I live for the Olympics. My first Olympic memory was of Olga Korbut in 1972, I was 5. I remember thinking what a strange name that was. I also remember the tragedy of the Israeli team, having no clue why there was a masked guy on a balcony. Then the Montreal Games of 1976 ... Nadia, Bruce Jenner, I thought Montreal was the coolest place on earth. Then the stupid 80 boycott. I still get steamed thinking about it. As much as I admire Jimmy Carter, his decision to boycott was a black mark on his legacy for me, punishing athletes for political reasons. Athletes/Olympians are not politicians and should NEVER be used to promote a political agenda, NEVER. For some of those athletes, that was their only shot, not only to possibly win, but just to be there. The LA games, overblown with USA USA ... blech, Mary Lou Retton ... double blech ... Ekaterina Szabo owned you Mary Lou, if those Olympics were held anywhere but LA, we wouldn't know who you were. When I was a senior in high school, Mary Lou Retton my listed as my pet pieve. 88 Seoul ... watched 'em, don't remember much. More about the 92 Barcelona games in a minute. Ugh, I love them all. Yes, I know, Winter Olympics are great too. But the summer games are MY games. The games I remember as a child. The games that I would go outside and pretend to get into the blocks and win a gold, stand on my pretend podium and wave to the crowd. I would hang on our swingset going back and forth trying for a perfect 10 landing.
Opening ceremonies in Beijing last night. They were absolutley spectacular. The fireworks feet leading to the birdsnest ... the fireworks, I can't say I'm surprised about the fireworks. The Chinese invented the things. The opening drummers, looked like thousands of them. At first I was watching thinking it was incredible, then I got spooked. They were too perfect, too precise. Those guys in the boxes ... even more scary .. the tae kwan do guys, thousands of them, running perfectly ... I think my eyes bugged out more and more as the show went on. To me, it was a show of Chinese strength, intesity ... they would kick our butts. Ok, it was downright freaking scary!!! The soldiers raising the Chinese and Olympic flags were scary looking. I guess my description was beautifully scary. I've never seen an opening ceremonies so over the top, yet perfect. I'll say that they didn't have much to prove after the rather boring opening ceremonies in Athens in 2004. That was a yawner.
Ok, the only part that got a little boring was the torch lighting ceremony ... no, not the part where they passed the flame from Chinese athlete to Chinese athlete, the part where the guy was hoisted and appeared to run along the skrim of the stadium ... it was cool at first, but after awhile I wanted to yell, "pick up the pace"!!! The cauldron was really cool though .. the flame going up into the cauldron was cool. But but but, the BEST BEST BEST flame lighting was in the 1992 Barcelona games when the archer lit the flame with a bow and arrow ... I remember being absolutely awed by it. Talk about pressure. What if he would have missed? It was the best show of archery since William Tell. I still get chills thinking about it. I can't think of how the archer will ever be topped. Nice try though China.
The march of the nations. My favorite part. Bob Costas and Matt Lauer, what a couple boobs ... yea yea yea, we aren't going to see the nations march in alphabetically, duh!!! China doesn't use our alphabet, how many times did we have to hear about it? And furthermore WHO CARES??? And their little jabs at the garments worn by the teams. Yea, so the Hungarian women's suits weren't up to your standards ... well fellas, those women would kick both your rear ends on their fields. Shut up. I will say that I was impressed with Ralph Lauren's outfits for our Olympians. They looked fresh out of a catalog. I love the countries that send just a couple athletes .. that embodies the Olympic spirit. Israel marching with Palestine, Iran with Iraq, North Korea and South Korea ... let's all hold hands folks. This is the way the world should be.
And on with the games!!! I've been watching all week and the live coverage is at 2am, so I'm going to be a tired camper. I love watching the not so popular sports, badminton, table tennis, trampoline.
I'm in heaven.