Monday, 11 August 2008

Olympic fever

It seems that when I said I was not planning on watching much of the Olympics, I lied.

The first night (Saturday) I resisted for about an hour, then put the TV on for about 2 hours and watched the fantastic end of the men's cycling road race. I did turn the TV off again eventually and go back to my computer, but the damage was done.

The second night (Sunday) I watched a few things here and there, including the sensational comeback by the Hockeyroos, when they recovered from 1-4 down against Korea to win 5-4. Again, I didn't watch the Games all evening, but had the TV on 'for company' (something I never do) and pottered around on the computer (planning for the writing retreat) until I heard something interesting, at which point I'd dash across to the TV to see the latest.

And tonight . . . well, tonight I switched on the TV the moment I stepped inside, and it's been 'keeping me company' ever since. I had been shopping, so I did manage to put the shopping away, plus read a few e-mails, but about 10 minutes ago they replayed exciting swimming events from today, so of course I had to go and watch those . . .

I think I am saved by the fact that the swimming finals are on during the day, instead of in the evening, because I doubt I could keep away from the TV under such circumstances. In fact, it was not until I realised this that I considered it safe to put the TV on at all.

I don't know what it is about the Olympics that's so exciting. Maybe the fact that it only comes around once every four years. Or maybe because so many countries all come together to participate.

As to be expected, Australia has won its first two gold medals in the pool. We can usually count on a few golds from the pool; these then are usually complemented by others that are totally unexpected. It's interesting that the level of expectation makes a huge difference on media reaction. Take for example Stephanie Rice, who won the 400m IM on Saturday. OMG the uproar. Clearly she was a dark horse in the race, so we were in awe. Then comes Libby Trickett, who some might say was expected to win a few gold medals. So when she wins her first today (100m butterfly), the late news headlines don't even mention it! I had to trawl the internet to find out the swimming results for today, and there it was! Huh.

So after three days, I am fairly hooked. However, at least I am not completely fixated to the exclusion of all else. And at least I am going on a writing retreat this coming weekend and I'm hoping we won't get too distracted by the Games and get lots of writing done. (Coz I'm certainly not getting anything done tonight!)


  1. Knowing how much of a sports fan you are, Ellen, I think I would have been surprised if you didn't watch any of the Olympics (although I would have been totally impressed by your will power if you had). I know that if I didn't have to go to work, I would probably be sitting in front of the tv all day! And with 24hrs of Olympics on EuroSport, it is indeed possible...

  2. I agree - the Olympics are addictive! And if someone can explain to me how judo is scored I'd be most appreciative...!