Tuesday, August 16, 2016

More Olympic Thoughts

Not of Zeus and Hera but of  Katie Ledecky and Maya Dirado and Alyson Felix and Bernard Lagat's little sister.  Of Mo Farah toying with his opponents over 10,000 meters and of Usain Bolt cruising past Justin (is he off the juice?) Gatlin.

The American gymnasts, all colors of the rainbow, and 41 year old Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina; Ryan Lochte, swimming with and against Michael Phelps; the '49'ers Michael Carter's daughter, Michelle, thanking her dad for teaching her everything he knew and for believing in her.... these are my Olympic thoughts.
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I can recognize the parents and grandparents who raised these babies to fantabulous adulthood.  Aly Raisman's mother's face as her daughter completed her final routine spoke to me - all those hours driving and waiting and watching and paying and praying and now.... over.

Their offspring may be doing the competing, but the grown-ups have some skin in the game, too.
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Millennials carp at NBC's tape delayed coverage, aimed at 50 year old women who like the athletes' stories more than their accomplishments, crying that in this century there is no reason for anything less than immediate gratification.

I, who have spent the better part of the last 10 days with some part of the games (often muted) in the background, like both the competition and the biographies.  I can't imagine watching preliminary heats of anything if I didn't care about the participants.
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I wish I knew why the female gymnasts wore sparkly makeup and pranced and preened while the male gymnasts wore functional shorts in their country's colors and tumbled without ballet arms.

Tears, on the other hand, were gender neutral.  Diego Hypolito. Brazil's floor exercise silver medalist, was sobbing into his hands as he waited, sobbing into his teammates as the scores were announced, sobbing and smiling as he and bronze medalist Arthur Nory wrapped themselves in the flag.

I have to admit that I was a little teary, myself.
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Poor Max Whitlock.  He may have won the gold medal in floor exercise on Tuesday, but he got no camera time at all.  

All those weepy Brazilians stole his thunder.
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I spent all week wondering about the picture on Great Britain's uniform.  What is it?  

I suppose I could look on the interwebs, but I'm enjoying the confusion.  
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The stands are empty.  Swimmers are mugged at gunpoint.  Cycling courses were wet and steep and dangerous.  Golf and synchronized diving (who decided that was a sport?) and air shooting (the noise... TBG couldn't hear it without cringing) and boxing held no allure for me.  But there were many channels from which to choose and I was rarely left wanting.  

I'll miss them when they're gone.

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