The Olympic torch is always a big deal and frankly this was a really lovely torch. And unfolding it and letting it sit like a flower before eventually putting it out was moving as always. And pretty cool that the copper petals that were brought in with the teams will go home to their countries.
But I can imagine my mother spitting nails at the music of not-her-generation of the closing ceremony. Certainly they aired some nasty comments on Channel 13 locally -- not the NBC affiliate, by the way -- who didn't get it. Meanwhile, the athletes seemed to be having a fine party.
The Games Finish Up
After all the carping from people about NBC delaying coverage -- always a problem with time zones on a globe -- I wonder how many leapt up at 6am to watch the men's marathon. (grin) I know we didn't. Also was busy during the men's gold medal basketball game. Guess the US team won both basketball gold medals.
-- When we saw part of the Modern Pentathlon at the '96 Games, it was the first time they did the whole thing in one day. We saw the equestrian and cross country run, followed by the medal ceremony. This year they combined the run with the pistol shooting, sort of like the biathlon. I guess some of the purists are complaining and the New York Times thinks it's no longer five events -- though wouldn't that mean they should complain about biathlon being biathlon, too? But I think it's a neat idea. Wikipedia suggested that they are using laser pistols now. With a delay to simulate an actual round in flight.
-- I didn't know that the horse riders on the cross country jumping course wear a safety vest which inflates to protect them if they fall or get thrown. Saw a rider bounce off a horse hard enough to set it off. Don't know if that puts you out of the competition or whether you can get a new vest and go on.
-- One could complain that Usain Bolt is an arrogant bastard, but he's from a small country and he's good enough to back up all that bravado.
-- Hats off to the American relay teams who decided to learn to actually pass the baton for this Olympics.
-- Team GB had a fine Olympics, which really inspired the hometown crowds. All the bad talk about the Games evaporated, or at least disappeared from the coverage. Those three gold medals in track & field in 45 minutes is being called the Greatest Hour in British Sport.
-- Didn't catch any of the sailing this year. Did manage to see judo and tae-kwan-do and wrestling. BMX biking is a lot like the pursuit snowboarding.
-- Enjoyed the matches of water polo, team handball -- they use a LOT of stickum on the ball, and field hockey. And the end of the men's gold medal soccer game was terrific.
-- First time I saw beach volleyball, I didn't want to take it seriously. But over the last several Olympics, I've become impressed. Also took delight in the badminton coverage -- other than that deliberately tanking games bits.
-- Was not unusually impressed with the gymnastics. Diving was better.
-- Sigh. No more baseball.
On To Sochi and Rio
7 February 2014 will find us at the Winter Games in the Russian playground on the Black Sea. And the first time for South America begins on 5 August 2016.
Woo-hoo. It'll take a little time to decompress from the overload of the past two weeks...