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Marc K.
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You'll be glad you did.

Watch athletic genius in action.

Participate in the jubilant exultation of rooting for someone to demonstrate that they are the best in the world at something.

Witness the pride and joy that beams from someone achieving their goals knowing that they not only did their best, but that their best was better than everyone else.

The Olympics can recharge your belief in the human spirit: these athletes know that with enough hard work they can be the best in the world at something -- what a beautiful sense of life the Olympics displays.

Watching the Olympics is like watching a work of art come to life.

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Definitely, about athletic genius, and watching a work of art come to life. (Though "genius" is more about training, mental application, and hard work than anything).

The competition aspect isn't what floats my boat. No, the buoyancy of my naval vessel is bolstered solely by the beauty and impressiveness of the athletes' physical accomplishments, themselves. I am fueled by watching an athlete (any athlete, from any country) performing a spectacular task. This draws me to things like gymnastics, more than, say, swimming, because with the former, the spectacle is visibly evident, whereas with swimming, a person who is acheiving a world record looks much the same as a person who is swimming the same stroke at 2/3 the speed.

Okay. Maybe if I could swim it would make a difference. :D

(Also, I do recognize that competition is often what drives athletes to do their best.)

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I'm going to throw myself out there and say I don't care for the olympics at all. I'm dead bored, as at any sporting event and remain impassive. Now, show my some of that Tron Lightcycle stuff instead of the normal bicycle stuff, and I might be excited. I guess I care more for technical genius than physical prowess - except in the bedroom. Then the latter takes precedent; an integration of the two would be terrifying and exciting.

Edit: One tiny edit - since I like the martial arts, I take an interest whenever I see something like the UFC on TV, even if just out of morbid interest at how terribly they all fight.

Edited by Tenure
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I guess I care more for technical genius than physical prowess -

Actually, I was just reading an article today about some of the technology at the games which I found rather interesting. The opening ceremonies were the most technically advanced I've ever seen, not to mention visually stunning. (Although rife with tribalism and altruism at the hands of both the Chinese and the idiotic American commentators, Matt Lauer and Bob Costas.)

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You'll be glad you did.

Watch athletic genius in action.

No.

The Olympics can recharge your belief in the human spirit: these athletes know that with enough hard work they can be the best in the world at something -- what a beautiful sense of life the Olympics displays.

I'm throwin in with Tenure, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Granted the Olympics are a notch higher then the rest of the American sports events in my book... it's catergorized under boring and dull. Maybe border-line-boring at best. It makes me question the human spirit more then anything. While doing an activity, for the sake of doing it, and watching it for the sake of watching it is so common place for humans.

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Edit: One tiny edit - since I like the martial arts, I take an interest whenever I see something like the UFC on TV, even if just out of morbid interest at how terribly they all fight.

Just out of curiosity, where can you find better - more well-rounded - fighters than in the UFC?

(Since I like MMA I just had to bite :D )

Regarding the olympics I don't care that much for it. The sports don't interest me that much, but I might have watched some of it if it wasnt for the fact that it's held in China. I think it's completely disgusting. A list of countries that have previously held the olympics would also include Nazi-Germany, Japan and Soviet. Perhaps the next olympics could be held in Iran or North Korea...

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Alfa: I'm not knocking their training. They sound like they do some pretty good, well-rounded training (that said, I don't agree with the MMA philosophy that somehow a 'well-rounding' in all arts produces a better artist than one who knows his art exceptionally well). What I despair at is when I watch it, and they start off, a few good moves here and there, then in the space of 5 seconds, it digresses into slapping and clobbering, with the only skill being left in how they choose to pin their opponent, if they choose to.

I might have just seen some bad UFC - I hope it isn't all like that. Frankly, I'd much rather watch a Bruce Lee film and see some wonderfully choreographed good fighting, than spur-of-the-moment savagery.

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Alfa: I'm not knocking their training. They sound like they do some pretty good, well-rounded training (that said, I don't agree with the MMA philosophy that somehow a 'well-rounding' in all arts produces a better artist than one who knows his art exceptionally well). What I despair at is when I watch it, and they start off, a few good moves here and there, then in the space of 5 seconds, it digresses into slapping and clobbering, with the only skill being left in how they choose to pin their opponent, if they choose to.

I might have just seen some bad UFC - I hope it isn't all like that. Frankly, I'd much rather watch a Bruce Lee film and see some wonderfully choreographed good fighting, than spur-of-the-moment savagery.

The UFC started with the Gracie family pretty much stating that their style of jiu-jutsu was superior to any other style of martial arts. To prove that they sent out Royce to fight against different "masters" of their own style. Coming to America he set up the UFC, where the idea was to fight with the minimum of rules so that no particular style would be favoured. Royce was of course very successfull and it took a little while for fighters to realize that to have a chance you had to know how to fight on the ground. This is the reason why UFC fighters today are so versatile, because under such circumstances you need to be well-rounded otherwise your weaknesses will be exposed and used by your opponent.

Under such circumstances there's no room for fancy moves and refined technique, but there is a lot more than meets the eye - especially when grappling(which is a bit difficult to understand if you have not tried it). It is a bit savage though, but you should take into account that it often looks far worse than it s. Personally I enjoy watching some fights and I like practicing MMA, although I used to enjoy it more when Pride was still alive(a Japanese organization that competed with the UFC and had fighters like Mirko Crocop and Fedor Emelianenko).

Some people say that you can't compete for medals in events like Track And Field, Weight Lifting, Swimming etc... without some kind of doping.

I don't know how we will ever know the truth but I would bet that most of them are on some kind of doping.

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Actually, I was just reading an article today about some of the technology at the games which I found rather interesting. The opening ceremonies were the most technically advanced I've ever seen, not to mention visually stunning. (Although rife with tribalism and altruism at the hands of both the Chinese and the idiotic American commentators, Matt Lauer and Bob Costas.)

Did you see that it turns out they pre-taped some of the fireworks display so it would show up better without the smog? They also made one of the teams apologize for wearing their smog masks when showing up for an event (something along those lines), there was one American player who refused to apologize, I'll need to look this up for further info soon. On top of that they switched the little girl singing the opening ceremony song for a girl with healthier teeth. Oh and also their female gymnasts are being scrutinized as being under the regulated age of 16.

China's poor attempts to keep up appearances aside, the Olympics are literally about the only time I ever sit and watch sports. Any time the competitors take the podium to accept their medal and play the national anthem is particularly moving. I usually skip the ceremonies though because they usually indulge in a lot of multiculturalism hooey.

Edit spelling

Edited by IchorFigure
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I read the controversy about the girls too. Before I even heard of it though I saw them on tv and thought those girls look like they’re ten. Turns out they probably are. I couldn’t even watch the female gymnast match I was so disgusted. Only one of the girls is over five feet and the average weight I think was 77 lbs. One of the girls was even missing a tooth! I know the Chinese tend to be short but 4’ 70 lbs toothless high school girls?

Apparently being lighter and shorter is an advantage in gymnastics. It makes you lighter on your feet so it’s easier to land and you’re much less prone to injury. The Chinese produced passports saying they are 16 but the matter is mute seeing how the people trying to cheat is the same people who make the passports. I think it was NBC who mentioned that they found official documents online saying the girls were significantly younger. I hope they do posses them and they get published. If it is true I hope the Olympic committee has the spine to stand up to China and make them give their medals back. I hope the media presses the issue.

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A list of countries that have previously held the olympics would also include Nazi-Germany, Japan and Soviet. Perhaps the next olympics could be held in Iran or North Korea...

I agree China should never have been chosen to host the Olympics, and that giving games to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were also blunders. But what's wrong with Japan hosting the Tokyo games in 1964? By then it wasn't a totalitarian country anymore. Likewise Munich in 1972.

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As someone previously mentioned, the New York Times has found much evidence that indicates that the Chinese women's gymnastics team has members that are too young to compete. The official age to compete is 16. At least one of these girls is 14.

The Chinese team won gold last night. The US team came in second.

It's one thing to fake a singer's identity during the opening ceremony. It's another to fake a competitor's age. This is downright cheating, and it is disgusting.

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On the subject of China, does anyone recommend any articles on the current state of China? I've been trying to argue with a friend of mine why we shouldn't sanction China with the Olympics, but they seem to be insistent that somehow the media attention will somehow transform their political situation, and that a refusal to even attend, by Bush, would be only exacerbate the 'confusion and anger' of the Chinese people, thus upsetting their feelings, thus somehow halting the progress of democracy.

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I agree China should never have been chosen to host the Olympics, and that giving games to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were also blunders. But what's wrong with Japan hosting the Tokyo games in 1964? By then it wasn't a totalitarian country anymore. Likewise Munich in 1972.

Oh, i'm sorry, I was actually reffering to the 1940 Olympics which was handed to Japan but canceled due to WWII. I should have made it clearer.

Edited by Alfa
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Oh, i'm sorry, I was actually reffering to the 1940 Olympics which was handed to Japan but canceled due to WWII. I should have made it clearer.

I dind't know that. That's much worse than giving them to berlin for 1936. Bad as Germany was then, at least it wasn't involved in open warfare, Japan was.

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Actually I believe Germany went Nazi in 1933 and that this was *after* the 1936 games were awarded to it, in 1931.

Japan didn't begin engaging in open warfare until 1937 (the second Sino-Japanese war); at this time the IOC stripped Tokyo of its host city status and gave the games to Helsinki. The outbreak of WWII prevented the games from being held there. So had the games been held, they would have been in Helsinki, not Tokyo.

So, D'kian, you are right it was worse--the good news is the IOC recognized as much and took steps to correct it.

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I hope it's okay if while watching the human spirit be celebrated, I fall asleep, because that is my only reaction to a lot of sports and especially to the Olympics.

Sure, a lot of what these people do is quite impressive. I can appreciate what they've done, but I also can't stand watching them doing it. It is almost mind-numbingly boring to me since I am in no way invested with the technicalities of any of the sports, and the announcers are boring and uninformative.

Plus, there is the whole nationalism thing. Screaming for someone because they are from your country, rather than screaming for someone because they are the most talented.

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