Saturday, August 09, 2008


The opening of the Olympic games makes me feel nostalgic for the Olympics of my youth: Nadia Comaneci winning the gold. Other gymanstic feats. Mostly gymnastics. And track.
With nostalgia in my heart, I watched the opening ceremony with Son last night. But I couldn't help myself. I found myself scoffing and replying to the over the top commentary. Why couldn't they just shut up and let me watch?
It was visually amazing, stunning, beautiful, expertly choreographed, making exquisite use of the newly constructed space.
But...but. How can one watch and not think of all the things wrong with China? And watch President Bush and Putin exchanging pleasantries as Russia drops bombs on Georgia? Or not feel bad for the Iranian athletes who were booed? Did they really choose their leader? They just want to run or play table tennis.
In any case, I love the Olympics, but I can't watch blindly.
So I offer you Scott Simon's brilliant words of commentary as a salve for Bob Costas saying inane things about China, Chinese Taipei, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.
Let the games begin.


Condiment said...

I just can't get interested in the Games this time around, for some reason. The Olympics I remember most vividly is Seoul 88, where the corrupt boxing judges singlehandedly turned the entire Games into a farce.

But I remember being glued to the set as a kid. Did my parents feel the same way I do now? Is it a function of aging that I don't care or is it something else?

Mary Lou Retton, LA 84!

ErinAlice said...

Oh yes but my favorite was Matt's reference to Madonna when Malawi was walking. I mean really. Like that is all those athletes are thinking about? I wanted them to shut up too. I recorded it so I was able to ffwd the parts I did not want to watch but still. I kept thinking about all the poor people in China that were forcably removed from their houses so the "Birds Nest" could be constructed. They had an unlimited budget for the ceremonies while creating some homeless citizens. Great. I did watch the US get the gold, silver, and bronze in Fencing!!

Lisa B. said...

I loved the summer Olympics that one year when Greg Louganis was diving. This year I can barely be bothered to notice. I think it's a combination of doping seeming to have affected every single performance sport, and the China/Darfur deal? Or I don't know. I basically think I won't be watching, or only incidentally.

AJ said...

I did what ErinAlice did--taped it, but then watched on mute so I wouldn't have listen... until Yao Ming and the little boy came in. What a symbol of hope and the good things in this world that little boy is. LA is the Olympics I remember most--had my wisdom teeth pulled so had lots of time to watch as I recovered.

Nik said...

Bob Costas interviewing Dan Quayle about the Edwards affair? Oh, the Olympics, how you transcend genre. And good taste. It is hard to ignore the China and Russia bad acts.

susansinclair said...

Definitely stooopid commentary. Plus, did you hear the explanation this morning of Matt Lauer's cryptic commentary on the "footsteps" "fireworks"?

Still, an AMAZING SHOW. Wow. And the men's gymnastics last night. Wow. Again.