Random Thoughts on the Olympics

I have been watching quite a bit of Olympic coverage so far. Here are a couple of things that have crossed my mind. In no particular order.

Although rooting for the US men’s basketball team, I’m not shedding any tears over their struggles so far. I don’t really get the impression that anyone else in America is, either. Nothing personal against the players, but after the first Dream Team, where we proved what our varsity could do, it’s been hard to really get pumped for these guys.

Despite wanting the US to win the gold medal race, I wouldn’t mind seeing Paul Hamm give his medal to the guy who would have won if the judges would have been perfect. Even though there really shouldn’t be any discussion about it at all. I don’t think he’s at all obligated to, and I don’t think it will reflect poorly upon him if he doesn’t. I am not saying that that he “should”. But it would be the mother of all class acts, wouldn’t it?

I’d be curious to see exactly what the Iraqi soccer team was asked and the way the questions were framed about Bush’s use of the Iraqi team in a campaign commercial. I haven’t seen the ad, but unless Bush is really trying to take credit for the team’s on-field performance (as opposed to the freedom of the team to play or the end of Uday’s terrorist approach to coaching) I don’t see anything wrong at all. The Iraqi Olympic Committee claims the story was “engineered” and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

Is it me, or is the US women’t softball team just plain amazing?

After all the hype of returning to the site of the first Olympic games 3000 years ago, and the fact that women would now be competing on the spot, the first female gold medalist has been stripped of her medal for blood doping. Nice.

I think we’re going to get 100 medals, even though we might be nearing the end of US Olympic dominance, whatever that means. When the USSR lost it’s dominance, it was because the massive programs that turned out world-class athletes like assembly lines were cut or curtailed. The nation that will take our place at the top of the pyramid, China, has those same sorts of programs. We don’t. The fact that we can hang with them, and in many cases surpass them, consistently says a lot.


  1. I hope ‘paint it black’ wasn’t one of those ‘do it because I said so even if it doesn’t make sense’ decisions. Perhaps it was a confused reference to a Rolling Stones song? Maybe the person who made the black paint decision has a brother that sells black paint and a cousin who sells gun oil to the Army.