Weekend open thread: Olympics opening days

All restrictions on television go out the window at our house during the Olympics. So far we’ve watched parts of the competition in archery, fencing, volleyball, beach volleyball, bicycling (men’s 250K road race and women’s 140K road race), swimming, tennis, table tennis, badminton, men’s gymnastics, and soccer/football (men’s and women’s). I wish NBC broadcast more profiles of outstanding non-American athletes and showed highlights from some sports where Americans are not necessarily medal contenders. The insane number of commercials makes me nostalgic for the years I watched the Olympics on state broadcasters in Europe.

Our state’s favorite Iowan-by-choice Gabby Douglas started competing today in the women’s gymnastics and did well enough to contend for the all-around gold later this week. I think it showed incredibly poor taste for her former coach in Virginia to complain to the Des Moines Register about Douglas’ decision to leave two years ago.

What Olympic sports are you watching? What else is on your mind this weekend? This is an open thread.

UPDATE: Fun story on Radio Iowa: “once again this year most of the [Olympic] swimmers will be wearing suits designed in part by a professor at Iowa State University.”

Tags: Sports

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  • the Olympics

    were a big part of my childhood, esp the whole Cold War thing, the USSR/DDR vs USA medal counts.

    I was also accustomed to more neutral, less commercialized programming. I used to collect stickers (a candy promotion) for medal winners to try and fill out a big collector’s book. I wasn’t allowed to buy much candy but cheated by starting w/ a book that was initiated by a cousin.

    I remember that stadium visits were always sobering due to associated history: Munich, Berlin, Rome. Rome’s was originally built in 1937 and like Berlin’s, featured those fascistic sculptures. The last stadium I visited was Moscow’s and oddly enough, have never been to Atlanta’s. I lost interest in following the Olympics closely after the LA boycott.

    I see encouragement at the DMR to “follow fav Iowan,” which is interesting. Michael Phelps is from Baltimore, and I can’t remember any exhortations to cheer for him or any other Marylander. If pressed, I’d have to consider Douglas a Virginian — arriving in 2010 to specifically train in a gym does not make for a Real Iowan. YMMV.

    I don’t have the patience for the commercials, so I’m not watching, although that might change if I’m at sports bar type venue in the near future.