Monday, August 16, 2004

Olympic notes, part 1

• The U.S. is dominant so far in beach volleyball, one of my favorite sports to watch (and to play, for that matter, although I I'm no great asset to any team, and I generally play it with about eight people per side). Our volleyball players are also dominant in dermal sun damage.

• I had no idea there was such a thing as synchronized diving. Every Olympics there is some sport that takes me by surprise by its very existence. Turns out this one is very cool to watch. I especially liked the British duo who were exact opposites in body type (one tall and lanky, the other short and stout) but who managed to be identical enough to pull out a 4th place anyway.

• Our basketball team sucks so badly that we got trounced by our own tiny island protectorate.

• Australians can really swim. (Duh.)

• Water polo is the most spectator-hostile of all Olympic sports. It's 28 minutes (on the clock; more in practice) of people in silly little bonnets swimming back and forth along the length of a pool, punctuated by inexplicable whistles. Goals are made, but so what?

• I'm rooting for Mohini Bhardwaj because it is so rare for an actual grown-up woman who has competed at the college level to be an Olympic gymnast. The extra experience has given her an added degree of maturity as a competitor--she just looks nicer and more artistic out there. I gather some of the little girls on the team are capable of greater feats and are the ones expected to medal, but a lot of them have been stepping out of bounds and stumbling so far. This has resulted in lots of shouting at the TV: "What the hell's wrong with you people?! Kerri Strug could stick that landing on one foot!"
I suspect the Romanians are going to end the competition by telling us, "You got served."