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Thread: Rio Olympics

  1. #1

    Rio Olympics

    With the Olympics just 78 days away -- and with June and July featuring the U.S. Olympic trials for swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and the showcase and exhibition tour for the U.S. men's basketball team -- I figured it was time to start an Olympics thread.


    So, is anyone else quietly dreading that these Olympics could be just an unmitigated disaster? I mean, between: (a) Zika, (b) venues with toxic water pollution, (c) other venues that may not be finished on time (or may be finished, but held together with duct tape, chewing gum, and baling wire), (d) the usual graft and corruption that occurs any time the IOC* is involved, and (e) the fact that the country just had a freakin' coup d'etat -- what could possibly go wrong?

    I guess Brazil did manage to pull off the World Cup without any major calamities, so maybe they'll get it together in time for the Olympics, too. I remember that Athens had lots of problems in the run-up to the 2004 Olympics, but they ended up coming off OK. (That is, the Games themselves went OK. The country since then...not so much.)



    * My all-time favorite one-sentence take on the IOC comes from Charles Pierce, who wrote:

    And then, of course, there is the simple fact that nobody except authoritarian billionaires ever would get into business with the IOC, which, if it weren’t for the horror show at FIFA, would be recognized as the world’s worst and most entitled group of defrocked royalty and international swindlers since the demise of the Romanovs.
    "I swear Roy must redeem extra timeouts at McDonald's the day after the game for free hamburgers." --Posted on InsideCarolina, 2/18/2015

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Always look forward to the Olympics!!! gives me some sports to watch over the summer thats not baseball.

    The only time I can watch something like gymnastics and get legit hyped up about it. Like I schedule my life around the gymnastics schedule.

    Swimming is always compelling

    Whitewater Kayaking is intense to watch, I love it.

    Of course the major events like Hoops, and the 100 meter.

    Then there are all the obscure sports that you turn on and just watch because well its interesting. I can't wait.

  3. #3
    Part of me hopes everything goes awry so they can finally fix the system...

    I love the swimming. Most excited to watch Katie Ledecky. You might know her as the 15 year old who surprisingly won the 800m gold last olympics. She is an incredible distance swimmer... she holds 3 World Records (400m, 800m and 1500m, the last is not an olympic event) that she has broken a total of 11 times. But wait... there's more. She's started swimming the 100m and 200m too. She's the best in the world at 1500m and can also compete at 100m? That's like Usain Bolt trying to run the mile. Get out of here! So I'm especially rooting for her to do well in the shorter distances. She's basically a lock for 2 golds (400m and 800m, no one has come within 3 seconds of her in the 400 or 8 seconds in the 800). She won gold in the 200m at the World Championships recently. So she will likely qualify to race that individually which will put her on a heavily favored 4x200 relay. So that's a possible 5 golds. She might not qualify individually for the 100 (and if she does she wouldn't be favored to medal) but she might be fast enough to make the 4x100.

    It's not a Michael Phelps haul... but for someone who only really competes in 1 stroke it's pretty amazing. 3 golds are likely, 4 very possible and even a 5th not out of the question. And she's 19.

  4. #4
    I USED to like the Olympics and would always look forward to watching them. However, for the past three or four sets of games, I have been less and less psyched about the games.

    First, because the TV and cable networks have to pay so much to get the rights to televise the games and because the games cost the networks so much to produce and put on, they have to show incessant commercials for all of the broadcasts. It seems like we now get about 4 minutes of "action", about 12 minutes of "fluff" - the "up close and personal" junk - and about 44 minutes of commercials for each hour of the broadcast. It drives me batty.

    Second, because the games are often held in time zones far different from the U.S., it seems like very few competitions are broadcast live any more. And the networks then cut and paste much of the competition, to maximize what they want to show (and to fit in all the commercials). Furthermore, with the internet, you often know who has already won the competition.

    Third, with the various doping and cheating scandals that always seem to be going on, I have little faith in the integrity of many of the competitors. Why watch or care about people who may be cheating to win?

    Fourth, the games seem to have become a huge media spectacle with each city hosting the games trying to outdo and out spend the previous host cities. It doesn't really seem like the games are that much about the athletes any more. And each host city now seem to go bankrupt after the games are over (or entire countries like Greece).

    These are just some of my problems with the modern day Olympics. I realize we're not going back to the old days but I sometimes wonder if the Olympics should even be conducted anymore.

    Sorry to rant !

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    I USED to like the Olympics and would always look forward to watching them. However, for the past three or four sets of games, I have been less and less psyched about the games.

    First, because the TV and cable networks have to pay so much to get the rights to televise the games and because the games cost the networks so much to produce and put on, they have to show incessant commercials for all of the broadcasts. It seems like we now get about 4 minutes of "action", about 12 minutes of "fluff" - the "up close and personal" junk - and about 44 minutes of commercials for each hour of the broadcast. It drives me batty.

    Second, because the games are often held in time zones far different from the U.S., it seems like very few competitions are broadcast live any more. And the networks then cut and paste much of the competition, to maximize what they want to show (and to fit in all the commercials). Furthermore, with the internet, you often know who has already won the competition.

    Third, with the various doping and cheating scandals that always seem to be going on, I have little faith in the integrity of many of the competitors. Why watch or care about people who may be cheating to win?

    Fourth, the games seem to have become a huge media spectacle with each city hosting the games trying to outdo and out spend the previous host cities. It doesn't really seem like the games are that much about the athletes any more. And each host city now seem to go bankrupt after the games are over (or entire countries like Greece).

    These are just some of my problems with the modern day Olympics. I realize we're not going back to the old days but I sometimes wonder if the Olympics should even be conducted anymore.

    Sorry to rant !
    I agree with much of your rant. Obviously my screen name suggests how much I like and care about the Olympics -- or at least have cared. I too am disgusted by the corruption -- especially at the upper level of the IOC -- and the widespread cheating. It will be interesting to see what (if any penalties) the Russian team gets after being found to have systematically doped their team over the years.

    But I do disagree with you in one regard. I think the TV coverage is much better these days. I like that NBC (which owns the US rights) will use a half dozen affiliated networks to show events live and to cover events that used to get scant coverage. I think coverage is better than ever. Yes, NBC will often cut and paste events to fit its mainstream NBC primetime coverage, but if you are actually interested in an event, you can almost always see it live and uncut. It used to kill me how little basketball we got to see ... now every US game (and most non-US games) are available live and in their entirety.

    And this year, there should be little trouble with time zones ... although Rio is two time zones ahead of the Eastern US, because of daylight savings times, the 2017 Games will be running just one hour ahead of the US East Coast -- although that will be four hours ahead for the West Coast.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I share the concerns. A corrupt organization and a bloated bureaucracy bankrupting countries that cannot afford the infrastructure upgrades it promised way back when.

    What could go wrong?

    The best thing about having the games in Brazil is that it isn't on the other side of the world. Hopefully, we can watch stuff in real time.

    And Putin won't be welcoming the world. There's something to be said for that.

    I used to maintain that the Summer Olympics were divided into two parts, track and field and everything else. But with the PED scandals ongoing and apparently never ending, I find it increasingly difficult to suspend disbelief.

    Doesn't mean I won't watch. I just hope no one drowns swimming into a moving island of waste and the world doesn't welcome a tsunami of damaged newborns in nine months.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    I share the concerns. A corrupt organization and a bloated bureaucracy bankrupting countries that cannot afford the infrastructure upgrades it promised way back when.

    What could go wrong?

    The best thing about having the games in Brazil is that it isn't on the other side of the world. Hopefully, we can watch stuff in real time.

    And Putin won't be welcoming the world. There's something to be said for that.

    I used to maintain that the Summer Olympics were divided into two parts, track and field and everything else. But with the PED scandals ongoing and apparently never ending, I find it increasingly difficult to suspend disbelief.

    Doesn't mean I won't watch. I just hope no one drowns swimming into a moving island of waste and the world doesn't welcome a tsunami of damaged newborns in nine months.
    With all of the corruption in both administration and performance, I no longer have even passing interest in the Olympics. The concept of the games is long gone - and with it my interest.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by InSpades View Post
    Part of me hopes everything goes awry so they can finally fix the system...

    I love the swimming. Most excited to watch Katie Ledecky. You might know her as the 15 year old who surprisingly won the 800m gold last olympics. She is an incredible distance swimmer... she holds 3 World Records (400m, 800m and 1500m, the last is not an olympic event) that she has broken a total of 11 times. But wait... there's more. She's started swimming the 100m and 200m too. She's the best in the world at 1500m and can also compete at 100m? That's like Usain Bolt trying to run the mile. Get out of here! So I'm especially rooting for her to do well in the shorter distances. She's basically a lock for 2 golds (400m and 800m, no one has come within 3 seconds of her in the 400 or 8 seconds in the 800). She won gold in the 200m at the World Championships recently. So she will likely qualify to race that individually which will put her on a heavily favored 4x200 relay. So that's a possible 5 golds. She might not qualify individually for the 100 (and if she does she wouldn't be favored to medal) but she might be fast enough to make the 4x100.

    It's not a Michael Phelps haul... but for someone who only really competes in 1 stroke it's pretty amazing. 3 golds are likely, 4 very possible and even a 5th not out of the question. And she's 19.

    I'm with you -- the swimming is my favorite part of the games. I swam as a kid and teenager, and have always loved the sport.

    For sheer entertainment value, the U.S. Olympic Trials for swimming are almost as compelling as the Olympic Games themselves. The trials will take place from June 26 through July 3, and will be televised by NBC and NBCSports Network. Here's the TV schedule.
    "I swear Roy must redeem extra timeouts at McDonald's the day after the game for free hamburgers." --Posted on InsideCarolina, 2/18/2015

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Ledecky swam in the same summer swim league my kids were in. A couple years ago, she came back for a last summer swim league meet.

    Gotta respect her!

    -jk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    I share many of your sentiments...I have long loved watching the world-class competition and learning the rich personal stories behind the games, but the present-day social, political, and economic reality of the Olympic movement makes it increasingly hard to separate the competition from the bureaucracy. I am more conflicted than ever about these games, but I also still have really fond memories of watching Olympics past, especially when I got to live the Olympics in Atlanta (one of the great memories of my life). I will watch this summer because I still can't help it and because my wife also loves the Olympics, but my interest is waning.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    ...I just hope no one drowns swimming into a moving island of waste and the world doesn't welcome a tsunami of damaged newborns in nine months.
    Geebus! You are so right Mr. Sumner. Gross and terrifying, but right.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Love the Olympics, because it brings attention to two of my favorite sports - track and swimming.

    In 2012 they showed two commercials during the men's 10K and I thought I was going to go insane. The winner finished in 27 minutes...there was no need for even one commercial.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    The Northwest
    I still get excited for the Summer Olympics. But only in parts.

    I love soccer and basketball and always enjoy top competition in those sports be it at the olympics or anywhere else.

    Track and Field does nothing for me. I find it really boring. So of course it gets shown a lot.

    I love swimming. I come from a family of swimmers and I enjoy those races. It's cool those get shown a lot, even though anything on prime time means 80% fluff and 20% action.

    I hate gymnastics. Don't get me wrong - seriously impressed with the athleticism. But as a competitive sport, it sucks. So of course it gets shown a lot.

    Some of the best stuff at the Olympics never gets the prime time attention. I'm so glad we're in an age of live streaming. From London, my two favorite things to watch were the whitewater kayaking and the team handball. The kayaking was amazing. It's a super cool event, but the facilities and crowds were terrific for it in London and the venue MC for it was a hoot. I hope they do as well in Brazil with it. Team Handball is just an awesome sport. The games are terrific and fun.

    I also can't stand the opening and closing ceremonies. They are boring and always feel like an enormous waste of money to pat your own back - A LOT. Get on with the games. The parade of countries is fun - especially to help get to know some of the athletes or see them one last time after you did. But the rest...blech.

    I know there is a ton to be concerned about with Brazil and the corruption that is the IOC - but it's always usually pretty easy to ignore/forget/table it during the actual couple weeks of competition.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    ... In 2012 they showed two commercials during the men's 10K and I thought I was going to go insane. The winner finished in 27 minutes...there was no need for even one commercial.
    13.8 mph for 6 miles? That's a pretty brisk pace on a bicycle!

    Averaging 4:21 per mile. Wow.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    13.8 mph for 6 miles? That's a pretty brisk pace on a bicycle!

    Averaging 4:21 per mile. Wow.
    Farah won in 27:30 to be exact and American, Galen Rupp, was second in 27:30 as well. It was a brilliant finish.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Beach
    I'm looking forward to the Olympics... I still get a special feeling every 4 years when the Summer Games start.

    That being said, I want to see what Phelps can do this time around. Granted he's not going for 8 golds or in a bunch of events but does he still have it? Can he manage a couple more gold medals? Excited for basketball as always, its funny watching Coach K with the pros and it shows that he might be one of the very last transcendental basketball coaches who can command respect from college kids to guys in their 30s with a huge bank account. Much like Phelps, I want to see if Usain Bolt can dust the field like he's done in the past. Him and Phelps are two of the greatest Olympians in the last 100 years and to watch them (more than likely) call it a career will be very interesting.


    EDIT

    I forgot that golf is being added an event this year. I'm really curious to see how that pans out as well. The projected guys to represent the USA are Speith, Watson, Fowler and Dustin Johnson. It is 72 hole indvidual stroke play, so I'd be highly surprised if someone didn't medal out of that group. Now I'm not sure who this course favors but I like a medal chance here.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Deeetroit City
    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBlueDevil View Post
    ...
    I forgot that golf is being added an event this year. I'm really curious to see how that pans out as well. The projected guys to represent the USA are Speith, Watson, Fowler and Dustin Johnson. ...
    Dustin Johnson in Rio? What could possibly go wrong?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Quote Originally Posted by BeachBlueDevil View Post
    I'm looking forward to the Olympics... I still get a special feeling every 4 years when the Summer Games start.

    That being said, I want to see what Phelps can do this time around. Granted he's not going for 8 golds or in a bunch of events but does he still have it? Can he manage a couple more gold medals? Excited for basketball as always, its funny watching Coach K with the pros and it shows that he might be one of the very last transcendental basketball coaches who can command respect from college kids to guys in their 30s with a huge bank account. Much like Phelps, I want to see if Usain Bolt can dust the field like he's done in the past. Him and Phelps are two of the greatest Olympians in the last 100 years and to watch them (more than likely) call it a career will be very interesting.
    I love watching Phelps and the more I read about his struggles, the more amazing his accomplishments become. Also excited to see what Ledecky and Franklin can pull off this time around.

  19. #19
    One thing we know will work right. The sex-crazed Olympians will have their condoms (AP story):

    About 450,000 condoms will be distributed during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, three times more than for the London Games four years ago, the International Olympic Committee says. Part of the reason was because 100,000 female condoms will be available for the first time, along with 350,000 condoms for men. About 175,000 packets of lubricant are also being supplied.

  20. #20
    Over 100 prominent doctors beg the WHO to postpone or move the Olympics, due to the Zika threat:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/27/health...ials-postpone/

    But even though the WHO has declared the Zika virus a global health emergency, has rejected the call to intervene:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36401150

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