Sunday, July 29, 2012

Feel the Rhythm

"I'm feeling very Olympic today!"*

Men's volleyball is on, and the US just got a point because Serbia's "backup opposite was clearly over the three meter line."

Of course. How could he be so clumsy?

BeachvolleygerI love the Olympics. I've been –with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim to the Munich Games, 1972 (yeah, those Olympics), and with our girls to Salt Lake City in 2002. I get choked up watching the opening ceremonies, amazed at the costumes (I don't really care who made them) and...where is Andorra? I soak in the human-interest stories. I root for Americans, but enjoy every athlete's efforts, be they gold medal or merely "making their only appearance in the Games." I listen to the great martial music year round and wait impatiently for the next Olympiad, when "Summon the Heroes" greets me morning, noon and night. The Greer Family lexicon is animated with Cool Runnings quotes like the above – can you imagine any other occasion when "Tallulah!" is an appropriate exclamation? The politics are dull and pointless, but whenever human beings gather there are always boorish souls among them who can't resist. The commercials ("Only Human," for example) have been Super Bowl good.

I amaze myself, too, with expert commentary about sports I watch every two years. "Well played," I suggest admiringly, watching curling during the winter games ("It's kind of a winter sport, you know.). Curling, the only sport playable with a cold Molson's Canadian in one hand, a lit Export A dangling jauntily. Curling, about which I know next to nothing (there is ice, and rocks with handles. Brooms). In the Summers, I tut-tut when the judges deduct a tenth for some imperceptible hop after a high-wire routine (or is it high bar?) and oh-my-God did you see Abby Wambach get sucker punched? And stay the hell away from me when water polo is it true the referee goes through three whistles in a match?

Like any other Olympic geek, gear has an allure all its own. The archery apparatus seem a fascinating combination of William Tell and the mortar guy's gun sight in Stripes. Timing devices that can measure a hundredth of a second difference in a pool – are you kidding me? The boat races are very cool – how much sailing coverage this year?

The dogs are sleeping, I'm writing and the Olympics are on. This time, the Beach Volleyball women are wearing what looks like Under Armor full body suits, with their itsy-bitsy bikini tops on the outside. A new option – something about allowing more of the world's women to participate. The Dutch woman just did the "jump float serve." The Brazilian woman's set was perfect, her partner dropping it right down the middle.

Nicely played.

*Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug), Cool Runnings, 1993

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