Well, this is more than a little late, so I hope I'm not beating a dead horse with more Olympics comments, but I wrote most of this yesterday morning at dialysis so bear with me.
The Olympics are finally over and that makes me a little sad, but maybe now we can get to the Mad Men Season 1 DVDs from Netflix that have been sitting on the coffee table for 2 weeks. Olympics came at a good time for me as I've been laid a little low recently and haven't felt like doing more than flopping on the couch with the dogs and taking in hours of competition. I'm much better now, after my surgery on Friday, so I do have to say thanks to everyone for all the good wishes over the weekend!
First some notes I took for a post that never was last week. Did anyone see Shawn Johnson win the balance beam gold? Yay for Shawn, but I was disturbed at how closely the camera framed her face from the time she won until the end of the medal ceremony. They barely showed the other two medalists and I'm told they briefly flashed to the flags, but I didn't see it. I understand that NBC doesn't want to miss it if she cries (which she never did), but back off a little! I don't need to see her pores.
Long shot of Shawn
I did catch some of the synchronized swimming one afternoon. I have to applaud NBC for breaking up its coverage this year and relegating sports like synchronized swimming, trampoline, and (as cool as it is) dressage to networks like USA and Oxygen. Not enough people are fans to waste time in primetime for that, and I don't miss Ryan (justifiably) ranting about not getting to see more track and field. By the way, I'm pretty sure I saw the USA synchro swimming team throw in a move where they pointed at each other. I have no proof, but I'm sticking with my story.
The coach of pole vaulter and Olympic SILVER MEDALIST Jenn Stuczynski should be ashamed of himself. After she comes in second to the best pole vaulter the world has ever seen does he congratulate her? Give her a big hug and say "good job"? No. He yells at her for all to hear FROM THE STANDS that it wasn't good enough. Tells her what she did wrong. You, sir, are an ass.
On to the closing ceremonies (bear with me folks we're almost done). Here are a few quick observations of what we saw in the final hours of coverage:
Yao Ming, smiling and towering over everyone.
Tiny Shawn Johnson, struggling to see anything (I would've loved to see Yao and Shawn together).
The overwhelmed look of the Kenyan marathon gold medalist receiving his medal in front of the entire Olympic community.
A gleeful Jackie Chan, leading a celebratory final song.
A very cool tower of people simulating the Olympic flame.
Fireworks like I've never seen. I thought the roof of Bird's Nest Stadium was going to ignite.
Really cool light cycles.
This is what I would like for Christmas for those taking notes
My favorite part of the whole operation was the athletes entering the stadium. During the opening ceremonies, athletes enter with their own countries in "alphabetical order". Actually in the Chinese language which has no alphabet, order was determined by the number of strokes in the first character of the country name. For the closing ceremony, it's just chaos. Athletes from all countries are mixed and laughing and playing and dancing and mugging for the camera. I saw two Chinese smiling for the camera, then watched as a Russian caped in a Russian flag ran up and swallowed them in a bear hug. With all the horrible things that we do to each other on a daily basis this 'International party' of sorts brought tears to my eyes.
"Go World", indeed