Olympics: 谢谢 for the memories!

I took a very necessary break from watching the Olympics this weekend, turned off the teevee, took off my crankypants, threw them in the wash, and put them away. They’ll be put to good use once Heroes returns.

Unfortunately, what my sabbatical meant was that I missed a couple of fun events: synchronized swimming and individual rhythmic gymnastics. Boo.

But! Sunday morning (afternoon, whatever. It’s all a matter of perspective, really. And, honestly, when you’re watching Olympic events after the closing ceremonies of the Olympics have already taken place, does time really have any meaning?) I did manage to catch the final few events, including the group rhythmic gymnastics.

Why for all the Eastern European rhythmic gymnasts? What up? Even the Chinese brought in a Russian coach. Just wondering if it’s the remnants of some devious Soviet program to take over the West via hula hoops and ribbons.

So I’m all ready to be yet one more person making fun of this event what with the running around with ribbons and spinning in circles and lolling around on the ground. But! Then! the rhythmic gymnasts return with some hoops and clubs and school my cynical hiney. The sport is this crazy hybrid of juggling, dance and gymnastics, and it’s actually pretty amazing. Plus, who doesn’t love themselves a little Bolero?

Best Olympic sport ever? Maybe. Just maybe.

However, it does beg the question, when will Cirque de Soleil become a Summer Olympic event? How about Celebrity Circus?

The U.S. men’s water polo team loses the gold to Hungary. BOO. But the men’s volleyball team wins the gold, beating Brazil! HOORAY! A happy ending after the terrible tragedy that befell the men’s coach at the beginning of these games.

And that’s it! No more games! All the medals have been passed out, records have been broken, and some controversies remain to be investigated (break out the x-rays already!). ONTO LONDON (or Vancouver, depending on what floats your boat).

But first! The closing ceremonies!

The closing ceremonies are never as awesome as the opening ceremonies. Half the athletes have gone home, Brian Williams left days ago, and everyone knows who won and who lost, so, you know, whatever. But! Still! Fireworks! And not all of them were computer generated!

Here’s a question: why are the Chinese drummers wearing bicycle helmets? Is this routine a part of some kind of percussion Ironman, wherein the drummers will go from here to a pool to swim a few miles, and then have to handle a twenty-minute drum solo before jumping on bikes and ride a hundred miles? What’s happening? And why are those men pounding on a giant round of cheese?


And the future of China looks an awful lot like Tron.

The future Chinese? Will never walk anywhere. Bouncing = Future.

The athletes come in, but it’s kinda disappointing, because NO HATS. Also, they all just sorta pour in, and I get the symbolism: “the world unites!” but give me national costumes any day. Also, really, Canada? really?

Speeches. Boring.

And then they are handing the Games over to London, which calls for a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen but like my good friend WhitDC, I can’t hear it without singing My Country ’tis of Thee. And then some children come out and sing a dirge as they lower the Olympic flag. The flag, through a thoroughly silly ceremony, is handed over to Mayor Boris (who bears a striking resemblance to Gary Busey).

So then the Spice Girls arrive on a double decker bus with some fish and chips, to pick up some drunken soccer hooligans. And here’s what’s funny: so, the star of some popular kids’ show in England emerges from the bus to wave at and receive a soccer ball from some Chinese child star, and then proceed to walk on the backs of some “Londoners” back to the bus. Which doesn’t make much sense. But for the vast majority of the crowd, who can’t possibly make out what is happening at all — just some people running around a double decker bus — it must be the most asinine thing ever. But? The thing is? It doesn’t make much more sense even as you’re watching it close-up, in high-def.

The bus then unfolds to reveal Leona Lewis, Jimmy Paige and David Beckham and, seriously, y’all? WORST MARDI GRAS FLOAT EVER.

Then the last bit of hoo-ha, as we relive memories from the Olympics: like the time I got angry because the Chinese female gymnasts are all a bunch of cheating cheaters, or the time I got angry because we were OD-ing on Misty May-Treanor, or the time I got angry because the Games were on until 3 a.m., and I wanted to go to bed…good times. Then the Olympic flame goes out, and I realize that I’ve got only the political conventions to entertain me for the next couple weeks, and I’m suddenly overwhelmed with deep regret for not being nearly appreciative enough of these Olympic Games while I had them.

Bye, Bejing! Bye, Olympics! It was fun! I’ll miss you! And you, Mary Carillo? I’ll miss you most of all…

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