Monday, 18 August 2008

The Olympics

Like many people the world over, I have been enjoying the Olympic Games. I love the Olympics. I love the inane water cooler conversations about the Olympics (“Well I heard that Phelps has a freakishly long torso”, “Did you see the Jamaican sprinter?”) and I enjoy watching sports you hardly ever get to see. One thing I don’t love, though, is watching it on the other side of the world from your home country and every now and then seeing a competitor flash past wearing black and white and having nobody to tell me who they are. Last Saturday we were glued to the television as NZ won those 5 medals. It was a frustrating experience – we saw the British pair that got a Bronze to the Ever-Swindells' Gold be presented with their medals, but the channel cut to something else and we never even got to see the Kiwis on the podium. When the NZ cyclist rode to silver behind a Brit we had to endure a ridiculous and patronising commentary about how great Britain is. I have been told that TVNZ has replays online, but alas, these are only available to those currently in NZ.

To put things in perspective, though, on Saturday afternoon I did a trawl of some international websites. While the British press talked about their “goldrush”, the NZ papers wrote about our wins on Saturday, the Sydney Herald opened with an article about Australian gold medal winners, and CNN about Phelps. For a laugh we also looked at a Ukranian paper and the top story was about a Ukranian gold medallist that I’d never heard of before. I suppose it’s natural for a country to big themselves up and not report other country’s successes, but it’s just a little annoying when you are living on the other side of the world.

I am sure this woman we met in 'Nam only cares about Vietnam's silver medal. I imagine she also thinks that the NZ rowers are soft for using their hands not feet.

How is everyone else’s Olympics going?

No comments: