You know what I find amazing about the Summer Olympics? The fact that very few people know what a fortnight means. It’s Old English and it means fourteen nights, but since it has nothing to do with live streaming or loaded nachos, Americans are oblivious. Granted, this ain’t the most patriotic way to begin a post about the Summer Games, but I really dig the word fortnight so you’ll have to excuse my delayed red, white and blue holler.
If asked to recap the Rio Games in five words or less, I would probably go with “A Fortnight of Kicking Ass.” We won 121 overall medals- with zero help from the Clinton Foundation. That’s the most since Russia was, well . . . Russia. We won the most gold, silver and bronze medals and one of our top swimmers ignited an international incident, so really, we accomplished everything we set out to do. I’d like to think we sent the rest of the world home hating on us just a little bit more. Let’s face it, nobody hates Turkmenistan, other than the peeps who call it home.
Admittedly, I thought Rio was going to be a disaster, what with the sulfuric acid quality of the water and the specter of a Zika Virus. Not to mention, the IOC blew most of its back room coin on added security measures for an event whose threat level was higher than Joe Namath at a Monday Night Football game. If the Summer Olympics had been a television pilot, it would’ve been canceled in May.
Thankfully, the Summer Olympic Games of 2016 happened. And they happened bigger and brighter than most any fortnight’s worth of games I can remember. Every day possessed a forever quality, every medal a validation of hard work and persistence, every moment possessed the glorious quality of limitless possibilities.
Michael Phelps pocketed five golds and a silver. His continued dominance is all the more amazing when you consider he eats ten pounds worth of McDonald’s a day. While the majority of Americans might be able to match his Big Mac intake, they’d have a hard time making it from one side of a hot tub to the other after doing so.
And what about Katie Ledecky? She scored four golds and a silver, smashing her world record time in the 800 meter freestyle. She was so far ahead of the rest of the field that she grabbed some Mickey D’s with Michael before making it back in time to see the other swimmers finish. Her competition for the 2020 Games in Tokyo should petition for a five second head start.
Sports/Activities/Silliness I would love to see attached to the Olympics? Sure, why not.
A top five or so list of sports I want to see Olympicized
1-Beer League Softball
Our lady gymnasts, led by Simone Biles, were a delight. Not only did they take gold in floor, vault, all around and team, they had me watching gymnastics. Not to mention, using delight in a sentence . . . and meaning it. Our lady ballers were just plain dominant as they rolled to another gold while proving to me that someday? We’re gonna see a lady in the Association. Fo Sho. And I would be remiss if I left out the US women’s soccer team. The defending gold medal winners failed to reach the finals for the first time in their history, but Hope Solo aside, they’re golden just the same. Most of the inroads soccer has made in this country over the past few decades is because of the girls.
The NBA won a gold medal, and so now I guess all the pressure is off Kevin Durant. Just kidding. The US men’s track and field team tried to sign Usain Bolt as a free agent, but failing that, still matched Jamaica’s 11 medals. We failed to medal in ping-pong, handball and badminton . . which is actually something to be really fucking proud of.
Rio Scene Stealer- Same dude who has been atop my Olympic marquee since he broke in with three world record times at the ’08 Games in Beijing. Usain Bolt. If there is life beyond this planet, they can’t have him back.
We won our first ever gold in the triathlon thanks to Gwen Jorgensen, and it’s really kind of odd to contemplate the dichotomy of the Summer Olympics events, where a ping-pong champ gets the same medal as someone like Jorgensen . . . so I won’t.
Rio Bravo Moment- US runner Abbey D’Agostino imploring New Zealander Nikki Hamblin during their 5,000 meter race to “Get up!” after the two collided, basically cancelling each other out. Despite being hurt in the crash, Abbey D made sure Hamblin was gonna finish the race with her.
Goddamn, I’ve been talking up America as if I’m Sean Hannity busting a Happy Hour nut at Applebee’s. So lemme spend my last few thoughts on shit that made me go hmmmm.
Like, is Bob Costas ever going to get old and die? . . . And what’s the deal with Rio water? It’s either so antiseptic as to render pool water green, or toxic enough to peel flesh . . . Golf at the Olympics has been a thing? . . . Baseball at the Olympics hasn’t? . . .
And last because it’s least, we really didn’t need “Convenience Store-Gate” to let us in on the fact that Ryan Lochte is a complete fucking idiot. The buzz this story generated really does speak to our astounding inability to separate news from just plain stupid shit. For one thing, he’s Ryan Lochte. For another, he lied to Matt Lauer in an interview. Who doesn’t lie to Matt Lauer in an interview? Did he embarrass our country? Hells no. It’s Ryan Fucking Lochte we’re talking about! Hope Solo was a lot more embarrassing after that loss to the Swedes. And don’t get me started on how this makes Rio look bad, because them peeps do a solid job of that without any help.
Giselle called. She wants her sexy back.