Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Olympic Blurb 2016: Day 12

Today I decided to go and visit my parents for the night. They live outside of Ann Arbor, in the outskirts of the "metro Detroit" area. I lived there for my childhood, and always was very comfortable with the mix of Canadian and US stuff. Canadian coins were no big deal; almost every store around accepted them. Tim Horton's has a chain in my hometown. And people love hockey around here almost as much as Canadians. (Note: I did say "almost.")

Another great import from Canada is the Canadian Broadcasting Network, or CBC. It isn't very often that we would sit around and watch the CBC, but when we did, there were two things on: Hockey Night in Canada or the Olympics.

If NBC has its own Olympic coverage, why in the world would we tune in to coverage by a Canadian station, which is covering Canadian athletes?

Well, I got to watch the CBC coverage tonight, and I'll list some reasons:

  • In comparison to NBC's location in the International Broadcast Center (IBC), Canada's IBC space looks more like a broom closet. Did NBC steal square footage from CBC or something? However, I like how CBC arranged everything in their area, making it cozy and inviting. Better yet, they have a corner office that overlooks the busy Olympic Park.
  • After 11 days of the same ten commercials, it's refreshing to watch something different in between Olympics coverage. Trident has some pretty cute cartoons that we never get to see.
  • CBC provides some shots of the Olympic Park and arenas that NBC does not. I finally got to see the entrance to the basketball arena thanks to the CBC camera, while NBC likes to show shots of scenery instead. 
  • When distances are shown in the OBS (look at yesterday's blurb for an explanation), they are given in meters. However, NBC will convert them to feet and inches, which is confusing when looking at the distances listed at places like the long jump pit or the javelin grass. But for CBC, they keep it metric all the way.
  • Although Ron MacLean is no longer doing the evening coverage (he was always a calming, welcome sight), Scott Russell does a very nice job.
  • In the evening edition of the track and field, CBC didn't just broadcast the track events and shoot over to the field events for brief updates. Instead, they used the OBS feed and had much more coverage of field events. I got to enjoy a lot more of the women's long jump than if I'd been watching the NBC coverage.
It is always cool to see how different countries cover international events like the Olympics or World Championships. CBC seems a little more down-home compared to the stiffness of NBC, and that's why I enjoy its coverage much more, and always have.

Let's move on to the mini blurbs...
  • Today's roundup:
    • taekwondo
    • track and field
    • kayak
    • canoe
    • women's diving
    • women's water polo
    • men's basketball
    • women's wrestling
    • women's beach volleyball
  • Has there been anything more interesting than this Ryan Lochte saga? I would summarize it here, but even the summary would take forever. Go read about it and get hooked on the drama. Let's hope it doesn't end up resulting in another "ugly Americans" stigma.
  • I don't know if anyone is watching the events early enough, but I got to watch the C1 200m sprint this morning, and it was thrilling! It's a canoe event that's only 200m long, in comparison to the 2000m rowing events that dominated the first week. The heats are only about 40-50 seconds long, but it is incredibly exciting. Try to catch some of it these next few days!
  • The decathalon and heptathalon are incredible. They both deserve the same attention as a gymnast performing in the all-around competition. To be a good at so many events is amazing, and that sheer talent is a sight to behold. 
  • I have seen a lot of Olympic athletes who fall during their competition, yet still get up and finish. It's happened in gymnastics and it's happened in track and field. The main purpose isn't to try to win (that only applies to Mo Farrah in the 10,000m), but to say that you finished an Olympic event. They don't see falling as failure; they see finishing as success. What a positive way to end their Olympic Games!
  • Evan Jaeger had a great 3000m steeplechase race. Instead of staying in the pack and trying to catch up in the end (which most US middle- and long-distance runners try to do), Jaeger went right out with the two Kenyan leaders and even took the lead after a bit. As a result of his gumption, he took the silver, the highest medal in the race since 1952 and the first medal in steeplechase period since 1984!
  • I had to investigate to see why most competitions between two individuals assign one to red and one to blue. You see it in boxing and taekwondo, mainly.  It looks like it was a tradition in Japan to give the visitor the red while the home team got the blue. Red was also sometimes seen as the champion's color, while blue went to the challenger. They're also opposing colors on the spectrum and easy to differentiate, which is helpful when scoring. 
  • Although Hassan Mead clipped someone's leg and fell in the last lap of the 5000m semifinal this morning, he appealed and is racing in the final. This means there will be three Americans competing, after all.
  • Keep close watch to daytime coverage, because synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are due up over the next few days. If that's your jam, then you gotta watch.
  • Finally, how heartwarming to see the three American hurdlers tonight finish the race, then huddle together to see if they had all medaled, which they did! It's a luxury indeed to get a sweep, but it happened tonight. 
Guten nacht! Until next time!

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