I wrote this on August 5, 2008, about the Summer Olympics.  I think most of it is still relevant.


In just a few days, billions of people will be sitting on couches, pointing to their TV screens while eating potato chips and saying, "I could have been in this Olympics, you know, if I wanted to, like, train and stuff."  Remarkably, most Americans could be in the 100m dash, for example, if only they were five seconds faster at it.  That's right -- five seconds is all that separates an Olympian from an avid Connect Four player.  And then there is the opening ceremony that we are all anticipating, when -- for four hours -- we can watch people from different countries walk into the stadium, and we can point at them -- chips in hand, of course -- and say, "Wow, that's a pretty cool flag.  I really like that flag."

Most of the headlines surrounding the American Olympic squad revolve around men's basketball, women's gymnastics, Michael Phelps and, of course, anything that involves badminton. However, there will be much more to watch in the first few days alone:

The opening ceremony will be an event in itself, as the torch will continue to be passed on from person to person until it eventually lights the cauldron.  But what most people don't realize is that China is adding an extra element to this torch passing: defense.  As the final individuals run with the torch, Yao Ming will be there playing defense to try to steal the torch away.  If he is successful, he will pass the torch to Brett Favre, who is looking for one more way to inundate the media with his name...

The Olympics kick things off in a big way with the women's 10m air rifle qualification on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.  I question why they would start with such an important event, considering everything will be downhill from there.  And then, when the adrenaline is already rushing to the max, the men's trap qualification begins at 9 a.m.  I originally thought this was some type of shooting event, but it turns out the men are literally trying to throw traps on one another.  When one man catches another, he gets five points for yelling out, "You've been trapped!  I trapped you!"  But then the person who is trapped can get ten points for replying, "Your mother!" 

Women's synchronized diving begins on Sunday.  I initially planned to call this "very exciting," but I must admit I made a typo and typed "synchronized dining" at first, and I now see that as a much better event than diving.  Just picture it: two women sit at a table and have to eat the same amount at the exact same time.  The kicker will be that one of them must be lactose intolerant and they will be eating sundaes...

Equestrian begins on Sunday, but I refuse to watch this until the horses are given the medals instead of the riders.  Gymnastics begins this weekend as well.  If we're lucky and there is some confusion, then perhaps the rifle events will take place at the same time and in the same area.  I am not implying that I want a gymnast to get shot -- I just want them to have to duck a couple of times while on the uneven bars...

But I digress.


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