Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Thoughts

Here's something to ponder: how old are those girls on the Chinese gymnastics team really? I was watching the other night for the first (and probably only time this year) and I cannot believe that those girls meet the minimum age requirement of 16! My brother said that the American team should feel bad that they got beat by preteens. Obviously I am not alone in my speculation.

Speaking of the women's gymnastics teams, I read a blog post on The Kitchen Table by a Princeton professor who compared the competition to being a professor in the academy. Aside from a passing interesting in cartwheels and flipping as a child, I never really cared about gymnastics. Maybe you have a different outlook, SM, since you were once a cheerleader. I'll tell you, though, her analogy makes me look at gymnastics in a whole new light.

To comment on Michael Phelps: I can't say much because the only thing I knew about him before your post was that he was the object of that girl's affection on the AT&T commercial. But on the same night that I watched gymnastics, I also watched swimming. I saw him and the absolute love that the media had for him. I try not to root for people/teams because I think I jinx them, but I was on the verge of excitement to see America win and beat a record. However, why was the camera only on Phelps at the win? For a very long time. Was it not a relay? Did not the entire team contribute an effort? Is the media like Chuck Norris fans whose fascination has led to the creation of Chuck Norris facts? To paraphrase them: when Michael Phelps jumps in the water, he doesn't get wet; water gets Michael Phelps. Hmmm, these are just things that I was wondering.

Finally, I was also wondering why China Martha Washed little Yang Peiyi? True, Lin Miaoke is as cute as she can be, but if Peiyi can sing, shouldn't she get the glory? Besides, she is cute, too. You know, this is my issue with the Olympics in general. It's supposed to be about talent and who's the best, but really, it's about who appears to be the best. It is tainted for me by the use of steroids and questionable age and gender practices. I thought the games were supposed to be about competition, pitting one's own ability against the ability of fellow athletes from around the world to see who is the best. But if you're fudging the lines here, violating rules there, it's no longer about who's the best. It's just about who can win. Your talent, your ability doesn't matter. Then, for me, what does any of it matter?

So, these are my Olympic thoughts. Since I care next to nothing about sports, I can only speak of the drama behind the scenes. Those stories are always fascinating.

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