Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reality TV

This is the part where you roll your eyes and go, “She is NOT going to talk about the Olympics AGAIN, is she?” Oh, yes I am. Sorry, but I feel compelled to explain my preoccupation with the games. It’s not ALL about Michael Phelps’ physique. Really. No, really. After all, I’m old enough to be his mother. Did I just admit that? Oooh, strike that from the record.

Normally, I watch no organized sports on TV. Neither does Hubby. It’s one of the reasons I married him. No football on Monday nights. No basketball on the weekends. He’d rather watch a good western. I can’t stand to watch sports on TV. It bores me silly. Watching live sports is another thing entirely, especially if my child or someone else’s child is playing, then I’m the world’s best fan. Professional sports? Pffffft. Too perfect. Too money driven. The Olympics though, are different. Much different. I’m glued to every event. I’ll watch for hours. Running, diving, gymnastics, ice skating, hockey, even curling. I’ll watch it all and love every minute of it. Why are the Olympics different? As they used to say in the opening of Wide World of Sports it’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. It’s the drama, the soap opera behind every event, the people stories that make each and every broadcast the best reality TV ever. I’m fascinated with the stories behind the faces of these athletes that train long and hard for four years to put everything on the line for a brief moment of glory and the chance to represent their country. Ordinary people with extraordinary skills, most of whom will never make millions no matter how well they do at these games. They make me laugh. They make me cry. Most of all, they make me proud, not matter from what country they hail. I’ve followed it all, riding a roller coaster of emotions. Like when Michael’s fingertip eeked out that seventh gold medal and his poor mama about died of a heart attack in the stands.
Did you know she's a middle school principal and bought her Olympic wardrobe at Chico's? That's the kind of thing you learn when you read Access Hollywood's website.Or when Nastia won the gold after the head judge jerked a knot in the tails of those other gymnastics judges for their lopsided scores for the Chinese team.
I think it’s sweet the way her mama can’t stand to be inside the arena when Nastia’s performing because she’s so nervous. I think I’d be the same way.

How about when “Lightning” Bolt slid across the finish line in the 100 meter sprint like he was sauntering to a church social? Man! I could watch him run all day. Those Jamaicans are fabulosa! And I’m sorry Bernard, but you were just overconfident. Your head was not in the game. While we’re on the Americans, Walter Dix, can you focus a little more on your speaking skills when you get done with these games? They really need polishing. Being an athlete is no excuse for poor speech.

Oh, LoLo I cried with you under the stadium after you tripped on that hurdle and your medal dreams went flying out from under you. Bless your heart. But if it means anything, your hair is holding up great, honey. And please, please tell me what skin care products you use to keep that beautiful complexion.
Sanya, I know you lost your steam at the end and came up short, but that’s because you gave it everything you had, girl. You should be proud of that. And that engagement ring? Gooorgeous.
You know, I held back the tears, Shawn Johnson, as the national anthem started, but when the commentators told me your parents had mortgaged their house more than once to finance your training, well that just put me under. I think Hubby even got choked up on that one, even though he pretended like he didn’t. There are many more events to come, and each one will hold its own share of drama. I’ll be right there for it all, but in the meantime, will someone please explain this to me, ‘cause I’m going to have a hard time cheering for these guys while turning my head.

*Photos from


Amy said...

What a wonderful post, Hula!
I have not been watching all of the events, but everything you just shared covered me in goose pimples....I would have gotten choked up with your hubby about the parents mortgaging the house several times.

So many extraordinary ordinary people. It's overwhelming! You just can't make stories like that up.

God Bless,

Amy's Angels said...

Gotta love water polo!

I agree...THIS is good reality TV. : )

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Ditto to everything you said!

swampy said...

Oh, yeah! I've watched it all and the re-runs, too ! I love the personal stories. I wish our World could be more like the Olympics where we work for a common cause: A Gold Medal in Peace.

Love this post. And no, I didn't know Michael's mom bought her wardrobe at Chico's. I love Chico's.

As far as the guys in the last photo...that's the team for the Checkers event.

swampy said...

I'm back. Just getting ready to hop back on my broom and head home.
BUT, I had to let you know how succinctly you captioned my photograph today. Thanks for weaving your words into a beautiful tapestry for my post today.
I plan to print it and give it to Little Miss P for her baby book and also, send it to Uncle Dexy.
Thank You!

The Girl Next Door said...

THis is an AWESOME post and I cried when the girls went 1-2 Gold silver for the first time ever. Cried as they played the national anthem - standing in my kitchen late at night all by myself.

I think I have found a kindred spirit - one who so truly loves Bueffett (How could I NOT click on your comment at Mrs. G's with "hula girl at heart"?!! Awesome) and cries at the Olympics.

I can't wait until I have time to read more!

dkuroiwa said...

Thanks for this post!!
I'm at such a loss when it comes to the American athletes and all the "back stories"...but I can tell you many things about the Japanese atheletes!! :-)
Reading stories like these just break my heart..but in a good way, you know!