Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

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IlliniDave
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:18 pm

I loved the Olympics back in the days of the Iron Curtain when it was really the only venue in which the whole world participated. It was also a time when a person could be unashamedly pro-American (or their home country) without be labeled a whatever-ist-ophobe.

When the Olympics became politicized in the 1980s with the boycotts I lost interest and never regained it. Part of that was the way the TV coverage evolved over time--way too little actual competition. Part of it is the attempt to include more and more sports which further compounded the coverage problem. Lastly, the inclusion of professional athletes took away a lot of the appeal for me (yeah, I know, some countries were sending de-facto professionals for decades)

But the 1980 US-USSR hockey game is easily the most memorable experience I've had in front of a TV. It would have been the Cubs winning the World Series, but I fell asleep in my chair during the rain delay. :(

OTCW
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by OTCW » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:46 pm

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:18 pm
I loved the Olympics back in the days of the Iron Curtain when it was really the only venue in which the whole world participated. It was also a time when a person could be unashamedly pro-American (or their home country) without be labeled a whatever-ist-ophobe.

When the Olympics became politicized in the 1980s with the boycotts I lost interest and never regained it. Part of that was the way the TV coverage evolved over time--way too little actual competition. Part of it is the attempt to include more and more sports which further compounded the coverage problem. Lastly, the inclusion of professional athletes took away a lot of the appeal for me (yeah, I know, some countries were sending de-facto professionals for decades)

But the 1980 US-USSR hockey game is easily the most memorable experience I've had in front of a TV. It would have been the Cubs winning the World Series, but I fell asleep in my chair during the rain delay. :(
I'm no Cubs fan, but that was a great baseball game you slept through!

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:54 pm

I also think we should be more inviting of Olympians openly being roided to the gills. I want to see the limits of human ability!

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Chris
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Chris » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:45 am

Sport has a long history of bridging divides between people. People from different cultures speaking different languages can meet on a common plane of understanding: on a sheet of ice, rubbing brooms in front of a 40lb stone. Or hurling down an icy track at 90mph. And then afterward they all eat for free at McDonalds and have an orgy at the Olympic Village (that's my understanding anyway). If we can get Americans, Chinese, Russians, Koreans and members of 88 other countries together without killing each other, that's a good thing.

And before someone brings up that the 1936 Berlin Olympics did not prevent world war, consider the missing critical elements: free condoms and free McNuggets. World peace will come with dipping sauce.

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Solvent » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:40 am

I like the Olympics, although as an Australian yeah the winter variant doesn't really do it for me.

I do think it has worth in that it seems to bridge cultural divides quite effectively. I also like the human interest stories - you know, this person worked hard and struggled with x, y or z and now stands in front of the world wearing a gold medal.

Yeah, the cost is phenomenal though. It's pretty much always a bad economic move for a city to hold a Games. Toooooo much money, lots of wasted resources, ridiculous corruption.

http://www.businessinsider.com/abandone ... tos-2015-8

Edit: Oh, and I really liked the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. If you're ever passing through... expensive, but I thought it was fascinating.

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Astra
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Astra » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:07 pm

jacob wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:22 pm
but also that swimmer guy (who swam way slower than I did in my heydays) a few years ago (in London?).
Happened twice even!

In Rio 2016, Robel Habte competed for Ethiopia, he swam 100m crawl in over an hour (everyone else < 1 min). He was celebrated as "Robel the Whale" because he was a bit chubby.

In Sydney 2000, Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea even took 1h 50min for the same distance. He learned to only swim 8 months before the Olympics, and almost drowned during the 100 m freestyle, the audience loved him as "Eric the Eel".

Both are Olympic heroes and legends by now! :D

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bryan
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by bryan » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:08 am

South Korea women's speed skating relay setting set an Olympic Record in the semi.. after crashing early and spotting half a lap to the field and coming back to win the heat :O

edit: heat after SK women, the new OR got broken by the Italians. I suspect a new WR may be set in the finals (taking it from 2016 SK)?

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Eureka
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Eureka » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:34 am

I find, JP Sears sums it all up nicely:
https://youtu.be/UptsW3pbCJM

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bryan
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by bryan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:40 pm

Pretty fair.

Any time I watch cross-country skiing it makes me want to go live in Siberia or Alaska, like @theanimal. Or maybe somewhere more posh..

Really enjoyed watching the biathlon sprint -> pursuit. After the sprint, I bet on a 150:1 guy.. he got silver -_-

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:14 pm

JP hits on a really key aspect to the winter olympics, and that's the chance of wiping out in almost every sport. The summers really don't have that.

bryan, a bunch of people have been cross country skiing here the past few days. Some of them are pulling a travois with tiny human cargo for added resistance. It looks intriguing.

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bryan
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by bryan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:40 pm

I definitely enjoy watching the short track speed skating more than track sprinting, exactly because it involves more strategy/tactics and involves dangerous, highly technical passing. If you or someone else doesn't execute a line correctly or is too boneheaded, there is usually a catastrophic failure instead of just getting a slightly slower time! I like the track relay more than short track relay though..

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bryan
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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by bryan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:45 pm

Signed up for a youtubeTV free trial so I could login to NBC's website to stream the live events. Old methods of accessing good foreign streams hasn't worked this year.

Watched the women's short track heats last night and saw Fontana from Italy wasn't getting much respect at the books (10:1). Cashed! Open bets now are SK Women's 3k relay 1.714, Desthieux xor Samuelsson in the 20k biathlon at 81.00 (though I think Fourcade will win again.. just good odds, I think)

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Re: Anyone else underwhelmed by the Olympics?

Post by DutchGirl » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:34 am

Hockey? Ice hockey you mean!

Had some great confusing discussion once with someone about hockey, as I assumed they meant the outdoor summer variant (clearly "hockey"), and they meant the outdoor winter variant ("ice hockey", duh). Seems like the ice hockey people refer to their ice hockey as hockey and to the summer type as "field hockey".

Funny to have such a weird miscommunication :-)

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