Olympic Fever

I know there are other things going on the world.  I pay attention, sometimes, to those things.  There are other things going on in my life, too, and I can’t help but pay attention to those.

But it’s the Olympics that have got me now.

I’m not a big sports person.  But the concept behind the Olympic games–international cooperation, an exchange of cultural ideas, friendly competition–this year, I’m feeling it.  I’m feeling it in a way I’ve never before.  I’ve got friends from China, so of course that’s had an impact.  And the Opening Ceremonies this year were awe-inspiring.  I wish I could’ve been there to hear those drums, and feel them.  Bass was lost on my TV, but it still touched me.

I’ve been watching sports, too, I’ve never watched before.  Badminton, archery, weight lifting.  We’ve all seen gymnastics and swimming, and while they’re excited, I’m also very interested in seeing other competitions we don’t usually see on American television.  I’m hooked.  Really.  Rowing.  Volleyball.  Cycling.  (Cycling in the rain.  Uphill for the final 100 meters.  Ouch.)

There are some I haven’t seen yet and still hope to catch: handball (which is nothing like the handball I grew up playing), taekwondo, fencing, as examples.

And this only intensifies my desire to visit China.  (I’d love to walk the wall, the whole wall, over the course of 6-12 months, with a camera.  I want to see Shanghai.  And the terra cotta warriors in Xian.  And that’s just to start.)

For the most part, I think the coverage has been fine.  A few things I might wish could’ve been done a little differently.  And I still haven’t figured out how to tell when something’s on that I want to see.  Mostly, it’s just catching what I catch when I turn it on.

And know this, too: I’ve been getting a lot of writing done recently.  I take breaks, see what sports are to be seen, flip through the three or four channels that are showing them, settle on something for a while, and get right back to work.  I’m working on a few other things, too, that have nothing to do with writing, and I’m in the process of learning more about Photoshop, too.  In part, I’m playing–and in part, I’m working incredibly hard–and the Olympics are the perfect background during which to excel.

I want to see countries that have never won medals win medals.  I want to see long-shot upsets.  I want to see favorites astound the world.  I want to see the stories.  Sometimes, I want to understand a little more of what’s going on.  (I remember catching curling during the last winter Olympics.  I was in New Zealand at the time.  I didn’t understand what was going on, why they were doing the things they were doing, what their ultimate goal was, or how they would win.  Those games were different for me, though, as I was on holiday, roaming a country I’d never seen, and I wasn’t as interested or intrigued or excited by the games then as I am now.)

Hopefully, you’re enjoying the Olympic games, too.  And hopefully, I’ll emerge with a few private gold medals of my own.

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