was the first time the country of Mozambique had ever won in this event. I smiled and went to hack more perls in the other room.
What does this teach us? That being a perl monk / geek / madman gives you reality warping powers and that you can make anything happen with enough willpower.
Well enough of this babble. I'm long winded even when I'm recounting anecdotes that nobody wants to hear.
Admittedly, I do watch the Olympics every day ...
for half an hour while having breakfast. Which means
I don't really watch the the competitions I'd like to
watch. Cycling for example ... or chess ;-)
The world is incessantly beeing greetet by novices.
When was it? Throughout the cold war, practically every athlete in the Soviet Bloc was either a policeman or a military officer, with no duties other than to train. And the sick and twisted "amateurism" in the US did much more harm than good. The people running the profitable sports simply used it as an excuse to keep all the money for themselves (as the NCAA still does). Heck, one of my older friends, who won in '60, was barred from the '64 games because somebody gave him a watch. I think your sentiment is quite right, but you've got to make a distinction. The IOC really does suck... as, by the way, does the USOC. But the fact that athletes are allowed to make a (usually meager) living training now isn't the problem.
ybiC:The Olympics aren't even about athletics anymore, but are simply one more avenue for consumer-targeted marketing, like most (all?) professional sports.
*sigh* Problem is, the Olympics have been a business for quite a long time now... before '84 they were just a very poorly run business.
Not that I'm against business. But there are good businesses and bad businesses. I think the Olympics really had to start marketing themselves properly to survive. They didn't have to totally sell out de Coubertain's vision, and start screwing over the athletes. Scumbags.
Ok, well, the olympics are pretty boring in my mind. However i do find both female gymnasts and pro beach volleyball players to be entertaining....and you all know why. Now, the only question is, which ones are "More Entertaining".
I'm so massively disgusted with the corporate virtual ownership
of the Olympics, I'm not bothering. Fortunately, this is easy,
as I don't actually get broadcast TV anyway.
I hear you can't take a can of Pepsi in, as Coke has bought this
nauseating privilege. What happened to competing by producing
a better product? Why don't they just start blackmailing, killing
and buying people to force their choices? Oh wait, they already
do that in poorer countries, at least as far as manufacturing goes.
If someone's nailed me to a chair and glued my eyes open
then I might just conceivably watching that boring pile
One of my favourite things about satelite tv is that
they've taken all that "sport" crap and stuck it on
encrypted channels which means I never catch a glimpse of
it even when channel hoping - which is nice.