2012 Summer Olympics Coverage Journal – 8/6/2012 – Discovering a Filipino-American in the Olympics!

Posted on August 14, 2012 by


Today’s Observations

The Today Show

Another Missy Franklin interview. 

They interviewed Katie Ledecky, the youngest Olympic swimmer ever at age 15.  Matt Lauer remarked that at the end of the interview, her uncle had been a friend of his and emailed him everyday, hyping her up.

In the back of my head, I thought about how connected this Ledecky girl was that her uncle gets his e-mail read by Matt Lauer.

At some point in the show, they officially branded Michael Phelps:  “The Greatest Olympian of Our Time”

They talked to Oscar Pistorious, the 400 Meter run running on 2 prosthetic limbs.

They featured a pre-recorded interview with Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin, which I wasn’t able to find.  They reason I place emphasis on pre-recorded is because it seems like they feature these when it’s clear they can’t get a good live interview and where they can control and subsequently edit it.

The Williams sisters were interviewed as well.

Perhaps responding to criticism of their coverage, in a 5-minute segment, the Today Show took us to the international broadcast centre, where they showed us how other nations were covering the Olympics.

In this segment they showed us Italy, India, Australia, and Japan.  They showed how much Italian newscasters needed their coffee to the beat of some “ethnic” Italian music.  They showed us India, and said that they “kept their eye on” Women’s boxing.  Ryan Seacrest spent the time trying to do some kind of audition.  They showed us Australia where they met up with the “Matt Lauer” of Europe.  They left at Japan and Seacrest learned a few words.

Today Show Olympics-Related Segments


  • Gold winner in shooting, Jamie Lynn, set records
  • How the world watches the Olympic Games
  • Double amputee: ‘Mind-blowing’ to run in Olympics
  • Youngest U.S. Olympian to win gold: ‘It was perfect’
  • Swimming stars reveal top Olympic moments
  • Venus Williams: ‘Awesome’ to win gold with sister
  • Missy Franklin: ‘Incredible team’ helped win gold

Actual Olympics

I caught the tail-end of women’s water polo.  I got momentarily grabbed by camera shots underwater of thighs and butts moving violently in action.

At the end of the match, NBC interviewed a chubby, obviously-Latina lady named Brenda Villa who was Captain of the team.  Very, extremely rare.

I didn’t hear much of her before, but upon the power of the internet, I saw that she played at Stanford, represented the City of Commerce, and had been in the Olympics twice already.  Forgive me if my girlfriend reads this, but I fell in love. What can I say?  Latinas make me cray-zeh!

When I brought her up in subsequent conversations, my girlfriend made fun of her weight.

I then watched some part of men’s Volleyball.  The one guy who was serving with hair shaped like a tail in the back of his head who looked ‘peculiar.’  I googled his name, “David Mckienzie.”  He looked a little “ethnic.”  Couldn’t find his wikipedia because he doesn’t have one.  Came across his London Olympics profile when I typed in “volleyball” and he looked like some kind of Asian, but I wasn’t sure.  I was on a hunt for his origins.  Then I came across this article.

In that article, this passage:

Yet, barring injury, he’s soon expected to be named to the U.S. Olympic volleyball team.

Thanks to his late father, William, volleyball isn’t just a girls sport in Colorado. William McKienzie played volleyball at George Williams College in Williams Bay, Wis., under 1968 Olympic coach Jim Coleman. The elder McKienzie went on to play for the national team in the late 1960s before a weightlifting injury turned him toward coaching.

He went to the Philippines, where he coached his future wife and David’s mom, Elvira, and eventually settled in the Denver area, where he managed the athletic club at the Executive Tower Inn.

Yes, David McKienzie you’ve been outed!  As a Filipino.

Sure enough, he looked more Filipino afterwards.  In his Team USA Profile picture, just as Eric Spoelstra looks more and more like a “Tito Boy” everyday, David looks like popular Filipino TV star Sam Milby everyday.

In other news I spotted a Cambodian in a track and field event.  Samorn Kieng in the 800 Meters! (56 minutes, 37 seconds in)

In the same event, but a different heat, they talked about Americans Nick Symmonds, Khadevis Robinson, and Duane Solomon.  With Khadevis Robinson they talked about his longevity. With Solomon, they talked about how he switched sports and ran on a dirt track.

Solomon’s story is a common narrative/script in the Olympics:  coming from nothing to make it.  Its a story we all root for to a certain extent, but the narrative just plays it off as if it is the same kind of struggle for everyone;  as if running to fight your way out of poverty in Africa is the same thing as battling the stress of competing.