… and not ragging on NBC, but I really miss ABC coverage of the Olympics. Not sure why. Bob Costas is a perfectly adequate host, but there’s just something missing in the NBC broadcasts.
On Dish Network, there is a channel, (#147) that offers Olympic highlights, and on one screen you can see what all 6 NBC networks are offering. You can switch to any channel and hear what’s going on without leaving that screen. It’s pretty cool. I’ve been there a few times already.
I’ve been trying to stay away from the newspapers because they post results as they happen, not as NBC shows them. Of course, Athens is about 7 hours ahead of us, so unless I can watch tv at work, this is the only way to watch the “prime time” events.
Personally, I love the opening ceremonies with countries like Eritrea, Lichtenstein, Cook Islands, and Palau, who have less than five athletes participating. These people are more than excited to be at the Olympics. You can see the joy and wonder on their faces.
My favorite country, though, was Iraq. Their athletes used to be tortured on a regular basis by one of Saddam’s sons. There was no joy in participation, no thrill of victory, but plenty of agony for them for each defeat. This year, however, the Iraqi athletes were “smuggled” out of their own country for their safety’s sake by Italian peacekeepers in their country. Their soccer team won their first match against Portugal, which was “loaded” with three star players from the English Premier League. Yet Iraq was victorious. They tasted yet another victory, and their countrymen rejoiced. I think it’s a safe bet that these athletes are grateful to each person who helped give them their freedom, regardless of whether there were WMD’s in their country or not.
The Iraqi athletes paraded in and they seemed overwhelmed and awed by the whole atmosphere. The crowd greeted them with cheers and applause. The team members’ smiles made me tear up. Wether or not they medal is of no consequence. They can go home and hold their heads high and they will not be tortured or punished, they will be heroes to every Iraqi child (and some adults all over the world as well).
That, my friends, is what the spirit of the Olympics is all about.