In 2012, I made my mind up to not be hooked on the Olympics for two weeks. So I did every thing I could to stay away from the TV.
Then, I thought (the Olympics) are at least worth a peek, in case someone asks I can say “Sure I watched the games.”
That was all it took. For the next two weeks, I missed very little. Taking in the great variety of sports, many of which we rarely see, I didn’t miss a meal, eating in front of the TV which I never do.
This year, I again decided not to become a slave to the 2016 Olympic games. Let’s face it, at my age, every minute seems very important.
And the media convinced me Brazil could not do the impossible necessary to pull off the Olympic games. There also was a deluge of reports saying how bad the housing would be, the venues would not be ready, and on and on and on.
And don’t forget the mosquito. This fact alone caused several very good athletes not to participate for fear of the Zika Virus. I found myself feeling sorry for the athletes who did not participate. I guess we will have to wait and see if this fear was justified.
My wife did watch the opening ceremony and I caught some of it.
Wow. How could this country, with what I thought was limited money and ability, put on such a spectacular show? The next day, by accident, I found an archery competition, something you don’t see too often. Shooting an arrow 70 meters into a little yellow bulls-eye was something else.
Also I saw the Olympic village.
Another wow. How could this country build such a magnificent place in such a short time?
Then I watched women’s beach volleyball.
Double wow. I’m not sure who won but who cares.
The more I watched, the more amazed I was at the facilities, how the games were handled, the great variety of sports that we don’t see every day, the athletic skills of the participants, and the overall beauty of Brazil.
I was hooked.
I saw four of the greatest tennis matches I ever saw.
The new golf course was fantastic, built from scratch in just three years.
Water polo has to be one of the roughest sports invented.
Team handball? I didn’t know it existed.
Equestrian and rowing events were the best I’ve ever seen.
The coverage overall was fantastic, four TV channels of nothing but great events.
As I write this, I still have plenty of track and other great sporting events (including more women’s beach volleyball) to watch.
It is still dark early in the morning. I got up early so I don’t miss any of the good stuff.
Congratulation to Brazil and all the participants and workers who put on this great show.
Tony Lamke is a former coach. He has researched the history of Clinton County sports and writes a periodic column for the News Journal. He can be reached at [email protected]