1st week of Olympics are done – let’s review (and, no, this is not a comprehensive review of any kind whatsoever, since I can only review so much)…
Love the Slate.com’s special Olympics coverage. Funny, sharp, incisive… (well, I’m a big Slate fan, if it hasn’t been obvious already). Some thoughts on the articles:
– Slate.com’s Explainer explains “What’s with that Weird New Vault?” in gymnastics, which is great because I kept wondering “that’s a vault now?” while watching gymnastics.
– An interesting article on “Svetlana the Great,” i.e., Svetlana Khorkina, the diva of the women’s gymnastics. Plus, I liked reading about the “older” women on the US team – Mohini Bhardwaj and Annia Hatch – primarily because I think (a) it’s weird that they’re considered “old” (makes me feel old, since I’m about their age), and (b) it’s great, because they had a certain poise, confidence, personality, and experience that I kept thinking were lacking in the younger pixies. Bhardwaj, Hatch, and Khorkina were the women in “women’s” gymnastics, not mere girls. I’d salute to them, even if Khorkina’s a bit too much of a diva for my taste.
– Slate.com’s article on NBC gymnastics commentator Tim Daggett was funny. Slate’s Bryan Curtis calls Daggett “Scott Hamilton of gymnastics—the sport’s most ludicrous shill” – which I can agree – Daggett reminded me so much of Hamilton’s style of commentating. But, Daggett seems more critical of the athletes than Hamilton was, and therefore seems (to me) a somewhat more objective commentator. So, Daggett’s sort of ok to me. (well, I still sort of like Hamilton too, but he hasn’t done much commentating in awhile). But, Daggett can be harsh on the technique thing. (well, he was a gold medalist in the 1984 boycott Olympics, so he ought to know what’s a good technique).
– I don’t understand how they judge in gymnastics. I thought that U.S.’s Brett McClure did well in the Men’s all around, but his score is lower, because he had a low starting maximum point. Paul Hamm did an amazing recovery – but admittedly, it was so close, because the South Korean did pretty good (and no big slip-up, unlike Hamm). I’d still salute to Hamm, but I can understand the South Koreans’ challenging the scoring/judginig and saying that there has to be an error (oh, that’s a Yahoo link, by the way). I just hope we’re not going to get some bizarre double gold thing like what happened in Salt Lake with the pairs figure skaters.
Time magazine’s Aug. 23, 2004, issue (Time and other magazine’s always post-date their magazines – so 8/23 issue is actually for the week of 8/17) – had a good Q & A with NBC’s Bob Costas (described as this generation’s Jim McKay, ABC’s Olympic tv anchor vanguard). I was glad that the Q & A made note of Costas’ Greek ancestry with a blunt: “So how Greek are you?” Costas’ answer: “My father’s side of the family is fully 100% Greek….” and he was even able to identify where in Greece his paternal grandparents were from. Cool. Know your past, prepare for the present (in his case, cramming on all the Olympic trivia) and for the future (which I’m sure NBC is just hoping that Beijing 2008 will have more crowds in the stand; I’m glad that the Athens Olympics are selling tickets like hotcakes, but if people aren’t in their seats, it doesn’t look like much).
Beach volleyball – hmm. I know it’s an interesting sport, lots of dynamics, etc. And, men drool over the women’s beach volleyball, and all that . But, I think the music they’re playing at that fake beach every time a point scored is annoying. Just a tad annoying. (yeah, we women will just have to accept that our eye candy is in the men’s swimming – ooh, lots of eye candy)… (umm, never mind there….) 😉
Speaking of men’s swimming – I like that US’ Michael Phelps is a team player. All the hype about him expected to get all golds got annoying and he initially seemed like an arrogant 19 year old kid expecting to win so much. But, ever since he and the other swimmers won the relays, he seemed to be appreciating the Olympic spirit and turning out to be an okay guy. Kudos.
Hate the heat and humidity in August in NYC. So yucky… so it goes.