Most everyone knows the Olympics are starting today and try as I might, I always get sucked in by the Olympics. Every time the Olympics come around, I make a resolution that I’m not going to spend all my time watching the Olympics. Now you might imagine that in my business that would be difficult to do, but I try really hard to hold on to that resolution. I tell myself that I’m not really interested in many of the sports or that I’m cynical about the doping atmosphere of big international athletic events, but whatever the reason, I resolve to live my normal life and let the Olympics go on ‘without me’. But sure enough, after missing the opening ceremony and the first couple of days of competition, I get curious and I turn it on and then I get sucked in again by the stories, the events, and what is going on. By the end of the Olympics, I am again an Olympic junkie.
This year is probably going to be no different. I’ve resolved to let the Olympics start without me. But we’ve already started here in the Huffines Institute, thinking about, planning, and actually putting up content about the Olympics (you can check out a couple of our recent podcasts that deal directly with the Olympics), so it’s going to be harder for me to fulfill any of my resolution. In fact, social media (including our Twitter-stream @HuffinesDir) is already at full speed about the Olympics, the women’s soccer team has already beat France, and two Aggie-archers have already gone through the first rounds of their competition. I think my resolution will be a complete non-starter this time around.
So, let’s give in and watch the Olympics. There are going to be hundreds of great stories. Athletes will win that we didn’t expect to win, and athletes we expected to win, won’t. Everyone has the stories they are looking for – I’m no exception.
I’ll be watching Oscar Pistorius in the relays not only for the human-achievement aspect – I mean, really…a double-amputee running in the track and field portion of the Olympics? – but also for the controversy. How can the IOC allow an athlete to compete that has been shown to have a mechanical advantage over normal runners?
Caster Semenya will be a great story because of the questions surrounding her gender over the past couple of years, especially in the way she has been dismantling 800 m world records.
Let’s watch the US Women’s gymnastics team – there are literally 10 incredible stories based around that team.
And how many athletes will get bounced because they fail the newly unveiled testing for human growth hormone?
See…the first athlete hasn’t marched into the Stadium yet and already, I’m sucked in. See you in 17 days…..
About the Author
Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot, PhD FACSM RCEP CES, Omar Smith Endowed Chair in Kinesiology, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.