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Wild (and Weird) Weekend of Olympic Watching

I've never been one to sit and watch sports all weekend, but despite my busy schedule, I crammed in as much viewing as humanly possible. Is it wrong during a birthday party to want to sneak off inside and catch some rowing? I now kind of get those people who stare at their blackberries when their teams are playing. I've become that girl. And it isn't even like I just wanted to watch the Phelps stuff (which I did a lot of, so much that it merited its own post), or the gymnastics... I found myself unable to have an adult conversation when I saw scull rowing on television. Who will win? Who are these people? Matters not to me. I watched the freakin' women's marathon... and that is long. It is truly a sickness and I'm seriously thankful that this only happens every few years, because I can barely keep up, and soon my friends and family are going catch on to the fact that I always sit facing a television.

One of my favorite sports was on this weekend, and I'm not even being ironic when I say that it is Trampoline. It's like they combined my love of the twists and turns of diving and my love of floor exercises for this one perfectly bizarre event. It's a lot harder than it sounds as they are given this little rectangular square with borders and a big x on it and told to jump like two stories in the air while not going out of bounds. Points are deducted for landing erratically. Given that I can barely manage a gentle jump in a mini-bounce hut, this one is kind of amazing, oh... and when people fall... they fall hard.

Regular gymnastics was also on, but that was kind of heartbreaking in its own right. Especially for the American women. Seeing Alicia Sacramone (she of the repeated falling during the team events fame) sit there while others faltered on the vault only to come in fourth was hard. (Made more difficult by Cris Collinsworth's interview that ran directly before it, in which she was trying to keep her composure the whole time.) And then seeing super smiley Shawn Johnson wait patiently through seven other floor exercises, while remaining in the top spot, only to lose in the second. I wasn't the only one who was kind of stunned. If you saw Bela Karolyi's biting comments about the judging committee during his talks with Bob Costas, you'd know that this was a big upset. He was all over them. It's kind of nice when an expert in the sport (no matter how biased he may be because his wife is coaching Team USA) gives an honest opinion of the judges. Makes for fun times.

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme! I don't know what's in the water down in Jamaica but I need some. The country took home the title of fastest man and woman in the 100M sprints. Pretty awesome. And they just seemed so excited about it. There were flags being thrown at them, they ran around excitedly for their fans. I love that exuberance. And it was incredible that in a race that is only ten seconds long both Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser had enough time to look around and see that they were so far in front that they basically slowed to the finish. Normally I'd consider that slacking off, but with such a fast sprint, its hard to use the word slacking.

More random thoughts:
-- Never mess with a girl who does shot put. Have you seen these women? They look tough. And big.
-- Dara Torres seems like she'd be cool to hang with. She made sure that the judges stalled one of her races so that a torn suit of a fellow racer could get changed. That person didn't come close to winning, but it was a nice effort. Dara of course rocked the house getting two shiny silver medals.
-- Pursuit is a stupid sport. No crashing, despite the cool NASCAR looking tracks. Just lots of biking around in circles. Sigh. The dizzying wheels are kind of mesmerizing.
-- While I've been complaining about the live events keeping me up into the wee hours, it was much worse to have no live events on Sunday. I was all kinds of confused about what day it was with the nighttime and all the interviews and what not. Very perplexing and not nearly as engaging.
-- Who brings kids to the Olympics? During the men's gymnastics competition I heard the unmistakable cry of an infant in the audience (my husband made a snarky remark about how this was actually one of the female Chinese gymnasts... which earned him a glare, but I was laughing on the inside). But if you are going to an all day sporting event. Get a sitter. It's annoying at the movies. It's more annoying here.

And finally, the one thing on Sunday that made me really happy? Watching Mary Carillo be tortured with acupuncture. The segment still had nothing to do with the Olympics (though she tried to tag it to the fact that athletes had their own acupuncturists these days) but her having pain inflicted on her makes for fun TV.

Watch our vloggers Beth & Val talk about the crazy insane Olympic opening ceremonies.

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