Apparently, a little British pessimism rubbed off on me. As a temporary Brit, I found myself quite wrapped up in the grumbling surrounding the London Olympics. We were not looking forward to the extra congestion, marked up prices, and never-ending traffic diversions. In fact, David and I even discussed taking our holiday during the Olympics and getting out of town. A strategy of avoidance if you will.
Now that we are in VA, whenever anyone has asked us if we are sad to be missing the Games, David and I confidently reply, “no.”
That was until I started seeing Instagram pictures from my friends in London who have either performed at the ceremony, attended the opening ceremony, or stood along the road to catch a blur of the passing road race. Each time, I felt equal pangs of excitement and disappointment. That could have been us!
Apparently, I am a huge sap and love the pomp and circumstance that only England could bring to the whole affair. And say what you will about the opening ceremony – kooky for sure – but I loved the story-telling and as the Daily Beast wrote, how Danny Boyle broke open the formula and created something wildly imaginative and artistic. Honestly, what else could you do in the shadow of Beijing, especially in the middle of a recession?
It has been both both good and bad watching the games from the US. Most obviously in the “pro” column is the fact that NBC highlights and tracks US athletes. Normally, I find special-interest news segments saccharin, but during the Olympics, I suspend my eye-rolling tendencies and dive in. (Unless it’s Ryan Seacrest serving up the simplest of questions to the star athletes. I can’t take him seriously.) And please, show lots of camera shots of parents anxiously twitching in their seats while their children vault, swim, and run towards the medal podium. Throw in a greatest Olympic moments tribute, and I’m likely to be a sobbing mess well before the top ten.
On the flip side, there is a lot of Twitter buzz around the job NBC has done on the broadcast so far. There’s a lot of chatter about the vigilant pursuit of online video links, disappointment that NBC didn’t live broadcast the Opening Ceremony & the men’s 400m swim, the silly commentary during the Opening Ceremony, and even the inability to show split-screen events in primetime. I definitely agree with a lot of this, but I must be moved by the general Olympic goodwill and have just decided not to worry.
Apparently, I’m still quite the optimist at heart.