I told the doctor I’ve been feeling different for the past week or so. He checked my pulse, dilated my pupils, lit up my ears and began asking about my symptoms. “An increasing desire to work out, strong national pride, an eye for fashion and a sudden interest in sports,” I said. After asking where I’m from and checking my hormone levels for any irregularities, Doc came to the conclusion that I, in fact, had acquired Olympic fever.
It made total sense. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games hooked me from day one with its bizarro opening ceremony. The English are brilliant! The dancing sick children were a nice touch, but I was more enthralled with the overall message. Who knew the solution to our healthcare problems was to set loose a swarm of Harry Potters’ Mary Poppins’ own Valdemort and his minions? Thank you for showing us the way, Danny Boyle.
Once the games began, I started my search for the weird events. Fans and haters of Mitt Romney are probably aware that his wife’s horse is competing in dressage or “horse dancing.” I also saw a track event called steeplechase, where runners jump a few hurdles and hop over a wall into a moat, leaving them to run the rest of the next lap with soggy feet. I didn’t know adults still played field hockey, but after seeing the beautiful Dutch women’s team in their sexy school girl uniforms, I’d encourage all adult women to pick up the game.
The uniforms are part of the reason people watch the Olympics. There are perfect bodies in tight and/or skimpy clothing. The gawking potential is equally divided amongst the sexes, so for every hot field hockey girl, ladies get one spandex wearing, canoeing gold medalist with a boner.
Looking past short skirts and spandex dicks, these athletes need to be recognized for what they are: inspiring. Many of these Olympians spend their entire youths training for just one event. The odds of success are infinitesimal, but they push on because they believe in that remote chance.
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa believed in that chance, despite being a double amputee. Pistorius ran in the Men’s 400 Meter using prosthetic “blades” that were strapped to what remained of his legs. While he didn’t move past the semifinals, he did receive both a warm welcome and a fond farewell from the crowd and his fellow racers, one of whom even traded nametags with him at the end of the race. It was nice enough to warm even my jaded heart.
I noticed other changes in myself. I was proud of Team U.S.A.’s accomplishments, and I even began rooting for our country instead of just staring at the train wreck that we usually see when the Stars and Stripes are involved. I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel that way.
Of course, it’s easy to be proud when we are actually kicking ass. We beat ourselves in women’s beach volleyball to take silver and gold, killed it in women’s gymnastics and have managed to sweep up 20-plus track medals. Our greatest success thus far has been swimming, in which, at last count, we had won 30 medals.
Many of those swimming wins were sucked down the bowl of one Michael Phelps. Phelps plans to retire after these games as the world record-holder for the most Olympic Medals won. When asked why he wouldn’t return in 2016, Phelps told his NBC poolside interviewer that he had traveled the world, but had only seen black lines at the bottom of swimming pools. If that was my life, I would probably take bong loads in the off-season too.
Some people can’t wait until the off-season, though. Seventh place U.S. judo participant, Nicholas Delpopolo, just had to “accidentally” eat that bud brownie at his homey’s house before he left for the Olympics. He was expelled for testing positive for THC after he had already lost.
The Olympics can be a cold-hearted bitch like that, but there are things that can make it more fun. Serena Williams showed the world that gold medal winners should C Walk after they win. We could give out medals for that too!
If dancing ain’t your thing, maybe we could take the original Greek idea and throw in a little Roman Coliseum action. We could add snake pits for the gymnasts, sharks in the pools, lions on the track and humans vs. humans on the gun and archery ranges. Or if that’s too nuts, we could just have regular people doing the events next to the pros so people at home can see what being an Olympian truly means.