for gold

We watched a lot of the Olympics over the last couple of weeks, and on the whole it was quite enjoyable – NBC’s coverage, while it could be better, was way better than four years ago when it seemed to be two-thirds “inspirational” documentaries about the US athletes. This year it was almost all sports, and the background clips were quick and snappy. Obviously there was quite a heavy focus on Americans, but NBC is an American station, so there you go.

Britain did quite well this year which was cool – Emma and I cheered really loudly on Saturday when our boys pipped the Americans in the 4 x 100m relay – really exciting. Despite having appeared to be very arrogant in interviews before the race, the American team were humble, complimentary and honest in defeat.

Generally the standard of the sport was spookily high – the clean moves of the gymnasts and incredible speeds of the runners and swimmers for example – and it gets almost easy to take what these people do for granted. So I have an idea for the IOC to improve the China Olympics, or at least to educate the viewers. What they should do for each event is take 5 random people from the audience and make them have a go at the event they’re watching. This will help all of us realize exactly how hard it is to jump on to a balance beam, or swing a loop on the high bar, or swim even one length of an Olympic size pool, let alone do a handstand followed by a dive from a 10m board. Plus it’s likely to be quite funny.

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