Category Archives: Olympics

Which Olympic Sport Would You Choose to Watch?

Let the Games begin!

The Mister posed an interesting, thought-provoking question at dinner last night:

If you could choose only one sport to watch at the summer Olympics, which one would it be?

This led to a lively, very-timely discussion between us, seeing as how the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Games are tonight, and soccer and archery already have begun play.

The Mister and I have watched the summer and winter Olympics together since 1988. We’ve ooohed and aaaahed over so many special athletic moments and have loved when our sons also have gotten caught up in the excitement. We truly are Olympic fanatics.

So many sports to choose from!

Which brings us back to the Mister’s query. Which athletic event do I prefer above all the rest?

Three quickly come to mind: Gymnastics, swimming, and track and field. Although it’s tempting to pick taekwondo, because the talented Lopez siblings hail from our town of Sugar Land.

Will Ryan Lochte usurp Michael Phelps as the U.S. swimming king?

All three sports share elements of team and individual competition. All fascinate and intrique me due to their talent levels and interesting stories.

The men’s marathon team—Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, and Abdi Abdirahman

But if my feet are held to the fire, and I can only select one, then it would have to be track and field (aka athletics). Our Olympic marathon runners fought for their places here in Houston. The disciplines—from the 100-meter dash to the decathlon—are compelling. I’ve been a so-called runner since 1979—the athletes remind me of what I’m trying to strive for . . . and how short I continue to fall. My younger son enjoyed a brief track career.

Plus I’m allowing myself to include the triathlon as part of the whole kit and caboodle just because I can.

And how about the Mister? Which summer Olympics sport is his one and only?

It really didn’t take him long to decide.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will go for the beach volleyball gold again.

Women’s beach volleyball. No surprise there, given that the “uniforms” are bikinis.

Good thing we have multiple TVs!

Post-Olympics Hangover

The long-track speed skating team pursuit races were fun to watch.

An affliction that happens every two years has entered my house. It’ll stay for a day or two or three before vanishing . . . not to appear again until the summer of 2012.

The Winter Games ended yesterday. And now I’m suffering from post-Olympics hangover. There’s so much I’m going to miss now that television and our lives are back to regular programming.

The USA men sweep. Wish my guys would learn from this!

I won’t be staying up late anymore to catch the curling action on CNBC.

It looks like a big bullseye, but curlers call it the “house.”

And I really do love watching curling! It’s the perfect sport. It goes on forever, so you can nap during it and really not miss much. Plus you can multitask while it’s on (I’m partial to surfing the web on my MacBook) and barely miss a curl. Its glacier-like pace reminds me of a soap opera. And curling even has time outs!

Brave Canadian Joannie Rochette skates.

I’ll miss being moved to tears by NBC’s coverage. Whose heart didn’t break hearing the news that Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette’s mother had died shortly after arriving in Vancouver? Her daughter skated brilliantly in her memory.

Gander, Newfoundland, welcomed international passengers on September 11, 2001.

Last Saturday as the events were winding down, NBC broadcast an amazing documentary by the incomparable Tom Brokaw about Gander, a small town in Newfoundland. The city opened its arms and hearts to international passengers who were diverted from U.S. airspace on September 11, 2001. That heart- warming piece wrung my tear ducts out to dry!

USA’s four-man bobsled is upside-down on the track.

My emotions switched from tears to fears, as I watched the bobsledders hurtle down the track at 95 miles per hour. Some flipped over. Others won medals.

USA’s Ashley Caldwell is about to go airborne in women’s aerial skiing.

And how about freestyle skiing’s aerialists?

Caldwell sails upside down through the air with the greatest of ease.

Certifiably crazy! But so thrilling to watch . . . from the comfort of my chair in my family room.

Women "hand off" by pushing in the short-track speed skating team relay. It's like roller derby!

I’ll miss the thrills and spills of short-track speed skating, especially when the USA’s Apolo Ohno is involved.

One of the colder cameraperson jobs at the Winter Olympics

But I bet that this person won’t miss the chills of the short track. How would you like to be on your knees with a camera on your shoulder videoing speed skating for hours? I think I’d rather try the aerials!

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir enthusiastically sing to “O Canada” after their gold-medal performance.

One thing that I won’t miss is wondering why virtually none of the American gold medalists sang when the national anthem was played at the medal ceremony. It seemed like winners from every other country were at least mouthing the words. But not us. It made me really appreciate when Canadians won the gold—the loud singing from the crowd gave me goosebumps!

Disappointed goalie Ryan Miller after Canada beat the USA for gold in ice hockey.

Finally, I’ll miss the wonderful highs and bittersweet lows that are the hallmark of every Olympics. The final contest of the Winter Games—the men’s ice hockey final—was a bittersweet moment for Team USA, which wasn’t expected to contend for a medal. It was a thrilling contest, but it did seem fitting that Canada, the purported birthplace of the sport, persevered to win the gold. The image and sounds of the victorious players and their homeland fans lustily singing “O Canada” will stay with me until the Summer Games is about to start.

Oh, and I pronounced “about” as “aboot” . . . in honor of the magnificent job that Vancouver did in presenting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Bravo!