August 14, 2008

Catching Olympic Fever

by Dan Bilicki In: Olympics, Video Games

While taking some time off of Madden 09 to watch the Olympics (Madden review coming soon!), I’ve really started to appreciate some of the fringe “sports.” Now, being a guy who would normally bash people who have dedicated their lives to swimming, male gymnastics and beach volleyball, I found myself quite drawn to the tube while those events were going on. I would never have thought that I would willingly pay attention to these things but somehow they’ve grabbed hold of me and spun a web of intrigue in my fertile mind. There’re just some things that amaze me about these guys.

Take Michael Phelps for example: Sure, it may be seen as a bit of a disappointment if he doesn’t take home 8 golds but, his 5 gold-haul already is spectacular! Five gold medals in a lifetime is quite an achievement but Phelps has done it within the first few days of the Games. Now that’s simply amazing.

Then there are these stories about his diet. Phelps routinely eats thousand-plus calorie meals. His daily intake is roughly 4,000 calories. How can one man eat that much and still stay that incredibly thin and in-shape? There’s also his physical “abnormalities” to gawk at. He has an unusually long torso and stubby legs — which somehow helps, size 14 feet that are extremely flexible, incredible lung capacity, 203 cm arm span on a 193 cm body and to top it all off, a double-jointed chest. I didn’t even know chests could be double-jointed.

I don’t know how it happened but I watched on as Austria defeated Brazil in beach volleyball. Are there beaches in Austria? Shouldn’t Brazil ruin people at this “sport?” How can you consider beach volleyball an actual sport? It’s a recreational activity at best.

I would say something about gymnastics being a “Nancy boy’s pseudo-sport,” but after watching these guys do their thing, I’m actually a little impressed. But more importantly, they can no doubt kick my ass something fierce.

One of the funniest things I’ve learned during these Games has to be a little tidbit from the box score for South Korea vs. United States in baseball. The first four batters for the Korean team were named Lee. Then there was a Kim, followed by another Lee. Oh, at later in the game, yet another Lee entered the game as a pinch-hitter. I never realized how common that name was until now.

And how about how awful Canada is doing? We’re this far into the Games and still no medals? Not even a stinking bronze? There have already been 70 medal events and over 40 different countries have won at least a bronze. Tajikistan has a bronze and I wasn’t even sure that was a country (No offence to my Tajikistani readers). What is wrong with this picture? At least Canada should get something in rowing or softball.

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