Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Great Big Olympic Double Standard

OK, so here is my confession. I have not watched the Olympics. Any of it. Well, apart from some highlights that I saw on the news the night before last - so maybe that means I've seen 'approximately none' of the Olympics.
You see, I've been burnt before. You have to sit through HOURS and HOURS of tedium to see the one thing you wanted to see, which is inevitably only 30 seconds of it at the end of 3 hours of coverage.
And I know my country. Channel 7 will show us some highlights of the rest of the world and then the Australian performances. The coverage will be skewed to what we're good at. There will be interminable hours of watching people swimming up and down a pool, for example, because that's where a significant proportion of our medal tally will come from.
Now, I could sit through the gymnastics if I had a few hours to waste. There's plenty going on within the space, and they can flick between contestants in different components. It is also very watchable and constantly amazes me with what some people can do with their bodies. I can also sit through the diving on the same principle. Skill, grace and strength combined with visual interest.
But I have to admit what I would like to sit through is the equestrian section. Hours of it. Preferably without the recognisable name co-commentator who has no clue about what is going on. I love the that same skill, grace and strength of the diving or gymnastics, with the added complication that it's a team event between horse and rider where one of them doesn't speak English. Come to think of it, for some duos neither may actually speak English, for example the human may speak German, French, or American or something - but you get my point.
I'll admit that a bit of it does get shown in Australia because we do OK in the three day event, and the cross-country and showjumping components do have excitement factor. It's usually sandwiched between everything else that is happening, but there's a little bit there.
I want the dressage. Not the dressage that is the first stage of the three day event, but the REAL dressage. Yes, I know some have compared it to watching paint dry, but it is beautiful. Power, obedience, beauty and grace - communication without words. *sigh*
The real difference between watching a horse circling in an arena with perfect engagement and a swimmer doing laps with perfect technique (apart from the viewer's area of interest)?
...Approximately None


Hippomanic Jen said...

I now feel justified in my comments on yesterday's post.

Crazy Sister said...

Yes, I was carefully watching your perfect paragraphs.

I've been showing Harpo bits of the olympics, as he was a baby when they were last on, and he's soaking it all up. Everytime something good happens, he says, "I want to see that AGAIN!" and lo and behold the instant replay starts.

I think he thinks he's controlling the broadcast.

Swift Jan said...

I stupidly waited until 1am to watch Australia enter the arena in the opening ceremony.... was it worth the long awaited wait I hear you ask?.... Nope, not at all.

Dee said...

I love Dressage... watching and riding..