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.