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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Olympic "Bod"

It's Day 5 of the Olympics and I'm only 1 day behind (I have all of today's coverage recorded).  I've seen so many sports.  I have to give NBC kudos, especially the coverage on their "alternate" channels (Bravo, MSNBC and other cable channels).  Those channels cover sports that might not be so popular  (equestrian, judo, white water rafting) and full length games (soccer, basketball, volleyball).

While I've been watching these sports, I've noticed that there is no "prototype" Olympic athlete.  Women athletes vary by sport - gymnasts are very short (I saw a Romanian girl who is 16 and 4'7"!), while beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and basketball players are very tall.  Women swimmers are bulked up above the waist with thick necks while the rowers and bikers have rock hard legs.  Women weight lifters are . . . umm . . . square.  They are short and built like barrels.   Just sayin'

Men seem to have more similarities.  All appear to be very muscular.  The gymnasts are strange looking, with huge shoulders and legs on short little bodies.  Basketball and volleyball players are just too tall.  Water polo players have amazing bodies but faces like hockey players, and swimmers . . . even when they lose they look good.

Older athletes can be found in sports that feature specialized skills, like archery, shooting and equestrian events.  The average age of the human equestrian competitor is 40, while the horses average about 13-15 years old (which is not a young horse).  Men and women compete against each other.  Sometimes I wonder how much skill and stamina is the horse and how much is the rider.  About the time I start to compare riders to dog trainers, I see a picture of the equestrian cross country.  BTW, that's a woman, and no, she's doing exactly what she's supposed to be doing on that course.

All kidding aside, I've seen some great Olympic moments - the American women winning the gold medal in team gymnastics; Michael Phelps winning his 21st medal in the 200 freestyle relay; the British men's team winning a bronze in team gymnastics; the American girls who won the synchronized diving silver medal; and the astonishing beauty and difficulty that was the equestrian cross country event.

Yep, I'm loving it.  I don't think too many people are geeky Olympic junkies like I am (except for my friend Linda), but I hope you're all enjoying it too.  We still have another whole week!