Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

Notes on the Olympics


I am an Olympics junkie. I still remember watching the ‘84 Summer Games when I was ten like it was yesterday. After watching the cycling road race, I wanted to ditch my lame banana-seat kids bike for a full-up ten speed soooooo bad. (I also seem to remember the track cycling pursuit races back then being somewhat different: two riders stalking each other at about one mile per hour for a few laps and then a furious sprint to the finish.) I staged my own Olympics for the neighborhood kids, with medals I made from foreign coins my dad gave me. I didn’t win any of them.

This year is no different. As a former swimmer and water polo player in high school, I was all over the Phelps drama, even going out of my way to ignore the Internet on the day of the last race. I anxiously await the US playing for gold in water polo, a first since 1988. If it was on, I watched it (with a few exceptions - see below): rowing, equestrian, basketball - a sport I normally go out of my way to ignore. I even watched both marathons.

Some observations:

  1. Synchronized swimming is lame. As a swimmer, I have always felt this. Some would argue that as a swimmer, I should understand how difficult this is, the skills involved, blady blah blah. Whatever. Quantum physics, freeway construction and being a lumberjack are all difficult, but you don’t see handing Olympic medals handed out for them. Exhibit A: if this slideshow doesn’t freak you out, than please stay away from me.
  2. As of this writing, China has 15 more gold medals than the US. Some have said that this is a disappointment for the American team. Not so fast. China has 12 gold medals in table tennis and badminton. They don’t count. Completely lame.
  3. More China bashing: I think it’s accepted that at least three girls on the Chinese gymnastics team were underage. The Chinese officials and their lapdogs at the IOC say their passports prove the are old enough. Passports? Does anyone really think the Chinese government couldn’t spit out a forged passport in about 8 minutes? Why is there any doubt about this whatsoever?
  4. BMX is now an Olympic sport? The X-Games isn’t enough?
  5. The US just won gold in men’s volleyball. Awesome. A fitting end for what must be a bittersweet time for their coach, Hugh McCutcheon.
  6. Prediction: Michael Phelps will win at least 5 gold medals in 2012.

See you in London in four years. Baseball and softball are out, and unfortunately, “roller sports” didn’t make the cut to be added to the program.