Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics Preview

I don't know about you, but the Olympics are a Big Deal™ around my house. I've been looking forward to this year's games for months! Years ago, when I first moved in with my partner, we didn't have cable television. We went a couple of years without it, in fact. But we broke down and got it for the 2004 Olympics. Going to a sports bar for all the events we wanted to watch just wasn't practical. I mean, there's just so many chicken wings one person can eat, right?

This year seems to be the Year of the Women. There are so many great women and girls from around the world showing up to compete in London. I'm going to try to watch as many events as I can, but I have to be a bit pragmatic. Just in case life gets hectic, as it's wont to do, I've made a short list of events that will take priority.

I can't wait to see the women's cycling team. My favorite event is the road race, and I usually check out the mountain bike race, but I'm also excited to see the BMX event. I mean, seriously, what's not to love about women's BMX?!

On the road racing side of cycling, I really hope Kristin Armstrong does well again. She's one of my favorites, and after winning gold in 2008, I think she's done a lot for improving the attention given to women's cycling in the US.

I'll also be watching the women's triathlon (and probably the men's too). Laura Bennett is representing the US, and she's pretty awesome. But I'm intrigued by Sarah Groff's story.

She clinched her spot on the Olympic team back in 2011, while competing in the London ITU World Championship Series, which was run on the same course the Olympics will use. Which means she's had almost an entire year to train for it.
"It's fast, it's furious and it's exciting. Those two hours go by so quickly. You make a small mistake, and it could cost you your entire race."
And, like many people, I'm already watching the women's soccer events, which started earlier this week.

And I'm always amazing at the women weightlifters! I hope by now you've heard of Sarah Robles. But what about Holley Mangold? If her last name sounds familiar, it might be that you know of her brother, Nick Mangold, who plays for the NY Giants.

I'm also very interested in the outcome of the women's boxing events, since this is the first Olympics where there will be women participating. While boxing isn't a sport I usually like to watch, I might have to check it out just to see these women who I've been hearing so much about for the last several months. The US will be represented by Claressa Shields, Marlen Esparza, and Queen Underwood.

I'm sure I'll also be watching swimming, gymnastics, rowing, fencing, and all kinds of other sports I wouldn't normally watch. And don't think I'm only watching the US athletes. There are women coming from nearly every country. I'm especially eager to see the woman from Saudi Arabia and other muslim countries who will be the first women to ever represent their country.

Also, I sincerely hope there's another sighting of these two "olympians."

Who are you most excited to watch? What events capture your fancy?


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