The Duck of Minerva

Olympic Observations


11 August 2008

Echoing Rodger, Dan and Charli are doing excellent work on the serious stuff of the day, so here are a few light observations after a few light hours watching some of the Olympics over the weekend.

  • Still President Bush is everywhere–its like he has nothing better to do. He’s at the basketball game. Then he’s with Misty May and Kerri Walsh, tapping May on the backside. Then he’s on for an in-studio interview / commentary session with Bob Costas who gave David Gregory a good run for his money with some actual substantive questions. Then, not 2 segments later, he’s in the water cube cheering on Michael Phelps and the US swimmers. Yes, he’s doing some diplomacy and meeting with Chinese officials, and yes, with modern communications he can run an NSC meeting from anywhere, but doesn’t he have a day job with a few pressing demands right now?
  • Why is it that the logo on the gymnastics equipment is in English? (photos here) It says “Beijing 2008” not in Chinese but English. I know English is one of the official languages of the Olympics, but you’d think there would be more Chinese in those logo-spots that are there because they continually get caught on camera when the gymnasts tumble over them.
  • Does anyone understand this new gymnastics scoring system? That one US woman fell on her #$% on the dismount and still scored a 15+ and will qualify. It wasn’t a small fall, she totally rolled over. What’s up with that? I remain steadfast in my position that “sports” that rely completely on subjective judging aren’t actual sports. This includes gymnastics and ice skating, which are the biggest TV draws for summer and winter games.
  • Wow, the swimming is impressive. They are absolutely flying through the pool.
  • Kristy Coventry is quite an interesting story–a white female racking up medals for Zimbabwe.
  • All this smog can’t be good for China’s image, I wonder if this will have any impact on the climate treaty talks…