Closing Ceremony of Olympic Blogging

Psst…. the Olympics have been on for the last two weeks.

And as I get ready to settle in for a night of Closing Ceremonies from London, I realize none of the ideas I had for posts about the Olympics came to fruition. But I don’t want my little blog to miss its time in the sun (or rather the overcast, in honor of our host nation). So a few concluding thoughts:

No Silver Lining?

The silver medal pouting and whining has been well-covered throughout the games, most hilariously in this Tumblr blog: http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/ and most scientifically in this article. It’s easy to understand the disappointment a silver medalist feels at missing the gold and the euphoria a bronze medalist feels at making the cut.

But seriously, from gymnastics (which personally I felt there was way too much talk from commentators about how “emotional” the gymnasts are) to track to diving, I can’t remember ever seeing so much sulking when being named the second best in the world. Perhaps I don’t relate to this as the closest I have gotten to this level of competition was when I placed second in headline writing at Texas’s annual statewide UIL competition for high school journalism. And I was freaking ecstatic!

I can only imagine that our mandate to identify “overwhelming favorites” in each sport and competition is as much a factor of this as the athlete’s own goals. I hope that all of the Maroney’s, Komova’s and Bo’s leave can leave London with a feeling of pride in their amazing accomplishments. I’ll even share my UIL medal.

Olympic viewing

While I would love to pour over every story, competitor profile, host nation factoid and ageless Bob Costas smirk that comes around only every two years with Olympic coverage, I just don’t have the time. Especially if I am also going to stay up to date with Big Brother and Bachelor Pad (not to mention working, eating and sleeping).

In this Olympic period, I perfected watching a five-hour broadcast in 45 minutes and did not feel like I missed anything. For future reference, choosing from the following short-cuts can be effective if you are pressed for time:

  • No back stories. (This is difficult as these human interest pieces of the athletes are just as much a part of the games as the competitions, but use your judgment — do you need another story on Michael Phelps?)
  • See Ryan Seacrest, fast-forward immediately. Same with Mary Carillo. It’s the only way.
  • So much time is spent on the athletes getting to their starting position or replaying the race THAT JUST HAPPENED five times. This is especially true in swimming and track. So I say you can watch Usain Bolt win, but not celebrate his victory for 15 minutes. Use your time at work the next day to watch highlights online.
  • No medal ceremonies. Unless the gold medalist is crying.

Lasting Images

I’m too scared to post actual images for copyright reasons, but some things that I will remember as the London games come to an end are:

  • The eventual 400m men’s winner Kirani James from Grenada switching racing bibs with South African double amputee Oscar Pistorious after Pistorious didn’t qualify for the final race.
  • Anything involving Pistorious. He’s inspiring, humble and hot. And has that great South African accent. But mostly for the inspiring part.
  • NBC keeping the camera close to Lebron James and Kobe Bryant during the Opening Ceremonies. You know, because we never get to see how they react in a major sporting event.
  • The random appearance of Bob Costas’s awesome Harry Potter glasses.
  • Allyson Felix. How adorable is she? I will buy all 214 items that she will soon be sponsoring.
  • Any Bela Karolyi interview. I like to guess at what he might actually be saying.
  • The P&G “moms” commercials. And all of the parent reactions.
  • William, Kate and Harry. Swoon.

And so much more! But now it’s time to wrap these games up. As a whole, I like the summer Olympics more than winter, but the winter Olympics have figure skating, so on to 2014 in Sochi, Russia!

What were your favorite moments of these Olympics? Are you ready to go to bed at a decent time again?

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8 responses to “Closing Ceremony of Olympic Blogging

  1. Lady, what a great post! Even I, who spends her days soaking up the sun on the beach and sleeping alongside little Roxy on the terrace, heard about the second place sulking. Abominable, I tell you! Although come to think of it, there was a time, I think I was in third grade, when I thought I’d rather win a bronze than a silver medal if I was, you know, in the Olympics. I think this school of thought stemmed from the fact that silver implied you had been good, but not good enough. I’m not justifying the fact, just shedding some light on the possibility that this might also be what these athletes were thinking. What do you think? :)

    • Hi Bella, thanks for reading and for your insightful comment. Yes, I completely agree with you that there is likely the feeling of being the “first loser” when you win silver whereas the bronze medalist is Top 3! I can only imagine that many times the silver medalist saw the gold within reach — especially when they are heavily favored to win — so the disappointment is greater. I guess my bigger gripe is the way they handled it. I wish they could just buck up and THEN go back to the Olympic Village and sulk and cry!

  2. The Olympics were on? Oh, you mean the Beach Volleyball tournament :-(. I agree with many of your peeves but my numero uno complaint is the HOURS of ladies beach volleyball that took up prime time. I was shocked to discover during the gold medal game that there was another American Team. Who knew? If I were those ladies, I would be irate.
    I watched a good bit of the games during the day since I am not working in the summer. There was a variety of sports shown none of the aggravating things you mentioned.
    Didn’t London look lovely?

    • I totally agree with you about the beach volleyball — when they said they were playing the “other” American team in the finals, I thought that surely I heard them wrong. And even when an American team wasn’t doing well, like in men’s gymnastics, I still wanted to see them compete. I know the broadcast can’t be all things to all people, but it was still frustrating. I’m glad to hear the daytime broadcasts were better. And yes, one thing NBC did a great job at was capturing the landscape of London. And I love how they used so many historic sites as part of the Olympic action.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. I had so much fun watching the Olympics this year! Lots of great stories. I think that I would be upset too if I got the silver medal, just because I got soooooo close, but I think that with time I’d feel proud of the achievement anyway – AND I think that you can’t act like a sore sport on the podium, but you’re right, there were a lot of frowning faces this year. :(

    And yeah, a lot of the NBC coverage sucked for a bunch of different reasons that all seemed to come down to the fact that they over-emphasized the American teams (obviously they’re out favorites but I want to see the other countries too). I’m hoping that they’ll listen to viewer feedback since a lot of people complained, but my hopes aren’t too high because I think people have the same frustrations every time.

    • Hi Annalise! Thanks for reading and for your comment. I think you hit the nail on the head that we (and others) will most likely have the same gripes come next Olympics and all the ones after. I’m sure when you take on broadcasting something as grand and expansive as the games that it is impossible to do it perfectly, but hopefully they will try to implement some changes the best they can!

  4. This is great! I actually didn’t watch one shred of the Olympics. Just not my thing. But if I did, I would have definitely taken your advice.

    • Wow, I can’t believe you were able to avoid the Olympics — that is impressive! I feel a little bit of a hole this week without them, but I’m also glad to not have hours in front of the TV that I *have* to watch! Thanks for reading.

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