Monday, August 18, 2008

More Olympics Miscellany

As bad as I felt for Alicia Sacramone, who got robbed on vault, in Bela's words, my heart broke for Cheng Fei on floor exercise last night. Her routine is my favorite--I love the unique choreography and the homage to Chinese theater, and her execution in the team finals was perfect. I thought it was much better than the other Chinese girl's that everyone was fawning over all week. While I wanted US on top in that apparatus, I wanted Cheng Fei to get a medal. So sad. Oksana Chusovitina's vault medal, though? Awesome.

A good sport to watch if you simply love camaraderie, and the thrill of actually finishing at all, is the triathalon. The first US woman crossed the line fourth, and she was beaming all over. But even further down, way out of medal contention, the women crossing were often waving to the crowd and looking delighted. Considering the Canadian's broken wrist earlier, I guess that's no wonder.

Carrie and I were talking the other day about how men's volleyball is kind of boring. I like the beach for men's, but I watched today's indoor match with interest, trying to figure out why it's not exciting (which seems paradoxical). I think it's because there isn't much real digging or hitting the floor. You're either by some miracle in front of the ball or you're not. It's too much muscling and not enough finesse. I'm sure there's skill involved, but at times it looks like dumb luck--and the appearance of the sport is often more important than the actuality.

I have kind of a problem watching high-pressure situations. I usually look away during vault competitions, and pommel horse, and just watch the replay. I wish I'd been looking away with some of the other mens' routines--I thought someone was going to be killed during the all-around. So, you might very well wonder what I was doing during Michael Phelps' final swim, and the answer is that I was walking around my very small front room and peeking at the screen when it seemed safe. It's a miracle I went to sleep that night.

Have I mentioned how much I like that the equestrian events are co-ed? I really appreciate that component, and I think there are more sports that should go that route. I know badminton has mixed doubles, and one or two others. But why, for instance, have shooting and archery separated by gender? It's just silly.

Still crossing my fingers for some synchro and rhythmic gymnastics footage!

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