Monday, August 15, 2016

Olympics Thoughts, Weekend Two

Another collection of thoughts from watching the Olympics on Saturday and Sunday, the second weekend of competition.
  • The early heats of the 100 meter races rivaled swimming for over-coverage. Literally hours of those first-round races, both men and women. There's a whole lot of other sports going on, NBC. No reason you couldn't use those hours to show some of them, and just the highlights of those preliminary rounds (i.e. Bolt and Fraser-Pryce). I fast-forwarded through most of it.
  • Speaking of swimming, it's finally over. I enjoyed the approximately 15 minutes of actual finals races, and mostly ignored the other 200 hours. Slight overstatement, maybe, but it sure felt that way.
  • Mo Farah of Great Britian won the men's 10k, but it wasn't easy. He actually fell down early on! Recovered nicely, though, and it was clear he was just plain faster than everyone else on the last lap. Nice to see him defend his medal from London, which was one of the great moments of those Games.
  • It feels like there should be some kind of weighting to the medals from different events, instead of just focusing on overall counts. Sure, Michael Phelps won a metric boatload of medals, but a single water polo medal probably required just as much effort by a whole group of swimmers. I suppose it doesn't really matter, but the focus on medal count just annoys me.
  • You know the security measures are pretty extensive, but most of the time, the media coverage avoids showing it. But during the women's marathon on Sunday, there were a few times where armed soldiers standing guard were very obviously positioned right by the course. Gives me mixed feelings seeing that - glad the protection is there, but it's kind of sad that it's necessary.
  • The big hype on Sunday night was for Usain Bolt, of course, but if you only watched him then you missed South African Wayde van Niekerk setting a world record in the men's 400 meter race a few minutes earlier. NBC had a nice piece on van Niekerk before the race, showing him with his coach and his mom - an athlete in her own right, but in her day, apartheid limited her opportunities. I was thinking that his was one of the better stories regardless of how well he ran, and then it became amazing with that world record run.

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