Perspective Of Yet Another Night Owl


Summer Olympics 2008 Beijing
August 28, 2008, 4:24 am
Filed under: Opinions, Sports, Summer Olympics 2008 | Tags: ,

I am probably opening up a can or two of worms, but there are some things I want to say about this topic.  Please read the entire post, then if you want to comment or bitch about what I said, go for it.  I got very little sleep throughout the games, and although I was sad to see them end, I was also slightly happy.

First, I think that the opening ceremony was incredible.  I don’t think that we will ever see an Olympic ceremony equivalent to that in many years to come.  Since China spent approximately $40 Billion, I can’t see how another country could even try to compete.  That is one hellacious amount of change, but the entire Olympics was one heck of a show.  I was not really thrilled about the fact that Chinese government chose a “prettier” little girl to lip-sync over a little girl that I thought was just as cute. As a mom, I don’t agree with the fact that this 7 year old little girl knew China had chose a 9 year old because she was “prettier”.  Even though the 7 year old said she was proud just because they used her voice, it had to be heartbreaking to her.  As to the fake fireworks? Well, who cares?  I think the press was looking for something else to complain about. By the way, NBC coverage of the games was terrible.  I don’t know about other countries, but I for one didn’t need NBC to only show the USA events and what is deemed prime time events.  Would have been nice to see more on tv and not have to watch so much of it on the computer. (I like my big tv.)

Second, as far as the competitions went, there were some fantastic races to watch.  I was on the edge of my seat during every race of Michael Phelps.  I have always liked competitive swimming and he is an incredibly talented one.  As for Dara Torres, how cool was that?  If I can swim half that fast at 41 years old, I will be thrilled.   I couldn’t tear myself away from the women’s beach volleyball. Kerri and Misty were incredible and consistent throughout the games. Usain Bolt from Jamaica just blew me away with his incredible speed.  I was sure in the 100M race, he would have had a shorter time had he not started celebrating his win just before the finish line.  Brian Clay taking gold in the Decathlon was cool too.  Clay truly is a fantastic athlete with incredible strength.  I was thrilled to see the men’s volleyball team win the gold.  I can only imagine that it was a bittersweet win for the coach.  Such a tragedy about the murder of his father-in-law and attack on his wife and mother-in-law.  I never thought something like that would happen during the Olympics in China.  I know why the damn attacker killed himself immediately, too.  If he didn’t, China probably would have done it for him and maybe not so swiftly. China was trying so hard to look flawless in the world’s eyes.

Third, The gymnastics controversies.  I have always felt, not just in the olympic games but at world and nationals, that there is bias in judging this event, as well as figure skating.  As long as there are human judges, it will remain subjective.  Consciously or subconsciously, there will always be some type of bias.  That said, I think Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson did a fantastic job.  I was bummed to see Nastia take second in the “tie-breaker” but I get that there was a rule in place for such an issue and the rules should be followed.  Even if we don’t like the rules.

So, as to the age qualification issues of He Kexin and a couple other girls on the Chinese gymnastics team.  Do I believe these girls were all 16 or turning 16 this year?  No, I do not.  To me they just don’t appear to be 16 and I personally believe the reports of document findings that said they were not 16.  I also think the IOC waited too long to begin the investigation.  Now, that said, I also believe that the FIG and IOC have these age restrictions to prevent countries from extreme training of very young girls.  I believe the rule was put in place to protect young children from serious injuries.  China starts these olympic hopefuls around age 3.  The USA starts their olympic hopeful training around age 10.  It is obvious that certain countries, regardless of the rule, still start training at a very early age.  So why then is the rule in place?  If these girls and boys work their asses off (and they do – see videos at these links:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klj12Z_ARow or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KI_zQmtuc0&feature=related) they should be able to compete if they qualify.  I realize it is not right to train such young children so hard, but since they do and the children have no choice, why not let them at least compete?  I say do away with the age limit, the countries the FIG and IOC wanted to prevent from early training are ignoring the rule anyway.

Fourth, what do you think about Cuba’s Angel Matos?  Kicking that referee in the face after what he felt was a bad call?  (Again, subjective judging here.)  I firmly believe he should be banned from the Olympics for life.  There is never any reason to resort to violence and you never hit/kick a ref.  Matos could have filed a petition for review.  There are procedures in place for that.  His kicking the ref in the face is just poor sportsmanship all the way around.  That said, I do think since Matos broke his toe, they might have given him an extra second or two to finish taping it up.  Although, had they done so, the other fighter may have had a valid argument for a review.

Fifth, the closing ceremony.  It wasn’t as thrilling as the opening ceremony of course, but it was still pretty cool.  It was fun to see David Beckham help kick off the 2012 Olympics in London, but his actual kick was not one of his best.  Haha.  I have to give props to all the performers in the opening and closing ceremonies.  I have read where they would have rehearsals for 51 hours straight barely stopping to have a meal, and breaking even less to use the restroom.  Those performers worked their asses off.

I have sounded off about this now.  I am sure I have more to say, but it’s late and cannot think of it right now.  If and when I do, I will be back here to vent some more.   In the mean time, what are your views on the 2008 Summer Olympics?

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