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Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's ON!

I said I was going to be an Olympic junkie.  Yep, about 15 hours of TV coverage in so far.  I've seen beach volleyball, volleyball, table tennis (we all know it's just ping pong), archery, soccer (which I love to watch in fast forward), swimming and biking (another sport I love watching in fast forward).
So far the best part was the Opening Ceremonies.  We recorded all 4 1/2 hours and watched every minute.  For those of you who live under a rock and didn't see it, here are the highlights:

1.  The Queen jumped out of a plane with James Bond (you had to be there)
2.  Mr. Bean played "Chariots of Fire" with the London Symphony Orchestra (my son's personal favorite)
3.  The Industrial Revolution creating the 5 Olympic rings
4.  The fast pace of the Parade of Nations and the tiny tiny graphic that showed the location of each country by showing it in relation to the U.S. (for the truly geographically challenged)
5.  Paul McCarthy, Paul McCarthy and Paul McCarthy singing "Hey Jude" with the crowd (although I don't think the young Olympians had ever heard it)

Some of the huh? moments:

1.  The Queen agreed to jump out of a plane
2.  The "girl meets boy" concept through a dance set of the 70s through the 90s.
3.  The HORRIBLE Beatles cover band, especially the lead singer who sang every note flat.  It was especially embarrassing because Paul McCarthy was in the stadium.
4.  The goofy costumes and signs for the girls carrying the names of the countries in the Parade of Nations
5.  The homage to the British National Health Service.  Huh??

There haven't been very many personal stories about the athletes just yet, which is a bummer.  I'm assuming it's because the networks are just trying to cram in as many sports as they can.  There were a couple about bicyclists, including the piece on how biking is a huge deal on the tiny Isle of Mann between England and Ireland.  The site of all these young children cycling (we would call it spinning) was very interesting.

Perhaps the most interesting sport I've seen yet is fencing.  I watched a couple of matches with women fencers.  It looks like the ultimate Wii game - you have all the electronics and beeping, but you also get the physical exercise.  The fencers score points by touching their electronic foils (swords) on their opponent's torso body padding (looks a lot like a bullet proof vest to me).  You know a fencer scores a point because a big beep goes off and their helmet lights up (very Tron-like).  It's cool for a while, but between the beeping, the French speaking referees and the screaming fencers, it gives you a headache after a while.

So, that's my first Olympic report.  Are you watching?  What's your favorite part?