Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Olympic Drinking Game

This is based off of something Mrs. Deelio found–I rearranged a little and added a few. More will surely be added as the games (and, let’s face it, the evening) wear on…

New additions in blue (as of 5 p.m., July 28).

One drink:

Didn’t stick the landing

Hideous uniforms

Bitter runners up

“Just a kid from…”

Tears

Celebrity spectator

Athlete beefs it while competing (including falling off gymnastics equipment)

Really funny name

USSR mention

Blood

Sportscaster says something A) ridiculously nationalistic, or B) ridiculously smug about his/her sport

Reference to a non-Olympic sport

Epic collapse from a big lead

Sportscaster makes a funny (ie “[So-and-so] called for the double-touch because she tried to play it off her face.”)

Parent or coach body-English.

Shot:

New world record

High five left hanging

Gymnasts of dubious ages

Fit kid, fat parents

Nordic country wins gold

Learning a new rule about an obscure sport

Any athlete named “Pepe”

Athlete beefs it while not in the act of competing

Horse poops

False start DQ

Bela Karolyi says something nonsensical

Sportscaster gets indignant on behalf of opposing country (ie, “How DARE they call that penalty shot! The referees just GAVE the US the medal!”)

Epic collapse and/or upset in a medal round

Chug:

Compound fracture

Wrong national anthem at medal ceremony

Streaker

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Olympic Stories

It’s fair to say I geek out pretty solid to the Olympics. With the right combination of coffee, hormones and sleep deprivation, my eyes well up just saying “Olympics.” I almost cried three times on the way to work just listening to Olympics previews. I dig the games.

I love the stories they uncover about the athletes, the teams and the countries. Human interest framed in sports–it’s like Aaron Sorkin wrote a miniseries that’ll be airing over the next two weeks. I’ve already torn through a pile of material. I’ve read stories about Lolo Jones, who was well on her way to winning gold four years ago when she beefed it over the penultimate hurdle and came in seventh instead, collapsing into disbelief at the finish line, but giving the most gracious interview a few minutes later. Then the cameras caught her in the tunnel by herself, weeping.

Seriously. It’s nine a.m. and I’m crying already. I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

There’s the open-water swimmer, Alex Meyer–fuckers swim a 10k; can you believe that?! (Actually, there’s also a 25k distance, but it’s not an Olympic sport.) This guy was best friends with a competitor–they roomed together all the time, and the friend once gave up second place to turn around, swim back and help Meyer when he was having trouble in a race. Then, at a UAE race Meyer could only watch through an injury, the friend died when water temperatures pushed 90 degrees.

There’s the U.S. judo champ who’s had two goals since she was 10–to win a world championship (she did that in 2010) and a gold medal. But since the Sandusky trial, she was inspired to come out about being sexually abused for years by a former coach, and now, of course, that story will be part of her medal run.

There’s Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old gymnastics phenom who moved away from her mother and older siblings in Virginia to live with a family in Iowa (where she’s now an older sister to four girls) and train with Coach Chow. She saw him on TV four years ago and loved how happy and supportive he was of all his athletes.

There’s Lochte and Phelps, of course–and as much as I rooted for Phelps last time (and as much as I don’t give a damn about his partying), I’m kind of going for Lochte this time. (Though I hate how his name is pronounced–“Lockty.”) There’s women’s soccer, of course–a World Cup rematch with Japan would be quite a thing to watch (especially since Japan is a great and respectable–and respectful–rival).

And those are just the Americans. I’ve also read about the Chinese medal-making machine–how, after boycotting the Olympics for years because Taiwan was included, they focused in on the least-popular, least-funded sports that could earn them the most medals, like gymnastics, and things that have multiple weight classes, like women’s weightlifting. There’s the Chechnyan wrestlers who are on Russia’s team, though Russia is a political enemy of their homeland. There’s the South African amputee 400 runner, and the sprinter who’s had her gender called into question–and South Africa in general, which was banned from the Olympics during apartheid, and now features only 14 non-white athletes out of 79, though the country is only 10 percent white.

And already there’s the incident where the South Korean flag was shown for the North Korean women’s soccer team–which would be understandably embarrassing if it were any other country, but is kind of hysterical when it’s North Korea.

There’s even the Afghan boxer who’s been pulled from competition for fear she’d be injured. (Which, by the way, kills the potential for this to be the first ever summer Olympics in which every competing nation included female athletes.)

There are just so many great stories, so much earnestness. Watch the opening ceremonies tonight. Look at how excited everyone is to be there. Think about how cool it is that every part of the globe is just so happy to come together like that.

I dunno. I’m pretty excited.

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Doing Work

They say the key to being a writer is to write consistently, every day. Not that I’m one for following rules like that. (I say the key to being a writer is to have someone pay you for the things that you write, heh.) But I do think writing in volume is important to learning how to listen to yourself.

I wrote the previous paragraph on Monday, in my PJs, working from home to finish a feature that I had, as usual, over-researched and under-…started. Volume aside, probably for the best that I concentrated on the feature rather than finishing a blog post that obviously had nowhere to go but tedious.

So Tuesday morning was exhaustion–and trying to write when you’re written out is hard, but fortunately I got tons of practice in college. Like a marathoner. (I mean, I’m guessing.) Push through the pain, there’s a little euphoria in every step, every noun-verb agreement and decisive period. And when you finally get to the end, it feels so good.

That? Is where I’m at now: Today I sent that 2,000-word story to art–a mercifully short turnaround after turning it in yesterday afternoon–plus an 18,000-word database to art. And just for funsies, polished off a 300-word intro and a 250-word department. Write that volume, bitches.

Rushed home in time to make the 6 o’clock workout:

Finished in 43:20.

It’s not boasting, exactly; I’m just psyched. Writer’s high. Wednesday was good to me. I’m-a try to keep it going.

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