Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympic Obsession

So, I'm not quite at the level of that girl in the AT&T commercial; but, I have realized that I'm pretty obsessed with the Olympics and Michael Phelps. Last night while walking to meet some friends out at the bar, I walked by a different bar and saw all eyes turned to the race on TV. Assuming that, it must be the 400 Individual Medley, Michael Phelps first final. Come on, there's no other reason that a bar full of guys is watching swimming. Oh, I love the Olympics. I dart into the bar, ask about the race, and my suspicions were correct. Someone asks the order of strokes. And I'm off on a tangent and commentary about the race, Phelps and swimming in general. Someone comments that I need to come and be their swimming announcer for the Olympics. Then the race is over, Phelps has dominated by finishing two and a half seconds in front of the silver medalist, and I'm out the door on my way to meet up with my friends somewhere else.

And then I realize, I'm a little obsessed. I just spent a few minutes explaining to strangers that Phelps has a longer wingspan than his height. That he's racing against one of his close friends and great swimmer in the 400 IM, that he has freakish ankles that help him kick better, and that his turn are where he gains his real advantage. And I did not for one second feel awkward or weird about it.

When I get to the next bar, my eyes are glued to the TV. I probably should have stayed home and just watched the Olympics since I'm that anti-social. With Mixed Martial Arts on the other TV, I am surprised when I'm not the only person watching swimming. Did I mention, I love the Olympics. When else is it possible to not only watch swimming on TV, but watch it at the bar. I am in heaven. My biggest problem is the lack of underwater camera use. I think the underwater camera should be used for more than just highlights at the end of the race.

Also, there's other random sports on in between swimming. When does anyone ever watch mens gymnastics? But all of a sudden its on and I'm watching. And I realize something else. While I'm sure that it takes a lot of strength and agility, but it just doesn't look that hard. And its kind of boring. Wow, you can hold onto some rings, I can see why no one really watches this sport. I'm sure its hard and all, but I'm sorry, its just not exciting and doesn't really look that cool. And somehow, I still watched it last night at the bar. That's what the Olympics is all about, getting excited about random competition between countries. And with the burgeoning US-China rivalry, this storyline is worth watching no matter the event.