Summon the Heroes

This week’s mini hiatus was brought to you by an unscheduled stomach bug. We now return you to your regularly scheduled ramblings.

These days, it seems like I get more of my news from Facebook status updates than actual creditable news sources like CNN or The Onion. The big news this week appears to be that it’s hot in Texas, Colorado is on fire, and the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare. I can’t do anything about the temperature in Texas, I’m very sorry to hear about the wildfires in Colorado, and I just don’t get into politics enough to form an opinion that anyone would want to read. Therefore, today I’ll write about what everyone’s focus should be on already. Because it’s time once again for the world to come together in the spirit of sportsmanship. It’s time for hours upon hours of sports that you’ve never even heard of before, but damned if you won’t cheer for your country until your throat is raw. It’s time for national pride and smack talk in many languages. It’s time for running, jumping, swimming, and human interest stories. It’s time for hours upon hours of John Williams. Sound the anthems and light the torch. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Olympics.

Note: This post will be cooler if you listen to the John Williams link while reading it. At the very least, you’ll feel more Olympic by the time I’m done.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved the Olympics. To me, there is no joy so sweet and pure as facing 3rd world countries on the field of athletic competition, and then crushing them. In 1992, the Barcelona games saw the reunification of Germany on an athletic field, pitted Dan vs. Dave (or at least tried to until Dan failed to qualify),  and introduced us to Shannon Miller, who still has not returned my fan letter. In 1996, bravery was given a name and a face in the person of Kerri Strug, who somehow landed a vault with a sprained ankle. I don’t remember a thing about the 2000 games because I was in college then and was young, inattentive, and stupid. In 2004, Carly Patterson became the 2nd American woman to ever win the all around gold medal in women’s gymnastics, the Dream ended prematurely for men’s basketball, and Michael Phelps threw down on the entire world with 6 gold and 2 bronze medals. And finally, in 2008, Phelps went from bad ass to ultra bad ass by winning 8 gold medals in performances that left me jumping up and down in my apartment.  With so many great memories over the years, one might ask why the Olympics are not held more frequently. First, that would be impossible. An Olympiad is a period of 4 years. Therefore,  to hold the Olympics more than once every 4 years would not only tarnish the tradition, it would be a crime against grammar. More than that though, there is an almost romantic mystique that surrounds the Olympics that requires the requisite build up. The manner in which these heroes of the sports arena enter our homes for just 2 weeks every 4 years almost leaves us asking the question, “who was that masked man (or woman)?” Coupled with the fact that NBC will provide us with the extensive back story of each and every Olympian of note during their coverage, the anticipation is just a part of what makes the Olympics so great.

With just 28 days to go until the Opening Ceremonies, I’m already geeked up for the Olympics. During that period, you can expect frequent posts about pride, determination, and if we lose something we shouldn’t, widespread accusations of anti-American cheating. In addition, per tradition I will be tracking an obscure sport and providing detailed breakdowns of the competition. This Olympiad I have elected to go with synchronized swimming. While I do not expect that this will have the same draw as water polo, which was my obscure sport of the Beijing games, I do expect that it will be awesome watching people hold their breath for a long time while dancing underwater. Until next time then, I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Bob Costas:

“I don’t believe there’s a single American sitting around saying, ‘I’d like to see Bob Costas’ take on this.’”

Have an excellent Friday!

  1. #1 by Tim on July 1, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Dude, where was the commentary on the Euro Cup? The final between Spain and Italy rapidly approaching, and you mention nothing?? Disappointment is mine.

    • #2 by rayrayxl3 on July 2, 2012 - 5:34 pm

      I can’t do soccer commentary. I only talk about soccer once every 4 years during the World Cup. It’s like how Davy Jones can only go on land once every 10 years. 4 years may be a long time to wait for one tournament, but as they say, “it depends on the one tournament.”

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