Random Thoughts London 2012 #8: Missy, Mike and The Myth of the Magnificent 7

by Lian on August 3, 2012

Good news/bad news. My son Colin, who has been down with mono for 6 weeks, finally felt like going to see The Dark Knight today so THAT really cut into my daytime viewing.  Plus, my sister Julie and my mother can out to Pasadena today and that required chicken salad and chitchat, again, another timesuck. ( Kidding, Jule!)

My 85 year- old mother is VERY enthusiastic about the US Men’s Water Polo team.  Paging Betty White.

The Dolan ladies agree that London looks wonderful and overall, the television coverage has been plentiful and enjoyable.

When I arrived home from the movie, my husband “produced” a fine highlight show of women’s soccer, men’s weightlifting,  archery, volleyball and women’s basketball.  His commentary was not as polished as my man Liam McHugh, but pithy nonetheless.

Listening to the CVs of many of the female athletes in the games, especially in team sports, swimming and track, is a reminder of the importance of Title IX in the Olympic movement. So many of the female athletes from other parts of the world have played at American colleges. Populating the world with strong female athletes was probably not the intent of Title IX, but a wonderful side effect.

And now to the ribbon dancing cheerleaders during the breaks in women’s basketball. Wow, pink legwarmers. Again, GB, I’d stick with Wellies. (which are very sexy, BTW.)

US Women’s soccer vs Canada at  Manchester United’s Old Trafford on Monday.  How great for them.

To fully enjoy the weightlifting, I had to resort to the kilos to pound converter on my phone. Did you know that each kilo is roughly 2.2 pounds? Wowser. These men are lifting 450 lbs!

The Korean Gold medalist archer said, “Archery is like air for me. All people need air every day, I need archery.”  I feel that way about peanut butter.

Ah, yes, let’s relive The Magnificent 7.  They are great athletes, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of their mythology was orchestrated by NBC . Did you know that Kerri Strug did not even have to do that famous one-legged vault for the gold? They had already secured their top spot, thanks to the Russians’ sub-par performance on floor.  She could have skipped that vault altogether. But watch any NBC tape and you’d think that Kerri’s vault and Bela Karolyi’s famous pep talk were the clinching moment.

Bob Costas alludes to the “no vault necessary” situation but all agree to blow it off in the studio interview, writing it off to “chaos.” But my sources (don’t laugh, I have sources!) in the arena that night say it didn’t go down like that at all.  And in the programming that night, heavy editing built the drama.

Here’s the thing about 1996, the US Women Gymnastics team, a team comprised of athletes from all different backgrounds, goes out and wins the gold for the first time in Olympic history is a great story. Sports doesn’t need re-writing – or editing– to be dramatic. What really happened in 96 was good enough.

I totally don’t trust these Karolyis. Sorry.

But watching the piece made me think, “I miss John Tesh announcing the gymnastics.”

Holy Cow, star-studded night at the pool! King James and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

I like Mike.

Back to diving and to quote my sister Liz,  “Cynthia Potter scares me.”

One person diving is a totally fine TV experience.

Hannah Starling is the name of the youngest British diver. Hannah Starling will also be the name of a character in my next book. Because it’s a fabulous name.

I have not taken enough movies of my children competing in athletics. You know, should they make an Olympic team.

Smiling ear- to- ear after Missy Franklin’s world record. It’s so exciting to be at any sporting event when a world record is set and you can see it on the faces of all the celebs in the stands. It is something special to see the best EVER in the world.

And Missy’s coach. Sob.

Ma Schmidt there in Iowa will start tipping cows if I don’t mention the warm-up gear on the Russian Team. Hey, Russia, 1982 called! They wanted their gear back. You can keep those white pants, just the jackets.

An RT from one of my network sources: With all the technology, are the safety pins & the paper names still necessary for the track athletes?

Ah, Track & Field in the excellent hands of Tom Hammond, Ato Bolton and Lewis Johnson et al. Calm, Knowledgeable, Professional. The best.

RIP Janet Evans American record. All hail, Katie Ledecky.

More good news/bad news. Headed off to 4 days in the mountains with my in-laws. I will be feigning injury to avoid the hiking, but I can’t guarantee the cable situation. I’’ll do my best to view and post when I can. In the meantime, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

 Random Thoughts London 2012 #7




Kelly McVey August 4, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Doesn’t Cynthia Potter sound like Nancy Grace? No wonder I find her annoying.

Tricia August 4, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Just saw your man Liam for the first time during the tennis coverage this morning. He is adorable and so charming! Where has he been, he should be promoted. You have excellent taste!

Janet August 4, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I will miss these random thoughts. Have fun in the mountains. P.S. my daughter would take one of the Russians’ jackets.

Kristin August 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM

After watching Liam McHugh cover the Tour de France, I am thrilled every time I get to see him on this coverage. Every time Bob Costas shows up, my six year old says, “His hair color is unnatural.” Watched the women’s triathlon today; Julie is absolutely right, swimming in the Serpentine in Hyde Park…simply nauseating. Having walked those paths many a time, I simply cannot imagine having dipped my entire body, swallowing some, into that mess!~

pat in o.c. August 4, 2012 at 7:25 AM

Hiking…..I think I see a case of poison oak, or vertigo, or the foot condition you were discussing w/ Sheila days ago…coming up…ouch, can’t go on the hike, darnit…. Isn’t it about 100 @ Yosemite –

Missy – she seems to genuinely be happy, carefree, & a teenager – Bieber fan…funny. All the swimmers – thanks, that was fun to watch for a week! Go have a Big Mac Ryan & MIchael.

Just saw Serena crush Maria…ouch. Congrats Serena. I like the purple at Wimbledon. Andy….go for the Gold in London, for Team GB, for Scotland….one tiny problem -Mr. Murray, you are still facing Mr. Federer….he loves grass.

What is w/ the pithy online criticisms of Gabby…..she was brilliant, she won, & will make gazillions w/ the smile alone. Women’s soccer, nice win. Less tweets, more goals.

Track & Field- scary to see the huge athletes toss shot putts across a crowded field. Just me? Come on T&F Team USA!

Kayla, what a story, and a victory in life and in sport. Amazing.

I love the local OC Register list of the county athletes, really helpful to keep track of them.

Love seeing Kate & Will & Harry having fun in the stands! Julie was right…ha ha…

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