Just a little blog about me and mine.

Olympic Blogging August 1, 2008

Filed under: in the news — Katie @ 10:48 am

The 2008 Olympics start in exactly one week from today on August 8th at 8pm.  My excitement for the Olympics goes to an extreme level that’s almost embarrasing, since I associate extreme Olympic patriotism with, um…folks that aren’t like me.

But, I can’t help it.  I do get sick of the heartbreaking human interest stories, but overall, I’m as compltely hooked on the Olympics every 4 years as any other patriotic, evangelical, all-American family.  My earliest Olympic memory is in 1984, jumping up and down yelling Mary Lou, Mary Lou!  I also had a Mary Lou exercise record that I would play while jumping on the bed.  I signed up for gymnastics and dance classes, which was a short lived affair to say the least.  It did last long enough for 2 or 3 super-girly pictures to emerge before I started playing softball and riding my bike through the mud. 

The pinnacle of my Olympic glory came during the Atlanta games in 1996.  The torch came through my hometown, and one of my dad’s friends was selected as one of the runners.  Torch runners get to keep the torch they carried, so after it passed through, we got to hold it and take pictures.  Later in the Summer we had tickets for a day of events.  We saw Track and Field, and I was there the day Michael Johnson broke a world record in the 200m with his gold shoes and also saw Dan O’Brien finally win the Triathlon.  The entire stadium was filled with people, camera flashes went off non-stop, and there were multiple events happening at all one time throughout the giant field. 

I am a bit nervous about Beijing though, and I’m suspicous that despite the huge number of people involved, the Chinese government isn’t capable of pulling off the Olympics without major catastrophe.  Not that we would know though because they probably won’t let it get reported.  I saw an interesting article a few weeks ago about things that could go wrong in Beijing: 

1.  Pollution–China is perhaps the most polluted country in the world, and China’s pollution problem is the worst in Beijing.  Top athletes have been concerned about the effects of such polluted air on their performance and health, especially for outdoor events.  In fact, the world’s top marathoner is not participating and cites the terrible air as the reason.

2.  Beaurocracy–NBC paid $1.5 billion for broadcast rights to the 2006 and 2008 Olympics, but China seems reluctant to allow live coverage in Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City, and is reportedly blocking web sites such as Amnesty International.

3.  Food–The safety of China’s food source is probably the biggest thing that could go wrong.  The US team is attempting to bring its own food, despite the Chinese government saying no outside food is allowed.  Most of the meat in China is so full of steroids, that the US Olympic delegation claims that the athletes would all test positive just from eating it.  Oops.


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