Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympics Musings Day 13

So much has happened it's hard to recap it all. We've finished all the swimming events, with just a bit of diving and the ever mesmerizing synchronized swimming yet to come. Leading the way in the primetime excitement now are the track and field medal events which will carry us through to the closing ceremonies on Sunday. I have yet to see any table tennis yet, but that may just be because I haven't been following as closely lately as I did in the beginning. It's a good thing the Olympics are only two weeks long, because I don't think I could handle much more than that.

In Team USA news...

* The best womens beach volleyball duo of May and Walsh took home back-to-back Gold Medals for the first time Olympics history. The Gold Medal game yesterday was amazing, especially considering it was in the pouring down rain.

* USA Softball got upset for the first (and probably last) time in Olympics history, as they take the silver, with Team Japan taking the Gold.

* Women's Soccer defeated the powerhouse of Brazil in extra time to secure the Gold Medal for the 3rd time in 4 Olympics bringing their medal record in the past 4 games to (3-1-0) having medaled in every Women's Soccer event since the event began in 1996.

* Of course, in Women's Team Gymnastics, I'm sure we all saw Team USA take the silver.

* In rowing, the Women's 8 took Gold for the USA, featuring two ex-Huskies. Go Dawgs!

* Venus and Serena took the Gold in doubles tennis. But I have to say, does tennis seem to be something that has transcended the Olympics by this point? It's a mainstream sport that doesn't really seem to fit in the Olympics to me. I say the same about basketball and soccer, and the soon-to-be-removed baseball, actually. The Olympics are all about amateur sports competition, these games that really have become professional events, need not be in the Games.

* While I'm on the topic of team sports, women's water polo, in case you didn't know we had a good team, took silver.

I was thinking today, what unique, one-of-a-kind, unlike anything else events are there really in the Olympics? In case you didn't notice... these are the same games:

Soccer, Field Hockey, Handball, Water Polo, Basketball
Tennis, Table Tennis, Badminton, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball
Judo, Taekwondo, Boxing, Fencing, Wrestling
Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing, Rowing
Cycling, Swimming, Track & Field, Triathlon

Sure they're all slightly different, but the game is the same. You've got hitting the ball into goal, hitting the ball over a net, hitting each other, racing on water, and racing other ways.
That leaves the following semi-unique events:

Archery, Shooting (different enough to be interesting)
Baseball, Softball (really, there's nothing like these)
Equestrian (definitively unique)
Gymnastics (skill)
Rhythmic Gymnastics (artistic with skill)
Synchronized Swimming (I think they invented synchronized diving to make it feel better)
Trampoline (arguably like gymnastics, but odd)
Diving (same as trampoline, odd)
Modern Pentathalon (unique only in that who would think to put those events together in the first place?)
Weightlifting (in a class by itself)

So maybe there is more uniqueness than I had first thought. Still, there's a lot of repetition. Someone should invent something really unique... like curling.

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