Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Just Days until the Olympics

On Friday, the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony will be in full swing. Which means, it's time for me to choose a sport or two so that in a months time I can tick off one of the items from my 2012 List - to follow an Olympic 2012 sport über religiously... a sport that I honestly don't care about right now.

Surprisingly for someone as indecisive as myself, I do have the sport I'm going to follow picked already - and there I was thinking I might have to pick one out of a hat. After chatting about it with Norngirl and my sister-in-law, it was decided the main sport of the summer is going to be:

*Drum roll please*

Synchronised Swimming!

A sport that perfectly fits the bill - I know nothing of the rules and until now, it's something I truly didn't care about and something I've never bothered to watch.

My current understanding of synchronised swimming (before I read the wiki page I just linked to there anyway) is that groups of people hold their breath underwater whilst 'dancing' with their limbs to make pretty patterns set to music. People holding their breath for a long time is impressive but it's not quite free diving, I'm sure I'll appreciate the skill required but will I care? I'm soon going to find out and the Olympics coverage is going to be my guide of sorts.

After just checking the scheduling for when the events are happening and it is quickly apparent that it's only a women's sport at the Olympics, with just 2 events - the Women's Team event and Women's Duet.

The schedule (according to the BBC site) is as follows:

5th-7th August - Women's Duets Event

5th: Qualification technical routine 3pm-4.50pm
6th: Qualification free routine 3pm-5.25pm
7th: Women's Duets Finals 3pm-4.13pm (seems a bit precise)

9th-10th August Women's Teams Event

9th: Final Technical routine 3pm-3.50pm
10th: Final Free routine 3pm-3.59pm

So a couple of problems there - first is that it seems these are very short events and awkwardly timed for watching live given we'll be at work at the time. The second is that the events only run for a few hours spread over a few days.

With these problems in mind, we'll have to hope that TiVo can record whichever of the BBC Olympic channels will likely be showing it at the time or that there might be highlights, extended highlights or full coverage on demand somewhere. I've also decdided to closely follow a 2nd sport closely.

This other sport is going to be Handball. I picked it because it runs from the practically the start of the Olympics for a long time, the best part of 3 weeks. I think it might be interesting to try and see what the millions of fans in Europe like about this game.

I hope by following these sports and keeping up with others that I might get into the traditional spirit of the Olympics because so far I've not been impressed by the build up to it all.

The Olympic flame came to Belfast but we had other things on whilst it was in town.
There has been a lot of doom and gloom in the press (sometimes I do wonder if they're all manic depressive or believe the populous are) though rightly so in some cases - such as the case of the private security company who are still trying to keep their 57 million management fee even though they 'failed to manage' to the point the army have had to be called in. On TV, the ads from 'official sponsors' have been driving me to shout at the TV screen, each brand seemingly trying to outdo each other in making any tenuous link to sport that they can.

Putting aside all that and then some, hopefully the Olympics will go well and we can enjoy the occasion for the sport.

I best get reading up the likes of this guide from the BBC site.

Come on team GB and Northern Ireland... flail? throw? lob? swim? tread-water? your way to gold!

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