It is the biggest event in the world, it happens every 4 years and brings people from all over the world together to either watch, participate or facilitate. Athletes dedicate their lives to their event, striving for perfection in order to stand on the podium and at that point be declared the best in the world! For us at home watching from the couch, with an ice cream in hand or an empty dark chocolate wrapper in our laps, it is captivating viewing watching sports that aren’t normally on our TV screens and that we wouldn’t go out of our way to watch.
In this blog I just wanted to discuss a few aspects of the Olympic games that I like, hate and/or think are interesting. After the first week and a half of competition, I have found that my evening Olympic viewing has been focussed around a few key sports.
Firstly, the equestrian. I am a horse lover and so seeing these beautiful animals strolling around show jumping course and majestically clearing some heights that not even Nic Natanui could jump is mind blowing. I do find myself saying “oh no! too close” or “nah, he’s going way to fast” all too often, but am quickly reminded why they are at the Olympics and I am still at home on the couch, when they nail the jump and get perfect scores. The other train of thought that I had when watching the cross country aspect of equestrian competition was why the horses weren’t flying as fast as they could between jumps. Again, only to find out later in the night that the course is 6km long and horses fatigue somewhat similar to us, but also that the next day at the show jumping course that it was the same horse competing…. I completely understand now why I don’t see ‘Makybe Diva -like’ horses galloping around the course.
Sports like table tennis are a good Aussie options and I am surprised we don’t do better from this event. I mean we spend enough time in pubs to practice up on our ping pong skills to surely have a few challengers out there, and let’s be honest, if you can play at a high level after a few pints then imagine what some training would do! Australia should be trying to push for more pub sports to be put into the Olympics such as Darts, Pool, beer pong and boat races. I reckon the introduction of such sports would really allow Australia to start challenging the Chinese for the medal tally honours.
Talking about sports that should be entered into the Olympics, how good is the news that Surfing has been confirmed for the 2020 Japan games!? To be honest I thought Rio, Brazil would have been the best place to kick it off because of the recent wave of Brazilian surfers like Gabriel Medina and Adriano De Souza taking out a world title and becoming national heroes. I think the crowd almost pulled down the scaffolding out of excitement at the annual Rio Pro surfing event a year or so ago when Filipe Toledo was killing it, imagine that at an Olympic event…. However, unbelievable result to have it in Japan and I’m sure there are heaps of Aussies out there just as excited. Surfers in Japan are like megastars as well so there should be plenty of Hoopla surrounding the event and some serious support for this event. And hey, if you are a local shredder and want to push for an Olympic berth for 2020 then book in to see me and we can work on some of those deficiencies or imbalances.
Kyle Chalmers, what a story! The Olympics have a tendency to produce new, up and coming stars who come from the clouds to captivate audiences. He initially looked as nervous as a chimney cleaner at Christmas time, but soon warmed to the attention. A South Australian lad who would have been back in high school sitting his Algebra exam if he wasn’t winning gold medals, big endorsement contracts and the hearts of girls all over the nation. It’s fair to say that he’d rather be in Rio soaking it all up.
So you have the new star being unveiled, but what about old stars that just won’t stop shining? Usain Bolt just keeps on, being good at, not letting anyone else enjoy success! It’s unlikely that the Olympics will see such domination in the short form running ever again. Across four Olympic campaigns’ he has won 7 gold medals, holds the record for the fastest 200 metres and 100 metre sprint and still builds on his record of most selfies with the crowds and the most celebratory power poses after an event. He and cricketer Chris Gayle will have to share the title of ‘Prince of the Caribbean’ from now on.
The heartbreaking moment of the games for mine was in the Marathon 10km sprint, which took the leading competitors all of 2 hours of consistent swimming to complete. I spend 5 minutes in a bath and my hands get that soggy wrinkly skin developing, imagine what happens to theirs after 120 minutes…. So the gold medallist had swum through the finish line and tapped the timing board to complete the race. Behind her, one Italian and one French competitor whom I forget their names, fighting it out for bronze and silver. These two got so tangled up and competitive on the finish board touch that the French competitor ended up getting disqualified. After 2 hours of swimming the very worst thing to happen would be to get DQ’d for a subtle headlock (You don’t see the Hungarian water polo teams getting disqualified for their underwater tactics which I can guarantee are much, much worse).
Well, there is so much I could rant and rave over, comment on and discuss about the Olympics but the main message is that this once every 4-year event is always sure to provide great entertainment. I’m as excited as Bruce Mcavaney would be when Cyril Rioli is within 50 metres of the football, for the next few days of Olympic competition and the closing ceremony.
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