I'm watching the Olympics right now. It's 11:50 on a Tuesday morning and I'm watching a moment on TV for which someone has prepared for four years (unless it's Michael Phelps, in which case it's probably just been most of the last year). Or, more accurately, I'm watching a recording of a moment that happened several hours earlier that someone prepared 4 years of their life for. Even more accurately, I just turned it off because it's incredibly hard to write and watch TV at the same time.
I love the Olympics. I'm not sure if it's because I get to root for my country against the rest of the world in the biggest sporting event known to man, or because it gives me something entertaining to watch at 11:50 on a Tuesday morning. Regardless, it's why I like even years more than the odd.
Every day the world's best athletes are experiencing moments that they'll remember for the rest of their lives in front of an audience of millions, and if that athlete happens to be American, I care about that moment too. Even though it's ingrained in me to root for the underdog (I am from Buffalo after all), except for a few instances I have no problem hoping the U.S. dominates every event in which it participates. And if the U.S. isn't expected to win, all the more reason for me to pull for them against all the other countries which are obviously evil incarnate. Home of the Free, Land of the Brave!
With just a few days left til we part with the Olympics, here are my favorite American and Non-American moments so far…
- On Sunday, the Brits had probably their best day in Olympic history. Jessica Ennis, the face of their Olympic team, won the Heptathalon gold, and the man that England seems to always suffer for, Andy Murray, finally pulled through. He was able to beat Roger Federer for the gold at Wimbledon, which brought great pride to the Brits. Now if he can only do it again to win the actual Wimbledon.
- After winning the 100m in both the Men's and Women's races, Jamaica proved they're the fastest country in the world. They also had the rest of the world caring about the Jamaican Olympic team for the first time since Cool Runnings.
- Miami Gardens, FL is a city with 109,680 people, which means that its population is larger than that of Grenada, a country that won its first Olympic medal ever. Not MIAMI, Miami Gardens. Other cities you probably haven't heard of that are bigger than Grenada? Downey, CA, Surprise, AZ (Surprise! Surprise is the name of a city) and Killeen, TX.
Grenada would be the 244th largest city in America and it beat every other country in the world to win gold in the Men's 400 Meters. More people watched Grenada sprinter Kirani James, nicknamed The Jaguar, win the gold than have ever watched a Jacksonville Jaguars game in its entirety.
- Ryan Lochte was easily the most glaring omission from my Pre Summer Olympics article and it has nothing to do with the 2 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze medal that he won this year. No, the reason he's the most glaring omission is that he admits to peeing in the pool, that his mom tells the Today show that he only has time for one-night stands, and the fact that he wears a $25,000 diamond and ruby encrusted grill in his mouth. Add that to him being world's most amazing interview. Here's just one example:
Interviewer: "What defines Ryan Lochte?"
Ryan Lochte: "What defines me?" (thinks for a moment) "Ryan Lochte." (smiles, satisfied with his answer)
- Missy Franklin won four gold medals and a bronze, as well as setting a new World Record in the 200m backstroke, yet Googling her name brings up 72 million fewer results than Ryan Lochte (150 million to 78 million). To be fair, this is probably because she's never defined Missy Franklin by simply repeating her own name or said that she was really looking forward to this Olympics because she was single (which Lochte told ESPN). Instead, she's a smart, seemingly level-headed 17-year-old who will probably dominate swimming for the next decade. That's great, but will she admit to peeing in the pool?
- I haven't seen a country turn on an American hero as fast we did on Michael Phelps, since OJ Simpson. And why? Because he seemed cocky and was sick of swimming every day of his life? When Phelps not only lost to Lochte, but didn't even medal after a 4th place finish, the entire country it seemed (including me) immediately disregarded Phelps as arrogant and lazy, as we jumped on the Lochte bandwagon. But then we found out who Lochte really is and jumped back with Phelps in time to see him become the most decorated (if ungrateful) Olympian of all time.
I'm still waiting on a parody video of the this is your brain on drugs campaign where we zoom into the egg frying in the pan to see Michael Phelps win his 22nd Olympic medal.
- There's nothing weirder than Women's Gymnastics. Well, except for Men's Gymnastics. Having millions of people watch you try to get your nuts as close to the bars of the pommel horse without the benefit of music playing in the background seems what Hell would be like.
But in "Women's" Gymnastics, girls as young as 14 wear beauty contest-like make up while competing against the other gymnasts on their team. They pretend to root for the best outcome for each other, while secretly hoping their teammates fall, and trying to avoid getting injured enough to affect the outcome of the team competition. The losing 16-year-olds are left to cry in the arms of middle-aged men with mustaches, whom we assume are normal adult men who make responsible decision. And we just watch this for our amusement.
Quick fact: If you type in the word "aly" in Google, "aly raisman parents" comes up before U.S. gymnast and Olympic Gold medalist Aly Raisman, and here's why. Can an Olympic athlete's parents be on "Dancing with the Stars"?
- Finally, on a personal note, it was nice to see Jenn Suhr win the Pole Vaulting gold and disprove the theory that the highest level of success a Buffalo athlete can achieve is second place.
Things I'm still looking forward to…
- Seeing if the U.S. Women's Soccer team can avenge the World Cup loss to Japan after beating Canada in dramatic fashion with a little help from the refs.
- If U.S. Virgin and Olympic Hurdling 4th place finisher LoLo Jones ends up dating Tim Tebow or if she falls out of medal contention for that too.
- The U.S. Men's Basketball team in the medal round. They're the only American team I wouldn't mind seeing lose just so everyone stops comparing them to the Dream Team. Also, can the Knicks sign whoever the Argentinian player was who punched Carmelo Anthony in the balls?
Any moments I missed? Let me know!
Chris Burns is a comedian, writer and producer based in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter @chrisburns to be entertained while you're supposed to be working and check out his website chrisburns.tumblr.com to see videos and a schedule of when you can see him perform.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
May 16th, 2013 12:13 PM
May 14th, 2013 1:28 AM
May 16th, 2013 9:45 AM
ALL TIME FAVES
April 16th, 2013 12:15 PM
April 9th, 2013 11:57 AM
March 1st, 2013 8:37 AM