Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eight thoughts after watching the Olympics thus far

We're 5 days in, Beijing local time:

1. The Olympics and final exams, or rather, studying for final exams don’t mix. I like watching the Olympics a lot. I hate studying. Thanks for ruining my life SFU 8^p.

2. The Opening Ceremony? Wow. My mouth hung open a lot. However, even though Zhang Yimou was an artistic director, I couldn’t help feeling a little critical of perhaps how the +20000 performers may have been treated… Probably a lot better than the performers in the Mass Games at the Arirang Festival though.

Speaking of the Opening Ceremony, not that it matters (or that anyone will believe me), but when I initially saw the little girl singing “Ode to the Motherland,” I thought there was just a delay in audio, not that she was actually lip-synching! As for the footprints, I always thought they were sort of CGI’ed. And now we know!

3. CBC’s live streaming of events on their website is fantastic. Not so fantastic when you study nearby a computer that is connected to the Internet (see number 1).

4. I’m honestly getting very sick of all the coverage of Michael Phelps when CBC covers the swim meets. Sure, Phelps is a good swimmer, but if I want to hear commentators praising him all the time, I can switch to NBC. I want to know more about the Canadian swimmers/athletes, especially when I live in Canada, watching the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Am I the only one who sees this irony?

5. In some of the events I’ve seen North Korean athletes participate in, I can’t help but notice how solemn and serious they are, especially when they lose. I sincerely hope they’re not tossed in concentration camps when they return home (oops, I mean “home”).

6. Canada hasn’t won any medals… yet. Somehow, I’m not very surprised. I blame lack of funding, particularly from corporate sponsors. I’m sure, for example, the big oil and gasoline companies could stand to throw in a few more sponsorhip dollars. Either way, 加拿大队加油!加油! (Go Team Canada!)

7. China is really winning buttloads of gold medals. It’s scary in one sense, that they resolved to do win the most gold (on homesoil too) and they’re on track to doing it. In another sense, I’m sort of proud, being ethnically Chinese (华裔) and all ([blushing] see number 6). Serious question: But at what cost are these gold medals to their citizens? How much pain has there been and will be? How many people have died?

8. I am 40% looking forard to 2010 in Vancouver, 60% dreading it.

Stupid final exams. One left.


Anonymous said...

On #4, you gotta expect that CBC is gonna cover the Phelps story; it's not their fault you can't see the Canadian swimmers in most of the race screen shots. There were big hopes today for Mike Brown today. And Despatie in synch. diving yesterday. And Hayden and the men's freestyle 4x200m relay. And David Ford in kayaking. We're getting some top 10 finishes (they're definitely broadcasting these on CBC), but we're not making it to the podium.

And on #6, frankly, it's embarrassing that Canada hasn't won a medal yet. I would agree though that Canada needs to kick in some major funding and major improvements to national athlete development. I think Beijing has proved that we're not really a sports-minded country.

As for 2010, I just hope we don't begin that with a week-long medal drought.

Tim said...

Re: #4 – I agree that CBC is definitely covering lots of events Canadians are in, but my beef with the CBC is that when it comes to men’s swimming, it seems like every second name you hear is phelps. (for the record, while watching this afternoon, I heard Mark Tewksbury tell Ron MacLean that Canada has something like 23 new swimming records with their performances at these games)

Re: #6 – a lot of commentators are saying to expect medals in this second week as there are more medal hopefuls in the second week’s events. Simon Whitfield predicted at an airport before leaving for Beijing (either yesterday, or the day before yesterday) that he’d be shocked if we don’t one by Tuesday, or something like that.

While studying…. or, ahem, daydreaming, I was musing, maybe these Olympics and lack of medals are meant to humble Canada? I don’t know, this idea just popped into my head, then went out.


Anonymous said...

it's true. humiliation does humble.

Tim said...

that made me laugh, but its so true