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21 posts from July 2008

Let's Hear It for the Red, White, and Tuvalu

I totally sweat the Olympics.  I love patriotism and human triumph; most of all, I love being reminded that despite what the Ocean City boardwalk will have me believe, there are still people in the world who have the right bodies for wearing Spandex. 

Now, with the Beijing games only a few short weeks away, my biennial case of Olympic Fever is flaring up again.  To get you as revved up as I am, I present my official list of . . .

The Top Five Reasons To Be Pumped for the Olympics

Reason # 5: Potentially ridiculous outfits at the opening ceremonies

Ralph Lauren is the official outfitter for Team USA this year, and although the outfits for the opening ceremony will not be revealed in advance, I have reason to believe that they will be ridiculous.  That's because they have released a picture of the uniform they created to be worn around the Olympic village, and it looks like this:


Totally geeky.  I do not envy the person whose job it is to persuade Carmelo Anthony to put that combo on.

Reason #4: Tuvalu

Tuvalu, "a Polynesian state composed of nine coral atolls," is set to make its debut at the games this year.  I have no idea what sports they will be competing in, which is reasonable because until two minutes ago I had no idea Tuvalu even existed, but you can bet I will be tracking this exciting young upstart of a nation. 

Reason #3: HDTV

This year's games will be broadcast in HD, meaning we get to see every sweat bead and muscle ripple in complete high-res glory.

Actually, that could be gross.  I'm looking at you, Greco-Roman wrestlers.

Reason #2: Futuristic Controversies

Performance-enhancing drugs are so passe.  All the cool sports have moved on to debating newer, more futuristic technologies.  Most recently, the Speedo LZR swimsuit--a technological marvel with welded seams and a core-stabilizing corset--has generated controversy as to whether or not it gives wearers an unfair advantage.  This article explains:

Check out these numbers: In the first half of 2004, the last Summer Olympic year, one world record was set in Olympic-length pools. So far this year, 22 world records have been set, 21 of them by swimmers in the LZR, leading to an obvious question:

Is it the swimmers? Or is it the suit?

The running community also had a cow over whether or not Oscar Pistorious, a double amputee who runs with the aid of carbon-fiber prostheses, should be allowed to compete in Beijing--or if his fake legs were actually better than the real thing.

Reason #1: FUWA!


Meet the Fuwa, this year's crew of Olympic mascots.  They're like a cross between Power Rangers and Pokemon, and they stand to make this the Cutest Olympics Ever.  I highly recommend this writeup on the crazy amounts of symbolism in everything from their names to their headpieces.

I think my favorite is YingYing.