Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekend Assignment #230: The World Is Watching

An Olympic Coke sign for sale to benefit MDA.

It occurs to me belatedly that one of the reasons the online world has been so dead the past few weeks is that people have been busy watching the Olympics. Hence this week's topic:

Weekend Assignment #230: Have you been watching the Olympics? If so, what have you particularly enjoyed? If not, then what, if anything, would entice you to watch?

Extra Credit:
Is there a sport not in the Olympics that ought to be there?

I'm not going to go on about this too much myself tonight. I suppose my personal ineptitude in gym class all those years ago (bad eye-hand coordination, easily winded, etc.) stunted my appreciation of sports in general. But back then I was impressed and inspired by skater Peggy Fleming, whom I later saw in the Ice Capades. Skating was something I could sorta kinda do - not well enough to impress anyone or compete in anything, but enough that I could go to a skating rink and enjoy myself.

He carried the torch for a plot-based reason.

That's part of the Winter Games, though, and far from current. Have I ever watched the Summer Games? At all? Hmm. My sophomore year in college, I met a few close friends while watching the 1976 games in the dormitory lounge, but I couldn't tell you whether they were summer or winter Olympics. I remember the black power salutes in Mexico City in 1968, and a gymnast winning a medal with a sprained ankle sometime in the past decade. But I haven't been near the games this year, or most years. NPR covers it on the radio, so I'm aware of bits and pieces. That's enough for me.

What would induce me to watch the Olympics in 2012? Well, the presence of this guy wouldn't hurt:

The Doctor touches off the 2012 Olympics in London.

The least popular episode of Doctor Who since the show came back, "Fear Her" (2006), features the Doctor carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium and lighting the Olympic flame. He does it for story-based reason; there's a tiny space ship inside the torch's flame, and the Doctor's action launches the little alien back to its brothers and sisters in space. The episode itself has its not-so-good moments (or at least, unpalatable ones), but the Olympic bit at the end is kinda cool.

So, any chance the actor can do this for real?

When we lived in Columbus, Ohio, a friend of a friend spent an evening with George Takei when he came to town for some non-Star Trek reason. That year, he got to carry the Olympic torch in L.A., one of the people in the final relay to the Los Angeles opening ceremony. So I'm wondering, if the actor who played Sulu can do it, why not David Tennant, who played the Doctor? Considering his status in British television (and on stage; he's playing Hamlet in Stratford right now), he'd make an appropriate icon to take part in the real London games in 2012. And look! He's had some practice!

I hear that baseball and softball are being booted from the Olympics for 2012. That is just ridiculous. I realize that baseball is not as big a sport in Europe as it is here, but it's a big deal in Asia and Latin America, and must have a lot more people following it than many Olympic sports have. Softball doesn't quite have that cachet, but as the women's equivalent of baseball, it should be included too. The fact that the University of Arizona softball program has produced numerous Olympic softball players and their coach is somewhat irrelevant, but true.

Your turn! Tell us about you and the Olympics. Don't forget to link back here in the entry, and to leave a link to the entry in the comments below. I'll be back late Thursday night with a roundup of our Olympic memories.



Becky said...

While I have a small interest in some summer olympic sports, I haven't seen even a MOMENT of this years events. Not even recaps on the news (which I also haven't watched lately). I have seen a couple names mentioned online and a photo here and there. That's about it.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch the olympics religiously but I do enjoy the gymnastics,in the winter I like the ice skating.

Laura said...

Here's my response:

Anonymous said...

Here's mine, although I just realized I didn't do the extra credit.

Florinda said...

Well, I really haven't watched the Olympics this year, but I wrote about it anyway.

Mike said...

Mine in is up. I watched more than I thought.

Kiva said...

I had to watch the summer Olympics this year because I was staying at friend's house who had it on 24-7. A bit much for me... but it was interesting. My thoughts are on my blog.

The Eclectic Granny