Olympic Fever, Baby!

Every year since I could remember, my family and I have always watched the Olympics. Since the 1980 games in Moscow, I can recall sitting in my family room and enjoying the competition of the worlds’ athletes every four years (until 1992, when they started staggering the Winter Games). I never miss out. My favorites are volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, and for some reason, I always seem to catch the Equestrian. It never fails! This year, instead of happening upon it, I shall seek it out and get it over with. I have no idea what it is about the equestrian that just sucks me in.

I was in awe of the opening ceremonies last night from Beijing. The Chinese know how to put on a show, but as Julia and I were commenting on the torch-lighting ceremony, I said that I thought the best torch-light I’d ever seen was Barcelona ’92. When they passed the torch fire to the archer and he had the one shot to hit the target.  At the time, I thought it was the best way ever to light that torch.

Paralympian Antonio Rebolle gets ready to send the torchs flame into the huge cauldron at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Paralympian Antonio Rebolle gets ready to send the torch's flame into the huge cauldron at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Did anyone else fast-forward through the march of the athletes? Julia and I sat through a healthy chunk of the smaller nations, but once we got to Italy, and it was starting to get later and later into the night, we decided to time-shift on the ol’ TiVo and blow through the geographical trivia contest and slow it down during the more impressive nations (such as the UK, US, etc). I cheered for the Japanese national team early on in the march, and of course, the “Chinese Taipei” team waving their specially-designed, least-offensive Olympic flags instead of their own national flag (which China finds too offending to display). Here, I thought the Olympics were about setting aside differences and competing on a level playing field… but whatever. The reception of the team from the US was heartwarming. It makes me want to pull for Chicago in their bid for the 2016 games, and wish that the San Francisco bid for 2012 wasn’t such a spectacular failure. I think having the games in the Bay Area would’ve ruled big time, and I don’t care how much of a traffic jam it would’ve caused… I love the Olympics.

My question to my readers today is in two parts: 1) Are you watching the 2008 Games? 2) If so, what’s your most favorite event?

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