How interested are you in the Olympics?

Leaving aside the politics, how interested are you in the Olympics as a sporting event?  How much of it are you going to watch?

I’m completely hooked.  One of the great joys of being retired is having the time to watch as much as I want.  But, then, I love sports generally.  It’s one of the few things which political correctness has not been able to completely destroy.  The best must prove they’re the best; no government can hand them the championship or the gold medal.

The Olympics is the ultimate sports event, in which thousands of athletes from around the world come together to compete in dozens of sports.  I love it.  Well, okay, the judges (in events that are judged) and the officials (in events that are officiated) can ruin everything.  But in 95% of the events, the team or individual who wins will have fully earned the victory.

So, are you hooked, too?  Or could you care less?

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    Somehow I did no get the sports gene.  If it were not for the preemption of some of my regular shows, I would not be aware of it.  Same for the Super Bowl, though I do enjoy the replays of the commercials.

  • ami

    Without violating privacy, I can’t tell you WHO, but I know someone who competed and won a medal in Beijing. The incredible amount of political BS, backbiting, undermining and general craziness was enough to convince her to never, ever compete again. The stories she told me were appalling and disgusting. All of us who know her were 100% behind her decision to stay out of the games forever. Since then, I have met two more Olympians with similar stories.   This does not discount the incredible amount of grit and determination and single mindedness it takes to compete at that level, and kudos are due to the athletes who make it. But my view has been tarnished forever. And the other reason I avoid coverage except for the events I really, really love to watch? The people who televise the events. I have no idea why they’d refer to it as Olympic coverage, I think it would be better described as short attention span theater. If you’re going to show an event, SHOW it. Don’t break away from the diving to show us the men’s combined silverware washing and basketweaving! Don’t break away from that to show us shuffleboard! Just show the damn event!! So, we record hours and hours and hours of coverage so we can fast forward through all the garbage. Included in that garbage is anything where one has to listen to Bob Costas. I know his name is spelled with one ‘o’ but it sure is hard to remember that when typing it. My personal dislike occurred many moons ago when the team from Djibuti was entering the stadium in Athens and Boob popped off with, “You bet Djubuti!” That moron still kept his job. I’m sorry. Do you mind when people leave novels in your comment section?

  • Zoltan

    My wife was born and raised in Hungary. All soccer matches are mandatory viewing.

  • Marica

    Could not care less.

  • Oldflyer

    I am interested in sports that I understand.  Not too interested in those sports that are decided by Judges; although I will say that if you just focus on the athletes in events such as gymnastics and Dressage, you see see some amazing demonstrations of athletic ability.  (Of course now that it has been learned that Ann Romney rides dressage and owns an Olympic horse, that beautiful sport has come under fire from the Left.  I guess  you could argue in all equestrian events as to who the athlete is.  But, there are Olympic events that you could question whether they are sports at all.)
    The TV over-the-top hype turns my stomach.  In addition to over-stating nearly everything, they dig very deep to find “human interest” stories.  Except in rare cases I do  not care about the personal lives of athletes.
    I suppose that it is more pure now, with less hypocrisy all around; but, I would prefer that it be an amateur competition.  Of course that proved impossible to control.

  • dustoffmom

    After assuring myself…sternly….that I was NOT going to be suckered into this again, well, let’s see….yesterday I found myself avidly watching:  men’s cycling road race, mens and womens swimming heats, mens basketball, womens team volleyball, sporadic bursts of tennis, mens and womens beach volleyball, mens gymnastics and womens basketball.  I ‘think’ that should cover the day.  :)  Today, well womens cycling road race, mens basketall, mens and womens swim heats, mens team volleyball, and it’s just now noon.  I give up…..I must admit I am a total fan of anything and everything when the Olympics comes around.  And yes, I surely agree, being retired as well I can watch all I want!  Go USA!

  • Indigo Red

    Except for the swimming, I’ve little interest in the first week’s events. I will watch track & field and, weightlifting the second week. I agree with the short attention span theater remark and wonder  why it doesn’t apply to the long distance bike racing.

    I remember when ABC covered the games and they stayed with the solitary competitor who’d never been more than a mile outside his native village in Mongolia or some such place and the entire world was rooting for him, even the guys he was competing against. I miss the really low tech competitors. I also miss the really ugly East German women – where’d they go? All the former “Block” women are so beautiful now. Ah, the curse of capitalism, I guess.

  • Don Quixote

    ami, thanks for sharing and I love long comments.  Some responses:

    1.  I’ve just watched the USA-France basketball game without interruptions (aside from commercials & halftime) and am now watching the women’s road race, again, without interruption.  I only see a lot of jumping when the network is trying to cover everything live at once or, more commonly, is summarizing everything in its prime time show.  Maybe you should try the on-line exhaustive coverage of every event from start to finish.

    2.  I suspect the Olympic experience varies from sport to sport.  Swimming is probably relatively pure (except for selections for the relays), since the clock is the clock.  On the other hand, gymnastics is a political circus.  But, even when I know there is a political mess in the background, I still enjoy the actual competitions.  I don’t want to see how sausage is made, but I sure do enjoy eating it!

    3.  Bob Costas is full of himself, but he is probably the best interviewer I’ve ever seen.  Or at least he used to be. His late night show, I believe it was called “Later,” was brilliant. 

  • Gringo


  • Caped Crusader

    Care is minimal. Agree with Ami. Put 8 hour disc on another TV and record, can then not waste time, and fast forward and watch the few interesting events. Too much extraneous BS from Costas and others who believe THEY are the event.

  • Kevin_B

    Not very interested.
    I’m somewhat interested in the cycling competitions and watched part of the Olympic men’s road race – and might watch for example the time trial as well. Other than that, I’m mostly only interested in the competitors from my country (Belgium), especially the high-profile ones. I don’t necessarily watch their matches – news coverage does fine for me.
    I generally watch very little sports, and even the Olympics aren’t much of an exception. Just the everyday stuff and a weary eye on sports every now and then.
    So, I don’t really care all that much.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    My husband is way into the basketball, but that’s typical for him (truly, he’s trying to convince me to name our second child Chauncey). We do not have cable and we’ve unfortunately never been able to pick up NBC in our house, so we’ve only seen highlight videos online.
    One thing we will be gathering with friends & family for is the women’s 100m breaststroke swimming final. The sister of a potential sister-in-law is racing. Be sure to cheer on Breeja Larson!

  • jj

    It’s a party – accept it as a party, (they’re not kidding when they tell you they handed out 25,000 condoms to the athletes – the Olympics are one whole holy hell of a lot of testosterone in one place), with the occasional moment that lifts us all with a display of pure grace (under pressure, too), striving, and beauty.  I tend to skip the stuff like basketball, cycling, soccer, tennis players, etc. – those are just pros out for another day’s work.  The kids are the thing: the gymnasts, archers, riders, wrestlers, swimmers, runners, rowers – they’re the point, and they can hit you with a moment of transcendence. 

    Known Costas for a long enough time to wonder when we’re going to see a gray hair.  I know they’re there, Bobby!

    Watch it with the sound off, you won’t lose anything, and may gain.     

  • 11B40


    I apologize, but I find myself unable to leave the politics aside.  I’ve heard of a O’Sullivan’s Law that asserts that all organizations that aren’t overtly conservative eventually follow a leftist track.  I find the Olympics to be, with appropriate apologies to Charles Dickens, a Ghost of our Progressive Transnationalist Future with all the depredations that that implies.

    So much of the run-up coverage that I have seen, not just on NBC, seems to be unsubliminal propagandizing for the the multiculturalists and diversifiers.  There is enough of it to remove the enjoyment of the sporting aspects of the Games. 

    I’ve been going through a slow downward slide over the last several Olympiads due to the commercialization and politicalization of the games.  Actual amateurs have long been removed.  It’s a sportfest of, by, and for elites. Bread and circuses, if you know what I mean.

    I’m sure I’ll channel surf into the games from time to time, but I don’t have any specific viewing plans.

    Quelle Domage !! 

  • Mike Devx

    Give me a good underdog story and some advance warning, and I might tune in for that.  Otherwise, I won’t watch any of it.  As others have noted, the short-attention-span coverage is a real turn-off.  I just don’t like what I have seen over the last ten or so years.  I’ll avoid it.

    These days, only college football can regularly grab my attention.


  • Charles Martel

    I’m pretty much where 11B40 is. If I happen to see something interesting while my wife is watching, I’ll stop and look. The swim races can be very exciting, and I like the indoor bike races. 
    Basketball is a farce ever since the U.S. decided to Sovietize itself and send professional players to compete. jj’s comment that they are just pros out for another day’s work seems to sum it up.
    I love track, even though it became a professional sport years ago–the high jump, shot put, relays and races up to 1500 meters. After that =yawn= Hurdles are OK, though it makes my shins ache even to think about them. 
    I cannot tell you how much modern entertainment—and the Olympics are entertainment—bores the crap out of me. Watching NBC conjure and manipulate ginned-up excitement and pathos-ridden storytelling is exhausting. It sometimes makes feel like I’m in the anteroom to Hell where everything’s an artlessly rendered fake. 

  • Ron19

    jj #13:
    It’s a party – accept it as a party, (they’re not kidding when they tell you they handed out 25,000 condoms to the athletes.

    A few years ago, didn’t the Germans also supply prostitutes and rent-by-the-hour tents?

  • Charles Martel

    Who pays for the abortions when the cheap-ass British rubbers break?

  • jj

    Don’t know about that, but since the Soviet Union crapped out and they stopped locking the eastern Europeans up at night, and discouraging fraternization – thereby greatly increasing the supply of blue-eyed blondes of both sexes – the serious, in-depth (pardon me), fraternization has proceded in a manner nothing short of epic.  Not much need for trucked-in professionals with so many enthused amateurs.  After dark, the Olympic Villages I knew about pretty much went into orbit.  I don’t expect the one in London’s any different.  Those kids have a whole lot of energy, and a lot of time.  This is the third day, and there are already a couple of hundred in the Village who are finished, their event’s done.  They have nothing to do for the next fifteen days but live it up – which is what they’ll do.  Win or lose, they’re all in fine shape, and they come with more horsepower than most folks ever will.  Whaddaya think happens?


    Charles Martel – Just got this in an email today. I think it’s right up your cosmos.

    Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.  

    Could care less about the Olympics. Stopped watching in 1972.      

  • Jose

    Here is one story you won’t read anywhere else:
    Olympics 2012: Meet Kim Rhode—the greatest U.S. Olympian ever

  • Gringo

    Sadie, the NASA pictures of the day are certainly worth the visit. I discovered the site several years ago, and added some pics to my collection. They make good desktop backgrounds. One of my favorites has a frosted landscape in Japan with Orion in the sky- my favorite constellation, perhaps because it is only one of 3-4 that I can identify.


    Gringo, I had no idea that you were a sky watcher. Beautiful photo you linked, thanks.

  • Gringo

    Sadie, growing up in the country, I became a sky watcher- much more in the winter than in the summer. Perhaps because nights are longer in winter. There is something enchanting about a winter sky with snow on the ground.
    Unfortunately for viewing stars, if also fortunately for other reasons, I have lived the second half of my life in an urban area where the night lights drown out the stars. Stars are a form of nostalgia for me.


    Gringo, I’ve done the opposite. Second half is now watching sunsets. I have a wonderful view from my balcony.  If it’s been a clear day, I can watch the sun, sky, clouds and silvery lights play with one another. I am always amazed at the spectrum of colors and the differences between the summer and winter sunsets. I face a national park and the trees are lush and large. The real thrill comes in late October when they take on autumn colors. It took me awhile to appreciate the view, once the trees shed their leaves. I always felt like I was starring at aged naked men and women – it got easier as “I” got older. 😉