Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Fever

Yes, it's that time again. All of my projects begin to fade to the background and very little progress is made. Sleep deprivation begins to make its way into my life. Fun activities are trumped by the comfort of the couch.

It's the Olympics.

There's just something about the Olympics that I can't get enough of. Think about it. It's every major worldwide sport pitted in a Battle Royal, all condensed into a couple of weeks, sandwiched by two spectacular shows! For the life of me, I can't figure out how any of this gets organized. For that matter, how in the hell did they even start the Olympics? I imagine it going something like this:

Joe1: "Wouldn't it be cool if we had an international melee of athletic madness where the best athletes in the world all came together for seventeen days to compete for the ultimate honor?"

Joe2: "Great Idea! Let's do it!"

Joe1: "Ok well, let me get on the phone with the national leaders around the world and pitch them the idea. Then we'll all get together and figure out some fair rules and who's house to do it in."

Joe2: "This is brilliant. But how do you expect to convince them?"

Joe1: "Well, maybe if I come up with a cool name like The Olympics and offer really big gold coins to the winners, they'll be enticed."

However it started, I'm glad Joe1 came up with the brilliant idea! The great thing about the Olympics, is I get a chance to watch a ton of other sports that I wouldn't normally watch. On NBC, there's swimming. I flip over to USA and we have wrestling. Turn to NBCKorea (this is where digital cable turns out being awesome) and I get handball, then over to NBCManderin and an intense battle of Badminton is in progress! (Which by the way, I always thought was "BadmiTTen" until I saw it spelled one time in high school).

The Olympics are consuming my life! On Sunday, I was particularly tired after a long Saturday night, so I plopped my self comfortably on the couch with my snacks (watermelon, figs, and celery sticks with humus of COURSE!) all within arms reach. I watched basketball, then fell asleep. Then I woke up to the beauty (and I mean both the sport and the players) that is women's beach volleyball...and went back to sleep. I was awakened minutes later by the slamming of pingpong balls. Somewhere along the line I dozed off only to be rudely summoned to consciousness by a scream of "GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!" Gotta love soccer.

As an aside, for anyone who hasn't seen it (or even if you have), go to THIS LINK and watch the Men's 4x100m swimming relay. The best, most exciting swim race I've ever seen! But I digress.

Some of these sports are just unfathomable though. Take gymnastics for example. I don't think I could even PRETEND to do any of the events in the Men's Gymnastics. To start, the vault and high bar are totally out of the question. There's no way in hell I'm throwing my body wildly through the air while spinning and then hoping (praying) to land on my feet. The Rings, Pommel Horse, and Parallel bars require insane quantities of strength which I OBVIOUSLY possess but prefer only to use in dire situations. The floor exercise, with that springy floor, has always looked fun, and I'm currently in training, practicing cartwheels with my legs straight before attempting to land a double pike with a twist followed by a rebound Arabian.

Speaking of Gymnastics, this may actually be my favorite event. I stayed up entirely too late last night watching the Ladies Team competition. Damn that we (USA) only took Silver! I was rooting for us hardcore, but, as patriotic as I was, it's tough to root against the cute little 10 year olds the Chinese had in the Gymnastics.

And then there are the WTF "sports". Can anyone say "Air Pistol?" I somehow find it difficult to consider it anything near a sport when a bunch of Chubbies in jeans are standing around aiming a gun, apparently firing (you can't tell since there's no recoil. All you hear is a click), then promptly looking down at their computer screen to see where on the bulls eye they hit.

Fencing is also a lot more boring than I thought it would be (VERY borderline "sport").

Judo - Lots of grabbing, but the scoring is too confusing to follow. At least it's a sport

Equestrian/Pentathlon - Anything on horses should be thrown out. This isn't the "Horse Olympics" for Pete's sake.

Rowing - Yes it's a sport, but still, boring as hell.

Sailing - Why not then have jet-skiing and hot-air-ballooning as sports as well?

Everytime I watch though, I keep on thinking about how cool it would be to win a medal in the Olympics. Aaron and I then lament about the possible ways we could get into the Olympics. One way would be moving to Guinea and representing them in "Air Pistol" (how hard can it be? Although I would be (as should any air pistol medalist) embarrassed to claim a medal in that "game")

Another way would be to petition to allow a "Male Rhythmic Gymnastics" event, and wow the world with my ribbon twirling abilities.

Or, Aaron and I could always convince them to include the Cone Olympics or the Pool Olympics in the next summer games. Afterall, it would be a waste to not include a person so insanely confident in this athletic abilities (providing I don't have to use them in any current Olympic events) in the next Olympics.

And by the way, I always have a soft spot for India since that's the proverbial "homeland." Turns out India just won it's FIRST ever individual gold medal!!! And what sport was this amazing feet of athletic prowess displayed in!?!?!?

Air Pistol.

It had to be freaking Air Pistol.


Bill Riddell said...

Great too see I'm not the only one who suffers Olympic fever Arun.
Productivity be damned - I'm too busy watching TV.
Swimming is the big Australian sport, if it wasnt for our sucky Mens teams and some guy called Phelps, Australia would rule the pool.
I cant get enough - particularly as a former competitive swimmer who had an Olympic gold medalist for a coach it is awesome to watch.
I enjoy all the other sports though - once every four years I realise how much I enjoy watching gymnastics, hockey and of course beach volley ball.
I agree with your veto of sports involving horses. Why not bull riding as well? Its a celebration of human achievement, not a human parading with a animal. If so the horses should get a medal as well.
I must disagree with your point about the air rifle shooters though. It takes nerves of steel, a steady hand and more. They actually slow their heat beat down and shoot between beats and breath to ensure a steady shot - impressive considering as you point out many look like candidates for a heart attack.
Interesting thing about rowing I recently learnt, it burns more kilojoules than any other sport by 50%. I need to get a rowing machine.
And sailing is also bloody hard. A family friend and seven time world champion is making his Olympic debut and should be gunning for gold. The ability to read the slightest changes in wind direction and change direction to suit.
Even table tennis is incredible to watch. I played a bit of competion, the co-ordination is incredible. Not as much running around as regular tennis but much more difficult. Reading the speed, top-spin, back spin, side spin.
The dedication of athletes is incredible and a great inspiration.
I'm up for chasing Olympic Gold in an obscure sport - need to research.

Jen said...

Haha! I have to agree with Arun. Air Pistol/Rifle is a joke to be considered a sport! It's a GAME of skill, NOT a sport!