Tuesday, August 23, 2016


I love the Olympics. Though I have no athletic abilities of my own (unless swimming with the aid of a pool noodle is considered a competitive sport) I enjoy watching the youth of the world strive to do their best.  When it comes to the Summer Olympics, we witness human beings running faster, jumping higher, spinning in the air longer, and throwing farther. We see young men and women move through the pool like a sailfish and dive like a kingfisher. We watch them in their warm-up suits, tearfully accepting their medals as their anthems play. But, I wouldn't be a diva, invisible or otherwise, if I didn't have my issues. So, before you can shout USA! USA! here's my list of Things I Resent About the Olympics.

"I am judging you."

1. I don't know why volleyball is an olympic sport. To me,  it's always been a game played by inebriated family members at 4th of July picnics. It's also that one sport played in gym class where SOMEONE (me) ends up jamming at least one of her fingers while trying to return a serve with a delicately extended pinkie.  Also, it's basically glorified badminton, except you viciously bat around Tom Hank's co-star from "Cast Away" with your bare hands.
"They are barbarians, Wilson!"
2. If we must  consider VBall a serious sport, why are the female contenders expected to wear "uniforms" suitable for filming an ad for the Playboy Channel? Rule of thumb: An athlete should not have to worry about body parts jiggling or falling out during the execution of a sport. If you are going to try to tell me that the women's attire is more aerodynamic, and, therefore, makes them better performers, why don't the men play in thongs? Things that make you go, "Hmmm."

3.  What the hell is "rhythmic gymnastics?" From my very opinionated opinion, it's like the worst episode ever of So You Think You Can Dance without Cat Deeley there to soften the blow. If dancing with ribbons and hula hoops is a sport, then why hasn't anyone introduced competitive jump-roping into the mix? I'm envisioning the US medalling in Double Dutch, but am slightly concerned about the team uniforms. *See item 2.
Just sayin'
4. The announcers. First of all, I know zero about gymnastics, but amazingly,  my eyesight and brain work in tandem. Therefore, I see when an athlete slips, wobbles, or bounces out of bounds and do not need the yacky news people's constant play-by-play.  Secondly, while I do appreciate learning which moves have a higher level of difficulty, I'm not all that interested in how many tenths of a point will be deducted for each slip. Particularly when it could be "3/10, 5/10 or even 8/10." Thirdly, this isn't American Idol. We aren't voting on the athlete with the biggest sob story. Let their athleticism speak for itself and let their preternatural abilities astound us without forcing us to light candles in honor of their early victimhood. In  other words:

5. The medal counts. Apparently, the US olympiads won more medals, combined, than the olympiads of any other nation. So, that makes us...? What? The best nation in the world? While I cheered Michael Phelps onto his 23rd Gold, it wasn't because that would be one more medal under column USA, but because it represented his own tenacity, devotion, and talent. I was just as happy to witness medal winners from other countries achieve their dreams. Nevertheless, when it came to this group, even I had to say, "USA! USA!"

"Awesome R Us!"

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