Thursday, August 28, 2008

My friends are funny

I have realized over the past few weeks that my friends are funny. Like, really funny. Way funnier than your friends. As an ode to them, I am going to share my favorite Olympic (and sports) quotes from my friends (it's mostly Mary, cause she's the only one who is almost as obsessed with the Olympics as I am)

Mary: i wish there was an olympic schedule search function, where you can type in an athlete's name and it will tell you when he/she will be on.
Mary: "when will hot, single, shirtless men be featured? tuesday at 9 pm? excellent. I'm there"

Sara: I am about to go to bed, but I just wanted to let you know that synchronized swimming makes me embarrassed to be a swimmer
Sara: I feel like I forget how lame it is over the course of the four years, my burning hatred kind of mellows
Sara: "these two picked a light jazzy routine." They actually just said that.

Mary: synchronized swimmers, rhythmic gymasts, and trampoliners are just a waste of olympic medals that could just be given to Michael Phelps

Sara: I've decided I'd rather eat bad food and watch people work out (olympics) than work out and watch the food network

Mary: if I were a diver, a male one, I would list in my Olympic bio under interests: "women." that's it.

Susan: I've had pretty much No motivation this week whatsoever. all i do is think about the olympics and how i want aaron piersol Mary: Check out the shoulder tattoo...HOT...he looks dirty.

"Dear Ryan Lochte: There's no need to speak. Just stand there & look hot. Thanks. Signed, Everyone"

Me: I’m so mad, I would have been such a good swimmer, with my abnormally long torso, midget legs and big shoulders. My parents are assholes

Sara: I am totally on team USA dont get the wrong idea... but dont you ever want to go into the locker room and cheat with Alain Bernard from France???

Mary: omg last night's heats were so hot. Lochte and Phelps
and Peirsol

Normal people, good people watch gymnastics and take it very, very personally. No matter how creepy the little freaks are. But we're lucky this year, because our little freaks are Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. – SportSquee, a really funny blog.

Amy: I was crying watching it last night. I got SO into it
I love gymnastics.
I used to do floor gymnastics competitions!
I could have been good if i didnt get boobs and a butt
Amy: It would have helped too if my father was the coach

Chelsey Kelly
in search of a (fantasy) football primer, although my plan of drafting the hottest player available at the time has seemed to work in the past

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Heroes and Villains

Okay, so the Olympics are coming to a close. Every Olympics we fall in love with some athletes, and hate others. Here's a list of my favorite athletes, and the athletes I now loathe.


Shawn Johnson -- This chick is the cutest thing I've ever seen. You look at her and you can't help but smile, she's so gosh-darn cute. She's all apple cheeks, a little bit of buck teeth, she's 4'9" and she's awesome. These best part is, she is totally kick-ass... she seems like the kind of girl who you would go to the fair with and she'd want to ride the zipper and all of the crazy rides you'd have to pay me to get on, and then she's want to go bungee jumping, and she'd try to convince me to go, but couldn't, then she'd bounce up to the bungee platform, jump down, and bounce back to you after like it was nothing. I <3 her.

Jason Lezak -- The best relay swimmer in American history often goes unnoticed... til you swim a 46.06 final 100 in the 4x100 free to steal the gold medal from the French... reasons Lezak is our hero:
1. He kept Michael Phelps' quest for 8 gold medals alive; we all know that is what would have been the real tragedy if the US had lost the gold medal. But, this dude totally put his team on his back, swam them out of a hole, and because of HIM they won the gold and set the world record in probably the best swimming race ever.
2. He beat the French guy. Okay, so we all know the French are pretty much all a-holes (yes, I'm incredibly PC today), but this Alain Bernard guy kind of takes it to another level. He talked a ton of smack about how the French were going to "smash" the Americans, making himself an instant villain, plus he has a wicked hot body, but his pin head looks like it is photoshopped onto it. They totally don't go together, it's super freaky.
3. In his 3rd Olympics, he finally won an individual medal - a bronze medal in the 100-meter free. Previously, Lezak had 5 relay medals, including 3 gold, but no medals on his own. We all wanted Phelps to win the race (come on, you know you did), but I think we were all cheering just as hard for Lezak to take home the silver or bronze... and I don't think I've ever seen anyone so happy to come in 3rd.
4. At 32, he is the oldest man to ever qualify for an Olympic swim team. Sure, at 41 Dara Torres makes him look like a toddler, but it's still pretty awesome.

speaking of...
Dara Torres -- at 41, just making the Olympics was an amazing feat... but Torres won individual silver in the 50 free, then just SEVEN MINUTES after standing on the podium, anchored the US women to a silver in the 4x100 free. This lady is kick-ass. (please don't let her be on drugs, please don't let her be on drugs, please don't let her be on drugs...)

Jonathan Horton -- Kid was the best US men's gymnast bar-none, and had the best competition of his life at the Olympics. He took the team on his back and stuck 6-of-6 routines in the team competition to give the Americans a suprise bronze. Then, on the last day of competition, he threw two new elements into his high bar routine because he didn't just want to make a good showing in the event finals, he wanted to compete for a medal. It paid off, and he won the silver.


Usain Bolt -- Okay, so if you haven't yet seen the 200 meter final, DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH. That's my disclaimer.
Now: why Usain Bolt is evil.
1. He is 21 years old. If he is legit this good at 21, he makes me sick.
2. He won the gold and broke the WR in the 100 meter dash, and he slowed down at the end to celebrate. I don't care that he celebrated, if I was the world's fastest man I'd be doing backflips down the track and telling everyone else in the world to suck it, but come on man... finish the race.
3. He broke Michael Johnson's World Record in the 200 meters. That is literal track blasphemy.

Milo Cavic -- I have a few reasons to dislike Mr. Cavic.
1. He was born in America, yet swims for Serbia. I mean his parents are from there and all, but he grew up here, went to college here, then he swims a medal for Serbia? What, you didn't think you were good enough to make the American team or something?
But that's not the worst part...
2. Cavic decided that he spoke for the world when he said that it would be good for swimming in Phelps lost a race. Ummm Milo, good for swimming or good for you? Yeah, that's what I thought. I love when athletes no one has ever heard of open their mouths to bash the stars, so that their names are in the papers too. Whatever dude. He put up a great showing in the 100M fly, barely losing to Phelps, but then he started complaining like a bitch that he had actually won, and the results were wrong, blah blah. Get over it dude, you lost. It wasn't better for anyone except YOU if Phelps lost. Oh, and now you're the a-hole who talking smack about America's hero. WAY TO GO JERK

CHINA -- Yeah, they put on a good Opening Ceremonies, and the water cube and bird's nest are fricken awesome... but this country needs a serious reality check.
1. Smog -- seriously, that shit is nasty. "But it isn't like that every day." That's something to be proud of? Once every three days you can see more than 100 yards in front of you? It's disgusting. The best male marathoner in the world, Haile Gebrselassie, won't even run it there because he's afraid of what it will do to his lungs. Um, don't you think that's a problem China? Seriously, over a billion people and you can't figure out how to clean?
2. Communism - seriously? So the US won't trade with Cuba, and we can't go to Cuba, but we're free to go to China, and most of our crap is made there... double standard much? US Speedskater Joey Cheek, the founder of Team Darfur, had his visa "mysteriously" revoked just hours before he was supposed to go to Beijing to try to urge China, an economic partner of Sudan, to help make peace in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. How is this possible in 2008?
3. No freedom of speech -- International journalists aren't allowed onto any websites that mention the massacre at Tiananmen Square, or anything that puts the Chinese government in a bad light. Nothing to do with the Dalai Lama is allowed. The Chinese promised before they were awarded the games that they would give 100% freedom to the press. LIARS.
4. Chinese athletes -- now, before you read this and think I'm racist or something, please let me explain: I feel SO sorry for Chinese athletes. Especially gymnasts. The kids are taken from their families when they're like 4 years old, and basically are turned into strong, flipping robots. Their families are given a home and the knowledge that their child is doing good for China. Then the kids see their families maybe once a year. They train like 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You never see beaming Chinese parents in the stands, because they don't even know their own children. It's basically child abuse and it makes me sick.
...There are probably 100 other reasons China is a villian in these Olympics, and I don't even mean how He Kexin stole the uneven bars gold medal from Nastia Liukin.

That's all I can think of now... definitely let me know who you think I missed and why!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A picture you may want to look at...

Michael Phelps and Brady Quinn... I <3 them both, but seriously, can you imagine their conversations? Please boys, stop talking. Just stand on each side of me and look pretty. Oh, and fan me with your money.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yeah, I cry at sports. Deal with it.

I have something embarassing to admit... sometimes, I cry at sports.

Okay, when I say "sometimes" I kind of mean all of the time.

But give me a break, I know I'm a "tomboy" when it comes to knowing a lot about sports, but when it comes to everything else, I'm pretty girly - I love chick flicks, I cry at TV, I love getting a good mani/pedi, I like to cook, and I rarely leave the house without ironing my clothes.

So yeah, I cry at sports. Those "make a wish" segments on ESPN kill me. And I guess I'm the sucker NBC is gearing towards to, cause the stories on Lopez Lomong, etc., cause me to well up. I cry whenever I see what a win really means to someone... because it's not even about sport, its about accomplishing something they have worked their entire lives to. And I cry when someone loses something they have worked their entire lives for.

These Olympics have been no exception.

I have watched gymnastics ever since I can remember, I even tried gymnastics for a few years until I realized I was way too tall, and hadn't started at 4, so any Olympic asperations I may have had were to stay in my dreams. But I still love watching gymnastics, more amazed each year at what the young girls can do.

On Tuesday, I watched Massachusetts' own Alicia Sacramone fall of the beam and then fall on the floor, destroying her Olympic ideals. My eyes welled up with hers, knowing that she had hurt her team, and after years of spending 6 days a week, 6 hours a day in the gym, it all came down to a couple of falls.

In the all-around, America's hopes were tightly in the hands of 4'9 Shawn Johnson, and slightly behind her was Nastia Liukin, the Moscow-born, Texas bred daughter of an Olympic gold medal gymnast. Johnson's mid-west attitude, chipmunk cheeks and toothy grin scream "America's darling," while the more cold Liukin lurked in the background. For some reason, I was pulling for the calm and cool Liukin.

Definitely what would be considered an ice princess, Liukin is all business, and all beauty. Watching Johnson, she is simply missing something that Liukin has. Liukin gained her strength from her father, a 1988 gold medalist for the Soviet Union, but she got her beauty and grace from her mother, a World Champion rhythmic gymnast (yeah, I don't think its a sport but it's still pretty). Luikin's lines are impeccable, and her longer, less muscular body is just a lot prettier to watch that Johnson's tiny muscular stout body.

So when Liukin walked onto the floor needing barely a 14.8 to take the gold, I got chills. When she finished a gorgeous routine and all but secured the gold, I started to feel tears in my eyes.

When the routines were done, and the places were secure, Liukin finally broke into a smile for the first time in the entire competition. And when she hugged her father, now with the bond of an Olympic gold between them, and stood on the medal stand and finally showed real emotion - holding back the tears, - I knew I was alone in my bed and didn't have to show the same strength.

Saturday night when Phelps won his 8th gold, I cried as though I was his mother, so proud that he hasn't let the hype or the pressure overtake him. It makes me especially proud that he really seems to know what it means, and he doesn't take it for granted.

This year alone, I cried when the Red Sox won the World Series, when the Celtics won the Championship, and when Patriots lost. I cry when Bob Costas tells his stories about amazing athletes, and when Bryant Gumble tells the story of the treatment of racehorses.

Sometimes I feel like a wuss when I'm crying at sports. But then I remember that I could kick your ass at fantasy football, and I could tell most guys a thing or two about a cover-two. So there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In awe of Phelps

These are Michael Phelps' Olympics, and everyone else just happens to be there.

Through 5 events, Phelps has 5 gold medals, and 5 World Records. Oh yeah, and his total gold medal count now stands at 11, the most ever by an athlete in the Olympics.

And yet, even though this was expected of him, this dominance was almost a given, we are still in awe.

We are in awe of the man-fish, who, swimming against the best swimmers in the world, won the 200 meter freestyle by over two seconds, and broke the world record by more than a full second.

Even in his "questionable" race, meaning, not the one that he wasn't great at, but the one that had swimmers that were seemingly capable of beating him, it simply wasn't so -- Phelps won the gold by more than two seconds, with the man who everyone thought had a chance to beat him, teammate Ryan Lochte, fading to third, more than four seconds behind Phelps.

Much has been talked about Phelps and his natural abilities - his 6'4 frame, his abnormally long torso which is that of a man 6'8", and his shorter legs, which therefore create less drag in the water, with his core being lower in his body, more like that of a fish. His size 14 feet resemble flippers, he has a 6'7" wingspan, and is double jointed. Somehow his body creates about 1/2 the lactic acid of other world-class athletes, which prevents his muscles from tiring and cramping when others would. But, despite the physical attributes that make him almost born to spend much of his life in the water, it is Phelps' drive and determination that have made him the best Olympian ever. And he's not done yet.

Phelps' is Jordan-eque in his hatred of losing; he is Roger Clemens-esque in the intensity of his workouts (minus the 'roids)... he doesn't seem to hate killer workouts or putting his personal life on hold to concentrate on his ultimate goal.

He must consume between 8,000 and 10,000 calories a day just to make up for how hard he trains... and he has 2% body fat.

And to prove to the world that he isn't cheating, that it is God-given ability and hard-as-heck training that has made him the champion that he is, Phelps' volunteered for rigorous drug testing during the Olympics, being tested at LEAST once a day.

And I think one of the things that draws us into Phelps, besides his 6'4" perfect frame, is that he is like a kid when he gets each and every gold medal around his neck - smiling and taking it in, not like the Chinese robots who look solemn, and almost relieved, to get their gold.

So even though we expected this of Phelps, it is still fun to watch, we all still cheer him on each and every race, almost like we do Tiger Woods. They are two of the few Goliath-like athletes that the world cheers for against the underdog Davids of the sporting world. And that is because each time we see Phelps or Woods competing, we KNOW that we are watching history, the best to ever do their sport, and that is exciting, and awe-inspiring.

Oh, and for those of you keeping up, who want to see history live, here are Phelps' remaining races:
• Race No. 6 -- 200 individual medley: Friday morning Beijing time, Thursday night in the U.S.

• Race No. 7 -- 100 butterfly: Saturday morning Beijing time, Friday night in the U.S.

• Race No. 8 -- 4x100 medley relay: Sunday morning Beijing time, Saturday night in the U.S.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh Ryan, you're soooo funny

Day 2

Okay, recap of the big news of the first two days of competition.

And, of course, I'm American, so I'm pretty much only writing about the US. I mean, Korea beating Germany in women's handball might be a big deal over there, but I, and probably pretty much everyone reading this, really don't care.

Okay, top moments so far.

#1 - men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay takes gold
Was there any doubt as to what would be #1?! This was the most amazing relay I have ever seen.
The Americans, formerly unbeatable in this event, hadn't won gold in the past 2 Olympics, and were heavy underdogs to the French (I didn't know French were good swimmers... color me suprised). Phelps went out strong, and touched about even with the French and South Africans. Second leg Garrett Weber-Gale kept it going, and third leg Collen Jones lost it a bit to the French, who had their best racer still to hit the pool.
Then came the final leg.
Alain Bernard dove into the pool with a comfortable lead, a full body length, and kept it doing. American Jason Lezak, America's anchorman for years, tried all he could, but stayed behind for that 150 meters as expected.
With 50 yards to go Bernard, who earlier in the week said the French were going to 'smash' the Americans , had a comfortable lead on Lezak. I was so bummed out, I wanted to really stick it to those high-and-mighty Frenchmen. But with 25 meters to go, I sat up - Bernard seemed to tighten up, and Lezak must have felt it, riding his wave to cut down on drag. With 10 meters, I was on my feet on my bed -- THERE IS NO WAY. With 5 meters it suddenly seemed like the impossible was going to happen. Then with one gigantic reach, the 32-year old American out-touched the a-hole Frenchman to win the gold. Ahhh sweet, sweet redemption.
Oh, and not for nothing, but it keeps Michael Phelps' quest for 8 gold medals alive... I don't think I've ever seen someone so pumped.

#2 US women and men's gymnastics plagued with injury
So for the men, Morgan and Paul Hamm are both out, leaving the US with no athletes with prior Olympic experience. With two of three alternates now competing, the US men managed to advance to the finals in fourth place, with 365.200 points, behind China (373.600), Japan (369.500) and Russia (365.425). This isn't suprising in and of itself, because even with both Hamm's, the best I think the men could have done is the bronze. now they will be scratching at the eyes of the Ruskis, with only .225 points seperating them from the podium with 6 rotations to go. The US will need every athlete to step up and give their greatest performances for a chance at a medal.
As for the women...
The gold medal favorites coming off of a gold medal performance at the 2007 Worlds, and with two of the best All-Around athletes in the world in Shawn Johnson (yes, that is a girl) and Nastia Liukin (yes, that is an American). But all of a sudden this week, the team was knocked down with injuries: first to Chellsie (what were her parents thinking with that spelling?) Memmel, who was originally competing on all 4 events forced to draw out of all but the uneven bars with an ankle injury. If that wasn't bad enough, just minutes before she was to take the floor in the opening rotation of the team event Sunday, Samantha Peszek, who was also slated to compete in all four events in the team all-around, sprained her left ankle while warming up on the floor. Cut to the events, where the US was forced to enter just 4 athletes (instead of 5) on 3-of-4 events (excluding the bars) and all of the scores would have to count to the team total (instead of dropping the lowest).
Then came the competition...
Two stepped out of bounds on the floor.
Vault proved strong.
Then uneven bars, usually a strength, but it was far from that Sunday night, with both former world champions in the event, Memmel and Liukin, having uncharacteristic falls.
The girls ended on beam, which of course is the "heart attack" event for those of us watching at home. It was strong, and despite all odds stacked against them, at the end of the event,Team USA was in second place, less than 1.5 points behind China (which is kind of a lot in gymnastics). Johnson and Liukin finished 1-2 in individual qualifiers, and at least one member of Team USA qualified in each individual event.
So all ended well, but the US women, injuries and all, have quite an uphill climb Tuesday night if they want ANY chance of beating the hosts.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics Day 1... early August 9th

The morning started off with me watching the USA women's basketball team defeat the Czechs by something like 40... great way to start the morning. It was a dominating win, but I still can't believe how many shots and layups both teams were missing.

But once that was over, USA was carrying the Angola vs. France women's handball game, and MSNBC was showing dressage. It's like, I lose both ways. I decided to give each a chance... but both were as ridiculous as I assumed. Handball is pretty physical, but dressage is a joke. You don't even know what they are doing, what scores they get, or even what they are supposed to be doing - they did nothing, NOTHING, to sway my opinion.

Then real sports came on... the US women's volleyball took on a strong Japanese team, but beat them 3-1. It was a good match, but marred by the news of the stabbing death of a US men's volleyball coach's father-in-law. He, his wife, daughter (a 2004 Olympian herself) and a Chinese tour guide were attacked by a Chinese terrorist in a tourist area. The daughter was unharmed, but the wife and tour guide are both in critical condition at the hospital. THe murderer then committed suicide. A sad, sad event to start the games.

But back to sports - the US women put on a good show! Their best player is 6'7", and was just putting away kill after kill, really pummeling Japan's best player... who is 5'7. Can we say mismatch?!

Now I am watching women's fencing. The US women swept the medals in the sabre, and thats cool and all, but I now need to add fencing to my list of events that are NOT sports, and should not be in the Olympics. It is completely ridiculous. All they have to do is touch the other person above the waist. I dont get the draw, but congrats to the US women.

OH and I watched women's weightlifting -- the women were 106 pound and were lifting 237. It was incredible. but the Chinese woman who won was a literal machine ... its only her 2nd international competition (hmmm), the first being the World Championships in 2007 where she won gold (hmmmm). She set the Olympic Record, and didn't miss a single lift (hmmm)... I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin' - seems a little too good to be true, coming out of nowhere to just completely dominate the best in the world.

OK, so many random sports to watch, so little time... I'll probably get carpal tunnel (sp?) from flicking the channels so much.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Sports" that should not be in the Olympics

So last night I had a conversation with my friend Mary about ridiculous "sports" that are in the Olympics. Let's run with it...

"Sports that should NOT be in the Olympics, (and even calling them sports in the first place is a stretch)"

Summer Olympics:

Handball - I've said this before, but I really didn't know it was a legitimate "sport." I thought it was like that game suicide you played in elementary school, where you threw the ball against the wall, and if you caught it you threw it back against the wall as hard as you could, but if you touched the ball and didn't catch it you had to run up to the wall before the next person threw the ball against the wall. If you didnt beat the throw, you had to stand against the wall, and the thrower got to whip the ball at you, and you always hoped it was a girl or a weak boy throwing so it didn't hurt too much. Oh my God, can you imagine that game being played at schools these days?! Kids would get in trouble for assault or something. Geez, so much has changed in 15 years. Anyway, if they have handball in the Olmypics they might as well have school-yard "suicide". It's like soccer, but the opposite - you can't use your feet. No one even knows this sport exists outside of the Olympics, and even then, it's not even on TV.

Badmitton - I already went over this one... it is something we WASPS used to play after church while we were waiting for grandma to cook Sunday dinner. It is as much a sport as croquet, which is NOT in the Olympics (yet... just give them time. Hey, maybe they'll take away basketball to make room for it!) Oh, and the thing they hit is called a shuttlecock - how are we supposed to take this seriously??

Synchronized swimming - Okay, any "sport" where you wear a costume shouldn't be in the Olmypics. Is it hard? Hell yes. Should it be in the Olmypics? Hell NO. They wear makeup in the pool... give me a break.

Synchronized diving - OK... so, they just added this sport in the last Olympics. It makes me mad cause, its just the same as diving, but they put two people from the same country next to each other on the platform, then they do the same dive at the same time. It's always the people who are already competing in the individual event, and they just want another event to give medals in. Seriously, they are taking away baseball and softball, but added synchronized diving and trampoline. I'm going to gorge out my eyeballs.

Trampoline - The newest of the Olympic "sports." It is really cool to watch, but...
me: thats something you do in the backyard for fun when youre 12
Mary: those people can't hack real gymnastics OR skiing
me: i mean, anyone can flip on a trampoline, honestly
Mary: don't they have music
i think they have music
me: then at the end when they "land"
its wicked funny
me: "he stuck the landing!"
"oooh a small bounce after landing. they're going to deduct a tenth for that"
Mary: i think they do some crazy flips
Mary: but its still pretty retarded
Me: yeah they do crazy stuff. but its stupid.

Rhythmic Gymnastics - Okay, like synchronized swimming, any sport that you wear a "costume" shouldn't be in the Olympics. Along the same lines, any "sport" where props are used? NOT A SPORT.

Racewalking - Any event that makes you look like a dork shouldn't be in the Olympics. When your kids are older they can tell their friends their Daddy won an Olympic gold medal. When they ask for what sport and they have to say "racewalking," just see the look on their friend's faces (pity, trying not to laugh.

Dressage (part of equestrian) - OK, so it's part of a three-part event, but it's basically a pageant for horses. They see how well they trot, walk, run, etc. And the horses aren't even the rider's own, they pick them at the beginning of the competition. Like a costume, any sport where the person has to wear a top hat and a coat with tails should not garner an Olympic medal.

Modern pentathlon - For most of you who don't know, this event consistns of fencing, running, swimming, shooting (rifle) and riding (a horse)... so basically you are an adequate fencer, runner, swimmer, shooter and horseback rider
but you're not good enough to be the best at any of these so... you just do them all.

Canoe/kayak - Fun activities. Not sports.

Sailing - This one I did wrestle with, cause sailing is cool, and really difficult. I just don't think it should be in the Olympics if something like golf isn't. Only rich white people do it, and no one cares to watch cause, well, its out in the ocean so you can't even see it.

Table Tennis - This one KILLS me. First of all, it's ping pong. Second, its sooo lame. I mean, the Chinese go crazy for it, but they also go crazy for badmitton, soooo... Anyway, a sport that Forrest Gump (even in a movie) can be World Champion in clearly isn't a sport. Ahhhhh it's a game you play in your basement after hitting the bong, not something for Olympians! I need to move on, I'm getting angry.

Winter Olympics:

Ice Dancing - Mary: "What the hell?! you can't even do the coolest figure skating moves! okay, you're athletes, but you can't do jumps or throws
awesome. sounds like fun."
So yeah, let's do the tango on the ice, and call it a sport. Then why not friggen ballroom dancing? Oh no, I probably just gave the IOC an idea...

Aerial skiing - Aerial skiing is a a huge jump basically, they do twists and turns, then land and get a score
Mary: "Its for people who couldn't do real gymnastics (too tall, probably)but can ski."

Ski jumping - I mean, it takes guts, that's for sure... but it isn't a sport, its something Evel Knievel would do!

Biathlon - So, you aren't THAT great at xc skiing, or shooting... but you're pretty good at both - maybe you can win an Olympic medal!

last but not least...

Curling - The least athletic "sport" in the world. If there is any sport that makes you look like a dork, this is it.

I will let Mary have the final word:

Mary: "Synchronized swimmers, rhythmic gymasts, and trampoliners are just a waste of Olympic medals that could just be given to Michael Phelps."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

W2W4 August 7-10

We are getting close... here's a schedule of the first days of competition.

Thursday, Aug. 7

MSNBC, 4:30-7 a.m. — Men's Soccer, USA vs. Japan (LIVE)

Just in case you don't know, in the Olympics, soccer teams are U-23, with 3 (I think) players above 23. However, with World Cup qualifying going on, most national team players are unavailable for the Olympics, so it's the U-23s who aren't quite good enough to be on the Senior National team, and 3 over-the-hill players who aren't good enough to be on the Senior National team anymore. The Olympics ladies and gentlemen!
That said, the men's team is good, led by Freddy Adu, but in a tough group with The Netherlands, Nigeria and Japan. The U.S. men MUST get a win against Japan if they have any hope of advancing out of the group stage.

TELEMUNDO, 4:30-7 a.m. — Men's Soccer, Honduras vs. Italy (LIVE) Italy, always a powerhouse, should beat up on poor Honduras, who snuck into the Olympics.

7:30-10 a.m. — Men's Soccer, Ivory Coast vs. Argentina (LIVE)
Heavy favorites to win the gold, Argentina will face a strong Ivory Coast that won their group to make it to the Games

UNIVERSAL HD, 4:30-7 a.m. — Men's Soccer, USA vs. Japan (Simulcast)
El equipo masculino es muy fuerte, pero en un grupo resistente con los Países Bajos, Nigeria y Japón. Los hombres estadounidenses DEBEN conseguir un triunfo contra Japón si ellos tienen alguna esperanza del avance de la etapa de grupo.
(or something... hahaha)

NBC OLYMPIC SOCCER CHANNEL, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. — Men's games


Friday, Aug. 8

NBC and NBC HD, 8 p.m.-Midnight — Opening Ceremony

Always kinda boring, but a must-see. I sit around all night waiting for the athletes to enter, and I always somehow miss the US. I don't know why. I watch for 3 hours and my phone will ring during the US - it in inevitable. Let's watch China try to prove why they were chosen as hosts. That, in my opinion, was a ridiculous decision. I mean, what was the IOC (International Olympic Committee) thinking? "Yeah, I think it would be a really fantastic idea to hold the Olympics, the world's premier ATHLETIC EVENT, in the city with the highest amount of pollution, and air that is practically unbreathable. Congratulations Beijing!"


Saturday, Aug. 9 -- LET THE EVENTS BEGIN!!!!!!

NBC and NBC HD, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. — Women's Volleyball - USA vs. Japan (LIVE); Swimming; Beach Volleyball - USA Match; Men's Cycling - Road Race; Women's Fencing - Individual Sabre Gold Medal Final; Rowing

Day 1 of Michael Phelps mania. Going for the record of 8 golds, he is the highlight of the early events on Day 1.
6:50pm 400 IM prelims
Fittingly, Phelps is in the first race of the meet, and he can basically swim it like a workout and advance.

8 p.m.-Midnight — Swimming (LIVE): Gold Medal Finals: Men's 400-meter Freestyle, 400-meter Individual Medley; Women's 400-meter Individual Medley, 4x100-meter Freestyle Relay; Men's 100 breaststroke semifinals (LIVE); Women's 100-meter Butterfly semifinals (LIVE); Beach Volleyball - USA Match (LIVE); Men's Gymnastics Team Competition

Gymnastics, always a viewer-favorite. This year's U.S. men's team just got a whole lot weaker with Paul Hamm (2004 gold medalist) having to bow out with an injury. I love men's gymnastics, but I really hate when they interview them after and I see that they are 5'4 and have chipmunk voices. It just kills it.

12:30-2 a.m. — Men's Volleyball - USA vs. Venezuela (LIVE)
The US men are good, not medal favorites by any means (*Brazil, Russia, China), but never count the Americans out of an event in which athleticism rules.

USA and USA HD, 2 a.m.-2 p.m. — Women's Soccer - USA vs. Japan (LIVE) and Canada vs. China; Women's Basketball - USA vs. Czech Republic (LIVE); Equestrian - Eventing Dressage; Beach Volleyball; Women's Fencing - Individual Sabre Gold Medal Final; Women's Shooting - Air Rifle Gold Medal Final; Badminton Singles Competition; Women's Weightlifting - Flyweight Gold Medal Final

USA women's soccer looking to make up for embarassing showing at the 2007 World Cup.
USA women's basketball is, of course, the team to beat, and I don't know much about Czech basketball... which I guess tells me all I need to know, doesn't it? Easy win for the Americans.

Equestrian Dressage? GIVE ME A BREAK how is this in the Olympics, but they are taking out baseball and softball? It baffles me. Any event you compete in a top hat and a jacket with tails is not a sport.

Not a huge fan of weightlifting, but watching how much "flyweight" women can lift will blow your mind.

CNBC and CNBC HD, 2-4:30 a.m. — Boxing 75kg, 81kg Competition (LIVE)
Olympic boxing is NOTHING like the boxing we see from Las Vegas. If you ask me, it's more fun to watch, with actual skill and not just beating each other to smitherines.

5-8 p.m. — Boxing 75kg, 81kg Competition

MSNBC, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. — Women's Soccer - Nigeria vs. Germany (LIVE) and Brazil vs. North Korea (LIVE); Women's Volleyball - Italy vs. Russia and Poland vs. Cuba; Women's Handball - France vs. Angola and Russia vs. South Korea; Badminton Singles Competition

Brazil won the Women's World Cup in '07, and they are looking to prove it wasn't a fluke. Germany is good as always

I didn't know handball was a sport, I thought it was something you did as a joke on a raquetball court.

In the US, badmitton is what we WASPS play after church on Sunday while grandma is cooking supper. In China, it was the first Olympic sport to see out of tickets. No lie.

TELEMUNDO, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Women's Soccer - USA vs. Japan (LIVE); Beach Volleyball; Boxing; Women's Volleyball
Si habla espanol, mirar este programo

6-8 p.m. — Beach Volleyball; Boxing
Beach volleyball. In China. Really? The only reason anyone watching this sport is to see women in bikinis and no one can deny that.

Midnight-1 a.m. — TBA

NBC OLYMPIC BASKETBALL CHANNEL, 2:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Women's games

NBC OLYMPIC SOCCER CHANNEL, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. — Women's games


Sunday, Aug. 10

NBC and NBC HD, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. — Men's Basketball - USA vs. China (LIVE); Swimming; Beach Volleyball; Men's Water Polo - USA vs. China; Women's Cycling Road Race; Women's Weightlifting - 53kg Gold Medal Final; Men's & Women's Badminton; Rowing

Hmmm let's see USA men's basketball (Kobe, LeBron, Dwyane, etc.) vs. China, a country of people who are 5'4". Oh yeah, they have Yao Ming... ok, so he'll score 20 of their 40 points in a 50 point loss.

10am 400 IM final - Phelps is the WR holder in this event, and the reigning Olympic and World Championship gold medalist -- GOLD #1

7 p.m.-Midnight — Swimming (LIVE): Gold Medal Finals: Men's 100-meter Breaststroke, Men's 4x100-meter Freestyle Relay, Women's 100-meter Butterfly, Women's 400-meter Freestyle; Men's 200-meter Freestyle semifinals; Men's 100-meter Backstroke semifinals; Women's 100-meter Backstroke semifinals and Women's 100-meter Breaststroke semifinals; Women's Gymnastics Team Competition; Women's Diving - Springboard Synchronized Gold Medal Final; Men's and Women's Rowing - Eights Competition


7:30pm 200 Free Prelims
The finals is 9 hours earlier, so Phelps will have plenty of energy for his best stroke. it's a prelim race, so he can coast and move on.

Women's gymnastics begins, and they are saying the gold is the US's to lose, which of course means they will choke and the Chinese will step up on home soil.

Synchronized swimming is another "sport" that baffles me. Yes, I understand that it is difficult and takes athleticism, but really. They wear makeup and costumes. That is ballet in water, and not a sport.

Synchronized diving is another one that pisses me off. I mean, all they do is put two good divers from the same country together and have them do the same dive. Again, they are taking away Olympic baseball, but synchronized diving is an event. I will watch it of course, but it still grinds my gears.

12:35-2 a.m. — Women's Volleyball - USA vs. Cuba (LIVE)
Cuba = volleyball powerhouse

CNBC and CNBC HD, Midnight-4:30 a.m. — Tennis (LIVE); Boxing 64kg, 69kg Competition (LIVE)
I like tennis, but Grand Slams are 100 times more important in the sport than the Olympics. For women, Maria Sharapova is competing for Russia (even though she is about as Russian as I am) and will be a favorite, along with the Williams' sisters. On the men's side, it's Federer's tournament to lose.

4-7 p.m. — Boxing 64kg, 69kg Competition

USA and USA HD, 2 a.m.-2 p.m. — Men's Soccer - USA vs. Netherlands (LIVE) and Argentina vs. Australia; Men's Basketball - Lithuania vs. Argentina (LIVE); Tennis (LIVE); Beach Volleyball; Equestrian - Dressage; Women's Archery - Team Gold Medal Final; Men's Weightlifting 56kg Gold Medal Final

The US men's soccer team is led by Freddy Adu, who is finally showing the talent we all knew he had 4 years ago, and Brian McBride, who should be playing on the master's team, not with the U-23s. There isn't a masters team? Ok, then he should retire. The only reason he made the team is because the teams get 3 over 23 players, and all of the senior national team members have World Cup qualifying committments, which means the only players available are cast-offs. Anyway, the US is playing The Netherlands, where soccer is, quite literally, life. I'm gonna go ahead and say Holland wins this one.

MSNBC, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. — Men's Soccer - Italy vs. South Korea (LIVE); Men's Volleyball - Serbia vs. Russia and Bulgaria vs. China; Women's Field Hockey - USA vs. Argentina (LIVE); Men's Shooting - Trap Gold Medal Final; Men's Water Polo - Hungary vs. Montenegro and Croatia vs. Italy; Badminton; Men's Handball - Croatia vs. Spain

Italy will rout South Korea in soccer.

Russia and China will win in men's volleyball... is it just me or does anyone else find it weird that CHINA is so good at volleyball, where players are 6'4 and taller?

I didn't even know field hockey was in the Olympics. Hm. Color me suprised. I bet this is one of those sports where India is good or something random.

Okay, men's water polo... Do I care about the sport? No. Will I watch? HELL YES. Why? I think you ladies should just take a look at this:
Seriously, just look at them, then tell me you won't be watching them, in the water... in speedos. I'm just sayin'.

Badmitton, handball... I can't even talk about these. These are the Olympics, not "Games you play drunk cause it's funny"

TELEMUNDO — 4 a.m.-2 p.m. — Men's Soccer - Argentina vs. Australia (LIVE) and New Zealand vs. Brazil; Men's Volleyball; Swimming - Gold Medal Finals; Men's Basketball; Men's Gymnastics; Beach Volleyball
6-7 p.m. — Boxing Elimination Bouts

In case you care.

Midnight-1 a.m. — TBA

UNIVERSAL HD — 24-hour MSNBC & CNBC HD Simulcasts and Coverage

NBC OLYMPIC BASKETBALL CHANNEL, 2:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Men's games

NBC OLYMPIC SOCCER CHANNEL, 5 a.m.-7 p.m. — Men's games