Several weeks ago, I realized that for the first time in my life, I was not interested in the upcoming Olympic games. Having always been a huge fan, I wasn’t sure if my indifference was due to the “China” factor or the realization that my short-term goals do not include stopping to watch television for two weeks.
However … when the swimmers got started, I was hooked. The whole Michael Phelps story was terrific and I really enjoyed Rowdy Gaines’ presence on the broadcast. Rowdy, a former “fastest swimmer on the planet”, and I had several classes together in college and he is a great guy. When the Phelps mini-documentary revealed that Michael consumes 12,000 calories per day, I remembered what it was like to eat lunch with Rowdy when he was pursuing his own swimming gold medals (he won three in 1984). Swimmers can really eat!
My family has enjoyed the “beach” volleyball events even more than the indoor version of the sport. Austin and Adam have become huge fans of 6′ 9″ Phil Dalhausser aka The Thin Beast! Wouldn’t you hate to play the net against that guy???
Doing a brief bit of research on the Olympic movement, I found some interesting facts …
1) There are 302 Gold Medals up for grabs in Beijing. Most of them are in sports you and I have never tried and a great number are in sports we will never watch.
2) Synchronized Swimming (which is ridiculous to me) is the only Olympic event that requires makeup and hair gel.
3) According to the Olympic’s own website, Judo is the only Olympic sport where “submission holds allow choking an opponent or breaking an arm”. Sheesh!
There are obviously some sports that never see any television time because very few people care to watch.
1) Trampoline? I see as much of this as I need to see. Our neighbor’s kids are bouncing on one all the time.
2) Fencing? I’d rather watch someone build a fence.
3) Dressage? It’s horse dancing. And the horse does all the work!
My own suggestions for new events include Cross Country Ballroom Dancing, The Javelin Catch, 100 Meter Blindfolded Dash, and Full Contact Whining (I already see a lot of this in my line of work …). Here though, is my greatest offering … 10 Meter Platform Cannonball. The medalists would be determined by a computer graphics display of the athlete who displaces the most water above the surface of the pool – in other words, the biggest splash. This would make television ratings history. Think about it. Would you leave the room as Japan sends a sumo from the 10 meter platform? I didn’t think so.
Finally, a brief nod to all those who weren’t quite big enough, fast enough, or looked good enough in a beach volleyball outfit. There are many of us who will never know the thrill of that kind of victory. Fortunately though, we have also avoided the following agony of defeat. This short video was brought to my attention by my publisher, Mike Hyatt, on his blog. Mike is the President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. It is a perfect fit for this silly blog I have written and if he wants my next book on time, I am sure he won’t mind me borrowing it!
We’ll talk again soon.