Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Olympics

"The Olympics combine the two things Americans hate most. Foreigners and going to the gym." - Stephen Colbert - The Colbert Report

For some reason I find myself paying attention to competive swimming every four years. I turns out that 2008 is one of those years. I have not been able to watch too much of the cycling but I think I got my fill during the Tour de France so it is OK. I have been able to watch lots of gymnastics, beach volleyball and yes swimming. Usually I watch the games until I fall asleep on the couch. I usually wake up as Michael Phelps gets yet another gold.

I find it hard to watch gymnastics for a couple of reasons but mostly because the ESPN X Games were only last week and I saw the same things being done on motorcycles, skateboards and BMX bikes. The Beach Volley Ball has its moments but it does not seem like an Olympic Sport. The players seem to be having too much fun. No overbearing coaches on the side lines.

However, I do find myself drawn to the swimming. I think I just enjoy racing no matter what it is. The attractiviness is probably the simplicity. The first one to cross the finish line wins. No judges scores and minimal rules. I am also amazed at how fast the swimmers are. I am winded when I swim one length of my pool at my own pace. I cannot imagine multiple laps against the fastest in the world.

There has been so much coverage on the Speedo Swimsuits that are being used this year. I checked out the Speedo website and the general public can purchase these suits for $550 a piece. There is not much difference between the men's and women's suits. It is amazing that technology has improved but Janet Evans 800m Freestyle record is still standing.

As I was writing this post Michael Phelps won his 6th Gold Medal. They are debating on whether Mr. Phelps is the best athelete ever on the afternoon sports shows. I have voted for Tiger Woods but I guess the case could be made for the swimmer. It is probably a moot arguement.

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