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Anyone watching the Olympics?

July 31 2012 at 12:46 PM
Nat  (Login Nafana)
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Any comments?

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Bob
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Not as much as I used to.

July 31 2012, 1:05 PM 

I just can't seem to get into it as much. I used to enjoy watching basketball, but the pros have taken that over and it isn't much fun for me. I watched a bit of the swimming -- the U.S. men's team has been lackluster so far. By the way, congrats to France on the two goal medals. I watched some of the women's gymnastics -- balance beam mostly. It always amases me how agile and precise they are on that 4" beam. I would have a challenge walking across the beam without falling off, let alone doing flips. I am most interested in the track and field events, and boxing, so I expect to watch more of the upcoming events. I have a buddy who enjoys the female beach volleyball . . . likes lean women in bikinis, I guess (personally, the physiques of top-level female athletes are not ideal)

 
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Bob
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Now this is encouraging!

July 31 2012, 3:57 PM 

The NBA owners apparently don't want their high-priced players participating in the Olympic Games and the owners get no money. Also, that officials in some other countries tire of seeing the U.S. pros dominate Olympics basketball. Article says this could be the last Olympics to feature pro basketball stars. Ahhh, to go back to watching amateur players again -- I love it!

 
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Bob
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Link

July 31 2012, 3:57 PM 


 
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Nat
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Re: Now this is encouraging!

July 31 2012, 11:45 PM 

This shows how sport-ignorant I am- I didn't think professionals could compet in the Olympics.

Anyway- yes, the girl's gymnastics are my favorite too. I like healthy girls, though as you note they don't have much on top-side. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any girls in the Olympics that excel in booberage.

But I haven't been as interested in this year's Olympics either for some reason. I guess after that opening of the China Olympics I figure nothing can ever top that.

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Bob
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Professionals

August 2 2012, 9:11 AM 

Yes, in certain sports, the Olympics now feature professional superstar athletes. I think it started with basketball. Remember the "Dream Team" from 1992 Olympic Games? That might have been when it started. Michael Jordan and a bunch of other NBA stars played on that team. Now, pros from other sports have taken over the Olympics. Tennis, for example -- saw Roger Federer preparing yesterday for an Olympic match. And hockey in the Winter Olympics -- remember the National Hockey League stars at the Vancouver games, playing for USA and Canada for the gold? (which Canada won, by the way). I think any sport that is internationally popular as a high profile professional sport is now dominated in the Olympics by highly-paid professionals.

Of course, the reasoning for all this has been:

1) People want to see the very best play. Ok, fine. We already see the best basketball players from around the world play each other in the NBA. We already see the best tennis players from around the world play each other at Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open, the US Open, etc. Pro tennis is even competed by country -- I think it is called the Davis Cup? Same with hockey.

2) People say that countries that do not have professional sports send their very best, while countries whose best players are pros used to send true amateurs to the Olympics. That put the latter countries at a disadvantage, having their younger, less experienced amateurs playing against older and more seasoned players who were supported by their government -- paid to train and play, and essentially were pros. The push in U.S. to add our pros to the Games started with basketball. As I recall, it was a reaction (over-reaction) to US teams losing to more experienced Eastern bloc teams. US used to do very well in basketball regardless, but as the Russians and others came on strong, the sentiment in the West became, "They are playing their best, and winning. We should play our best -- the NBA players." And that opened the whole can of worms.

The problem for me is that some sports are more enjoyable as amateur sports. I personally love college basketball but have no interest in watching the National Basketball Association. The pros already have their venues . . I think the Olympics should be reserved strictly for amateuer competition. Is it too much to ask to see true amateurs from around the world compete against each other? Don't they also deserve their moment in the spotlight for all their hard work?




 
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Nat
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Ok with me

August 2 2012, 10:50 AM 

Well, I can see both sides of this. And in reality the "amateurs" usually receive a lot of government support- training and facilities- so it not like they are disadvantaged compared to professionals. So I don't say its wrong to allow professionals, I just didn't know it was done.

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Jenn
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Olympics

August 1 2012, 9:32 AM 

We are definitely watching! Sad about the men's gymnastics! That just sucked all the way around! Did have fun watching the girls last night - they were awesome! I also like the Beach Volleyball and the boys are ready for the diving and track and field stuff.

 
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Nat
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Re: Olympics

August 1 2012, 10:22 AM 

Hi Jenn, glad to see you back. Come around more often. We miss you here.

So what happen about the men's gymnastics? Something I haven't heard about.

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Jenn
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Olympics

August 2 2012, 8:12 AM 

The men's all-around was a disaster - mistake after mistake. It was painful to watch. Then at the end there was a challenge by the Japanese team and it was upheld which we thought was not right.

We have also been disappointed because they dont show the scores a lot of times (like last night's final score for Layve - or the final outcome. And in both the first night's coverage of the men and in last nights there was NO COVERAGE of the rings - which is my older son's favorite! We could see it in the background, but never close up - really disappointing!

Question - it seems like a lot of the gymnasts have started shaving like a lot of the swimmers. My oldest actually mentioned it. More of a "see Mom" I think. Is this taking off in the mens department? I'm very familiar with the idea of "manscaping" but thought it was more "trimming" than full on shaving (except in certain areas.)

 
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Nat
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Olympics and hair

August 2 2012, 8:37 AM 

I didn't watch the men's gymnastic (for some reason the girls' gymnastics seem more interesting) but I've seen and heard many complaints about NBC's coverage- that the coverage is delayed, that they spend too much time on some things and not enough on others, that the commentators chatter too much- etc, etc. I know it must be an enormous logistic job to cover such a huge event but NBC is winning few friends with their attempt at doing it.

As for body shaving, from what I've seen, read and heard, body hair is out of style with young people today. It use to be considered "gay" for guys to shave body hair but now a days people think bare skin looks better than scraggly hair. I even see ads for body-shaving implements on TV.

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Bob
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Body Shaving

August 2 2012, 9:19 AM 

I know that male swimmers tend to do that -- something about less drag as they move through the water. But I don't know what the functional purpose of shaving hair would be for male gymnasts. Is it easier to do some movements when skin can glide against skin rather than over hair? Do they disipate body heat faster from hairless skin rather than with hair? Or, could it be for cosmetic reasons? Do they seek to impress with their muscle definition, unshielded by hair?

 
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Nat
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Re: Body Shaving

August 2 2012, 11:20 AM 

I think its for the same reason non-athletes do it- they just think bare skin is a neater cleaner look. I think a lot of people do not think body hair- especially when copious- is attractive- "ape-like"- "neanderthal" are terms I've heard.

We've been moving in the less-hair direction a long time since shaving facial hair is a long established practice- and when you come down to it- why is it more right to shave one's face than arms or chest?

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Bob
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USA Pulling Away

August 12 2012, 1:20 AM 

I assumed that China, with 4 times the population of US and a dedicated program, a la the Soviet Union, of identifying and rigorously training from a young age its most promising youth, would dominate these Olympic Games. But while China clearly dominates in certain events, they are very lackluster in others. The USA is assured now of winning the medals count.

As an "ugly American", I celebrate that. But on the other hand, I wish we could get past the Games as a medal count phenomenon. Better yet to celebrate the individual accomplishments, regardless what country they hail from. In this spirit, I enjoyed watching the events in which the smaller countries prevailed. While the US can celebrate 44 gold medals and over 100 medals to this point, there are countries that have never medaled in anything. And many countries for whom a gold medal is a legendary accomplishment. I am glad for the fans in those countries who occasionally can revel in a great accomplishment. I think that is a more important success than whether US or China or Russia or any other athletic power prevails in the medal count.

 
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Nat
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Life's inequities

August 12 2012, 9:20 AM 

Well its certainly true that small countries are disadvantaged. While a great athlete can come from any country- it's naturally more likely to come from a large one. It's like large high schools tend to lead in Intermural sports- it has more students to find talent in and probably better training facilities. I don't know any solution for this- it's one of life's many inequities.

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Bob
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Believe it or not,

August 13 2012, 8:32 AM 

I watched some of the ladies' synchonized gymnastic competition. I admit, what caught my eye was how attractive most of the competitors were. Regular gymnasts are very fit and strong, but they tend to be shorter and thicker -- I think both attributes help them excel in those moves. But synchronized gymnastics is more a combination of ballet and tumbling . . it is the long, graceful lines, done in unison, that are most important. Those gymnasts tend to be a bit taller, slender and with long legs. Add make-up and more artistic costumes. Very nice! And the countries that exceled in that were not the large power countries. As I recall, Belarus, Bulgaria and Italy were tops. All lovely.

 
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Nat
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Rio de Janeiro has quite a challenge

August 13 2012, 3:47 AM 

Just watched the closing ceremonies. I didn't think anyone would equal China's extravaganza but maybe the Brits did- it was certainly specular with an awful lot of hi-tech effects. So much work and expense for a few hours of TV time. With each Olympic striving to outdo the previous one, Rio de Janeiro has quite a challenge ahead.

In any case, the USA did well, winning the most metals again. We may be losing our lead in many areas but we still excel in athletics.

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Bob
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True,

August 13 2012, 8:44 AM 

on both counts. The Brits did an excellent job all around, while admittedly not being able to fund the high-money extravaganzas that the Chinese produced.

And, yes, U.S. still fields a strong Olympic contingent of world-class athletes. But, as I was telling my African-American good friend, where would U.S. be in the medal count without black athletes? We would still be strong in swimming, rowing and archery, but in many other sports the U.S. would not have medaled without our "people of color". In most track races, forget it -- we may well not even see an American make the finals. In ladies' gymnastics, the U.S. doesn't win team gold, and doesn't win the individual all-around gold without Gaby Douglas. Without our 12-13% black population, US would still have over 250 million peopple, but our medal count might be in the middle of the pack for all the countries.

So, black IS beautiful!!

 
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Nat
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Re: True,

August 13 2012, 4:14 PM 

I remember there was a famous sports commentator who loss his job for noting that blacks excel at things like running. He was being complimentary but the "politically correct" gang took the comment as "racist" so you can't say it even if it's true.


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