Random Observations on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games
By: Shannon Ralph
I’m glad the US women’s gymnastics team won the gold. I have a soft spot for crying elves. Frankly, I couldn’t take another moment of Jordan Weiber’s blubbering.
Did you know that, prior to this year, there existed fairly stringent guidelines about the uniforms the female beach volleyball players were allowed to wear. Basically, they had to wear bikinis. Small bikinis. This year, for the first time, they have made the decision to be more lenient on the uniforms to allow for competition by women from “more modest” countries. Is beach volleyball really a happening sport in the United Arab Emerites? Seriously??
Speaking of beach volleyball, did you know there are cheerleaders for beach volleyball?? Cheerleaders! Bikini clad dancers! With beach balls! What other Olympic sport has cheerleaders? I swear…I am beginning to believe that beach volleyball is the Spring Break wet t-shirt contest of sports. I know it takes a great deal of athleticism to play. But honestly. I completely expect the beautiful people who play beach volleyball to drop their balls in the middle of the game, stretch out on the sand, and play a rousing game of beer pong. Am I right?
I am really impressed by neither Phelps nor Lochte this year. They were expected to win and frankly, I think their rivalry is over-hyped. Yes, I am glad Phelps is now the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. I feel a tiny bit of completely unjustified pride that he is an American. Like the fact that this amazing athlete is an American gives me a little more athletic street cred or something. But really…what excitement have Phelps and Lochte given us? On the other hand, look at the women swimmers! Our boobless US swim team has thrilled me to no end. Rebecca Soni. Missy Franklin. Allison Schmitt. Natalie Coughlin. Dana Vollmer. Amanda Weir. Boobless wonders. Every. Single. One.
The white water rafting events are super cool. I love the way they created rapids basically in a tube in the middle of London. How cool is that? I wonder, however, what they are going to do with the course after the Olympics. Might I suggest filling it with saline and calling it a freestanding enema clinic?
What the hell is handball? And who came up with the name for that sport? Lame.
I think of all of the sports out there, I could totally compete in Olympic badminton. Seriously. It’s not like you need a lot of muscle to make that little birdie (I can’t bring myself to call it a shuttlecock) soar. One little tap with my pink, sparkly racket and my birdie flies over the fence into the neighbor’s yard every single time. Yea, I could totally be a contender.
Prince Harry is one sexy royal. I can’t help checking him out in the stands. With all the generations of in-bred chromosomes coursing through his royal body, he is nothing short of a modern day miracle. Remember 10th grade genetics? I mean, at minimum, all the royals should be bald and hump-backed and have six toes on their left feet. But Harry ended up a ginger-haired beauty. God smiled on Britain the day that boy was born.
Equestrian dressage. What it is? How does it work? Does the winner get a gold medal for having the prettiest horse? Can you really call it a “sport” if a tiny little 71-year-old man competes?
I’ve been trying to convince my eldest son that water polo is a cool sport. He’s a decent swimmer. And he has a swimmer’s build. Long and lanky with freakishly large feet. It takes incredible athleticism to be able to tread water and swim from goal to goal for an entire game. I mean…look at the bodies on those people! But Lucas isn’t buying it. He was all for giving water polo a go until he saw the uber-goober caps the water polo players wear tied in cute little bows beneath their chiseled chins. There was no convincing him water polo was cool after he caught sight of those things.
Shooting. You would think they could come up with a fancier name. It seems so pedestrian. Like something your toothless Uncle Earl does out in the woods behind his trailer. It’s like calling gymnastics “Olympic Flipping.” Or calling Track and Field “Olympic Jogging and Hopping.” I mean, come on. How about Olympic Blasting? Or Olympic Blaze of Glory? Or Olympic Discharging? Okay…that last one sounds a bit like a sexually transmitted disease. What about just calling it Boom Boom Pow? You know, it needs a little pizzazz. Jazz hands….it needs jazz hands.
And what about synchronized swimming? It’s like a whole team of Tammy Fay Baker impersonators got shoved in a pool. I love it!
You know what sport I am really looking forward to (that I am sure NBC will not air)? Trampoline. I can’t wait to see the America’s Funniest Home Video rejects who consider the trampoline a serious athletic endeavor. That’s not meant in any way to belittle trampoliners. Who am I to talk anyway? I consider dragging my happy ass from the house to my car a serious athletic endeavor. Especially if it is above 75 degrees outside. If there were a trampoline in the way, I would have to sit on the ground and cry most mornings. So you go you! You…trampoliners! Ummm…I mean, athletes!
One sport I do not quite get is Modern Pentathlon. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Modern Pentathlon for those of you who, like me, thought “Huh?”
The modern pentathlon is a sports contest that includes five events: pistol shooting, fencing, 200 m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3 km cross-country run. Since 1949 an annual World Championship has been held in non-Olympic years.
Originally the competition took place over four or five days; however in 1996 a one-day format was adopted in an effort to be more audience-friendly. In spite of the event’s strong pedigree in the modern Olympics, and its status as an event created specifically for the modern Olympic Games, its lack of widespread popularity outside Eastern Europe has led to calls for its removal from the Olympic Games in recent years; however, following a vote by the IOC on July 8, 2005, it has remained in the Olympic program at least until 2012.
So it is pistol shooting (Boom Boom Pow), fencing, swimming, horseback jumping, and cross-country running. What?? Why? What a weird, random collection of sports. No wonder it is only popular in Eastern Europe. Leave it to Slovakia to embrace this weirdness. They should place a trampoline in the middle of a field and have the athletes stop and do a couple of flips in the middle of the race. Or maybe dive off the horses into the pool? In synchronized pairs?