Tag Archive | "summer games"

underwater 2012

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Olympic Recap

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Tom Federline

Brooks “The Tuna” Velour….. it did not matter how many times I saw that Maryland Lottery Medal Mania commercial - I laughed. The dolphin kick as he entered the water – priceless. On a serious note, I was engaged with the Olympics from start to finish. I believe what set this Olympics apart from previous viewings was: a) channel options b) the DVR and c) choice of knowing outcome or waiting until event coverage. NBCSN is even capitalizing on post airings, with “Return to London…” all this week, featuring the highlights of the more coveted sports. The replays are buffeting any immediate Olympic withdrawal symptoms.

Yes, the primetime commercials were to many and to long. Yes, some of the background stories were to drawn out and dramatic. Yes, some of the interviews immediately following the event were to mundane and elementary. And yes, I threw my sofa cushions at the tube, after the 50th time I saw Matthew Perrys’ face and whatever new show of his they were jamming down our throats. They did such a good job, I don’t even know the name of the supposed upcoming sitcom. We had options………….. click.

What I dug the most was, Neil Peart drum roll please………….the camera angles/video coverage. I know it’s not new and I am getting old but, for some reason being with the athlete as they competed in their event blew me away. I was all about - the under water 50m pool shots, following the diver into the pool, running with the gymnast down the runway, surging across the mat, running with the track stars, the super slow motion replay, etc. etc. The under water on the floor of the pool looking up shots - extremely cool. Were we ever able to follow them during the race before from below? Maybe it’s the new HD flat screens? I don’t know, I’m old, I appreciate the little things alot more now. I will say, I am not a fan of the “in-your-face” camera shots immediately following their performance or while they wait for their scores. No reason to be a foot from their face when I believe there is a lens option called “zoom”. The video coverage enhanced my viewing time.

                                                           

Number 2 on the “what I really dug” meter………….. Boxing analyst – Teddy Atlas. His commentary pre, during and post fight was unprecedented. He had the knowledge, he had the flare, he had the honesty and freedom to call it like he saw it. Analogies I had never heard before or would have ever dreamed of interjecting into a boxing match. FAN-tastic. Even though the boxing was for the most part – “fixed” – at least Ole Teddy Atlas was on board with it. “Some of these decisions, are making Olympic boxing a joke/no credibility.” “If they give it to the blue corner – I’m on a plane out of here.” Blue corner received the win……”Where do I go get our tickets.” (They didn’t leave).  His play-by-play man, Bobby Papa, was right there with him. “Where are they getting these judges? The judging at these games is why this sport is considered a farce.” FAN-tastic coverage, with so many more examples. If they ever come out with a DVD of the boxing coverage for the London 2012 Olympics ………….buy it………it’s a classic.

Number 3 – minimal bad press. Besides the inevitable “Fixes” – (badminton you kiddin’ me)? There were only a couple positive drug tests (so far). Really only one, that being the ”she-man” shot putter from Belarus. Let me tell you, you saw it………there were plenty more of the “she-men” running around.  The other positive drug test didn’t really count. That was the American judo guy – he inadvertently ate some marijuana brownies back in the states prior to going over. Uhhhhhhh yeah right. I wonder if the IOC uses the same testing labs as MLB and the NFL? There were minimal reports of  misdemeanors. There were no terrorists attacks, no Munich of 1972 from 40 years earlier. Nice job – British and friends security teams – give them a gold medal.

Number 4 – the USA women in anything. I heard the USA women alone, would have come in fifth for total medals vs. the rest of the world. The gals swimming was the surprise. In the last race of the meet, the 4 X 100 medley relay, the USA had 4 gold medal winners at their particular specialty, won at various distances. Soccer, water polo, basketball, beach volleyball (final match -both teams- USA), tennis, rowing, track, etc. You go girls.

For most of these athletes it’s a “Once in a Lifetime” – (Talking Heads), type deal. Although, for those at the top of their game, it seems as if there are more and more repeaters. When the Olympics changedthe participation status requirements from amateur to include professional – a new era was born. Now the athletes can recognize the potential income and sponsorship they can receive for their efforts. Stay off the drugs and go for it.

I encourage you to offer your top moments. Looking forward to 2014 Winter games in Sochi, Russia and 2016 Summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

 

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random_oly-trials

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Olympic Trials

Posted on 06 July 2012 by Tom Federline

It’s hot. If you can’t be in a pool, in the bay or in the ocean, you might as well be reading my blog in air conditioning. I wish I was in a pool, heck I can even smell the chlorine. The pool thoughts reminded me of the Olympic trials which were on last week. Hope you caught some of the coverage on NBC and NBCSN. The focus was on swimming, gymnastics and track and field. I thoroughly enjoyed coming home from work and catching extended highlights prior to prime time coverage later in the evening. It was hot, I had to work, it was hot, limited outside activity, it was hot and the Orioles are not………..so bring on the Summer Olympics 2012. 

It was actually a refreshing surprise, to witness the formulation of the US Olympic Team. Watching these athletes compete at such a high level and watching their dreams being realized or crushed due to a matter of tenths of a second or tenths of a point, really gripped me. Making the team or winning the event is nothing new to me or to any of us. Maybe it was because I was cheering for ”all of them”, instead of  routing “only for the Americans” or “only for the ones who don’t look like they are on steroids”. Maybe it was because the top two or three spots got to go. Maybe it was the drama and the realization that the culmination of years of training was unfolded in the matter of minutes or seconds. What ever it was, congrats Team USA, ya got me hooked.

There were some new terms thrown at me, like “qualifying standards” and “A or B levels”. Bottom line the athlete could win the event but NOT make the team if they did not meet Olympic standards. BOOOOOOO, Olympic committee, with a goofball rule like that, there would have never been an Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards or an initial Jamaican bobsled team. You train, you win, you are the best in your country for an Olympic event, your country (or sponsors) have footed the bill to get you to the Olympics, guess what? You have earned the right to go. The US almost didn’t have a discuss thrower. Every country should have a discuss thrower. The cool thing is, the guy qualified on his last throw, surpassing the Olympic minimum of 65 meters (that’s 213.5 feet for us Americans). He was like 6 inches short prior to his last throw. This guy can throw a “saucer” over 200′ and some wimpy selection committee judge is not going to let this athlete compete? WRONG. You go Lance Brooks. Following are names that stood out to me, during the trials:

Track and Field – Amy Acuff (yes, this is her 5th Olympics -high jump), Allison Felix (sprints), Ashton Eaton (Decathlon), Wallace Spearmon (200m),  and Matthew Centrowitz (1500m – Broadneck High). I had the pleasure of watching Matt Centrowitz run a few years back, thanks to my step-nephew who was particpating in high school track (at a top level I might add). The young  lad could run like a deer, seemingly effortless with gears no one else had.

Womens (Girls) Gymnastics – Jordan Weiber (all around - 16 years old), Aly Raisman (Floor and vault – 18 years old).  Most of them are 16 – do they even have a drivers license? The minimum age is 16. Sixteen? Mens Gymnastics – John Orozco (all around - 19 yrs old) and Jonathan Horton (rings, horizontal bar – 26 years old). The women have a bulls-eye on them and are expected to medal. The guys are underdogs and that’s a nice spot to be in.

Swimming - The United States is just strong. Women – Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt, you are going to hear those names almost as much as these next two . Men – Ryan Lochte and some guy named Phelps. There is quite a wake building, concerning the Lochte/Phelps potential duals in the pool. Hope that all pans out. The swimming events are going to be where it’s at. It amazes me how those swimmers/dolphins can cut through the water like they do. I finally bought a pair of fins for in the ocean (body surfing and boarding). 1 – they work. 2 – it was so cool to swim with those things on. Now I know how those top swimmers feel when cutting through the water – a cool sensation.

I am currently not up on all the sports the Olympics have to offer. We all soon will be. I am a fan of the more obscure sports, pentathlon, archery, rowing and of course synchronized swimming. I am sure there are Marylanders that have made the team also. So offer your thoughts and info. that I haven’t touched on. It’s all good.

I’m looking forward to July 27 – August 10th. We need some feelgood stories. We need a break in the heat. We need minimal bad press, i.e “roids”. We need the Wide World of Sport. It’s hot. It’s so hot, It’s “Hotter than Hell’ – KISS. Hopefully the US  Team can stoke the fire. U-S-A…. U-S-A…..U-S-A.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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