Doug's Sounding Board


American Olympics

I’ve learned or re-learned what events I like and dislike. For the most part I don’t really care about team sports. They aer great at their sport but that’s the kind of thing I get to see all the time. I like watching one-on-one or events with individual achievements. I did like seeing the American basketball team not just show up and act like they were owed a medal.

I don’t really like judged events. I guess I mean I don’t really like the judging in judged events. The athleticism in those events tends to be top notch but the scoring is a complete mystery. I’m fine with teh new system of having a difficulty multiplier to go along with the score, but nothing explains how the difficulty number is determined. There must be some table because the difficulty seems to be known in advance in the live as well as the pre-recorded coverage.  In diving this seems to work better than in gymnastics where apparently judges are allows to go frame by frame on an instant replay to determine score. That slowed things WAY down. During this delay I had to listen to the commentators and stare at pacing gymnasts when there were 4 or 5 more events going on that they could be showing. Nope, must stay focused on American athletes all the time. In one of them it was a surprise that France won a medal since the gymnast was only shown once. Boxing was annoying because the judges rarely awarded punches. We could see many clean punches landed by their definition: From the waist to the head on the front of the body, hitting witht eh white part of the glove with your shoulder behind it. The commentators here were actually good and at times would mention punches the judges missed.

Track and field stuff is great! Too bad barely any of it was shown. They showed the entire marathons and the race walking without leaving for other events. Meanwhile things like the decatholon had a 15 second recap followed by the final event. I was surprised the interviewer waiting for athletes leaving the track didn’t get the crap kicked out of him for asking some of the things he did.

A lot of the likes and dislikes devolved into my problems with NBCs coverage. I can skip sports I don’t care about but sometimes you can’t look away. The first weekend we got spoiled; DirecTV had a block of 6 or 7 NBC channels that were all Olympics instead of regular programming. The variety of events to choose from was fantastic! When Monday hit all that went away and it was one channel for boxing all the time and the rest was the prime-time block in the evening. The second weekend rolled around and we figured it would be back to many channels, but instead it was the boxing channel and a few more. If it wasn’t a race you might think there were only an American and one or maybe two others in the competition.

One thing I really liked about the coverage was the cameras in the water and track events. The under-water cameras on tracks, the overhead cameras, the  diving camera that goes down at free-fall speed all the way into the water! In track the camera that follows them around the outside of the track allowed for great views in the sprints.

For once the closing ceremony didn’t feel like an after-thought. I think I liked the closing ceremony than most opening ceremonies I’ve seen. I hope we don’t have to wait too many olympics before we see something that grand again.

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