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Olympic in every sense of the word... - "You didn't hear about the polar bear?"
August 11th, 2008
10:37 pm

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Olympic in every sense of the word...
I haven't really watched the Olympics for years and years. In fact, I don't think I remember any I've watched since I was a kid. But after hearing how amazing the opening ceremonies were going to be, I watched it, and I was utterly stunned. I watched it with my mouth open, saying over and over again "how are they DOING that?!", while, at the same time, enjoying its beauty, grace, and dignity.

Then, I decided to watch a little on Saturday... and Sunday... and even today! I'm not an athlete, and I never watch athletics, but the difference from what I remember seeing decades ago and what I'm seeing now just dumbfounds me. My god - have any of you been watching what the Chinese men do on the stationary rings? How can anybody DO that? The body strength required is absolutely phenomenal. And then to see Michael Phelps and his complete control in swimming, or the way the American relay came from behind to pass in the last lap?

And then... there's the little things. *G* Like:

- When did gymnasts start wearing those funky leather supports on their hands and wrists - the ones that look like what people wear when they have wrist problems due to poor ergonomics. How do you grip with those things on?

- When did swimmers start doing that "stick your arms out in front of you, clasp your hands together, and wiggle like a dolphin" move whenever they dive into the water or turn around at the end of a lap?

- What's with this "landing on your upper arms" on the parallel bars - ouch! ouch! ouch!!!! What sadistic person thought of that?!

In addition to swimming, and men's and women's gymnastics, I've watched some of the women's beach volleyball. No way - 102 wins in a row for ANY team - even a beach volleyball team? How is that possible? That's just unreal!

The best thing about this Olympics? Seeing the athletes really do their best. That doesn't always happen, as the pressure causes people to fall apart, but for most of what I watched, everybody was truly performing at their best. You hold your breath, wondering if people are going to stick that landing, or put on the speed they're supposed to - and they do! (I have to mention, though, that women's gymnastics was a pretty big exception, unfortunately)

Oh - and finally - best uniforms? Chinese by far. Wonder if there's a medal for that?

p.s.

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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 14th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
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I'm so tired... up until midnight last night watching...!
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From:finabair
Date:August 12th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC)
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I usually watch bits and pieces, and it amazes me how different many of the events have gotten.

...although I agree that the new outfits most of the swimmers wear aren't as good as speedos. As she said (I'm paraphrasing), "These are some of the only men in the world who look good in them, why aren't they in them?"
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 13th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
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*L*! Well, I gotta disagree with you there. NOBODY looks good in a speedo! *L*! But my... those guys DO look good!

And the men out there are just loving the beach volleyball, you know they are. I was looking at a photo on Yahoo of an arch in Arches National Park that fell down due to erosion, and started looking through the other photos and... well, it was informative - *L*!

OMG... I'm watching the women's gymnastics just now, and I did NOT know that the coach is Bela's wife (sorry, forgot his name, but you remember him). I knew she was probably from an Eastern European country, but I had no idea that's who she was. They are so alike.
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From:finabair
Date:August 13th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
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Oh, no! Wall Arch collapsed? Actually, I don't recall being particularly wowed by it when we hiked past it...but still, one less arch in the park. *sniff* I'd have expected Landscape to go first, honestly.

...then again, some folks think that Landscape is stabilized now that it's lost the extra weight. *shrug* Who knows?

Re: the speedos, if you haven't seen the Olympics since you were a kid, how would you know how these guys look in them? ;-)
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 14th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
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You know... I think I was thinking Wall was Landscape... I'm going to have to look up photos now to check.

And, as to the Speedos comment... :P!
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From:finabair
Date:August 14th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
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Landscape is the one that's lost bits for the last...decade or two? At least three falls, so the trail that used to head basically under it has been closed since before I was out there.

Wall was kinda right above you as you went up the first big hill after passing Landscape. Apparently the trail's closed until the rest of Wall stops attempting to drop on anyone below it.

Pictures: http://www.nps.gov/arch/parknews/news080808.htm
Map thingy: http://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/upload/archmap.pdf
(Devil's Garden trail near the top goes by Landscape and Wall)
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 14th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! *S*
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From:piratesorka
Date:August 12th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
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I've been enjoying the Olympics too. The Chinese have been very gracious throughout. I LOVED how the Chinese are so ga-ga over our "Redeem" team in basketball.The Chinese on the hanging rings just amaze me. My arms just ache watching it.

Phelps is secretly a dolphin in disguise I am positive. Alien.

I sure hope they come out with a video with the full opening night. That show just leaves you gasping for the right word. Spectacular comes to mind but its not even enough.

Also, I have enjoyed NOT hearing people chant "USA,USA,USA" at the top of their lungs.
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 13th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
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Agree with all. There are some strange shouts you sometimes hear, though, and it will sound like just a few women - Chinese? - very piercing - during the gymnastics. Haven't a clue what that is all about. And the Chinese have been amazing hosts!
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From:arevanye
Date:August 12th, 2008 01:06 pm (UTC)
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- When did gymnasts start wearing those funky leather supports on their hands and wrists - the ones that look like what people wear when they have wrist problems due to poor ergonomics. How do you grip with those things on?

Oooh! Oooh! I know this one!! Those leather handgrips actually help them hold on better. There is a piece of dowel rod-type material that goes over the bar and tucks under the thumb. It helps them keep their grip when doing those huge flyaway maneuvers. First husband was a gymnast and told me once there would be no way anyone could hang on without those handgrips these days now that they do so many more aerial release moves.
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From:arevanye
Date:August 12th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and I thought the opening ceremonies were so stunning that it was a little intimidating! All those thousands in unison? Kinda scary.

Did you hear part of the fireworks weren't live, but were computer generated? Hmmmm....
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 13th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
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Aha!!! Thanks. Another person (not a gymnast) swore it was to keep their hands from getting skinned... but, hey, you just develop calluses.

Love the icon. Since I've been so long off the internet, I knew nothing about Dr. Horrible until it got an article in Entertainment Weekly recently!
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From:quasievil_bunny
Date:August 12th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Welcome back to the world of LJ!

((hugs))
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 13th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
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Awwww.... thank you!!! ((((hugs)))) Been going to any Cons this year?
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From:quasievil_bunny
Date:August 13th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
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Heading out to GenCon in Indy tomorrow. Dragon*Con in Atlanta in a couple of weeks! How about you?
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 14th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
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Wow - you're really keeping up! I really haven't since the LOTR-related appearances and events have gone away. What's the main thing that you go for?

And I did consider GenCon, but am not enough into Gaming. I do miss the dose of bright, shiny things and general geekiness.
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From:quasievil_bunny
Date:August 15th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
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I'm a Gaming Geek Goddess, through & through!!! LOL

Now roll me that d20!
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 16th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
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*G* I almost wish I was into gaming, just to go and enjoy GenCon. Which is where you're at now, hopefully having a great time and hanging out at that bar by the train overpass (damn.... what was its name?) that stays open 24 hours a day during GenCon because the owner's a gamer! Have fun!
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From:quasievil_bunny
Date:August 16th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
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It's not too late to learn! I'll gladly teach ya!
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 16th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
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*G* I have enough problems getting stuff done without more distractions! Have a great time!
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From:msilverstar
Date:August 13th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
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Welcome back! I am with you on every single one of your points, it's kinda funny. I'm slightly weirded out by all the rules and judging, and even more by synchronized diving. Anything that makes such a fetish out of mirroring movement just seems strange.
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 14th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
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I finally saw more of that tonight - REALLY strange (but kind of neat) seeing this "strobe" view they were showing, with a succession of frozen images. Strange, but impressive! And thank you!!! ((((hug)))
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From:abandonada
Date:August 15th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
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Olympic junkie here. Love them so much! And great to see a post by you!
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From:rosamundeb
Date:August 16th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
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*G* Good to hear from you! I know, I've been AWOL for a long time. Yep, still watching the Olympics. Of course, it does help that there is absolutely, totally, completely nothing else on... *G*!
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