Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Watching the Summer Olympics


It will not come as a surprise to anyone who reads this to learn that I am neither an athlete nor athletic.  I do a very good impression of a couch potato, although I’m pretty good at walking and can do some water aerobics moves in the pool.  Neither of these is an Olympic sport.

I watch the Olympics with fascination at the skill and power of the athletes from all countries; unlike the commentators from NBC, I don’t really care to watch only U.S. athletes.  They all worked hard to get here, they all earned the right to represent their countries, so let them just do their thing and don’t keep pushing the Americans at us.  My world can be bigger than that.

But I also get bored because I’m just not interested in most of the Summer Olympics sports.  Probably because I can’t do them and everyone is wearing little skimpy outfits and looking very tight and powerful.  Nah, just because I think running around and jumping and even swimming to be boring to watch.  I like the gymnastics because I understand it better, having once learned to do some work on all the apparatus when I was in school. I couldn’t do those things now if my life depended on it, but I do feel a bit more of a bond watching people wrap their bodies around like pretzels.

I do feel a little guilty about the boredom because hey, it’s the Olympics and we should be glued to the TV to watch, right?  During the Winter Olympics when they’re doing sports I’ve never seen or rarely hear about (can you say curling?), I can watch for hours and more or less understand what I’m looking for in form and execution.  It’s not even the figure skating, which I also have experience actually doing myself; I like to watch the skiiers and jumpers, luge and hockey, though I can skip the biathalon.  Skiing and shooting, who dreamed up that for a sport?

Beach volleyball just seems wrong, too.  When did that become an Olympic sport?  Okay, I know it was 1996 because someone saw my tweet and told me.  But it still doesn’t seem on a par with soccer and track and field events. So instead of watching, I changed the channel and watched A Knight’s Tale – and then actually got out of the house and got moving.

Tonight I’m back again, giving it my first shot, and I admit that I’m enjoying watching the diving, and gymnastics is coming up soon.  I’ll pay some attention to these and then it’s back to my book.  My summer Olympics attention span is only so deep, even if it is the Olympics.

5 thoughts on “Watching the Summer Olympics

  1. it’s funny – Bill and I were watching today and we both had never heard of “synchronized” diving – did you?! And we thought that the biathalon is a weird thing too – yeah I think I’ll go out and cross-country ski, then maybe stop for a minute to rest, and shoot something.. huh?!

    and i’ll admit it, i like the gymnastics too. I can’t wait for the track and field stuff, as well as the marathon.

  2. Maybe if they had biathalon in another form:

    shopping in a crowded mall and then marathon parallel parking? 🙂

  3. I used to take a passing interest in the Olympics until I started dating J. He’s such a hardcore fan that I can’t be bothered at all now. I do plan to watch a little of the swimming. Even triathlon, which is a sport I like to do, is not interesting for me to watch because those people are so much better than me that it’s a totally different thing. My accomplishment in one of those races is staying alive for the entire race. So watching someone else do it effortlessly seems kind of dull.

    A long comment to say, I don’t see why it’s unamerican or un- anything else to be bored with the Olympics. Watching TV is boring in general, and then when there’s nothing you can relate to on the screen and the commentators are yabbering away like idiots, it’s even duller.

  4. I have had years where I have watched as much as possible – this year none at all. My husband has been watching quite a bit of it.

  5. I’m an Olympics junkie, and I don’t really know why. I get sucked into all of Bob Costas’ interviews and the creepy backstories by Mary Carillo. I can’t get enough. I do have to stop watching at some point, though, because I get so unnecessarily emotionally invested in all of it it starts to stress me out.

    I think, though, the Olympics are a lot more difficult to really get into this year than in years past. I don’t know if it’s our collective mood as a country, or the vaguely creepy feel of the whole “too good to be true” efforts by the Chinese, but everything seems a little bit remote and untouchable. I could totally understand how it wouldn’t hold much interest.

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