Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympics: Good and Bad

Back when we lived Shanghai, people asked whether we were going to the Olympics. We were never warm to the idea. In fact starting with the Torch Relay I began to hate the Olympics. However, now that the Olympics has started, I am getting into the swing of things.

Bad:
  • Flaunting the flame around the world and attracting Tibetan protester was rather unfortunate. During our travels in China, the multiple-channel around-the- hour coverage of the Torch Relay within China disgusted me so much, I cringed every time I turned on the TV.
  • The Organizers did not seem to understand the priority of controlling smog and traffic, balancing security vs. letting people have a good time.
  • We are blocked from online coverage in the US (we don't have Vista). Since we do not a TV, we went our friends' house to watch the opening ceremony and we are spending this week at John's parents' cottage at the Outer Banks where there is a TV. I want to forgive NBC, because they are doing a fairly good job covering the games.

Good:
  • The much hyped Opening Ceremony did not disappoint. Putting politics aside and Zhang Yimou's most recent flop (IMHO), it was dazzling and flawlessly executed.

  • I stayed up past midnight the last two nights until the end of the coverage, Men's 4x100 Freestyle Relay and Men's Team Gymnastics. More than the athleticism, the humanity that came through truly moved me.

  • The Chinese audience has been very gracious about cheering for everyone, showing true Chinese hospitability. I wonder how much brain washing has gone into that. I noticed it watching on TV, even before the commentators pointed out.
  • My favorite moments are still those when someone from a small country, a non-favorite, scores a medal.

4 comments:

jaydro said...

Isn't there plenty of video available at nbcolympics.com for users of XP and IE? It's just not HD, which requires Windows Media Center (with Vista).

john said...

Thanks Jaydro, I will check it out.

john said...

Jaydro,
After installing MS Silverlight software we were able to watch the NBC video. Thanks much!

john said...

UPDATe: Currently [10pm Monday night in teh USA] watching the live streaming of the Men's Triathlon. Cool. No TV announcers. Just live sound.