The Olympic Blurb 2016: The Excitement Mounts
Each day this week gets me closer and closer to the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, and each day closer gets me more and more excited.
So what is getting me the most excited? Let's take a look.
Over the years, I have seen that even though women's gymnastics is more high profile, I like men's gymnastics so much more. The women's side has only four events while the men compete in six. The men's competition also seems to require much more strength and stamina, while the women has more choreography in it - especially the balance beam and the floor exercise.
I'm most excited in the men's gymnastics competition for Sam Mikulak. He was on the 2012 London team but didn't do much. However, since the 2012 Olympics he has been the US National champion every year . (And it didn't hurt that he competed for the University of Michigan and dominated the Big Ten and college championships, too.) He didn't have a great US Trials in June, but I'm hoping that poor performance helped him get his act in gear.
Katie Ledecky came out of nowhere in 2012 as a 15-year-old and won the 800-meter freestyle gold. Since then she has broken a few world records and dominates almost all the freestyle events. I was surprised to see her trying to qualify in the 100-meter freestyle because I had always considered her to be a distance swimmer. She will be swimming in the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter races. It would be awesome if she secured three or four gold medals in this Olympics.
I am excited to see other athletes do what Ledecky did in 2012 and win medals with little previous fanfare. NBC always picks a few athletes to follow and do additional segments during their telecasts, but some of them fly under the radar.
Will it be an American from a popular sport, like swimming or track? Or will it be someone from a less popular sport, like equestrian or sailing? (Yes, those are Olympic events!)
My dad will be happy to watch golf on the Olympics, for sure. Golf is very similar to tennis: usually one competes on an individual basis, but in the Olympics it's all about representing your country.
No Early Morning Viewing
In 2014 I got myself sick from having a crazy sleep schedule for two weeks while I was watching live events from Sochi, Russia. While London wasn't as crazy, their primetime events were still about four hours ahead of NBC's telecasts.
Finally, much of the primetime finals and premier events will air live, and that will save me from having to dodge Twitter too much. I can catch a lot of the daytime events in my classroom as I finish preparing for the upcoming school year, too.
While I may not be as excited for women's gymnastics as I am the men's, I want to see Biles win all-around gold. She's won the international all-around title from 2013-2015 after starting to compete in the senior circuit after the 2012 Olympics. I want her to dominate!
I am going to dedicate a lot of my daytime viewing in the second week to the field part of "track and field." On NBC the field events are often just a 30-second segment placed when someone isn't running on the track. But I competed in field events when I was on the track team - that's what I want to see!
I love that we can watch the lesser-known Olympic events online, too. The announcers aren't as annoying (if there even are announcers) and the events aren't chopped up for airing on television. I can watch all of the shot put athletes compete - even if they aren't that good! If anything, I like hearing the different varieties of yelling or screaming that the athletes do.
What are you most excited for in these Summer Olympic Games? Remember - the Opening Ceremony begins Friday at 7:30pm EDT!