Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

Reaching New Heights in Olympic Viewing

This week I have found a way to do almost any chore while watching television. For someone who, with the exception of a movie or two,  can go for weeks without turning on a  television, this week I made a reach for new heights.

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This anomaly is a repeat of my behavior every four years, and every two years to a lesser degree. The Summer Olympics have captivated me for years. Part of it is nostalgia. I remember a year watching  the Olympics with friends who had such enthusiasm, it lit a fire under my mild interest. After another four-year span, I recall kicking back at the midnight hour with the wonderful women in my family watching the women’s gymnastics competition happening on the other side of our world.

Another year I watched solo sharing the big moments with friends and family who were kind enough to share those moments with me over a telephone line.

Then, there were the Atlanta Olympics. A colleague enticed me to join her in participating in security training for the Olympics, spending a week in Atlanta. That experience is worth a separate post, but I will say I learned more about security than I did the Games that year.

There are more than enough reasons to give less of my time to the Summer Games, but the draw to watch remains. It’s as though they reach to me through the screen.

Athletes find themselves competing in less than stellar water, as in Rio, or compete in polluted air, as in China. Still I watch.

Commentators covering the the Games make absurd comments about competitors. Still I watch.

Summer storms knock my satellite coverage out at pivotal moments in competition. Still I watch.

Some of the events are a puzzle to me and I have difficulty following the judges’ decisions. Still I watch.

And here I am with the television humming in the background, watching the last day of swimming, beautiful competitions to watch.

Tomorrow morning, you can find me along with many others watching more than 150 women compete in the Women’s Olympic Marathon.

And where will you be? Watching from an athletic center or health club? Watching at the home of hospitable friends with a large screen tv? Watching solo?  Wherever you are, we will be cheering together.

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9 Comments»

  Mind Margins wrote @

I’ve loved the Olympics since I was a kid. While the coverage seems to be less than stellar year after year (WHY didn’t the fastest women’s 10K ever, where the world record was beat by 14 seconds and 18 women ran personal bests and beat 8 national records, make prime time???), I can’t help but watch. And I love that I can watch now every two years!

  Still a Runner wrote @

I agree with you and have a list of peeves with the coverage that I didn’t include. They can do better. There are also sponsorship restrictions that seem a bit crazy. But – we are likely not the only two who will watch regardless of the quality of coverage and limitations for athletes. I can’t imagine the hurdles athletes have to contend with in addition to qualifying for the Games.

  Canuck Carl wrote @

Had to laugh as you shared about storms kicking out the satellite coverage at a pivotal moment. It happened up where we are as well.

It has been great competition. My wife is from New Zealand, and we live in Canada, so she is cheering for both countries! 🙂

  Still a Runner wrote @

NZ did very well in rowing and canoe and Canada in swimming and already doing well in track so you have much to cheer about. Great competition all around. NBC pretty much targets in on USA competitors, so for an overall view I have gone to the streaming channels.

  Patty wrote @

I agree with everything you stated.
But I too am hooked on watching. Can’t believe what these athletes can do.

  Still a Runner wrote @

The competition this year seems to be particularly strong. Track & Field last night was just incredible.

  Ngobesing Romanus wrote @

The games are inspiring. You get in touch with competition and what it takes to be a champion. It’s amazing the talents the world has.

  Still a Runner wrote @

I agree. The beauty, coordination and speed during the track relay events last night were a privilege to watch.

  Ngobesing Romanus wrote @

Indeed! The feeling to is always if they can do it we can each do something in our own way that’s beautiful.


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