2012 Summer Olympics Coverage Journal – 7/29/2012

Posted on August 2, 2012 by

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Today’s Observations

  • This is going to sound sexist but Women’s cycling looks just like men’s cycling, except either they appear to be moving slow and/or the commentators make it sound not as exciting.  I must admit though, that there was an interesting segment on a US cyclist who made a comfortable living in NYC, got into bicycling only 5 years ago, tried a race out, and then decided to make a career out of bicycling.  Inspiriational if nothing else.
  • Watched some of Beach Volleyball.  I was just amazed at how much psychological control the US team with Dalhasser exerted over the Japanese.  There’s so much open space for the Japanese to hit the damn ball, but they always ended up hitting to where the US team could return it;  it seemed like there was just nowhere to hit it for the Japonesas. 
  • The US men beach volleyballers didn’t appear to look like typical blonde-hair privileged white boy volleyballers:  instead, a bunch of dark-haired shaved heads and tattoos.  I looked up where Dalhasser was from on Wikipedia:  Hawaii!
  • Watched some swimming on replay.  I’d already known that the men’s 4×100 relay team had won “only” silver.  On a team with Phelps, Lochte, some white guy, and the black swimmer, Cullen Jones, I hoped that it wasn’t the fault of the black guy.  Indeed, it wasn’t as he maintained a lead going into Ryan Lochte’s heat. 

US Women’s Gymnastics

This deserved a section of its own, because this appears to be what NBC had psyched its viewers up for on primetime.

I’d already seen a bit of the outcome on a preceding news show:  I knew that Jordyn Wieber didn’t make the all-around.  Sad, because I included her in a love poem to my girlfriend.

The way US women’s gymnastics was branded reminded me of a reality television show, complete with characters, “The Fab Five”, and a theme song.  NBC gave us close-up shots of these women, just their first names, and then a team shot.

In anticipation of the excitement, the announcer said something to the effect of “all they have to do is be fabulous.”  I was ensonced with how they were fixated on showing each of the gymnasts’ emotions.

One thing I noticed were the adjectives that legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi used to call each of the gymnasts: 

He labeled Aly Reisman as “the brain.”  I heard that and was thinking I didn’t know you had to be so mindful when performing routines.  Routines.  Emphasis on the word routines.  Routines, habits, rituals, are supposed to be automatic, so I wonder how he could characterize her as “the brain.”

When it came to describing Gabby Douglas, the black girl, it seemed like he ran out of good adjectives to describe her actual performance on the floor:  “She’s charming, she’s got a smile, she’s quick, light, and flexible.”

While they did have a feature for Gabby Douglas mom about how Gabby struggled and how she wanted to quit, I wondered why during the entire live program, they didn’t show the parents of Gabby Douglas, but had a camera for Aly Reisman and Jordyn Wieber’s parents.  It also begged the question of why neither McKayla Moroney nor Kyla Ross’ parents were shown either.

As for the actual results:  Jordyn Wieber was a heavy favorite coming in;  she was the reigning world champion.  However, a few small mistakes added up and she ended up being knocked out of competing in the all-around individual competitions.  It was really sad to watch a girl that young lose on national TV; that might’ve been her only shot to win. 

US women’s gymnastics doesn’t appear to be kind to those 20 years or older.  It was pretty shocking to see women in their late 20s still competing from other countries.