Tag Archives: triathlon

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!

Photo Friday: Tri Again

 

A police officer directs traffic as a cyclist goes by.

A police officer directs traffic as a cyclist goes by.

Ah, the best-laid plans of mice and lazy photographers! There was an annual triathlon in my community Sunday, and I had a great plan for taking photos. I would grab my Nikon D300, complete with Nikon 105mm macro lens, and walk the half mile to the park where it was being staged. There I would get great photos of all those arms and heads coming out of the water during the first-leg lake swim. I could just picture it in my mind! And I couldn’t wait to post those dazzling pix here on the blog.

But there was one small, minor problem: I waited too long to leave the house. I walked outside and down the block. I looked to my left to the main road only to see cyclists whizzing past my subdivision and a police officer directing traffic. Oh, oh!

Cyclists travel up the street.

Cyclists travel up the street.

Cycling is the second leg of the triathlon. But I didn’t panic, because I knew that with a big-enough field, the early starters will be cycling while the later competitors are swimming. So I quickly walked toward the park and went right to the lake. I put my camera to my eye, and this is what I saw:

Move away—nothing to see here.

Move away—nothing to see here.

There were canoes and one lone person who basically was swimming laps in the lake. That was it. No tens of bobbing heads. No arms synchronized in movement as they propel bodies across the lake. Only turtles laughing at me. If turtles do indeed laugh.

Lone swimmer travels past my favorite bridge.

Lone swimmer travels past my favorite bridge in our community.

What to do? What indeed? As they say, when your photographic subject hands you lemons, it’s time to mix up a batch of lemonade. And that’s what I did! As I watched the runners along the bike path, I was intrigued by the Girl Scouts working the water stop. They were so into handing out water to the triathletes running by that I couldn’t help but be drawn towards taking photos of them. I’ve finished about 300 races (no triathlons, though), and I know that volunteers are essential to the success of these events. So why not feature some young helpers?

And, no, the scouts weren’t handing out lemonade. Just water and Gatorade.

Great water exchange between the giving Girl Scout and the taking triathlete.

Great water exchange between the giving Girl Scout and the taking triathlete.

The scouts handed out Gatorade and water.

The scouts handed out Gatorade and water.

Sometimes lots of triathletes would pass by without taking a cup from one of the girls. They really wanted the competitors to grab their cups, and at times they seemed a little sad when there were no takers.

A young Girl Scout at the ready.

A young Girl Scout at the ready.

Patience is a virtue!

Patience is a virtue!

Success!

Success!

I wasn’t content to just take photos of the volunteers, of course. Occasionally, an athlete caught my eye. Believe it or not, this little relay runner is nine years old, and she flew through the run course.

Almost finished.

Almost finished!

So what did I learn from my ill-fated attempt to take great triathlon lake swim photos? First, get to the swim start when the race begins; don’t dawdle! Second, turn mistakes into other photo ops. If you’re flexible and look at an event in a different way, you might end up with better photos than what you were looking for.

Yep, lemonade can be photographically tasty!