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beach: day olympics

I didn’t really get to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics. When I turned it on, they were already in the midst of the Parade of Nations and I was kind of tired and I remembered that there are about 55 billion nations.

But I watched some highlights today and got chills. I love a big show. I can’t believe that it was all the vision of one guy. If I had to plan an event that big, it would be heavy on crepe paper and silly string and my directions would be like, “Okay, and then over here we can have the chocolate chip cookie dough bar and some kegs…oh, and everyone gets a sparkler. Boom. Done.”


I will no longer question a sport’s eligibility for the Olympics. I stopped doing that around the time of curling and ballroom dancing. I am not an athlete, so if the folks in charge determine that something has a place on the international stage, I’ll trust their judgment.

Which brings me to beach volleyball.

Now, obviously, beach volleyball is a very athletic event. There’s no question in my mind that it’s perfectly suited to the Olympics. I’m just a little…curious about how it’s presented.

I was watching the Australia/Russia women’s match earlier and of course was reminded of the U.S. victory in this event in the 2004 games. Kerri Walsh and Misty May celebrated their gold medal by jumping into each other’s arms. It was an incredibly joyful moment.

Walsh and May, clad in regulation bikini-ish outfits, rolled around in the sand and spanked each other. Across the land, all you heard was “SCHWIIIIING!”

And, you know, whatever. I’m not going to rail against the sport just because it’s portrayed in a way that’s a tad Joe Francis-esque. Sports are sensationalized. And women’s sports are still struggling just to get recognized. I’m cool with that. But I just think the Olympics possess a certain sense of…propriety? I don’t know if that’s the correct word.

I just want to point out that during the Australia/Russia match, the commentators noted how hot it was on the playing field and cut to a slow-motion shot of one of the Russian players pouring water over her head and gasping in relief.

I’m just sayin’…

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