Monday, August 11, 2008

Boski on the Olympics (pt. 1)

For those of you who don't know, Boski is a big fan of the Olympics. Especially the summer games. For me it started in 1996 with games in Atlanta. I started watching mainly for the girls gymnastics. I had a bit of a crush on Shannon Miller and Dominque Moceanu and got caught with them winning the gold. Because you never really knew when they would come on tv I started watching it and really got into the other games. So lets talk about China 08.

The opening ceremony was incredible. The best ever. I watched the entire thing and have it recorded so I can watch it again. The thousands of performers, the worlds largest LED screen, the lights, the sounds. From the hundreds of guys operating the pop-up blocks with computer precision to the guys who created a human version of the "birds nest" stadium. It was simply awe inspiring. It will be difficult for any country to top that (we shall see how England does during the London Games in 2012). Now lets jump onto the games.

Having started two days before the opening ceremony we got a glimpse of the soccer action early on. So let me talk about the US team. With a 1-0 victory over Japan and a heartbreaking last minute tie 2-2 against the Dutch, I think we have a shot going into the next round. But lets asses the team. Bringing Brian McBride out of international retirement as one of their overage players was a good idea, however he has proven to be more of away to draw defenders and allow space for others than really showing his real power. I've watched both games and these are my thoughts. The US needs better defenders, BAD. I don't think there has been a decent defender since Eddie Pope. And before him I'll Thomas Doley as the next best defender the US has came up with. I do like Bocanegra but as you can see he was dropped from Fulham and is more prominent attacking set plays than being a true defender. The guys we have now suck. The other are where I think we need development is in the center of the midfield. I do like Bradley, but he is way more defensive oriented (which in truth he needs to be). The US needs a true attacking center mid. The closest we've ever come has been Tab Ramos. Reyna had good vision but was never a goal scorer. Our wingers are ok. With the senior squad we have two strong ones in Beasely and Dempsey. But these kids Holden and Rogers can play decently.

On a few other events/topics. The bad mitten action has been great. I've also been trying to catch as much of the handball as possible. The womens fencing(saber) was incredible. Gold, Silver, and Bronze all going to an American. I guess the lesson here is don't fuck with American women who have swords. I have found the water polo this year to be boring and have really tried to follow the weight lifting. The marksmanship has been good, but they have not shown much of it this year. Some of the controversy i'd like to talk about mainly regard the Chinese gymnastics team. There has been a lot of talk that they are using underage girls and that the government has faked documents stating their age because gymnastics is HUGE and I mean HUGE in china. When the discovery channel did their special on China a entire segment was dedicated to gymnastics. Word is almost all the girls on the team are underage. They are saying around the 12 to 14 year mark. If this is true its extremely sad. The other controversy that has really not got too much air is about the media coverage, or really accessibility and censorship. The internet in Chinas is regulated and controlled by the government. They are saying that many sites that were anti-china were blocked, even from journalist who were promised complete freedom of the internet. Also they said that the media was not allowed too many interviews, and would not be allowed to film many of the protest going on. But on the other hand the media has made it so several high profile events be held first thing in the morning in China (which is prime time easter US as we are 12 hours apart). The China gymnastic teams has openedly complained about having to preform at 8am their time for world wide audiences. They denied a move to play basketball games at that time. More to come when Boski provided everyone with part 2 of his Olympic coverage.


nyphon said...

to me swimming has always been my favorite for a couple reasons
1) races are short (attention span only lasts so long)
2) the US usually has at least one person competing for gold
3) races are action packed and entertaining.

which brings me to my fav part of the olympics so far and i'm guessing it will not be passed...the men's 4X 100m relay was insane. after france said they would smash the US, the US pull out an almost impossible comeback in the last 40 meters of the race. what makes it even better is the arrogant french prick who made the comments was the one who choked in the end. Also, phelps is still on pace to get 8 golds. boom.

pex said...

I'm also a big Olympics fan, and I try to watch as many events as possible. I thought Shannon and Dominque were bangin too back then. Although I saw a recent interview with a grown up Dominque and she is kinda meh now.

On a side note, the interview was about how she thought the olympic gymnasts were being treated too harshly, ie diet and exercise, and they were being taken advantage of. The funny thing is, she was just denied from rejoining the team, so she's probably just mad that she's too fat. Which brings me to the point that in order to be the best you have to make sacrifices. Dont bitch that the training is too hard, cus if you dont wanna do it theres tons of people who would kill to take your spot.

Anyway, about the Chinese gymnasts, there is no way they are 16. I know gymnasts have stunted growth and delayed menstruation or whatever, but come on. Some of them look at most 12 years old.

The 4x 100 relay was crazy, but did you see the choke fest a little before that when Katie Hoff was dominating by a full body length then lost the lead on the last lap? That sucked big time cus we're falling behind in the gold medal race, although I'm not too worried cus the Chinese usually dont get many golds in the 2nd half (track and field especially).

nyphon said...

Yeah, if we maintain a close medal count with China now, we'll surpass them once T&F comes around.

What's more important: top # of gold medals or overall medal count?

I think if I could only have one, it would be most medals.

pex said...

id pick gold fa sho. if youre not first youre last

term said...

what chan does the soccer come on and approx times?

pex said...

they made a channel called the olympic soccer channel, had it at home, think they played some on universal hd as well. other than that idk, they might show some of the bigger games on normal channels.

That actually brought up something I was thinking about earlier. I know theres a big timezone difference, so the events arent live until like 8est. But I think they arent showing enough olympics on the normal channels. In previous years it would be on all day, showing all the random sports. Now you barely hear about the olympics until night due to the "great coverage" of all the other sports on random channels that most people dont have. I just know that I was a certified curling ref after watching the winter olympics. Why cant I see things like handball and badminton without having digital cable?

Staboski said...

if you go to olympics on yahoo they have a spot where you can see the tv schedule. at home we normally have at least one chan playing some form of the games all the time. the thing is when you try to record soccer it will be mixed in with like 2 other sports so you've got 6 hours of coverage and only a small part is of soccer, which isn't bad because most of it is good. i watched alot of wrestling this morning, it was good. i was pretty stoked the us guys gymnastics team got bronze, they were supposed to suck.

Prime said...

im watching the girls gymnastics right now, and they def have girls under 16, probably under 14 to be honest

the swimming has been the best part fo sho, the relay race was off the charts. besides hoff choking multiple races, us has been dominating

sleeper olympic sport that i saw today - white water kayaking