Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Olympic Thoughts

Mascots: They’re taking a bit of flack, but I rather like Wenlock (red) and Mandeville (blue), the mascots of the 2012 London Olympics. In short, they represent drops of steel from a Bolton steelworks. Their names derive from Much Wenlock (a Shropshire town), and Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Their Cyclops eyes are camera lenses.

Television: The London Olympics are really messing up my TV-watching schedule. I have four movies, two science episodes and an episode of Warehouse 13 on hold in my DVR because I'm watching the blasted Games at all hours of the day and night.
Strategic Miscue: Ryan Lochte obviously wasn't up to swimming the anchor position in the 4x100m freestyle relay. He was too tired, and he couldn't hold off the French. Consequently, he blew it. I think he should have swum first; but then, I’m not the coach.
Unfamiliar Countries: Every parade of Olympic athletes includes countries with unfamiliar names, mostly because they’ve been renamed. This year’s roster even includes a group called the “Independent Olympic Athletes,” composed of athletes with no national affiliation. As a long-time stamp collector, I’m familiar with practically all of the country names, but had to do some mental gymnastics to make connections this time, especially when it came to former members of the Soviet Union.
Bad Rule: I have to admit that I shed a few tears for American gymnast Jordyn Wieber when she was shut out of the All-Around Final because of a rule that limits a country's entrants to two gymnasts, no matter how good the third one is. I agree with legendary women’s gymnastics coach and current NBC Olympics commentator Bela Karoli that it's a travesty.
Nationalism: So far, not many athletes are choking up and shedding tears on the medal stands when their countries’ national anthems are playing. I think the only one I've seen tearing up on the medal stand was U.S. gold medalist Missy Franklin. Is nationalism and patriotism now passé?
Beautiful Flagbearers: One thing I must say about the parade of athletes in the Opening Ceremonies. There sure were some beautiful women flagbearers. I just loved how the camera found and focused on the especially good-looking ones. It kept me glued to the TV set, that’s for sure.

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