I am usually the cynic that says the Olympics are a festival for sponsors, pretentious television announcers and steroid manufacturers. I scoff that Americans have little real chance against athletes that have ate-drank-and-slept their sport since they showed the slightest aptitude at age 3. Of course, I am referring to “commies.” Can we still call them that?
I thought I was jaded against the U.S. Men’s Basketball team. That’s a lot of bloated ego for one bench. Pretty much everyone I love to cheer against is right there in red white and blue. It’s like a stable of wrestling heels, the New World Order. Yet there is Anthony Davis, a Wildcat emeritus. It’s my hope that he adds a gold medal to his NCAA championship. How can you root against the unibrow?
My wife and I spent the weekend glued to the television, both at home and at a number of sports bars. Even something like water polo, which looks like a game of Calvinball. I have no idea what the rules might be, but I screamed for every goal the United States scored, like it was one of Steven Stamkos’ 60 last season.
Then there is swimming. Michael Phelps may have fallen off his Spitz-like pedestal, but I’m still rooting for him. Ryan Lochte may or may not be the next big thing, but hey, he’s still wearing our flag’s colors, and I find myself screaming, “Dig! Dig!” with every stroke he takes.
Gymnastics? Sure. Why not. Gone are the days where 10-year-old little girls dominated the performance. I am amazed by feats of agility. I am awed by the strength of a man who pulls himself up on a set of rings. It’s all about power anymore.
Sunday, we sat in TGI Fridays, playing trivia, and of all things, there was weightlifting. Women weighing barely 100 pound were hefting a barbell about three times their mass. Some folded under the weight. Some got it up, held it, and dropped it with a thunk. It wasn’t an American that took home the medal, I think it was Kazakhstan, so cue the Borat jokes. Still, I was amazed by the athleticism.
Sunday also saw equestrian sports. I am slightly intimidated by horses, so I honestly have no clue about the sport. Yet riders were doing amazing things with their mounts in a dressage competition. Again, another “Wow!” moment to see horses prancing in a just so fashion. How the heck does someone get so proficient with a horse?
When Holly came in while I was writing or reading to update me on the latest results, I usually asked her how the U.S. fared. It’s a wild time. Even in times of recession and political upheaval, I find myself extremely proud of my countrymen and women for competing at the highest level possible. Win or lose, Americans are doing amazing things, and always have my support. Here’s to a great games in London, Mary Poppins vs. Voldemort. America vs. China. Lochte vs. Phelps. Ego and Unibrow. Me? I’m cheering for the colors that never run.