Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An End to The Games

Well, I am stuck between that time between the end of the Olympics and a few days before college football so here are my thoughts on the Olympics before this turns into UT football blog of the year :^)

Trampoline. Rhythmic Gymnastics. Equestrian. Field Hockey. Table Tennis. Handball. Power Walking. I'm going to try not to sound too "Americanized" here but is are these REALLY Olympic caliber events?? I am not about to join the ridiculous debate on if these are sports, they are obviously not. I'll give them "skill" or "game" but "sport", no way. I am also not going to join in the debate on what qualifies as a "sport" (even though I am thoroughly amused, if not in total agreement, with radio personality's Rick and Bubba's theory on the "Big 3" being the only real "sports") The point I am trying to make is are these things really worthy of Olympic sized glory? Especially, in light of the fact that the I.O.C., in all of their infinite wisdom, has now dis banned baseball and softball until, at least, 2016.

I understand their reasoning that the MLB not allowing any of it's players to participate keeps baseball out because, obviously, the best in the world are not competing, which is what the Olympics are all about. I said I understand not agree. Taking away softball, however, I haven't even heard a real reason! The closest "reason" I heard was because of perceived "American dominance." Of course, it has to be pointed out that we won....THE BRONZE, just last week. And, if this is the case for removing "sports" then I'm sure all the Chinese will be sick about the removal of DIVING!!!! Sure. Lest I get off point, none of these reasons (excuses) hold any water when the facts are that you let things like power walking in! Am I the only one that realized that this is a "sport" where a majority of the training and practice takes place in a shopping mall!!! The absurdity of it all makes me wonder if the same who run the U.N. are now running the I.O.C.

The last negative thing that I cannot overlook about these games are the ridiculousness of the Chinese government. I mean this as absolutely NO knock on the Chinese people. By all accounts I have heard, seen, and read they were as hospitable as any host country's people have ever been or ever could be and I appreciate that. I certainly don't hold them accountable for the actions of their government, I certainly wouldn't want to be held accountable for mine sometimes. However, I would have loved to have seen the Shawn Johnson, Natia Lukin, and the rest of the American gymnast in their locker room after getting their silver medals. I'm sure you are all curious as to what I would have said ;^) "They may have their gold medals, but you all get to take your silver's home and do whatever you would like. You can go to college and become a Dr, lawyer, Coach, politician, housewife, or anything in between. You have the option to train to come back to the 2012 Olympics or never step foot in a gym again. these are options that none of these Chinese girl's will ever have and, undoubtedly, would trade all of the gold medals in the world for. Be proud of your silver and even prouder of the country that you earned it for." Then, possibly, the bad sport in me would mention that they take these kids from their homes at 2 or 3 and make them train all day for 365 days a year and they can still on barely beat us and, not without "alleged" cheating and shady judging. What does that say??? I can't mention the Chinese and not give my opinion on the age controversy. Those girls very well may be 16. Of course, I too, may be 16.

Since this looking more like a rant instead of my closing thoughts. Here are my non negative thoughts.

I'm pretty sure I will never forget jumping up and down and screaming at my tv (home alone, of course), watching Jason Leezak chasing down that stinkin French, smack talkin swimmer and the feeling that made me feel like I had just won gold. I won't forget how my heart stopped during that 3 second period of time when it looked like Michael Phelps had been out touched only to find out that all eyes were wrong! Nor will I soon forget seeing these multi millionaires, most of whom have been part of high school, college, and even NBA championship teams pumping their fist up in the air and having tears in their eyes on the medal stand after bringing the Men's basketball gold back home to the USA. These Olympics and triumphant moments and tragic moments and even those that encompassed both like the moment after the US men's volleyball team beat the Brazil team in a gold medal match they were never supposed to be in and all of the emotion was just too much for coach Hugh McCutcheon, who's father in law had just been murdered in front of his wife the day after the opening ceremonies. All he could do was cover his face with both hands and walk off the court and all we could do as spectators was watch with tears in our eyes. In my humble opinion these Olympics, although full of flaws, achieved their gold. They were a nice break from the war, politics, and horror that so often fills our tv time. As previously stated in another post, I love athletics and competition and I love this country so, as long as those things hold true and the feeling I get when watching that beautiful red, white, and blue flag being raised with my national anthem being blared over the loud speakers still gives me a feeling that can't be replicated, I will always love them. Who knows, maybe I'll be in London in the summer of 2012!

6 comments:

Chad said...

I WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree with everything you just said. As a matter of fact I got goose bumps reading your recollection of the events of this olympiad.

T. Brodie said...

I mean... tell us how you really feel! J/K. I was on the phone with my brother when he gave us the play by play for Phelps' last gold. Pretty exciting!

Hicks Family said...

you, 16?

The Dawkins said...

man Laurie you REALLY got into those Olympics....

The Holtons said...

I agree with chad, t.brodie, hicks family and the dawkins!!!! You crack me up when you get to "ranting", but you usually end up making alot of sense!! Love you!

CL said...

You should be a professional writer...seriously, I get so into your blog entries.

Oh and when are we going to meet for lunch???