Sunday, August 17, 2008

so I finally caved in and watched some olympics yesterday, inspired by Ren's extensive coverage.

I decided I probably ought to watch Michael Phelps, atomic superman, win that eighth gold medal. you know, for baltimore. and I'm glad I did, because that was completely awesome. I gotta wonder, though, who among us will remember Jason Lezak? or Brendan Hansen or Aaron Piersol? poor guys.

now, here's a question - if you want to win NINE gold medals in a single olympics, do you have to enter two different sports? is that even allowed?

nifty as the swimming was, I found that I was even more intrigued by the ladies' marathon. once upon a time, in a former life, I ran a half-marathon. it took me as long to run thirteen miles as it did for these women to run twenty-six. (I'm a slug, that's why.)

this totally bad-ass Romanian Constantina Tomescu-Dita won:

by some crazy-ass margin, ahead of the pack by almost an entire minute, which in marathon-math equals nearly a quarter mile (correct me if I'm wrong, which surely I am).

She was, like, Secretariat-escu. and she looked all relaxed about it, just one foot in front of the other (at light-speed, of course).

and then there was this Chinese runner, Zhou Chunxiu, who just a few years ago had a cyst scraped out of her hipbone and now is a freaking marathon runner. (makes me ashamed that I don't run anymore 'cuz my crunchy old knees).

of course, all this means is that instead of digging out a pair of good sneakers and getting some exercise, I will be watching the olympics inside, on this beautiful day.

or maybe not. probably a brisk walk at least won't kill me.

LOL, I feel the same. I was getting a fair lot of exercise in til the Olympics started, and now I just sit inside and watch other people do it.

I watched the marathon too. I feel so bad for Paula Radcliffe ;__; Next time, I hope. *crosses fingers*

now, here's a question - if you want to win NINE gold medals in a single olympics, do you have to enter two different sports? is that even allowed? - iirc there are sixteen swimming events you can enter - there were plenty of races Phelps wasn't in. There's just a limit to what a body can successfully train for, I guess.
and it is a beYOUteeful day today.

man, poor Paula. that sucks. but at least she finished.

the commentator who was discussing the race said something interesting - "there are two halves to a marathon, the first half, which is twenty miles, and the last half, which is six miles."

and I got what he was saying, even though I've only done a puny little half-marathon.
The farthest I've run in my life was 4 miles at age 22 and I thought I was doing to die when I finished. And I was in shape!

My feeling from that on has been.... only run when chased.

Though after busting up my right leg so badly last year, sprinting ain't an option.... so....

Run really slowly or walk very fast when chased! Or take a cab!

heheh, the Olympic love is contagious!
here's some more olympic-inspired questions:

is golf an olympic sport? how about cricket?

how do those jumping horseback riders know what order to take the jumps in? cuz they're not numbered. is there some sort of marker that is invisible to the naked eye?

why can gymnasts wear any leotard (and not their national gymnast uniform)?
I waited all this time to watch the rhythm gymnastics then stinkin' old NBC didn't cover them. I agree that the woman who won the marathon was amazing. Anyone who just *runs* a marathon is amazing in my book. I am, however, mildly irritated that they run in bikinis. It's the Puritan in me that says that.
see, I'm not sure why they choose itsay-bitsay shorts either.

not because I have a particular position on modesty, but having done some distance running, in my experience that's a really unfortunate part of the body to have exposed. your thighs start to rub together, for ten miles or so? that rash will sideline ya for sure. so, not sure what's up with that.
and when I say "some", I really mean "just a little bit, before I turned into a slug."
Some post-Olympic thoughts.

Yes, chafing does suck. Not that I've run faster than 1 mph in the past two years. And me in short
shorts is not a good thing - really
quite tragic actually.

Yes, I think you can enter however many sports you want in the Olympics, if you qualify. Just have to have a good chauffuer, I guess, to get from meet to meet.

So sports.

Golf is a sport. Yes, it's a skill and accuracy game, but if you're bigger and badder than the next guy or gal, you win. Look at Tiger Woods and Vigay Singh - they're CUT - and wonder why Phil Mickelson doesn't win as much as they do, he doesn't work as hard. Annika Sorenstam hits the ball 25 yards further off the tee than anyone else on the LPGA tour - she's not the biggest person out there, but she has about 4% body fat and is ripped. Those folks win because they're athletes
and other folks on the tour either aren't or don't care to be.

NASCAR. I took a ride around Stafford Speedway with Tony Stewart - yeah, that Tony Stewart from NASCAR - five or six years ago, paid a bundle to take two laps at 140mph around the track (he drove obviously). If you don't think even driving a stock car requires athleticism, seeing how hard he had to turn the wheel and get the shifting done hard and fast, yup, athlete. And HE has arms the size of my thighs too.

Skeet and pistol shooting - not a sport. Requires skill and accuracy but not strength or endurance. Billards, bowling, same thing.

Tennis, yep, that's a sport. Badminton I'd even call a sport - those folks go nuts diving all over the place.

Table tennis, not a sport.

Equestrian... hmm... tough one. Assume it requires some strength on the part of the jockey (or actually do they call them jockeys in true equestrian, not thoroughred racing? Or are they "riders"?). Borderline.

Synchronized diving? Not a sport. Synchronized anything? Not a sport. That's dancing. In the water, on a floor, on a diving board, that's dancing. Not a sport.
Not any of them.

Winter games...

Biathlon? Half a sport. The skiing part is a sport.

Curling? Not a sport, but really cool to watch the folks with the brooms acting foolish, so it should be an honorary sport.

Luge and bobsled - probably not a sport, but face it these folks could die at any moment hurtling down a tube of ice at 100mph on an 8lb sled - therefore, they are to be considered sports.

Figure skating - definitely a sport - these guys and gals have less body fat than most gymnasts and their thighs are bigger than their waists.

Fencing - not a sport, although anything where you get to stab your opponent to death is certainly fun, though its still not a sport. Guess bullfighting then falls in the same category.

My $0.20 for the evening.....

BC- I disagree about shooting not being a sport (respectfully, of course). Not only does it require tremendous skill, a 5 foot .50cal blackpowder rifle is *heavy*. Not that they use those in the olympics, I think the wussyfied guns with all the hoopla attached kinda take the fun out of having your shoulder dislocated by a righteous kick when you put in too much powder.

I am postulating that you're a klutz, given your general disdain for the graceful events like synchro diving.
Yes, Rootietoot, I am a complete klutz, oaf, and utterly inept physical specimen.


Synchronized anything is not a sport. You get judged on how well you and your partner do something completely identical - well, what if you're BETTER than your partner? You're not competing to be the best, you're completing to be the most identical - doing challenging things no doubt, but you're graded on how identical you are. One partner can do the best routine in history and the other falls on his or her face, and the whole thing is kablooey. Not a sport. As opposed to basketball or gymnastics or softball where one player can play miserably.. yet the team wins.

It's either a team sport or an individual sport. Or its not a sport.

Even pairs figure skating - yes, there are synchronized moves, but each skater has their own thing to do, so to that extent, it's a two person team, not two people trying to be the most identical.
Plenty of times one partner bobbles and the other does something unreal, and the ratings come out great.

It's not, can we hit the diving board at the exact same millisecond, flip in tandem, and then hit the water at the exact same millisecond, leaving the exact same millimeter of splash.

Being identical to each other doesn't mean you're the best - that's the problem I have with synchronized stuff.

Shooting is still not a sport. It's a skill activity - a difficult one, I've done some pistol shooting though not too recently and certainly not on any sort of professional level - and, no, its not easy. Like archery, billards, bowling - though with the really cool added kick of explosives - it's still not a sport. There's no endurance there, and the strength part is a wash - lots of big and small competitors there of all shapes and sizes. BTW, part of the skill is to NOT put too much powder in the rifle or knowing what
the pistol recoil will do in the first place (yeah, I almost snapped my wrist the first time I fired my late dad's Ruger - I quickly adjusted!). If you know what you're doing, you can be 5-foot-4, 115 lb (not me, I'm not THAT short or skinny) and kick everyone's butt based on skill, not on strength or endurance.

Now... if there were full-contact riflery or shooting... NOW THERE'S A SPORT!
Full contact riflery- don't they call that "war"?

As for the synchro stuff- they do the same thing as the individuals, only they have to coordinate with another person (usually matched up by skill and body type), so I see it as a sport *and* a skill. I mean, can *you* do a handstand 10 meters up, and hurl yourself into space, perfectly (hopefully) synchronised with another person whom you may have had a fight with earlier in the day?

The olympics will be complete for me when they have Synchronised Motherhood: Infancy, Toddler and Teenager divisions. Now *that's* sport. There's already the Pioneer Woman competition, it would be like that, only with disposables.
The olympics will be complete for me when they have Synchronised Motherhood: Infancy, Toddler and Teenager divisions. Now *that's* sport. There's already the Pioneer Woman competition, it would be like that, only with disposables.

can I be on your team?
what's the Pioneer Woman competition?

(note, there should be a special Modern Cloth division.)
I like that... 'synchronized motherhood'. But then the Olympics would have to be a lot longer than two weeks to be a true test. And the "Terrible Two's" division could get really
freaking ugly...

How about the 'Synchronized 41 Year Old Males Watching NASCAR' competition? I bet my buddy in NJ and I could flip the remote, curse, and sip beer in ultimate lockstep. ;-)

I guess where I was going with the "synchronized" deal was this. I'll use synchronized diving again as an example. Say Diver 1 and Diver 2 do the best and second-best dives in the history of the universe - off the charts, Bob
Costas has a heart attack watching
the dives, they're so insane.
But if they're not identical,
they lose. I have a problem
with that.

If you have a diving team, and Diver 1 & 2 do that, the team likely wins.

If you have two incredible divers, let's have two-person diving teams, same sex or mixed, whatever. Have the two go out there, each kick butt, and take home the gold - for being the best, not for being the most identical.

Why is any premium placed on being "identical". I understand the skill, rehearsal and training, etc. But I just don't see giving an award for the "most identical" pair of whatever.

Like I said, even pairs figure skating, there's some synchronized moves, but they each have to execute as part of a team and don't have to be identical.

Alright, I'll lose this argument I suppose. I'll table it. I tried, but alas I failed. I'm a crappy debater.

But the 'synchronized motherhood' thing... hmm.. like it! But would it be a Summer or Winter Olympic sport? Unsure....
Bill C said "Why is any premium placed on being "identical". I understand the skill, rehearsal and training, etc. But I just don't see giving an award for the "most identical" pair of whatever."

well duh, anything that's hard to do is twice as hard when you have 2 people doing it at the same time

Why do you think NASCAR's a sport? 190 mph Synchronized driving, and look what happens when someone goofs.

The Pioneer Woman contest is one in Alaska (I think) where you have to wear a 'baby' (doll), catch and skin a rabbit, fix it for dinner on an open fire (that you chopped the wood for, while holding a baby), and some other equally ridiculous (in this day and age) activities..oh yeah, while wearing a long dress.

I have long aspired to participate, but alas, Alaska is a long way from Savannah, and too cold for this delicate flower o' th' South.

Bill- SYnchronized NASCAR watching happens all the time in this house- only the participants are stair stepped in size. You should see the backhanded beer toss with double dip chip munch.
and AP, of course you can be on my team-
we could do babywearing relays. obstacle courses. twin wrangling. lots of opportunities for fun!
OK, wait a minute.... no trashing NASCAR drivers now.

When someone goofs in synchronized diving, they lose the chance at a medal and the commentator goes... "oh, that's a mistake".

When NASCAR drivers goof - there's smoke, fire and potential for serious injury and multiple casualties. THAT'S cool!

Those folks smack the hell out of each other on most tracks, banging cars and door denting... and also in general riding in a car at 130 to 140 degrees for 4 hours. So it's a sport!

And those guys train their a--es off. See any NASCAR drivers that aren't cut?

Tony Stewart (met him) is probably the fattest slob of the bunch, but his arms and shoulders are huge. Even Mark Martin, now... I think 49 or 50 years old... still racing and doing well... HUUUGE drinker in his younger years, he's now a fitness freak - the younger drivers look up to him in terms of a workout program!

So NASCAR drivers are athletes!

I'll turtle on the synchronized thing, and just agree to disagree.

Grumble. Grumble. Grumble. Harumph. Harumph. Harumph.
So wait a minute. Is there a Pioneer Man thing up there, commensurate to the Pioneer Woman thing?

I have no kids. I do have a female cat though, who is a
handful. I can't run though
(f---ing ankle) perhaps I could sign up for Pioneer Mixed
Doubles with AP or RTT?
I forget the name of the contest, but ye, there is a Pioneer Man kinda thing- they do the log rolling and the bear wrangling and stuff, then they eat the rabbit prepared by the Pioneer Woman.

I have no argument that NASCAR driving is a real sport, I'm just saying if what they do is a sport, then so is synchronized anything else. I do, however, question the sanity of anyone who voluntarily hurtles themselves in circles at 150mph. That's not to say I don't watch it, because I do, every weekend, with beer. (I've always thought Tony Stewart looks like an Italian teddy bear)

Calm thyself, Bill, I do not question the legitimacy of NASCAR. Indeed, I harbor a dream of taking Richard Petty's Driving Experience when I turn 50.
AP- SYnchronized Motherhood. You with Wolfgang and me with Goober. It could be a remarkable thing, tho Goob would be hard to wear in a sling, as he's 9, he might protest.
rootie - for a carrier relay, we'd only need the one baby.
see how much I know about sports?

we'd need

1 sling
1 mei tai
1 wrap
1 backpack-style carrier
1 baby
four tasks at four tables (pouring water, folding towels, etc.)
at least two (better with four) people

extra points given if baby falls asleep
I love it! Are you sure 1 mei tai would be enough? Or are you thinking 1 pitcher of them? Or am I thinking Mai tai, with umbrellas in the glass?

We could let Bill C watch and be amazed.

I'm thinking we'd be a fine team, because we're about the same age, and tho you're shorter, we're about the same size. We'd be Aesthetically Pleasing to the judges.
And a double bonus if the baby falls asleep and STAYS asleep?

Count me in. As long as there's a pitcher of mei tai's as well as a cooler of Red Stripe.

Can't participate though. I can't run. Unless I were able to do it
on a bicycle...
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