Unlike my wife, there is a limit to the extent to which I will watch the Olympics. I reach the point of diminishing returns and go to bed. She stays up until every event is over. However, I do believe I saw a lot of the action and found some of it entertaining, others of it boring, and still others pretty much as I expected.
In the category “pretty much as I expected,” you’ll find the name Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all times. When you line up against that guy, the race is always for second place.
While it was expected, I was still amazed to watch Katie Ledecky win the gold over and over and over again. What was amazing is that she touched the wall 11 seconds ahead of the second place swimmer.
I wasn’t particularly impressed with the basketball games – a bunch of NBA players against a bunch of NBA players.
The best sport of this year’s Olympics was short distance track. I admit to being a big fan of the 800 meters event, and that event was great again this year.
The most boring events are beach volleyball and water polo. In beach volleyball there are only two players on each side so there’s never a volley because all you have to do is look at which quadrant there is no defender in and hit the ball there. Water polo is just some guy faking several times until the goaltender flinches, then throwing the ball – big deal.
The biggest disappointment came when the U.S. Women’s Soccer team lost. They did not play well and Hope Solo may have gone as far as she can. When you give up goals on two free kicks in a single game, and one of those goes through your legs, you have lost concentration. Jane Campbell of Stanford is in the wings.
Now I come to the moment I will not forget. I would recommend everyone go to Google and check out the video of Maya DiRado winning the 200 meter backstroke. This young woman was genuinely surprised, and the interviews afterwards and the tears that fell during Our National Anthem, made that a very special moment for me. She is now on her way up the corporate ladder in Atlanta, and I hope she does really well.
I really enjoy the Olympics with all their pomp and circumstance. The opening ceremony is fun to watch, and some of the events are too, but as I get older and go to bed earlier I have become more selective as to what I will actually sit through. Now its on to the Winter Olympics and I have a seat in front of the TV reserved for curling. Now that’s an Olympic sport!
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.