2012 Summer Olympics Coverage Journal – 8/3/2012 – Track, the Cult Sport

Posted on August 12, 2012 by


Today’s Observations:

The first day of Track. Finally.  One of the things Al Michaels said about track, “It’s become a cult sport.”

“Cult” sport, as if track and field events weren’t arguably the genesis of the modern-day Olympics.  Needless to say, I was trying really hard to find the video, but couldn’t locate it.

Earlier he was describing the atmosphere of some other swimming event.  He called it “maybe the seminal event.”  I was thinking about the word “seminal.”  “Seminal”, being an adjective subjectively used by the announcer to inject excitement in the one sport that NBC believes might appeal to the majority race demographic.

I missed the Today Show, and can’t find the clips to match the coverage.  I am amazed at how people there have a job if they can’t perform simple, reliable updates of their Friday show on their website.  If they can’t why even bother putting anything.

I later caught the TV show Access Hollywood sometime in the afternoon.  Gymnast Gabby Douglas and her Chinese coach Liang Chow were interviewed.  I was cringing at what they might ask him, but I thought it was an OK interview.  I was just happy he got interviewed at all.  I learned that he was the coach that also was responsible for Shawn Johnson, the 2008-all-around silver medalist.

Actual Olympics

In the morning, I watched and was fixated by the 10,000 Women’s Meters final.  25 laps around a 400-meter track.  Japanese women took the lead early on, but they spent the broadcast profiling the Ethiopian favorite Tirunesh Dibaba.  Not bad looking she was.  I watched, trying to put myself in her shoes;  I was going to race the next morning in my own Historic Filipinotown 5K.

I watched it all the way to its conclusion;  I watched Dibaba kick past the Kenyans and gun it on her last lap as the lead pack lapped those who finished last.

Michael Phelps was still swimming.  NBC did its best to let me know.

I was looking for double standards for a lot of the American coverage.  There  was a story of this 15-year old swimmer named Katie Ledecky.  It amazes me that Americans will jump on accusations of a 15-year old Chinese swimmer for swimming fast, but it seems like a topic forbidden from being even raised in public conversation.

Another thing I was thinking about were the lack of people of color who were part of the Olympics coverage team.  There was one Asian guy in Beach Volleyball, and probably the one black in Track and Field.  Otherwise, white voices and a bunch of white people.