Monday, February 21, 2022

Beijing Winter Olympics: Watching NBC vs Being There

I am sitting here writing this blog post while watching the Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics on the TV next to me. 

I have a range of emotions as this Olympics comes to a close, but most of all I am happy that they are over and I can look forward to Paris 2024.

I have no regrets, and still feel that staying home was the right thing to do. And being here for the birth of my first grandchild was something really special! 

It was really different watching the Olympics on television, as opposed to being there. And the funny thing is...I now have a better idea of what you are all feeling when you watch TV and read my blog posts. From what I saw on television, the sports were well covered, but there was so much that was missing. The last time I watched the Olympics on NBC (back in 2006), they had all kinds of back stories on the athletes, and this time I saw almost none of those. Maybe this is due to the pandemic and the fact that the athletes needed to stay in a small bubble. But I was actually looking forward to some of those. I was also surprised how much coverage that curling got on prime time. I had no idea that this sport would be featured as much as it was here in the US.  

Most of all, I wanted to see more behind the scenes, more of the inner workings of the Games, and more about the Olympic experience outside of the competition. I think about all of the interesting things that I experience in between the sports, and of course that was all missing this time around.

I had lunch with my good friend from USA Water Polo the other day and we were talking about the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. While I was driving home, I realized that not once did we talk about the amazing competition that we saw, we just reminisced about our time in between the different events. The logistical challenges, the tiny hotel rooms, the weird bus schedules, and the fact that we had to eat the same food almost everyday. But while recounting those memories we were smiling the whole time.

It was nice to watch the Olympics from the comfort of home (with weather in the 60s and 70s here in California) as opposed to being in temperatures well below freezing. But I am already chomping at the bit to get to Paris to cover the next Olympic Games in two and a half years. 

I guess I could wrap this up by saying that staying home and watching this Olympics from half a world away was as weird as tuning in to NBC and seeing Johnny Weir's constantly changing outfits and hairdos. 


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1 comment:

Ralph Hightower said...

I still don't understand curling. But I wondered how much of an interest is in my state, so I googled "curlingSouth Carolina" and was surprised to find that there are three clubs, one each in Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville.
On a side note, B&H has an Explora article about Sports Photography. I tried posting about winter preparation. Curling is a censored word, so I called it shuffleboard on ice with heavy stones; I may have been using their Android app to add a comment.