After I lost the start to my original post, I decided I’d save that one for another day and send you all to your television sets to enjoy the Olympics. It’s a great time.

I’ve loved the Olympics for as long as I can remember, even before I had the privilege of attending a few events in the 1984 Summer Games held in Los Angeles.

My favorite so far this year are the women’s and men’s indoor volleyball matches. I’ve also enjoyed the water polo. The announcers explained some things that I’ve never understood before, so the game makes more sense to me now.

I watched cycling on the first day–just because that was on, and it was The First Day! I would watch all the US basketball if I had cable, but it’s probably a good thing I don’t.

Gymnastics–I watch, but I hate every recital of the horrible injuries these young people have sustained on their way to reaching this phase of their career. It’s horrible hearing about their concussions, torn ligaments, broken collarbones, sprained ankles, knee surgeries, and more. If any other kid had the collection of bruises and medical issues these athletes have, we’d be calling social services to investigate whether or not they were subject to abuse.

To make matters worse, the media praises “pushing through” or a quick recover. They make heroes of the kids that take the punishment in order to win.

But a good spanking to help shape their character? My no! How can you suggest such a thing?

Just a little inconsistency there.

So gymnastics isn’t my favorite sport, to put it mildly.

I’m sad that the media builds up athletes to be heroes before they’ve done anything. There’s the girl that was to win the gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all around who didn’t even qualify. And the men’s team slated for the gold medal that didn’t even get on the podium.

Then Michael Phelps and the anticipation that he would come away with the most medals of any US athlete ever. So in his first event, he barely qualified for the final and didn’t medal.

Or how about the man the media has been building up to replace him–the one whose time is now, but who couldn’t keep the French swimmer from overtaking him in the relay?

The question is, what happened? The implication is, you let us down. But it was the media who built the expectations and made us viewers think these are scripted sure things that we have but to sit back and watch.

Well, no, the other athletes who have worked and dreamed just as much as the media darlings just might have something to say about the outcome.

It’s time the media started reporting instead of trying to predict.

Now go, watch, and enjoy. 😀

Published in: on July 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm  Comments (2)  


  1. Did you see the parents of that one American gymnast ‘freak out'(as the media put it) while watching their daughter preform? Their concern for her success was scary. I hope they don’t spank.

    I feel the same about gymnastics as do you. In fact, any sport with subjective scores – shouldn’t be a sport. Just an activity. Synchronized diving and swimming shouldn’t even be that.


  2. I think the overly demonstrative parents might be getting a bad rap. I think that clip aired on our local news because I saw it a couple times. Anyway, the commentator said the mom had been a gymnast, so her leaning left and right and all was possibly a reaction, as if she were thinking through what had to happen next. It looked weird, no doubt, but I’ve seen worse when I was covering high school sports as a reporter. Not the same kind of thing, but mean-spirited stuff aimed at the refs or opponents, and prideful, know-it-all stuff to show up the other team and fans. Sports is a good place to see human nature at work! 😉

    Interesting thoughts on sports with subjective scoring. I’d never thought of those as being in a different class before. I’ll have to think about that some more. I just found out that they’ve brought back rhythmic gymnastics. Horrors! Now that’s the most Not Sport Olympic event I’ve seen.



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