Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Anyone else got the Olympics fever?

I've been watching the Olympics telecast nonstop-- even when the results are already known! I've always enjoyed watching swimming, but even events like beach volleyball, diving, and ping pong have been fun to watch. Every evening this week, I'm just glued to the TV, flipping between different Olympics programming channels. It's exciting! Whether it's Phelps, USA Basketball, or something as obscure as handball, I'm glad the Olympics are here. I'm actually more of a Winter Olympics fan but this 08 Olympics has been addictive to follow.

Now, why am I talking about this? Seems like lots of people have caught the Olympics fever. I hear people talking about it on BART platforms, trains, lines at supermarkets/drugstores, lines for coffee...etc. Olympics has actually brought some level of friendliness to the daily commute! I haven't personally initiated any conversations around Olympics w/ strangers but I've had strangers commenting to me about Michael Phelps and asking me if I saw....I, of course, watched all his events and responded accordingly!

So, do you have the Olympics fever too?


Anonymous said...

I am boycotting the Olympics out of respect for Human Rights. But I don't judge... if you have no concern for Human Rights, then enjoy!!

I hear Phelps is kicking A**!

Anonymous said...

I really don't care the Olympics. I think Tibet has a lot to do with it for me and China's whole shameful record on human rights. I don't begrudge anyone who is watching but I just can't.

People say it isn't fair to politicize the Olympics but I cannot separate politics from the event. Hosting the Olympics is nothing but political. It's a chance to strut before the world. You can't separate two.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what was up with the whole little girl lypsincing at the opening ceremony scandal? I mean WTF?

China should be ashamed.

bartmusings said...

I avoid mixing politics with this blog simply because is just a place for usba to share our thoughts, observations and experiences on BART. Sure, there may be a little bit here and there about BART management but generally, discussions are not politicized.

With Olympics, perhaps I'm the only odd ball who believes this but I am personally able to separate my political and social beliefs from an event that is meant to celebrate world athletes and diverse sports. Yes, China is hosting it, and I personally have many, many, and I repeat MANY disagreements with China's policies, but I do not believe that by watching the individual events, I am in any way compromising my beliefs. I will not go into detail here what they are, but just know that one disagreement in particular is extremely personal and something I have continued to push for the past decade and will continue to try to progress the message.

I'm a sports fan- I enjoy watching the games. But in no way am I condoning China's human rights record and foreign policies.

bartmusings said...

Forgot to say...but if you are boycotting Olympics for political reasons, I respect that too.

SongMonk said...

Okay, I'll throw in my two cents here.

I am a HUGE Olympics fan. Huge. So yeah, every two years, I am totally into it.

I am also quite aware of the issues with China's policies (in many areas, human rights as well as others). I'm pretty critical of them.

However, I think the fact that they were awarded the Olympics ultimately is a good thing both for China *and* the rest of the world. Good for China for obvious reasons. But also good for the rest of us because the Olympics being in China puts the focus on them not just for the Olympics, but in all the other ways as well. It helps people to become more aware of them, both culturally and for the very reasons that people are critical of them. Would Tibet be in the public consciousness as much without the Olympics being in China? China's human rights issues? Their policies towards their own people? They try to put on a good face, but information propagation is good enough that it's tough to hide things.

Boycott the Olympics b/c of China's human rights issue? For anyone who wants to do that, that's fine with me, and I'm certainly not going to begrudge you for it, but that's not effective in my mind. And I'm not just saying that because I want my Olympic fix.

And not that anyone here has suggested it, but I'm certainly opposed to countries having their athletes boycott because they protest the host nation's policies. It's unfair to the athletes, but once again, I think it's ineffective. It's a trade off, of course, but in my opinion, a net negative.

As to an issue addressed by more than one commenter here, I would say that it's impossible to completely separate the politics from the athletics at the Olympics. It's intermixed, for sure. That said, they're not one and the same either, and I disagree with the anonymous poster who says the Olympics is nothing but political.

There are many athletes with their own stories and their own motivations that are not concerned about the political issues, and yet you put it all together and you get something that is very much political. That is not a contradiction or a paradox. But it does make for interesting debate. :-)

Anyway, that's my opinion.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Did you see Artemev's pommel horse routine that clinched the bronze? That was awesome!

Personally I think its kind of sad that people don't watch for political reasons. As a former olympic hopeful at one point in my life, it was my dream to run at the games. You work so hard your whole life and this is one of a very few times that these sports get any attention from your countrymen or that you get to compete against the best in the world. It's also a chance for all of those who supported you to watch you show all your hard work. To me, it is my duty to watch my fellow athletes compete and succeed or fail, cause I know they would do the same for me.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the Olympics, too. It's been great.

To the people who are boycotting the Olympics, perhaps you should boycott China products instead. Boycotting the Olympics is a "lazy" way to protest China's policies. Although Olympics and politics are intertwined, I believe it is possible to enjoy the sporting side without getting political.

I am an American living in Hong Kong and I see what is happening on this side of the world firsthand. Without a doubt, I do strongly disagree with a number of China's policies. But that doesn't diminish my support for the Olympics and the athletes who trained very hard to represent their country.

Anonymous said...

It's more like a rash and I can't get rid of the damn thing. I have no interest in the games, but it seems to be all the talk around the office.

Anonymous said...

In a way, boycotting the Olympics can be a bad thing. By putting on these Olympics, Chinese Communist Party is actually REALLY showing the world what it is all about - a sick and twisted government that will go to GREAT lengths to try to show the world that it is anything but. But the harder they try to do this, the more the truth comes out in the form of such things as time delays in the opening ceremonies, computer enhanced fireworks, Milli Vanilli-style lip synching, underage performers, and MANY more things. And this doesn't even get into the ever-present pollution that the CCP just can't make go away. By watching these Olympics, you can REALLY see that what you are watching is the 1936 Berlin Olympics in 2008.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we'll all have Olympic fever once all the Americans return from China. It's called SARS (wah WAHHHHHH)