Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Coverage


I don’t find these Olympic mascots particularly endearing.

Perhaps because I’m not a little kid?

It could also be due to the fact I am just plain cranky about the host country of the 2008 Olympics. My jaw clenches when a shot of Tiananmen Square is shown, when a little girl is deemed not pretty enough to sing at the opening ceremony, when I hear weather modification was used to prevent rain…stuff like that…

Politics and peeves aside, I’ve certainly been cheering on all the athletes who - despite the heat, humidity, smog and pollution – have done their utmost to compete and make proud their respective countries.

It’s been a pleasure to see such excellence, determination and talent.

Wish I’d never stop running when I was younger. (As in, very much younger.) I used to win races. I was good. How come no one ever suggested I might be an Olympic hopeful? How come I never thought of it myself?

Beth, bursting through the finish line in the women’s 200 metre sprint (my imagination can’t handle the women’s 5000) to the cheers of the crowd – standing on the podium with her gold medal and smiling as “Oh, Canada” is played.

Guess I was never that good.

Anyway, at this stage in my life, “… it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

(Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass - Chapter 2)

20 comments:

She said...

Okay, those Olympic mascot thingys are creepy!

I actually cried when I heard about the little girl not being deemed pretty enough (Hello. She is a doll!)

My students and I discussed the many issues about China being the host country last spring. It was exhausting! (90% of my students are Asian, most of them are from China, and yet they were willing to discuss the very real and disturbing topics.)

I can SO see you on the medal stand! Go, Beth. Go Canada!

That closing quote is scary true!

Patti said...

I ignored the olympics. And I've recently been wondering why my high school guidence counselor said I couldn't possibly become a lawyer (like I wanted to at 18). And even more importantly, why did I listen to him?

If you loved running, why don't you take it up again?

msb said...

Yeah, you always beat me! Actually, I think you could have gone into the Olympics in the wrestling category. You always beat me in that too! See? You have always been strong and determined!!!

Eileen said...

It has been so hard for me to get into the Olympics this year due to the politics. When that adorable little girl couldn't sing, that put me over the edge.

I support the athletes too. So much hard work to get there, but I just can't get into it.

Loved the quote, very true.

Sherry said...

I can't imagine anyone thinking those mascots are cute.

I have zero interest in the Olympics, no matter what country hosts...but especially Beijing...and I find it very hard to work up any enthusiasm at all for any of the events.

Call me a poor sport or anything you like...I'd rather watch paint dry than watch the Olympics on tv.

Shari/"Whiger" said...

diThat would be a Phelpian feat for all of us to even do some of what these athletes do.

I used to run, too. I am so badly out of shape. Walking is more comfortable. I am going to try. School is starting up and I'm going to back on a schedule, thus workouts are going to be more regular again.

Lainey-Paney said...

this all made me think...
...some people are just "naturals" at something. Me? mmm...not so much. I've been waiting my whole life to just pick something up & be totally awesome at it w/o having to work at it.
soccer? no.
basketball? hardly.
shooting guns? no.
baseball? no.
golf? hell no.
skiing? nope.

...so far, I'm not an olympiad (that's a word, right?) for anything.
........as soon as they make shopping a sport, I'll take home at LEAST the bronze. I suppose I'm a natural born shopper.

Psychgrad said...

You know some of my thoughts on the Olympics. It does annoy me that China made several promises to the Olympic committee and has no qualms about breaking them. But, it seems like an obvious result. For example - how were they really going to reduce pollution to safe levels?

R whines, sometimes, about being too old to be drafted in the NHL. But, it's not too late to enjoy playing and watching the game. Do you every go running?

Beth said...

she:
Glad I'm not alone in finding those mascots not-so-likable.
That would have been a fascinating discussion with your students.

patti:
I loved racing. Running around the neighbourhood? Not appealing.
Recently read there's an increase in the number of doctors choosing orthopedics as a specialty - they're anticipating lots of "bum knees" to work on from the running/fitness craze.

msb:
What a great memory! Pinning down my older sister 'til she cried, "Uncle!"

eileen:
A lot of people felt that way. Who really knows what went on in the minds of the Olympic committee as to that choice?

sherry:
I would never call you a poor sport! And I know you've recently had to watch a lot of paint dry. Enough is enough!
(My own Olympic viewing was hit or miss - mostly miss.)

shari:
I'm with you on the walking. I'm content to admire the athletes - not try to emulate them.

lainey-paney:
You would win a gold in shopping!
And you're a natural at mothering...

psychgrad:
Only in an emergency - spurred on by adrenalin.

PrincessB said...

I didn't even know about the weather modification or little girl. Horrible!

I ran in high school and college as well and am trying to get back to it now. I still have dreams of the medal stand (fantasies, mind you. I'm nowhere near that good.)

Those mascots remind me of the Teletubbies which also freak me out.

Beth said...

ya, the little girl? The ORIGINAL was way cute enough...shame on them. why so superficial?

and I think you can still win the race Beth!!! Go for it!

NYD said...

There are many reasons to knock the Olympics. I'll be posting mine soon as well. I'm just glad you found some reasons to enjoy the games too.

You have a nice place here.
I think it deserves a gold medal.

NYD said...

Oh, and I think that those Characters are Japanese, not Chinese.

Beth said...

princessb:
Keep dreaming - it's a wonderful ability to have.
(And, at times, essential.)

beth:
Oh, I'm going for it! (The race of my life.)

nyd:
Gold? Bronze. Maybe. I know the competition out there.
(thanks for visiting)

MyUtopia said...

I always feel bad for the Chinese who play poorly. The government probably tortures them. I feel bad for that little girl!

Bee said...

Isn't it funny how that little girl just sticks in everyone's minds? It makes me think of all of those expressions like "losing face" and "putting one's best face forward." In the attempt to do the latter, the Chinese definitely did the former.

Maybe it's just me, but the idea of all of that monotonous training strikes horror in my soul. Run just for fun is my motto!

I am on holiday with a bunch of Brits, and we were all musing this morning (over the croissants and coffee) what London will do to "top" or at least match the Chinese. My feeling is that the amount of money they spent was just grotesque.

VE said...

I should have gone into table tennis. There was a 42 year old guy that made it to the semi round. That's one sport you can't really get injured or too old for. It was his 6th Olympics! Amazing...

Charlotta-love said...

A former boss of mine always said, "If you walk just 10% faster each day, soon enough you'll be running." It was cute coming from a boss old enough to be my grandpa. I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to do with it though...run to the copier?

Mom of Three said...

You have to be born into the right situation that fosters that kind of determination. My parents didn't really want me to do anything outside of school--they didn't want to drive. I did get to roller skate and had grand images of myself triple lutzing around the floor--until I found out it wasn't an Olympic sport. Still, the costumes were cute!

Stacey: Two Writing Teachers said...

I hadn't even seen those... till now! Thanks for sharing! (They are creepy!)