I’ve become an Olympics scrooge over the years. That is to say, I no longer look forward to it, don’t make a special effort to watch the Opening Ceremony and this year, had no intention of watching any at all. Caro is on the fence about most sporting events, but has actually watched quite a lot this year in company with her mum (“oh that rowing girl is just lovely! Oh and Mark Todd! He was robbed! I never liked that horse”).
However, there was a New Zealander playing in the Australian waterpolo team. And our family does like waterpolo. So we parked up on Day 1 to watched Australia’s first game against Brasil. And that opened the door to a slippery slope of being unable to tear myself away and needing to get regular updates. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and here are five reasons I’m really enjoying the Olympics this year.
- Anything can happen and on their day, anyone can win. Fiji won their first gold medal ever! Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt have continued their winning streaks! Valerie Adams was beaten into silver on a last gasp throw by Michelle Carter, the Shot Diva! The tension and the excitement make it riveting watching. Sure there are those expected wins, but there are enough surprises to keep me interested.
- Really, really, really quality sport. To be fair, I’ve been a little selective, but the gymnastics, waterpolo, athletics, swimming, handball, beach volleyball and a couple of other things have been outstanding.
- Great, heart warming stories, camaraderie and Olympic spirit. Michael Phelps again, being beaten by Schooling from Singapore and that photo of them eight years ago. Nikki Hamblin from NZ and Abbey d’Agostino from USA helping each other up after a fall and completing the race together. And check out Valerie Adams’ comments after taking silver – she’s a class act and exemplifies good sportsmanship.
- The humour. So many of the athletes are well-spoken and have a great sense of humour. Check out the Irish rowers, or Mahe Drysdale or even Bolt and de Grasse in the 200m heat. It’s comedy gold and shows that the athletes are not all about the physical.
- The outspokenness. Whether it’s ranting about drug cheats, dodgy boxing decisions or a Chinese swimmer talking about having her period – a taboo topic in China and worldwide, this Olympics has been chock full of athletes speaking up. Because so many of them are on social media, they’re reaching a wider audience and sharing more personal details. And good for them! As a side note, it’s interesting how many news outlets are referring to “that time of the month” rather than simply saying “has her period”. Get real newspaper peeps! This is something that most women go through for years of their lives. You can call it what it is!!!
With the drama, controversy, humour and heartwarming moments, the Olympics this year is better than a soap opera. What’s your stand on the Olympics? Love ’em, hate ’em or just don’t care? Let us know below.
On the new book front, we’ve hit the winter blues and are both struggling to put pen to paper as often as we should. When we actually sit down and write, it’s all good, but taking that first step…maybe I should take a leaf out of E L James’ book and write on the train every day! We’re about 70% of the way there and just at the point where we need to read and review and hopefully get inspired! In the meantime, there’s soup to be eaten, Olympics to be watched and other books to be read!